Today I am traveling up to Doi Suthep Mountain to visit the big temple up there.
I heard there are some great nature trails and other places to visit on the mountain but I didn’t schedule my time wisely and missed out on most of that in favor of some downtime (self-care).
A songthaew needed and I hire one for the trip. Instead of hiring one of the ones down the street I flag one down on another street and negotiate a price with him.
He takes me on the long curvy trip up the mountain. The back is open so I have a great view to see the trip behind me.
We stop on the way up for the view of Chiang Mai below.
When we arrive at the top my driver tells me he will wait for me. As you can see there are many red trucks waiting. He gives me his card and I take a picture of his license just in case I can’t find him.
I climb the first set of stairs where there are a couple of statues.
After the initial climb you will find another set of stairs, this one much longer.
Wat Phra That Doi Suthep
I pay the admission and I have to remove my shoes to enter the temple complex. The whole complex is very busy as most places I have visited in south east Asia. It is crowded with people who come to pray and other tourists like myself. I try to avoid as many humans as possible to get unobstructed photos but it is difficult. Even when no tourists are in my photos, a photography sales person will walk right into my frame trying to sell me their version of the photos. It is quite frustrating.
I do get a moment of peace when I walk into this temple, kneel down before the monk and receive a blessing. It is quite nice how accepting they are of visitors.
Once I leave the temple complex I walk around and there is a terrace that has a nice view.
I climb back down the stairs to find my driver. I have him drop me off near another temple in town that is close enough that I can walk back later on my own.
Before moving on I stop for a great lunch at Chef Tao’s Thai Cuisine.
After lunch I walk down the street for one more temple for the day.
Wat Chiang Man
Wat Chiang Man is not crowded at all. I can leisurely walk around and check out the interesting Buddhist scenes depicted in the temple.
After the temple visit I wander through town. I happen to walk by a cat cafe which I must stop in.
Shoes need to be off before you visit the cats upstairs and you are required to sanitize your hands before entering.
Once I entered the staff member helped me with some plates and soon I had many best friends. None of the kitties looked like they were starving but they sure acted like it.
It was cute to watch all the chubby kitties eat. Once I ran out of kibbles though they were off to the next person who had food for them.
I sat around and finished my beverage and watched the kitties a bit before I decided to head back down Nimman. Later that evening I try some Pad Thai from the famous Pad Thai Mustache Style.
Luckily I am there early and there is not a long wait for my food. I pick up some good hipster pad thai to end my very good day.