Tuesday, 30 October 2012


To get to Doi Suthep from Chiang Mai take route 1004 northwest. The entrance to the National Park is located about 15 km (9 miles) from the city centre and the drive to the top of the mountain from the entrance takes about 20 minutes. If you don't want to take a motorbike then song thaews (red taxis) are your best option. Song thaews regularly run from Chang Puak market and the journey from there should cost about 150 baht. A cheaper alternative is to make your way along Huay Kaew Road to the entrance of Chiang Mai University. Song thaews from here will ferry you to the temple for only 30 baht (one way) but the taxi won't leave until there are six or more people.
The temple is open from 06:00 to 20:00 every day, but weekends and holidays are usually very crowded. Admission is 50 baht, which includes a two way ticket on the tram. Hearty souls who chose to walk up the staircase are rewarded for their fortitude by only paying 30 baht. Remember that Wat Phra That Doi Suthep is a sacred place and you should dress respectfully when visiting it. That means no shorts or skirts and no tank tops. If you find yourself at the gate wearing cut offs, don't worry - fisherman's pants can be rented for a minimal fee.
Most of the other attractions at the park are free, but there is a 300 baht fee for the Monthathan waterfall. There are some bungalows and rudimentary guest houses in Doi Suthep National Park but there's really no need to stay overnight; it's not like Doi Suthep is a long way from the city. There are plenty of rustic restaurants scattered all over the park but the prices are about ten baht higher than in the city. Shoppers will find a few stalls offering souvenirs and knick knacks and the hilltribe villages offer traditional clothing and handicrafts.

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