After a week of gorgeous beaches and relaxation, we jumped on two planes and headed north to Chiang Mai… my favourite Thai city. when we lived in Thailand, Chiang Mai was always our go to place for a weekend away from Phrae on account of it being a four-hour bus ride. Pulling into the city was a strange feeling, it felt like home turf and we still remember our way about to every pub/place where we used to go.
The great thing about Chiang Mai is its close proximity to Phrae, meaning one of our close friends was able to come along and meet up with us for one of our days. We decided to head to Doi Suthep, Thailand’s most sacred temple located on top of Doi Suthep mountain in Chiang Mai.
The story behind the temple is quite interesting… the legend goes that a monk had a dream which led him to find a relic thought to be Buddhas shoulder bone. The bone displayed magical powers such as being able to glow and replicate itself. The relic was broken into two, one piece put into a shrine and the other placed by the king on the back of a white elephant which was then released into the jungle. The elephant climbed up Doi Suthep mountain, trumpeted three times then dropped dead. The king considered this an omen and a temple was built-in its place.
The temple sits at the top of 309 stairs however for the less fit/people not wanting to climb in the heat of the day there is a small train that you can hop on for 20 baht. Entry to the temple is 30 baht and you must remember to have your shoulders and legs covered and take off your shoes.
The temple inside is beautiful and the views from the top are breathtaking. As you wonder about you can try the “shaking sticks” which is a small box with lots of sticks in it and you shake until one falls free and gives you a number. You get the paper that coordinates with the number to give you your fortune.
As we were with Lee, our Thai friend we visited the monk and received a blessing before paying our respects to the temple by walking around the stupa three times clockwise while chanting the prayer.
The temple was very interesting and while you might get ‘temple-d out’ while visiting Thailand this one is a must see.
We drove a short bit down the road to the Erotic Gardens, the only one of its kind in SE Asia. (We asked about Jeju in Korea but we were told that it is not classed as a ‘garden’) It was 300 baht to get in which is quite a high price to pay for such a small garden but it is very beautiful inside and the lady who owns it is very passionate about her ‘art’ and took us around all the sculptures and displays really making it a worthwhile trip. She explained the premise behind the gardens, and showed us some of the ‘erotic’ flowers and why they are erotic.. ranging from the looks to the feel and sensation of them on your skin. Booking is a must as only so many people per day can go into the gardens however you can make a booking here.
The garden has just opened and has been featured in many big publications such as the Huffington post.
It was defiantly something we had not seen in Thailand before and made for a very different Valentines day! ♥