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Thailand – Wat Phrathat Temple on Doi Suthep, Born of a Miracle


Legend has it that this incredible temple was founded by a holy relic riding on the back of a white elephant.  The king, having seen this relic multiplying itself, recognized that it would need a temple of its own but could not decide where that temple should be.  So, he placed the relic on top of an elephant and followed to see where it would lead.  When the elephant reached the top of Doi Suthep, it trumpeted and then circled 3 times before lying down and dying peacefully on the spot.  Thus the temple was placed.

Today, it’s one of the most-visited temples in the Thailand, despite the fact that it is a long drive from Chiang Mai, followed by a climb up 300 steps. Clearly, the general opinion is that it’s well-worth the trip.

Guarded by two 4-headed serpents, this temple’s most prominent element is the Golden Pagoda that houses the legendary relic.

Wat Phrathat

Wat Phrathat

The area is also home to the richly forested Doi Suthep National Park, which is home to over 330 bird species, as well as Phuping Palace and the incredible Mon Tha Than Falls. When you’re done touring the temple, take some time to enjoy these other extraordinary sites as well.

Land in Bangkok, but whatever you do, don’t stop there.

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