Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep is a large temple complex outside of Chiang Mai, considered sacred to many Thai. Legend has it that a relic was placed on the back of a while elephant, which was released in the jungle. The elephant walked and climbed Doi Suthep mountain, where is promptly died. It was seen as a sign and a temple was built at the site.
Today the temple is quite the busy place, filled with pilgrims and tourists taking in the temple’s beauty and sweeping views of Chiang Mai (which really isn’t all that impressive to look at). With the Loy Kratong / Yee Peng lantern festivities in full swing, the temple was even busier than usual for our visit.
The temple’s main sight is a golden chedi (stupa), covered in actual gold. The chedi has a square fence around it where pilgrims walk and pray. On each side of he chedi, there is also a temple with Buddhas inside.
When you enter the temples along the side of the chedi you are not allowed to stand (as you should not be higher than the Buddhas); you are meant to sit right away. I took a little too much time taking a picture though before sitting, and so a monk threw holy water at me to put me back in my place. It was by far the most hilarious moment of the day!