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Temple in Thailand
Written by Rhea Alex on May 11, 2020 Share on

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep In Chiang Mai

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep In Chiang Mai is known to be one of the most sacred Temples in Northern Thailand, the ‘Wat Phra,’ overlooks the beautiful landscape of the city. Renowned for its architecture, with a 306 staircase – intended to enable Buddhist devotees to reach Buddhist merit. The ‘Wat Phra,’ is a stunning example of what Northern Thailand had to offer. 


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History of Wat Phra That Doi Suthep

History of Wat Phra That Doi Suthep
Image credits: Unsplash

Established by ‘King Keu Naone,’ in 1383 was constructed to form a piece of bone of the historical Buddha statue. The one bone that is present at ‘Wat Suan Dok,’ was brought by a monk from Sukhothai. It is said that the bone was eventually broken into two pieces – one of which is found here. The second piece of the bone, on the other hand, was mounted upon an elephant who wandered away and selected a spot, where the ‘Wat Phra,’ is located after eventually dying in the process.

The Architecture of the Wat Phra That Doi Suthep

The Architecture of the Wat Phra That Doi Suthep
Image credits: Unsplash

The entrance of the monastery is home to a guardian dragon-like statue, commonly known as ‘Mom.’ Children are found to pay their respects to the statute before entrance into the temple. 

Within the monastery, steps lead tourists up to the terrace ‘ where a walkway circumnavigated the ‘Golden Chedi,’ which is surrounded by statues of Buddha in varied different poses. 

Beautiful rock gardens, monuments, and breadfruit trees are what grace the terrace of the monastery; along with a statue of the white elephant that carried the relic to its resting place. 

The ‘Doi Suthep Vipassana Meditation Center,’ located within the monastery – conducts a number of outreach programs for tourists.

Also Read: Uncover the Hidden Beauty of Thailand With This 7-day Itinerary

How To Reach Wat Phra That Doi Suthep

There are multiple options for tourists to reach the ‘Wat Phra.’ We’ve listed out the most convenient means of transportation for you below.


Tourists wanting to self drive by themselves – whether it be a motorbike or a car; you will have to pass through the ‘Huay Kaew Road,’ all the way towards the ‘Chiang Mai Zoo,’ whilst passing the ‘Maya Mall,’ en-route.

The route all the way up has a large number of curves and twists, hence it’s more advisable for tourists to take cars instead of motorbikes. On the alternative, if you’re confident about your driving skills and would love to give it a shot – keep driving until the road widens and you see crowds of people.

Taking a Songthaew

Image credits: Wikimedia commons

The ‘Red Songthaews,’ is considered to be one of the most feasible means of transportation to the ‘Wat Phra.’ If you’re looking to hop onto one, you’ll  have to reach the ‘Huay Kaew Road.’ This is most often general group transportation and does not provide private communication of any kind.

If you’re in a group, then you can take a ‘Songthaew,’ from anywhere in the city. The average costing is about 300 THB one way and about 5p0 THB if you’d like the driver to wait for you and bring you all the way back down to the city. 


Tourists can also hike up to the temple, from the ‘Chiang Mai University,’ from where the hike begins. From the starting point, just follow the road – leading you towards the trail that lies ahead.

After reaching the base point of the temple, if you’ve still got the energy – you could climb up the 306 steps that await you. Or the easier option would be for you to take the cable car, all the way up. The cable cars run from 06:00 am to 06:00 pm approximately. The fees range from 20 THB for Thais and about 50 THB for other nationalities.

Also read: Hike the tallest mountain in Thailand in Doi Inathon National Park

What to Expect in Wat Phra That Doi Suthep

What to Expect in Wat Phra That Doi Suthep
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Once you’ve reached the main temple, tourists will end up spending about a few hours exploring the place and getting a comprehensive understanding of the great history behind the construction of the temple. 

For tourists who got more time in hand, then you could head over an experience of the various hiking trails available or just head over for a swim at the waterfall, located within the temple grounds. 

The average costing is about 50 THB per head, for entrance within the temple. First-time visitors also need to keep in mind that the dress code has to be modest – covering both your knee and shoulders. Tourists are required to remove their shoes outside, before entering into the temple.

Another key to keeping in mind, the ‘Wat Phra,’ gets extremely crowded as the day goes by – hence it’s advisable for tourists to visit the temple as early as possible.

Quick Tips

  • Chiang Mai has always been home to a number of temples and Northern Thailand speaks volumes on that behalf. Having said the above, tourists need to keep in mind that a visit to the ‘ Wat Doi Suthep,’ is nothing in comparison to the other temples. A trip to this picture-perfect structure is something you do not want to miss out on!!
  • You will come across a variety of highlights as you make your way up to the temple – but be careful not to lose out on the beauty that you come across at every nook and turn. 
  • A stopover at the ‘Wat Phra That Doi Suthep,’ is yet another temple you could consider visiting if you’ve got time on your hands. 

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