A visit to
Doi Suthep is a "must" for any visitor of Chiang Mai. Wat Prathat
Doi Suthep is certainly the most famous of all of Chiang Mai`s temples.
You need a rental car (preferably with a chauffeur) for this tour. The
temple of Doi Suthep is located high on a hill ("doi" means "mountain")
and it is a long drive along the serpentine road to the 300-step staircase
that leads to it. (There is also a funicular railway, but the steps
are not very steep and relatively easy to climb). The staircase is flanked
by stone-carved serpents ("nagas"). When you reach the top you see
first a number of small stalls that sell soft drinks and snacks. A few
more steps lead up to the inner sanctuary. In order to enter it you have
to take off your shoes- as in all Buddhist temples
(and men or women in shorts or in other kinds of "improper" clothing
are also not allowed inside.)
After you have left the inner sanctuary walk around along the balustrade. There are beautiful pink bougainvilleas and more colourful temple buildings, and from the balustrade to the left of the main entrance you have an excellent view of Chiang Mai, especially on a clear day.
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