- Nature Reserve / Wildlife Observation / Safari
- Place or Religious Monument
If Chiang Mai is the place to go during your stay in Thailand, then Doï Suthep is the same for anyone going through Chiang Mai. Doï Suthep is best known for its temple, but that's not all there is to see. The temple is worth it, even if its just to admire the faith of the numerous Thais who go there every day. Several times when I went there I saw young girls dancing in folk costume.
If you go right to the summit of Doï Suthep, you will find the gardens of the royal palace of Bhubing. When following the recommended path for the visit I was very impressed by the bamboo given to the Queen which lines the route down into the distance.
For someone like me who lives in a hot, polluted town like Bangkok, a cool natural spot does me good. It's also good to know that Doï Suthep mountain is a national park. As I'm always interested to find out more, I discovered a stream where the Thais used to laze, then, a little further on, a waterfall, and finally another view of Chiang Mai, in calm natural surroundings!
A bus takes you from Chiang Mai to Doï Suthep, it took about 30 minutes to get there, and you arrive at the foot of an enormous staircase framed with dragon's head balusters. Even before I got to the temple I was stunned by the richness of the decorations, real works of art! After leaving these sculptures behind a long climb awaited me before I got to the temple proper.
From Doï Suthep the view over the town and surroundings was sublime and the temple was superb. Numerous statues of Buddha were dotted about all over the place. There were a lot of Thais who had come to pray and make offerings because it's still an important living site for them.
When I got down from the hill I made the most of the temple's closeness to the forest to walk to the Huay Kaew waterfalls, a lovely place with very few people since most are happy to see the temple and then leave.