The holiest shrine in northern Thailand, Wat Phra That Doi Suthep was founded in 1386 under miraculous circumstances. It crowns the Doi Suthep mountain on the western outskirts of Chiang Mai.
Wat Doi Suthep is approached by a steep flight of 300 stairs flanked by green trees and guarded by 16th-century Naga (snake) figures. An easier, if less atmospheric, route is via an adjacent funicular.
The temple is part of Doi Suthep National Park, a richly forested area supporting some 330 species of birds. The park also includes Phuping Palace and Mon Tha Than Falls, the later believed by some to contain evil spirits.