I hate to leave Chiang Mai. It’s truly a beautiful city I could call home. There’s such a relaxing vibe to it. Sit in the hot afternoon heat at a lovely outdoor cafe and enjoy a smoothie with good people kind of place. I really love it! 🙂
Today I decided to venture up to the temple of Doi Suthep. For those not familiar it’s the beautiful temple up on the mountain that you can see glistening in the sun down on the streets of Chiang Mai. The origins of when the temple was built is a bit of a legend, but many believe it dates back to 1383! But the road to the temple wasn’t built until 1935.
Now there are a couple ways one could do this trip. One would be to hike up the Monk’s trail, and this was going to be my original plan, however with the heat I thought maybe this wasn’t such a good idea ;). One could also rent a moped, which I thought about too! They’re really cheap here! But ultimately I decided on the red truck taxis (songtaews). They offer pretty cheap rates up there (50 baht each way!) but there is a minimum of 10 people before they usually go. But I thought I might meet some new nice people (which I did!). I met a lovely woman from Turkey! She really is so great! Just quit her job and is now traveling around the world for a year. Aw I love people! 🙂
But back to the songtaews! If you’d like to do this option, just head to the Chang Phuak Gate and wait for more people to join (unless your group is already 10? That seems like quite the travel party! I may have to try that sometime!) ;). But if you don’t have 10 you’ll have to wait. That sweet Turkish girl was waiting a while before I showed up. I was actually planning on getting there around the same time as her but stopped and had breakfast at an excellent place along the way – Cat House. Seriously grab a smoothie and the pancakes there! So good! Actually all the smoothies in Chiang Mai are good! 🙂
But back to the temple ride! So yeah we waited about 30-45 minutes longer before another 6 people showed up (I won’t state how every time what looked like a tourist passing by we were hoping they would join us! Maybe should have made a sign asking others to join us). 😉 But we finally had 8! That’s when the driver offered us his deal to pay a little more to leave right then. It was only 120 baht round trip, so we all agreed, and up we went towards Doi Suthep! (Although the temple is actually named Wat Phra That).
About 45 minutes later and you’re up in the lush jungles of northern Thailand. It’s truly beautiful up here, and the temple doesn’t disappoint! It’s beautiful colors of gold and white are only enhanced by the beautiful sun! And don’t forget to walk around three times going clockwise with your flower and candle and saying the prayer! Well if you want to anyway ;). I did! 🙂
The lovely Turkish woman and I had a fantastic lunch before parting ways. (I really do love all the great people you meet while traveling alone!) And then I spent the last few hours I had in the beautiful city of Chiang Mai wandering around the streets of the old city and walking through the various temples. Buddhist temples are truly breathtaking! And such a place of peace. I love it! I also really really love saying hi to all of the monks ;).