The temple is atop Doi Suthep, the mountain, and the way up is a 306-step staircase flanked by two long serpent statues. The climb is supposed to show devotion. It was established in 1383, to enshrine a Buddhist relic. A shard of bone believed to be from Buddha’s shoulder broke in two, one part being held in a wat at the base of the mountain, the second being put on a sacred white elephant and then enshrined in a wat built at the spot where the elephant died. A white elephant statue is located now at the top of the hill.
We did a day trip with Lanna Kingdom and had Kate and Mr A as our guides again. We took a cable car to the top and Kate took us around and showed us the temple. She took us in to a monk who blessed us and then tied a piece of string on each of the boys, Dad and Andrew’s wrists. A non-monk did Ava’s, Mum’s and mine, as a monk can’t touch females.
I had been really excited about seeing this temple and I’m not sure if it was the sheer number of people there or if it was just not as impressive as I had imagined.
After we looked around the temple we walked down the stairs where a snake is stretched along the top of each side of the stairs as the protector of the temple.
It wasn’t a particularly clear day so we couldn’t really see Chiang Mai city from the top but we all learned more about Buddha and Buddhism.
Opening hours: 6 am to 6 pm.
Fees: 30 baht entrance fee; to get up the mountain, will need to hire a tuk-tuk, scooter, or other method of transportation. It’s a long walk.