Doi Suthep Almsgiving, Temples and Hmong Tour

Doi Suthep is the mountain that overlooks the city of Chiang Mai. For locals, Doi Suthep is almost a holy mountain. This full-day private tour focuses on Doi Suthep and some of its most popular and interesting sights. We start the day very early at the foot of the temple. Here is the shrine for the monk engineer Kruba Srivichai, whose followers constructed the road to the temple in 1935. We will give alms to Buddhist monks before we drive up to the temple. Also on our schedule are Wat Pha Lat, the Monk’s trails, and the Hmong village Doi Pui. Driving time today is about two hours depending on the location of your hotel and the traffic situation.

Price per person in THB
2 persons3 persons4 persons5 persons6 persons7 persons8 persons
3,8002,9002,4002,1001,9001,8001,700

From: 3,800.00 ฿

Green rice fields with mountain
Doi Suthep from the Sankamphaeng district

Doi Suthep Almsgiving, Temples and Hmong Tour

Participate in the almsgiving ceremony

Our guide will meet you at the hotel at 0700 for your Doi Suthep almsgiving, temples, and Hmong tour. We will drive to the Kruba Srivichai shrine at the foot of Suthep mountain and join the daily almsgiving to Buddhist monks. In Theravada Buddhism, this is an opportunity for people to make merit.

Monks and nuns are not allowed to receive money; therefore, people donate food and everyday items. The daily alms round is an essential part of Buddhism.  Monks leave their temples on this daily alms round and walk Chiang Mai streets to collect donations. You will participate in this solemn ceremony. After that, we will visit the shrine of Kruba Srivichai and pay our respect to this most revered monk, who is regarded as the patron saint of North Thailand. His followers constructed the road leading to the temple in 1935.

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep

Then we drive up to Wat Pra That Doi Suthep, the most famous temple of Chiang Mai. Walk up the famous Naga staircase or take the elevator to the temple. We recommend taking this staircase of more than 300 steps. It is a good workout, but please 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 the tenets of Theravada Buddhism. We can arrange a meeting with a local monk if you are interested.

Doi Pui Hmong village and a coffee brewery

The Hmong Village Doi Pui is our next destination. It has become a popular place for tourists. Doi Suthep has a fascinating 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. We continue to a coffee brewery with a friendly coffee shop that offers fantastic views over the surrounding countryside. The Royal Project introduced coffee in the Hmong community as a substitute for opium cultivation.

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 fewer visitors than Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. We will take time to admire the central chedi, overgrown with moss and centuries-old Buddha statues. The most eye-catching building is the Ho Phra Chao Rim Nam (“the house of Buddha images on the water”), which dates back to the late 19th century. Wealthy Burmese residents of Chiang Mai partly financed it. The elements, in combination with the lack of maintenance, were responsible for the collapse of the building decades ago. The Fine Arts Department rebuilt the structure in 2019 using photographs like the one below.

Old temple building
Ho Phra Chao Rim Nam, Wat Pha Lat, probably at the end of the 19th century

Walk a short stretch of the Monk’s Trail.

You can hike the short Monk’s Trail down the mountain if you want. This popular trail was part of a trail that monks used to walk up from the mountain’s base to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. It is a short and easy hike through the forest, but you need good shoes as they can be slippery. Your vehicle will wait for you at the end of the trail. After this, we will drive back to Chiang Mai. The tour ends at about 1600 but depends a bit on the departure time. We hope you enjoyed the Doi Suthep: almsgiving, temples, and Hmong tour.

 

Inclusions

What is included

Transportation by private AC car
English speaking guide
Lunch
two kinds of fruit of the season
Thai snacks
Entrance fees
Drinking water during meals
Limited medical insurance

What is not included

All drinks except drinking water during meals
Personal expenses
Tips

Highlights

Almsgiving to Buddhist monks

The shrine of Kruba Srivichai

Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep

Hmong village Doi Pui

Wat Pha Lat, the “jungle temple”

The Monk’s Trail

Timeline

0700 – Depart from hotel to Kruba Srivichai shrine
0730 – join the daily almsgiving to Buddhist monks S
0900 – Drive up to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep
0930 – Visit Wat Phra That Doi Suthep
1045 – Visit Hmong Village Doi Pui
1230 – Lunch at local restaurant
1330 – Visit Wat Pha Lat
1430 – Walk down
1500 – Drive back
1530 – End of the tour