Monk’s trail to Wat Phra Lat
In 2018, my girlfriend and I walked to the magnificent Wat Phra That Doi Suthep starting from Suthep. The mountain climb is around four kilometres and has ‘off road routes’ for hiking through the forest. This was the first of several mountain trips we have completed. We had walked the shorter Monk’s trail leading to Wat Phra Lat in the months prior. Wat Phra Lat is just a kilometre from ground level but the location produces stunning views over Chiang Mai. The view is the icing on the cake, underpinning the magnificent temple and slow flowing waterfalls.
Wat Sakithaka To Wat Phra That Doi Suthep
As we ascended, the walk got steeper still, yet taking the scenic route instead of the main road was our preference. Reaching the top, we were extremely sweaty but discovering the temple and surrounds made it worthwhile. Wat Phra That Doi Suthep is beautifully ornate with numerous relics and statues. Further, the temple’s history and mountain proximity, viewed from the city, underline its iconic status. When my Mum subsequently visited, we took a Songthaew to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. On this occasion we participated in a Chinese ritual offering predictions into the future life we would lead. I showed my Mum around the complex and we marvelled at the Gold Chedi and many other sizable structures.
Mountain trips – Doi Pui viewpoint
Doi Pui is another mountain in the depths of the Doi Suthep-Pui National Park range. The route involves continuing on the road passing Wat Phra That Doi Suthep and Bhubing Palace. In 2019, my Uncle and I completed various mountain trips. The first was the Doi Suthep-Pui National Park comprising the temple and then Bhubing Palace, a Thai Royal residence. The palace was immaculately preserved with picturesque gardens and botanic flowers. Our next stop was the Doi Pui viewpoint including a waterfall garden and offering superb views over the mountains. We saw Bamboo trees producing the thickest bamboo I had ever seen. We managed to complete a loop around Doi Pui to points of interest before heading back to the city.
Mountain trips – Hmong Hill Tribe Village
The Hmong village, our last stop, is located within the National Park, close to the Doi Pui viewpoint. The Hmong people, primarily subsistence farmers, are a mountainous ethnic group. They inhabit the high Northern and Western regions of Thailand, and the border areas between Thailand, Laos and Myanmar. Certainly, the roads became narrower into the village and we witnessed traditional hill tribe housing and dress. We had a brief walk through the village and purchased local produce. Here we captured photos of the magnificent panoramas across the vast expanse of mountains, a fitting finale to the day.