Sunday, November 17, 2013

Doi Suthep

We started the day off at church. We just did sacrament and then took off to explore Chiang Mai. We went back to the hotel and changed and then took the moto up to Doi Suthep. This is a temple up on a hill out west of the city limits.

It takes about an hour to get out there, but it's a scenic road that winds through the woods. The hardest part is passing the crazy buses that try to run the scooters off the road. Along the way, we stopped off at another temple called Wat Suan Dok. This temple had amazing murals and paintings all over the walls that tell the story of Siddhartha Guatama (the buddha).

And then we walked next door to what we think was actually Wat Suan Dok. It's a little more impressive.

After winding our way up the mountain road and finding a parking spot in the packed area just below Doi Suthep, we started up the stairs toward the temple. The stairs had these little Hmong girls dressed up in traditional costume that looked so sad and bored. They just sat and waited for somebody to come take a picture with them and then they'd beg for money. They were cute though.

The temple is actually called Wat Phra That, and the mountain it's on is Doi Suthep. Yup.

As you can see, it has a great view looking out over Chiang Mai, which I think is the main reason for taking the trip up and paying the 30 baht admission fee (about $1). I also think that's the reason this place was packed! All the temples in the city were practically empty, but this one had people everywhere - and it covers a pretty good sized area.

Also at the temple were monks...

...this cool green/emerald buddha...

...and this not-so-great little dance troupe that looked like they hadn't practiced at all but just decided to dress up and dance around without any rhythm or coordination and see if they could get the white people to give them money. And it worked.

After leaving the temple, we found a giant gong and sat down for a quick lunch of peanut butter and jelly sushi (there's no fish in it, it just looks like sushi).

Then we drove back down the mountain and into town to rest for a bit before going out tonight for the Loi Krathong celebrations.

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