Doi Suthep: A Fabulous Buddhist Temple In Thailand

The golden pagoda and the white elephant statue are two of the highlights of this temple, one of the most important in the country.
Doi Suthep: a fabulous Buddhist temple in Thailand

When traveling to Thailand, don’t forget to mark Doi Suthep on the map. It is the name of a mountain, but it is often used to speak of the Wat Phra That Doi Suthep temple. The best way to get to know other cultures is to immerse yourself in their main symbols. And in this sense, the Doi Suthep Buddhist Temple is perfect.

We are talking about one of the most famous and best valued temples in the country. Therefore, it is a Buddhist pilgrimage center and a place of tourist interest. What can you see at the Doi Suthep Buddhist temple? We will tell you.

What to see at the Doi Suthep temple

Buddha statue at Doi Suthep Temple
Buddha statue at Doi Suthep Temple

As soon as you arrive, on the stairs to the temple you will be greeted by eight dragons that protect the climb. There are a few steps and it is possible to save them with the funicular, but it is best to use the stairs to begin to breathe the atmosphere of the temple.

Once at the top, the first thing that will surprise you is the golden pagoda, that type of construction that we immediately associate with Asian culture. You can also see several statues, among which the one of a white elephant that welcomes visitors stands out.

Other statues that will impress you are those of Buddha. Both the golden one from the Doi Suthep temple itself, and the green glass one. And do not be scared when you see a snake, because there is a stone next to the doors that has given more than a scare to the clueless. One more statue that stands out is that of the Hindu god Ganesh.

It is common to find bells and people playing them around the enclosure, as it is said that this is lucky. So do not hesitate to be part of this ritual so that your stay in the province of Chiang Mai is complete.

The legend of the white elephant

White Elephant Statue at Doi Suthep
White elephant statue – Edgardo W. Olivera / Flickr.com

The location of the Doi Suthep temple could have to do with a white elephant. Legend has it that a monk had a dream in which he was warned that he could go to a place for a relic.

He found a bone that some indicate was from Gautama Buddha. This object had powers such as disappearing or glowing, so the monk decided to take it to King Dhammaraja. When he saw it, the bone did not have any paranormal power, although the king decided to keep it.

Later, King Un Naone learned about the story and asked the monk for the relic. When they took it, it broke in two and the largest part was placed on the back of a white elephant.

The animal was released into the jungle and legend has it that it reached Doi Suthep Mountain, where it died. A Naone believed that it was a message and ordered the construction of the temple that today we can see on the mountain.

Other things to see on Doi Suthep Mountain

Gardens of Bhubing Palace in Chiang Mai
Bhubing Palace Gardens – _TC Photography_ / Flickr.com

In addition to the Doi Suthep Temple, there are other attractions in the area. One of the most important is the Bhubing Palace, residence of the royal family. When they are not there, it is possible to see various parts of their interior. The outside is also very beautiful, thanks to the small lake and the colorful gardens that surround it.

And you must walk up the mountain. On your way you will discover impressive views of the city, as long as there is no fog, which is common in this area.

Enjoy the Chang Mai province

If you have come to visit Mount Doi Suthep it is because you are in Chang Mai. In this province of Thailand you will not get bored, its capital is one of the most tourist cities in Thailand. In it you can see other Buddhist temples, such as Wat Phra Singh.

An interesting option is to know their large markets to see the wide variety of products they offer. In this regard, the most prominent place is the Sunday Night Market, a night bazaar that attracts the visits of all the tourists in the city.

A journey to discover incredible corners of Thailand

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