Wat Doi Suthep

February 18, 2019   Thailand, Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is said to have three must-see temples. We've seen two. The third, Wat Doi Suthep, is up on a mountain, about 45 minutes away. So after breakfast we walked down the block to Wat Phra Singh to look for a red truck with the words Doi Suthep on the front. It didn't take long, and after getting a price, 50 baht each (a little over $CAD 2) we piled into the back of the pickup to wait for it to fill. Once there were ten passengers the driver cranked up the engine and we were off.

I sat furthest back as it's least claustrophobic. I had a birds eye view of the vehicles behind us as we raced up the mountain, leaning in the curves, and hanging on for dear life.

Once at the temple parking lot we piled out, paid the driver, then followed the crowd up the cool staircase to the temple.

Wat Doi Suthep is a very popular temple, I guess it's because of the view, though the air is currently so dirty you can't see anything. This wasn't a surprise, it's been like this since we arrived, it's the time of year in Thailand when air quality sucks.

Once at the temple I found many people worshipping the various Buddhas. Some were on the ground, some lighting candles, and some were walking in a procession around a gold stupa while holding yellow flowers. Whatever floats your boat, eh.

The famous staircase to the temple      
The temple stair was crowded when we arrived.
Paul at the Wat      
Making offerings to the Buddha      
Procession around the golden stupa      
Gold stupa      
Smoggy view      
Temple bells      
The king and queen      
This picture of the king, the one on the left, is ubiquitous in Chiang Mai. I suppose the lady on the right is the queen. Rumor has it he (along with much of the country's money) lives in Europe, though I suppose I shouldn't say this as Thailand's Lèse-majesté law is the world's most draconian. This is the law that pertains to the crime of violating majesty, an offense against the dignity of a reigning sovereign or against a state. I'm not a big fan of royalty, much less military governments, so two strikes against the country in my book.
Waiting for more passengers      
My view from the red truck