Wat Doi Suthep

Golden, bronze, and glass Buddha statues are a dime a dozen in the shrines of Wat Doi Suthep.

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There is no telling whether it is the lofty setting or the gold-washed architecture that makes Wat Doi Suthep the principal sanctuary in Chiang Mai. But one thing is for sure: The temple has been a beacon of light for Thai people and travelers for centuries. With its charmful silhouette, it anchors the city perched on the Doi Suthep mountain at 1073 meters. Legend says that it was built in the early 14th century to shelter a piece of bone from the Buddha’s shoulder. But beyond that, Wat Doi Suthep is a spiritual relic all by itself, nestling many shrines and a glowing stupa guiding the way up from the streets of Chiang Mai.

Upon arrival, the longest Naga balustrade will greet you reaching up to the temple complex. The wonderment continues on the platform, where the statue of the legendary white elephant sits peacefully. As the story goes, a sacred white elephant carried the Buddha’s bone to the top of the mountain where the temple lies and passed away in the jungle. Today, its statue commemorates Wat Doi Suthep’s origin story. From there, head towards the 24-meter golden chedi. Designed according to the teachings of the Theravada Buddhism of Thailand, the chedi is an embodiment of weightlessness and inner peace. The same theme is also dominant inside the main shrine in eye-catching murals and structural elements. But, perhaps the most striking sights in the temple are the myriad Buddha statues.

At sunset, seek out the viewing cantilever and witness the most memorable panoramic scenery of Chiang Mai. The views are truly photo-worthy here, and the design of the meaning behind the complex’s design is even more highlighted.

Wat Doi Suthep Gallery

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