Wat Phra Doi Suthep (วัดพระธาตุดอยสุเทพ) is located up on the hills in Chiang Mai. From the base of the hills, you can rent truck taxis up.
Kruba SriWichai (1878-1938) is known as the Buddhist Saint of Northern Thailand. A life statue is built at the base of the hill to Wat Phra Suthep- Thais come from all over the country to pay respects to the Saint. You can buy the book on the life history of Kruba from Wat Phra Suthep for 100baht. It makes a very interesting read (update: I found a website which updated about Kruba SriWichai – it is very touching and the story is similar with the one I was told by my teacher).
Doi Suthep, the high mountain on the western edge of the city, had a Chedi that was considered one of the holiest in the area – historical chronicles trace the arrival of genuine relics of the Buddha coming to the area and being enshrined in the Chedi there. On the full and new moon nights, it was a common sight to see coloured lights, understood to be devas, floating down through the sky and circumambulating the Chedi. It was highly revered in Chiang Mai, but access for pilgrims was difficult – there was only a rough walking track up the mountain.
Golden Chedi or dome in the middle of the wat. If you like to, you can pay about 20baht to buy some lotus flowers, candles and jossticks. Then go around the golden chedi 3 times clockwise in a calm and relax manner. Afterwhich, light your candles and jossticks, make a wish or prayer. And place your lotus flowers on the tray.
- Candles- can be used to signify light of wisdom
- Jossticks- fragrance of Dhamma
Lotus- purity of heart rising above all inpurities. You see, the lotus flower grew from muddy ponds- and if such a beautiful flower can rise from mud, even so from bad circumstances, we can become good.
When you arrive at the Wat’s entrance, you need to pay about 50baht (foreigner rate) to take the elevator up. Otherwise, you will have to take about over 200 flight of stairs to go up (but still have to pay entrance fee).
The moment you reach up, there are lots of flowers planted in the vicinity of the wat.
Carving of a footprint of Buddha.
Bell donated by “Tampines Singapore”
Chiang Mai was having the haze problem when I was there in March 2007 (due to forest fire) so the photo taken is not so beautiful. On a clear day, the view of Chiang Mai taken from here is known to be spectacular.
Wat Phra That Doi Suthep
Road Tambon Su Thep,
Chang Wat Chiang Mai
The temple is opened from 6.30am to about 6pm. Foreigners would need to pay an entrance fee to enter the temple.