Weekly Photo Outing

This week we’ll take a brief visit to Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep in Chiang Mai.  Doi Suthep is the way this temple is often referred to, and is the name of the mountain on which the temple sits.  You’ll immediately notice a long and winding drive up the mountain.  Once as far as the car takes you, you’ll discover you have to climb even more.  There is a nice set of brick steps for those who like really exerting themselves in 36 C heat, but the rest of us will appreciate the nice tram cars that carry you to the top in air conditioned comfort in just a few minutes.

Cable Car

This temple is at the very peak of Doi Suthep mountain.  As you walk around the circular area the temple sits in you’re greeted with commanding views of Chiang Mai and the surrounding areas in all directions.  On a nice day the view is spectacular, or so I’m told.  In over ten visits the best I’ve seen are cloud tops.  Perhaps next trip..

View from the top

One of the first things I’ve always noticed are the musicians seated under umbrellas earning money for their cause.

Traditional musician  Traditional musician

Once in the main area visitors remove their shoes and climb even more stairs to “Chedi” where a monk will bless them and tie a string around their wrist.  There are also many interesting statues to photograph, each with their own purpose and story.  I’m just going to show a few images of the statues/shrines and bells, and in a later column I’ll dedicate a lot more time and space to properly document this special temple.  I hesitate to fully cover Doi Suthep at this time because I’ve got some really great images to share, but at the time I took them it was after hours in restricted spaces and I promised not to use them commercially.  I’ll sort out these ethical boundaries on my next visit in December and get back to you then.

Elephant Statue Shrine


Earth Goddess   White Buddha

Earth Goddess  Golden Buddha

Temple Bell

I think you’ll really enjoy the extra time, physical effort, and expense necessary to visit this exceptional temple. My favorite times to visit is either in the early morning, or very late afternoon.