Today we caught a songthaew (think red minibus crossed with a pickup truck) up to Doi Suthep- which drives so fast up and around the bends of the mountain I nearly threw up on the 9 people in there with me. Doi Suthep houses one of the most sacred temples in the country- the temple was built on the grounds where a white elephant carried a relic up the Doi Suthep mountain, trumpeted three times and dropped dead; look it up to read the full story.
The best thing about the visit is definitely the price; it costs 100 bht (Approx £2.20) for a round trip up the mountain and back which takes roughly 40 minutes each way. This plus the 30 baht (60p) entrance fee for foreigners, means half the day has passed and you’ve spent less than £3- result! Being the savvy backpackers we are, we also made sure we took a packed lunch to avoid the touristy cafe prices on the mountain.
The temple, although great was probably the busiest place we’ve been on our trip so far, which made it a little difficult to enjoy as you’re in a crowd of people the whole time. The temple was stunning and rich with culture and history, but truth be told was a littler smaller than I imagined it would be.
My recommendations would be; if you LOVE temples, are an avid Buddhist or are looking for a cheap morning out, then this trip is definitely for you! If you’re on the fence about going, or have limited time in Chiang Mai, I’d probably give it a miss.
Silver lining- the temple did make for great pictures.