Doi Suthep is one of the most famous and revered mountains in Thailand. Located in the northern province of Chiang Mai, it is home to the Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, a Buddhist temple complex that is considered to be one of the most sacred sites in the country. Doi Suthep is also a popular destination for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts, offering stunning views of the surrounding landscape and an abundance of wildlife.
History of Doi Suthep
Doi Suthep has a long and fascinating history. According to legend, the mountain was first discovered by a monk named Suthep in the late 13th century. He is said to have been guided to the summit by a white elephant, which is why the mountain is sometimes referred to as Doi Pui (“elephant mountain”).
In 1383, King Nu Naone of the Lanna Kingdom ordered the construction of a temple complex on the summit. This complex, now known as Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, has since become an important pilgrimage site for Buddhists from all over Thailand.
Getting to Doi Suthep
Doi Suthep is located about 16 kilometers outside of Chiang Mai, and can be easily reached by car or motorbike. There is also a cable car that runs up the mountain, offering stunning views of the surrounding area.
For those who wish to hike up the mountain, there are two main routes. The first is the “Huay Kaew” route, which takes about two hours to complete. The second is the “Nimmanhaemin” route, which is a bit longer but offers more scenic views.
What to See at Doi Suthep
The main attraction at Doi Suthep is the Wat Phra That Doi Suthep temple complex. This complex is home to a number of impressive structures, including a golden chedi (stupa) and a large reclining Buddha. Visitors can also explore the many shrines and statues that are located around the temple grounds.
In addition to the temple complex, Doi Suthep is also home to a variety of wildlife, including monkeys, birds, and even wild boar. There are also several beautiful waterfalls located on the mountain, and visitors can enjoy the stunning views of the surrounding countryside from the summit.
Doi Suthep is one of Thailand’s most important religious and cultural sites, and is a must-see for anyone visiting Chiang Mai. Whether you’re looking to explore the temple complex, hike up the mountain, or simply take in the breathtaking views, Doi Suthep is sure to be a memorable experience.