Wat Phra That Doi Suthep Overview

The Buddhist Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, built in the early nineteenth century, is one of Chiang Mai's most revered and important temples. The building is a stunning example of architecture and great craftsmanship. Wat Phra That Doi Suthep temple offers you an incredible experience full of serenity and calm, with a museum tour and souvenir shop.

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep temple is highlighted by seven-headed snake statues that line the 306 stairs, making it a sacred spot for Thais. When you reach the temple's terrace, the view from the top is simply breathtaking. 

It is around 15 kilometers outside of Chiang Mai, on top of the Doi Suthep mountain. Consider checking out Thailand travel packages that include visits to iconic sites like Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. One of northern Thailand's most revered temples, Doi Suthep, is perched atop the Doi Suthep mountain on the western suburbs of Chiang Mai. Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, located in the center of Thailand, was founded in 1383 by King Keu Naone to house a fragment of bone that is supposed to be a portion of Buddha's shoulder. 

A traveling monk from Sukhothai took it to Lanna, and it was broken down into two pieces near the mountain's base, with one piece preserved at Wat Suan Dok. The second bone was placed on a sacred white elephant before being released into the wild. As per the reports, the elephant ascended in the direction of Doi Suthep, and then came to a halt. It trumped three times and then died. At that time, it was a good omen, and on King Nu Naone's orders, construction of the temple began. Pavilions, stupas, sculptures, and wiharns make up the Wat Phra That Doi Suthep complex. 

Visitors can visit a museum on the premises, which houses historical artifacts, pictures, and old temple wares. The pavilions also include monks' housing rooms, an Ubosot prayer hall, a souvenir shop, and small shops selling drinks and food.


• Make memories and drown in divinity at the most sacred Buddhist temple.
• Get amazed by the stunning show of the architecture and craftsmanship of Thai people.
• Experience serenity and calm in the lively temple complex.
• Marvel at the temple terrace capturing breathtaking views of the nearby places.
• Explore the exhibition hall of the museum to know more about the age old relics and antiques of the past times.

How To Reach

1. By Air: The nearest airport to Doi Suthep is Chiang Mai International Airport. It is located approximately 18.7 kilometres from the temple. From the airport, you can hire a taxi or a songthaew (a shared red truck) to reach the base of the mountain. This part of the journey can take around 30 minutes to 1 hour.

2. By Road: If you are in Chiang Mai, you can also reach Doi Suthep by road. The most direct route is via Huay Kaew Road, which leads to the Chiang Mai Zoo. From there, the road takes you up the mountain to the temple. The total distance from the city centre to the temple is about 16.4 kilometres. You can opt for a taxi, a rented scooter, or a songthaew to reach here. The journey typically takes 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Best Time To Visit

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep is a popular attraction to visit all through the year. The best time to visit Wat Phra That Doi Suthep is November to February to visit the temple. This period offers a cooler climate and less humidity, making your climb up the mountain and temple exploration far more comfortable. Morning visits, right after the temple's opening, are advisable. This is because the temperature is cooler, and the site is less crowded during this time, while also letting you witness the beautiful sunrise views.

Other Essential Information

1. Dress modestly, covering shoulders and knees, to respect the temple's sacred nature.

2. Remove shoes before entering the temple areas, as is custom for Thai temples.

3. Allocate at least a couple of hours for your visit to fully explore and appreciate the site.

4. Consider hiring a tour guide to learn about the temple's rich history and cultural significance.

5. Choose between the 306-step staircase or the funicular to reach the temple since both offer unique experiences.

6. Check out the souvenir stands and food stalls at the top for unique finds and refreshments.

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