Chiang Mai Things to Do Tips by Linda_T
Chiang Mai Things to Do: 686 reviews and 1,525 photos
The pagoda is symbolic landmark in Chiang Mai. It depicts the progression of Buddhism and of Lanna Thai from past to present.
According to legend, a 14th century monk from Sukhothai found a relic from Buddha, and the Lanna King Keu Naone offered to enshrine the piece. The relic was placed on the back of a white elephant, a sacred symbol. He carried the relic up the mountain, stopped on the site where the temple stands today, and died. The temple was constructed in 1383, with a statue honouring the white elephant inside the front gate.
I took a hotel tour to visit the temple as my original plans had fallen through.
It's a windy road up to the temple, with nice green vegetation.
Admission is 50 baht, which includes a two way tram ticket. We caught the tram up the and walked down the stairs. The admission for walking up is 30 baht.
Northern Thailand's mountain peoples - the so-called "hilltribes" are the backbone of northern Thai tourism. There are six large minority ethnic groups in the north of Thailand, and several smaller ones.
Hmong or Meo hilltribe villages are located on high mountain areas north from Doi Inthanon to the Burmese border. They are the closest group to Chiang Mai, with villages in the Doi Suthep - Doi Pui National Park area.
Hmong houses are built on the ground in clusters, with several clusters forming a village. The oldest male controls the extended family household that will include married sons and their families. The Hmong are divided into clans, which play an important part in rituals and relationships.
The Hmong believe in a number of household spirits as well as souls. Rituals are performed by household heads, but each village will also have a shaman to exorcise evil spirits and restore health to the sick
The village is very touristy, but still interesting to visit whilst visiting Wat Prathat Doi Suthep. They have some nice handicrafts for sale which you don't see anywhere else.
Directions: Near Wat Prathat Doi Suthep
The original chedi (pagoda) of Wat Chedi Luang was built in 1391 during the reign of King Saen Muang Ma, 8th ruler of the Mengrai dynasty.
The already-massive chedi was progressively expanded until it reached it 280 feet (84 meters) in height in 1475, when King Tilokarat made it the home of the Emerald Buddha, the most important cultural treasure in Thailand (now in Bangkok's Wat Phra Kaeo).
The pagoda was heavily damaged in 1545 in a major earthquake, just 11 years before Chiang Mai fell to the Burmese. It was never rebuilt, but a new worship hall has been added next to the ruined pagoda.
Despite its ruined state, a Buddha image still graces Wat Chedi Luang's exterior, and it's not unusual to spot a saffron-robed monk bowing to it as he circles the chedi.
The new worship hall at Wat Chedi Luang is decorated with naga (snake) and peacock motifs.
To the left of the entrance is a tall gum tree — legend says that if it ever falls, a great catastrophe will occur. A small building near the tree enshrines the Spirit of the City (Sao Intakin) that was moved from its original site in 1775.
Wat Phan Tao, also on the grounds, has a wooden wihaan (Spirit House) and bot (central shrine in a Buddhist temple), reclining Buddha, and fine carving on the eaves and door. After leaving the temple, walk around to the monks' quarters on the side, taking in the traditional teak northern architecture and delightful landscaping. There are often monks sitting at the table who like to practice their English and are happy to talk about life as a monk to you. I enjoyed my monk chats and look forward to returning to learn more about Buddhism.
Address: Prapokklao Rd. south of Ratchadamnoen Rd, Chiang M
Directions: Wat Chedi Luang is on Prapokklao Road which runs roughly through the north-south center line of the old city, from Changpuak Gate to Chaing Mai Gate. The temple is just a short walk south of the intersection with the main east-west Ratchadamnoen Road
Enjoying a bath
In the lush tropical jungle of Chiang Mai's Maesa Valley , a big family of elephants lives side by side with their mahout caretakers. "Maesa Elephant Camp" is home to one of the largest assembly of elephants in the north of Thailand .
It's fun to watch the elephants take a bath, spraying each other. You can then watch the elephant show or go on a ride.
Phone: 119/9 Tapae Rd., Muang District,
The group of small white chedi-like monuments next to Pra Borom Thart Chedi is the cemetery of the Lanna Royal family. Princess Dararassami, one of King Rama the fifth's consorts, wanted to have a place where the ashes of the Lanna Royal family members could be kept in the same area. She finally chose Wat Suan Dok for this purpose and the monuments were established in B.E. 2452 (1909AD). The ashes of Lanna Royal family and relatives, including the Princess' ashes, are housed in each monument.
Address: Suthep rd, Muang, Chiang Mai 50200
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