Doi Suthep is a mountain (“doi” in northern Thai means mountain) in the northern part of Chiang Mai. It is located in the Doi Suthep-Pui National Park, a forested area that is considered sacred by the locals. Many tourists visiting Chiang Mai will climb Doi Suthep, and many will do so at night to enjoy the view of the city. The mountain is host to temples, monasteries, and shrines, and the area is popular with the locals. The top of Doi Suthep mountain is a great place to view the city.
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A glorious temple known for its spectacular 300-step Naga staircase as an entrance into the grounds leads you to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep also know as Doi Suthep Temple. The majestic relic is the most famous and popular temple of the north. Once you’ve reached the top of the mountain you will see an array of shrines, monuments, and an abundance of fresh fruit stalls, food and souvenirs. Your trip to Chiang Mai isn’t complete until you pay a visit to this golden sanctuary.
Visit Doi Suthep with Us
Monks Trail Chiang Mai (Hiking the Monk’s Trail up Doi Suthep)
Below Wat Pha Lad is a small ancient bridge that leads right to the infamous Monk’s Trail. It has become more popular but is well preserved and maintains its quiet atmosphere. The trail is easily accessible and leads all the way to Doi Suthep. Take the easy trail to Wat Pha Lad or venture deeper on the Monk’s trail into the strenuous off beaten path towards Doi Suthep. Hike during cooler hours or take a short ride to the top which will make the average hiker feel well accomplished to take on the Monk’s trail back to the city. The trail is simple to follow and well-traveled, just make sure you bring water for the unforgettable journey.
The Bhubing Palace is the winter residence of the Royal family when they’re visiting the people of the north. Come see where the honorable members stay during seasonal holidays. Check the dates before going because the palace is closed on the rare occasions the family comes to visit.
The Monthathan waterfall is a close excursion from the city with a trail starting at the end of Huay Kaew Rd, that also leads to the Doi Suthep forest. Take a moment to get away from the bustling city and enjoy the calm waters in a secluded area. The mountain to the epic waters is steep and paved making it ideal for a road bike or scooter. The outstanding scenery is worth the cardio exercise and worth the effort taken to get into the national park. A small access fee is needed to enter, providing entrance into more than just the waterfall.
Doi Pui Hmong Village
Stop by the Doi Pui Hmong village to see how some of the authentic tribes live in the mountains of Thailand. Here you will see villagers wearing traditional Hmong clothes and selling Hmong handicrafts. Get the incredible chance to see them practicing their skills of weaving, carving and building. A visit to the tribal community can be combined with a trip to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. This can be a part of the adventurer’s itinerary along with a stop by the museum centered within the village which seeks to educate visitors on the history of the land. By touring the homes of the indigenous, you are supporting their lives and leaving with more than just a few souvenirs, pictures and memories, but a heart full of gratitude.
Khun Chang Khian Hmong Village
Far away from the city and deep within the mountains is the Khun Chang Khian Hmong Village. Come and see people living in villages enjoying the gift of nature, family, and simple living. You will leave here understanding the importance of connecting to the land and the values of family. Take a visit and learn more about the life of the Hmong people.
Wat Pha Lad
One of the oldest temples in the country is Wat Pha Lad and is now home to monks and a residence for meditation. The temple is on the way to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep and has no crowds, stalls or busy moments. Compared to other temples, it has some of the most peaceful and natural surroundings. Although it’s out of sight, the experience will never be out of your mind, giving you the urge to come back to rest next to a waterfall which is just a few moments outside the city. It is without a doubt, one of the most favored temples to locals and tourist.
Huay Kaew Waterfall
Huay Kaew Waterfall is on the way to Doi Suthep. The waterfall is about 10 meters high, and it runs all year round. There is a lot of scenery and plants around the waterfall.
Doi Suthep National Park
An incredible national park that includes the infamous Wat Phra That Doi Suthep is one of the most well-known mountains near the city center of Chiang Mai. With a viewpoint overlooking the city, this national park is the perfect spot to get away from the crowds.
How to Get There
Doi Suthep mountains and its temples are as ancient as any of the temples planted across the country. What makes it rare is the amount of history saturated into one big place.
There are several ways to reach Doi Suthep. This includes renting a car, taking a songthaew, riding a motorbike, hiking or by a guided tour. Take a moment to breathe in some fresh air at the top of the mountains and uncover the historical parts of the Indigenous north.