Wat Phra That Doi Suthep & Bhubing Palace
A sacred and venerated temple
The temple is located 20 km northwest of Chiang Mai and is part of the Doi Suthep National Park, a richly forested area containing more than 100 rare bird species.
Among the sacred temples in all of Thailand, it is undoubtedly one of the most revered, popular and admired by local and foreign tourists. Every day, thousands of Thai people come here to pray or make pilgrimage.
Our ride of the day
From Chiang Mai, we go to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep which is about 20km... then we go on the same road to Bhubing Palace, 6 km from the temple...
When you arrive on the spot, you are a bit chilled when you see the stairs leading to the temple... more than 300 steps to climb with the sun beating down, it becomes almost a feat.
Fortunately, a funicular is accessible and saves you this effort...
We go to the Bhubing Palace located a few minutes away from Doi Suthep...
Bhubing Palace is located in Doi Buak Ha, Muang District, Chiang Mai Province. It is the winter royal residence of Chiang Mai, where the royal family stays during their seasonal visits to the people of northern Thailand.
The palace is also the royal guest house for important foreign visitors. Previously, Their Majesties only hosted or granted royal audiences to state visitors in the capital, Bangkok. Bhubing Palace was built in 1961 to accommodate the Royal Family during state visits to Chiang Mai.
There is also a guest house to receive foreign dignitaries. It is built in the mountains above Chiang Mai, to take advantage of the fresh mountain air.
The rose gardens are particularly famous (Suan Suwaree), with temperate plants grown here that are not commonly found in Thailand.
Mae Sa Waterfall
Mae Sa Waterfall consists of a series of 10 waterfalls separated by a short walk (uphill). The walks between each one only take about 5 minutes, so you can rest and enjoy the scenery between each walk and even take a dip at the foot of the falls if you wish. Some of the levels are steep and the paths are uneven, so this walk is not suitable for pushchairs. The entire falls are about a mile long and take about 30 minutes to walk each way, without stopping.
The waterfalls are a great picnic site, so bring your lunch and enjoy the serenity of a quiet lunch here. Many Thais come here for picnics, so it's a great place to interact with the locals, but it's best to avoid the busy weekend period if possible. If you're going to the falls on a Saturday or Sunday, make an effort to get there early and you may be lucky enough to have the falls all to yourself.
The best time to visit the falls is during the rainy season, between November and January, when the falls are at their peak. If you visit after February, the falls will diminish, but will still be in motion. If you visit between May and October, the falls may be reduced to a trickle.
There are restaurants at the entrance to the falls where you can sit by the river and enjoy a cool drink or snack. You can also cycle through the national park to see other beautiful sites.