"If you see one temple in Chiang Mai, make it Doi Suthep"
I was told.
So I took the chance to head up to Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep
(about 15 km outside Chiang Mai city) with some other Spicythai'ers on the morning of my last full day in Chiang Mai.
In 1368 a monk brought a sacred relic he had discovered as the result of a dream to Northern Thailand. The King of the time placed it on the back of a white elephant and said that he would build a temple wherever the elephant stopped. After wandering through the jungle the elephant climbed Doi Suthep, reached the top, lay down and died. That's what you call a final decision.
A temple was constructed on the site in 1383, but has been added to considerably over the years. Because of the location being on top of a mountain it wasn't possible to build a Great Hall, instead there are a number of smaller buildings.
* I've also included photos from the Grand Palace and Reclining Buddha (both in Bangkok) in this entry - enjoy :-)
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