Visiting Doi Suthep: Windy roads and golden buddhas

If you are going to Thailand, you should definitely think about a short visit to the North of the country. Sure, island hopping in Southern Thailand is fun and who doesn’t like white sand beaches anyway? But Thailand has more to offer. Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand has become kind of a hotspot for nomads and the hipster crowd. It’s the mixture between a new urban style and old traditions which makes Chiang Mai so interesting.

Hard to miss in Chiang Mai:

A visit to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, the most famous temple in Chiang Mai.

Golden stupa in Doi Suthep

It’s located a little bit outside the city centre on Doi Suthep mountain. The adventure already starts by getting there: only the red cabs will drive you up the windy streets through the woods around the mountain – and the drivers apparently don’t fear speed and/or the numerous bad curves. Chiang Mai cabs are also kind of special, as they only have slippery benches in the back and no door, so be sure to find something to grab on when you’re heading up Doi Suthep 🙂

Red cabs at Doi Suthep

Road to Doi Suthep

View on Chiang Mai

Stairs to temple, Doi Suthep

Up at the temple enjoy the clean air and the golden stupa and buddhas – it’s just amazing!

Doi Suthep

Emerald buddha


Golden Buddhas in Doi Suthep

money offerings in temple

Bells in temple

Doi Suthep entrance

Girl ringing bells in Doi Suthep

Cute dog in temple


City centre – Doi Suthep and back by red cab ca. 400 THB for the whole cab, driver will wait outside for you (as usual, don’t be afraid to barter!)
Small entrance fee for foreigners at the temple

Flowers in temple

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  • Those pictures really make me want to go to Asia again. Thailand is just the best <3
  • Tatiana this looks amazing! Even the staircase is so intricate and beautiful. I'll definitely add this to my list when I head over to Thailand :)
    • Even it doesn't look like it on the photos, but the staircase is going replace a workout :) It's really steep! Don't miss Chiang Mai :)
  • I'm going to Thailand in November and I can't tell you how excited I am!! Chiang Mai is one of the places I want to visit most while I'm there, so I know I'll be going to this temple. Thanks for the tips about the cabs. I'll be sure to hold on!
    • I'm going in October again - can't wait! Maybe I'll make it to Chiang Mai one more time, because I didn't have time to visit Pai last time... People say it's lovely there, too. Safe travels!
  • I went to Chiangmai last summer, and I had to say I missed out on this place! I cannot believe that I didn't check this out while I was there for couple of days. It looks really extraordinary and absolutely beautiful! Hopefully next time I will go there when I visit Thailand again in the future :)
    • There's definitely to much to see and do in Thailand! I'm going again in October, you just can't see everything in only a few weeks ;)
  • I didn't make it to Chang Mai on my last visit to Thailand as we spent the entire time in Bangkok and your gorgeous photos have me feeling so jealous. Simply a beautiful and spiritual place! Thanks for sharing...
  • Lesley
    These pictures really make me want to go to Asia again. Thailand is one of my favorite countries in the world.
  • Your photos are amazing! I love Thailand-especially for the cheap street food. These photos just makes me miss it more.
  • Oh man this place is beautiful. Definitely going to put Thailand on my to do list. great post!
  • How beautiful is that staircase?! I love a good temple, the opulence and beauty is astounding, especially considering the poverty that many people live in. A hearty reminder to be grateful for all we have.
  • I would love to check out Northern Thailand someday--it looks like such a great spot. Beautiful photos--the detail in the golden stupa and buddhas is so pretty!
  • I haven't been to Thailand yet, but it seems like Chang Mai is on every travel blogger/backpacker/digital nomad's travel list and I can see why. Sites like Doi Suthep here look amazing.
    • Chiang Mai is just perfect for every nomad - it's like one of those calm places where you have it all, but you can also relax and take some time off your busy traveller routine :)
  • I want to visit Northen Thailand so bad. Every amazing picture I see makes me want to go even more.
  • I thought this was a beautiful temple! We had a bit of trouble getting up there though. It was later in the day so the tuk tuk drivers knew we were trying to get up there for sunset. They were charging ridiculous rates!! We were finally able to talk them down some. It was all worth it though, as the views were pretty nice. :)

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