Witnessing a 40-yr-old Tradition at Wat Doi Suthep

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by sanukseeker on June 25, 2005

I visited Wat Doi Suthep on the morning of June 18, which was a Saturday. On my songtaew ride up the mountains, I was pleasantly surprised to see thongs of Chiangmai University students trekking upwards by walking on the drain beside the road. Apparently, I was fortunate enough to witness a time-honoured tradition in which incoming freshmen trek to Wat Doi Suthep as part of their orientation to varsity life! The students were boisterous and in high spirits. It was awesome seeing them trudge up the mountains, holding hands or placing arms around one another and shouting cheers. Their energy and excitement was infectious. I would have alighted from my taxi and joined in their rousing parade if I weren't afraid of being perceived as a weirdo.

Rough Guides readers who are visiting Chiang Mai in June [that's when a new school term starts, I reckon] must ask around for the day of CMU students' trek to Wat Doi Suthep so that they can bear witness to this joyous and monumental occasion.

*Chiang Mai University was established in 1964 and celebrated its 40th anniversary last year. Trekking up Wat Doi Suthep is a practice fondly adhered to by every new batch of freshies.

Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep (Doi Suthep Temple)

Chiang Mai, Thailand, 50300


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