Wat Doi Suthep or Wat Palat maybe both  |  Chiang Mai, Thailand  |  This morning I woke up and my driver took me to see one of the most famous landmarks of Chiang Mai, which is the Wat Doi Suthep (Wat = Temple). The temple is located approximately 25 minutes away from the old city, and due to being located on top to the Suthep mountain if offers great panoramic views of the city. The temple is very popular among locals, visitor Buddhists from all over Asia and tourists. But on the way back, my driver shared with me something most tourists never get access to, a very humble, beautiful small old temple located next to a waterfall Wat Palat.
Once you survive climbing up there stairs (no worries there is also the option of a cable car), you will get to the Wat Doi Suthep, a very rich and to the point of being camp, temple which regardless of that is stunning and captivating. So much going on, so many people worshiping and monks working maintaining the temple and the older ones blessing the visitors and receiving offerings. A very interesting experience, that I have not seen yet at any of the other temples I visited in Bangkok or Chiang Rai.

I spent there over two hours, just watching and learning from the locals and the monks… and I even got to try the red fortune telling sticks…. What my luck is…. well that I will keep it private so it will become true hopefully.
I strongly suggest you all check the photo gallery below with great images of my morning there…. so much to talk about and show that it would take me hours to describe it, so I think that images, in this case, are much better than words. Flickr Gallery

One of my favorite images was to find a group of young Buddhist monks working on maintaining the temple in top conditions. (see below)
Now my driver was watching me closely. An old Thai man from the area of Chiang Mai, buddhist by nature. He kept very silent, and on the way back to the hotel he said…. Do you want to visit a real temple, one that only locals know about and were people like me come to pray and worship Buddha. Of course, within minutes we were there. Hidden from the tourists eyes, only minutes away from Wat Doi Suthep, was the old temple of Wat Palat.
So I just kept my mouth shut and let me self go following my driver and listening to the teachings of Buddha through his own words, believes and experience. Such a trip indeed. I am so grateful to him for sharing this hidden gem, and for taking the time to introduce me to his religion, the monks of the Wat and the beautiful surroundings.
I won’t say much more, if you want to experience this, do your research and find it. But we aware of the disguise that hides the real beauty of the temple. Carlos Melia Luxury Travel Curator – www.carlosmelia.com

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