Doi Suthep

After half an hour of walking, we emerged back out onto the road. We turned left and walked down the road before crossing the road in order to access the continuation of the trail. It turned out that we had walked a bit too far down the road before turning in to Wat Phalad, but this was easily remedied by following the right branch of the dirt path as it lead directly to the temple grounds.

Wat Phalad, which stands for 'Monastery at the Sloping Rock', is a much smaller temple than its counterpart further up the mountain. Despite this, this temple is much nicer since it lacks the throngs that tend to flock to tourist 'attractions', lacks the gaudy and obtrusively bright decorations that larger temples have, and is quaintly nestled in the jungle and is flanked by a wonderful waterfall. The temple was originally used as a rest stop of sorts, for those who were walking up the monk's trail up to the main temple at the peak of Doi Suthep. Since the road was built, however, Wat Phalad has mainly been used as a monks’ residence.


A statue and the waterfall of Wat Phalad

It had been an hour since we started the hike, so after the short rest, where we quickly dipped our feet in the cold and refreshing water of the waterfall, we crossed the shallow river to get to the trail that continued down the mountain. The path followed the right side of waterfall downwards and seemed to split at a few points, but we found out later that a few of these trails cut in to the river but then dipped back in to converge with the main trail once again. There were a few turn-offs as well but as we followed the main trail downwards, it gradually became wider and much rockier, and sounds seemed to grow much louder as the foliage began to thin. Every now and then I heard the sounds of monkeys but couldn't slow down for long as swarms of mosquitoes would end up engulfing us.

Jeepers creepers!

We eventually reached the end of the trail, and it had taken us an hour and a half of slow walking, including the long rest stop at the waterfall. To get back out to the main road, we turned right at the TV tower and continued down the road and past the back entrance of the zoo. The road also passed by a cluster of dilapidated shacks that left us reeling from the squalor. A right turn at the junction that lay just after brought us right back to the cluster of sign posts (opposite Casa Condominium) that marked the point where we were supposed to have started.

As our stomachs rumbled and we eagerly awaited the dinner (THB80) that lay in wait for us, we glanced back at the mountain whilst we sat in the songtheaw (THB50) that was slowly taking us back to the the South Gate. We managed to catch a glimpse of, far off in the distance and glittering snugly in the serenity of the mountain, the incongruent, bustling temple that overlooked the hustle and bustle of the city.

Route Playback

Suunto Movescount Stats

doi suthep movescount

Download file: Doi Suthep.gpx

Day 6 Expenditure

Next: Chiang Mai Day 7 – Samoeng Loop