Saturday, June 11, 2011

Wat in the name of all that is holy

There are many temples scattered about all over Thailand but one of the biggest temple attractions in Chiang Mai is the Wat Phrathat temple at the top of Doi Suthep Mountain. Earlier I posted a blog about our jungle hike where we hiked about 1/2 way up Doi Suthep where there was also a temple. The Wat temple is at the very top watching over the entire city of Chiang Mai.  This time we took a songtow instead of hiking up that huge mountain. So, up the winding mountain we went, passing waterfalls, hiking trails, extreme bicycle riders pedaling to the top, and lookout points. When we got to the songtow drop off point, we were suddenly amidst a small area bustling with street vendors, tourists, and locals. At first, I couldn't see the temple so I asked one of the Thai students to point it out to me as we walk up some stairs and make our way through the shops and people. At the same time she points up, I catch a glimpse of the stairway leading up to the temple. It's huge!
No pain, no gain, right?? So we start our ascent up to the temple.

About 1/2 way up..

Turning around to see my accomplishment so far

Almost there!

Finally! the view from the top!
We pay our 30 Baht entrance fee ($1) just like the funny sign says:
We buy some flowers, candles, and incense, take our shoes off, and enter the temple.
At the center is a gold tower that people can walk around in prayer.

They had laminated cards that had a written prayer on it but it was in Thai so I just made up my own and joined the other mobile prayers.
Along the perimeter of this central tower were places to offer up your flowers and light your candles and incense in prayer.

After I offered my gifts and said my prayers, I checked out the rest of the area which included a room with many statues, paintings, and a monk offering blessings.

I left the central temple area and went to find the view from up here! Here it is!

Absolutely beautiful!  On my way to find the view I saw some bells that people were ringing... possibly for good luck and a monk playing with the local dogs.

And we stopped to take a group photo! My Thai partner is on the left by me in the pink. Her name is Nok.

This one's for you, Mom :)

Remember when I mentioned the crazy steep ramps for handicap people?? Well, here is one of them.
Before leaving the temple, I purchased some prayer beads from a monk who blessed them!
It was then time to put on my shoes again and start the trek down.
As I made my way back through the market I purchased a waffle wrapped banana on a stick (pretty tasty) and snapped some photos of some furry friends hanging out.

While we were waiting for the songtow to take us back down the mountain, I spotted this guy... I'm not quite sure who he is or how I missed him on the way in!
This is just a cute coffee shop near the bottom of the mountain that I thought I'd share...
Though the sky was dark most of the time, the rain held off and allowed us to truly experience this important piece of Chiang Mai.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, what an adventure! I love the group photo and that view is amazing!
    I bet seeing those furry friends made you miss your kitties back home!
    Thanks for sharing!