Wat Pra That Doi Suthep
Lush greenery and a golden stupa make Doi Suthep mountain impossible to miss when visiting Chiang Mai. Visible from majority of the city, the mountain is a focal point that reinforces the beauty of the countryside and the magic of the Thai culture that resides just beyond the city. Luckily for tourists, Doi Suthep is easily reached and has become one of the top sights to visit while in Chiang Mai
What is There to See?
Besides a winding journey past stunning vistas, city views and waterfall stop-offs, the main attraction of Doi Suthep is the temple at the top. Wat Phra That is a working monastery that was built back in the 1300s and showcases the art within its architecture through its stunning Naga Staircase, murals and shrines. Visit the re-creation of the Emerald Buddha or walk out onto the terrace that overlooks the city.
When you’ve finished admiring the statues, monks and fantastic views, head back down the staircase to do some shopping in the surrounding market or grab some authentic Thai food from the stands.
How to Get to Doi Suthep
Due to its high frequency of visitors and close proximity to the city, Doi Suthep is extremely easy to visit. Taxis and motorbikes are the most convenient methods for reaching the top.
- Taxi: Visitors to Chiang Mai will inevitably notice the abundance of red, backless trucks driving around the streets. These taxis, or “Songthaew” in Thai, can be flagged down on the streets and will be more than happy to take you up the mountain. The 15 kilometer trip can take around 25 minutes before reaching the top and the driver will often be willing to stop off at view points and attractions on the way up. The cost is about 300-400 Baht and many drivers will agree to wait until you are finished to take you back to the city.
- Motorbike: Though not recommended for those with no motorbike experience, taking one up the mountain can be quite an exciting experience. The roads are steep with many turns but a motorbike allows you the freedom to stop off whenever you choose. Bikes can be rented to tourists throughout the city and you can follow Huay Kaew Road up the mountain.
Price and Hours
While you can technically drive up Doi Suthep at any time, Wat Phra That is opened between 6 am and 6pm and admission price is 30 Baht.