on February 22, 2007
Aside from its stunning view of Chiang Mai, Wat Prathat Doi Suthep is a beautiful and revered site to visit. The admission is free for Thais and anyone who looks Thai, but there is a small mandatory donation of forty Baht per foreigner. There are two ways up to this famous temple after you have found your way up the mountainside: first way; climb the huge staircase to the top, second way; take the lift for a fee of twenty Baht per person. It was a long walk to the top, but it felt almost spiritual and invigorating to do it by my own means.The huge golden pagoda is stunning. It’s beauty and the feelings one gets as they take their walk around it and rings the bells around its gate are probably different for everyone. The smell of incense and melting wax candles wafts around the area as the sun shines off of the golden objects as the visitor is taken on a spiritual trip.Because of its size and the lens size of most cameras there are photographers standing by to capture the visitor’s image with the pagoda in the background. These photos were two hundred Baht, and honestly, after seeing the quality of our photos, probably not worth it.Beware the vendors outside of this famous site. They are aggressive, and quite frankly, overpriced. The night market will offer better deals than anything you might find here, and without the aggressive hawkers.I did have a funny moment while there. As we were ringing the large bells near the temple I heard a Guns and Roses melody. For a moment I thought the monks inside were listening to rock and roll. It took me a few seconds to realize it was my brother-in-laws cell phone ring-tone. The song: Sweet Child ‘O Mine. The picture in my mind of a monk listening to Guns and Roses: Priceless.
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