CHIANG MAI, THAILAND: TEMPLE IN THE CLOUDS, WAT PHRA THAT DOI SUTHEP, FAIRYTALE CAFE, GOING TO HANOI
This is day 7 of 20 days in Southeast Asia. We wake up at sunrise to visit Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, a beautiful temple on the top of a mountain. We have lunch at a fairytale themed cafe before catching a flight to Hanoi to continue our trip.
The rest of the trip:
Start here if you haven’t read:
Day 1: Golden Buddha, Yaowarat, Banglamphu (Bangkok, Thailand)
Day 2: Wat Pho, Bangkok National Museum, Wat Arun (Bangkok, Thailand)
Day 3 & 4: Jim Thompson House, Snake Farm, overnight train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, plus a Thai cooking class (Bangkok and Chiang Mai, Thailand)
Day 5: Elephant Nature Park, Saturday Night Market, Nimmanhaemin Road (Chiang Mai, Thailand)
Day 6: Thai Massage, Wat Phan Tao, Warowot Market (Chiang Mai, Thailand)
Woke up with the sunrise on our last day in Chiang Mai.
So beautiful! I’ll miss this room and this city.
We packed up our things and tidied up the room before heading out to catch a songthaew.
Prepare yourself for a lot of photos from the songthaew as we drove through the city as the city woke up…
I read online in advance that a good way to get there was to ask the songthaew driver to drop you at the zoo entrance. From there a queue of songthaews wait to take tourists up to the top to see Wat Phra That Doi Suthep.
The drive took about 40 minutes.
The last bit is up Doi Suthep mountain. At the top of the mountain is a national park, Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, a revered temple that has been used since the 13th century, and a Hmong village.
Our initial plan was to wait for a second songthaew from the zoo, but there weren’t any. We paid 500 Thai baht for the drive up and back, and for the driver to wait for us while we explored the temple.
I can imagine the stairs up to the temple getting really crowded, especially when the shops open. We were there early enough that nothing was really open, it was a lovely, quiet experience. Also…loving my shirt I got at the Night Market the evening before.
306 steps up to make it to the temple.
The stairs had big scaled serpent bannisters that lead all the way to the top.
Paid our 30 baht to enter and starting wandering around.
The early morning light really made the golden details glow.
It was surreal to be one of a few people walking the grounds.
Then we approached the view. I gasped! While not the sunrise we were hoping to see (oops, we took too long), the entire skyline was blanketed with fluffy white clouds. It was like we were in a dream.
Didn’t quite rub in my sunscreen
We attempted to walk away from the view…
Approaching the doggo in the sun
A few more steps lead up into the inner terrace, with the towering golden chedi with a relic of the Buddha. It is believed to be a bone from the shoulder of the Buddha. The relic split in half, one fragment is at Wat Suan Dok and the other was mounted onto a sacred white elephant that wandered through the jungles until it did. The place where it died? Here, where the monastery was founded.
I appreciate the very specific donation boxes.
Matching with the golden chedi
Tiny sculpture at the foot of a Buddha
Soaking in the last views of the inner courtyard.
The snack stand opened so we bought little coffees.
Took our coffees with us to see the view again.
It was time to head back down the mountain.
Views back into town from the back of the red truck
The old city walls came back into view. We asked to be dropped off at the North Gate so we could wander back through the city in our last few hours.
We were pretty hungry at this point and noticed this cafe called Into the WoodsInto the Woods. It was a storybook and fairytales theme.
We got cookies with our coffees, including this incredible witch finger.
Passionfruit and mango smoothie, and breakfast specials. I had the spicy basil pork sandwich and Zach got an egg and bacon breakfast.
Last views of the old city. We walked back to our accommodations, got our bags, and picked up a ride to the airport.
At the airport we noticed a Dairy Queen with a durian blizzard. We had to try! Zach is a new durian fan. We got the one mixed with oreo.
It was delicious. We spent our last Thai Baht on the blizzard expecting to find some food in the rest of the airport that we could pay with credit card. Unfortunately, everything was cash only and we didn’t want to withdraw more baht, so we really savored our durian blizzard.
We were hungry and everybody in the airport was eating delicious looking ramen cups. I love that. In the States, you’d see fast food like burgers or something from Starbucks, but a lot of folks around us were eating hot noodles. Wish we saved enough cash to join them!
Awaiting our flight. The flight actually went back to Bangkok for a layover before flying to Hanoi.
A few hours later we landed in Hanoi. It was raining pretty hard. We went straight to our Airbnb and went to bed. We have a big day tomorrow.
I hope you enjoyed! The next part will be exploring Hanoi.
Much love friends.
8 replies on “CHIANG MAI, THAILAND: TEMPLE IN THE CLOUDS AKA WAT PHRA THAT DOI SUTHEP”
That view over the clouds is so wonderful!
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🙂 It was magical!
That cafe looks super cute! I have to say a durian slushy is a little easier to take than straight up durian, although I’m sure there’s something durian could be paired with to taste… better. haha. The clouds and views are beautiful! Thanks for sharing.
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We tried durian at the night market and loved it! But maybe we were so enamored by the market in general that everything was tasting amazing…
Chiang Mai will always always be beautiful 😀
I love your outfit, the color palette reminds me of Snow White 😀
That view is so nice 🙂
That witch finger is quite 😮 😮 😮
Your southeast asia is making me so happy, looking forward to future posts!
Also, I know I’ve asked this before, but what lenses do you use?
My travel photos arent that great and I’m wishing to buy a new lens 😦
All my travel photos were shot on my fuji, the fujifilm x-t2 with the kit lens, 18-55mm F 2.8 🙂
Thanks for sharing this! We went there something like 20 years ago, pre kids. Glad to know it’s still beautiful.