Thailand: Chiang Mai – Doi Suthep Mountain & Temple
I missed Doi Suthep on the previous trip to Chiang Mai and so this time I finally made it to the top of this mountain just outside the city. Doi Suthep Is the granite dome mountain rising to 1,676 m (5,499 ft), and it takes a head spinning drive to the top, as your recently eaten breakfast comes perilously close to being thrown out of your stomach with every twist and turn. Then you are finally on top, with massive crowds of people, and worshippers, and tour guides, and trinket sellers. The Wat Phra That Doi Suthep Temple sits on top of the mountain, and you need to take a short funicular ride to get there. The temple dates back to the 13th century and is considered sacred and one of the most holy Buddhist shrines in Thailand, as is the entire mountain. Inside the temple – there is blinding amount of gold on the stupa and all the golden statues surrounding or – it’s an absolutely gold overload. The stupa aka Chedi is 24 m (79 ft) tall and gold-plated from top to bottom. And when you are done being blinded by the gold, you get floored by the panoramic views over the city below from several observation platforms.