Doi Suthep Almsgiving, Temples and Hmong Tour
Participate in the almsgiving ceremony
Our guide will meet you at the hotel at 0530 for your Doi Suthep almsgiving, temples and Hmong tour. We will drive to the Kruba Srivichai shrine at the food of Suthep mountain. We will join the daily almsgiving to Buddhist monks. In Theravada Buddhism this is an opportunity for lay people to make merit. Monks and nuns are not allowed to receive money. Therefor people donate food and every day items. The daily almsround is a very important part of Buddhism. Monks leave their temples on this daily almsround and walk the streets of Chiang Mai to collect alms. You will participate in this solemn ceremony. After that we will visit the shrine of Kruba Srivichai briefly. He is the patron-saint of North Thailand. His followers constructed the road leading to the temple in 1935.
Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep
Then we drive up to Wat Prathat Doi Suthep, the most famous temple of Chiang Mai. Walk up the famous Naga staircase or take the elevator to the temple. We recommend to take the staircase of more than 300 steps. It is a good workout but take your time. We have all the time in the world. From the temple you have a magnificent view of Chiang Mai. At this time of day there will be few other visitors which makes it very special. We will spend time at the temple during which your guide will explain about the tenets of Theravada Buddhism. If you are interested we can arrange a meeting with a local monk. We will have breakfast in a local restaurant. If you have brought a breakfast from the hotel we will find a place where you enjoy it.
After our visit to the temple we continue to the Bhubing Palace. The Royal Family has houses all over the country. This palace is not accessible but its gardens are. We will visit the beautiful flower gardens with orchids and roses amongst others.
Doi Pui Hmong village and the Royal Project
The Hmong Village Doi Pui is our next destination. It has become a popular place for tourists. It is the starting point of our Opium Trail trekking. Doi Suthep has an interesting history in which opium and the Hmong people play a role. His highness Bhumibol Adulyadej started his Royal Project on Doi Suthep in 1969 to help the Hmong people and save the national park as a watershed area. Your guide will tell you this story. Doi Pui village is located very beautifully. We will walk around the village and visit the small museum. Even though the village receives many visitors, we think it is still worth visiting. Most people overlook the historical significance of this village.
Wat Pha Lat, the “jungle temple” of Chiang Mai
On the way down we will stop at Wat Pha Lat aka the “jungle temple” of Chiang Mai. This pretty temple complex receives far less visitors than Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep. We will take some time to admire the central chedi, overgrown with moss, and centuries-old Buddha statues. If you want you can hike the short Monk’s Trail down the mountain. This popular trail was part of a trail that monks used to walk up from the base of the mountain to Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep. It is a short and easy hike through the forest but you need good shoes as it can be slippery. Your vehicle will wait for you at the end of the trail. After this we will drive back to Chiang Mai. We hope you enjoyed the Doi Suthep: almsgiving, temples and Hmong tour. There is also a shorter version of this tour.