If you travel from the south of Thailand (in my case from Bangkok) to the north you immediately recognize the different style or architecture. Chaing Mai has a different past then the cities in the south and consequently the temples look different, especially the very old ones. Chiang Mai has some very unique and popular temples and most of them are located in the old city. If you stay there (something I can recommend) you can reach most of the interesting temples by foot. It’s a little different with the most famous temple of Chiang Mai though:
Wat Phra Doi Suthep
Doi Suthep is located about 15km to the west of Chiang Mai, about 1000 metres above sea level. You drive on the serpentines and on a good day you can enjoy a nice view on the city – at least that is what they say, I was there on a misty day :(. When you finally arrive it’s quite obvious that it wasn’t only you having the idea – that place is crowded! But that’s something you need to get used to in Thailand, it’s very popular and tourists are everywhere. That must not be a bad thing, you can even enjoy including tourists in your pictures as I wrote in another article.
You can take the 280 steps to the temple (exhausting) or use the cable car – since it was very hot I chose the latter ;). After a short ride you reach the temple complex, build in 1373.
For the photos I usually used the M.Zuiko 9-18mm ultra wideangle lens on my Olympus PEN E-P5. For the details I had either the M.Zuiko 75mm or the M.Zuiko 60mm Macro mounted to my Olympus O-MD E-M1. In the evening I used the M.Zuiko 17mm because the ultra wide angle lens doesn’t have a large aperture so I needed something faster to be able to make good pictures in low-light.
This temple complex is located right in the centre of the old city. In my case it was right around the corner of my hotel so I forced my girlfriend to join me for some night photography :). Normally I don’t use my tripod very often but in this case the opportunity was just too good. Here are a few shots from the temple complex.
I already showed you the (at least for me) most interesting temples that you shouldn’t miss but there are many more in the old city. As I said, the temples are near to each other so you can walk the city and visit the temples you like. But keep in mind: Always remove your shoes before you enter ;).
Do you have any special tips regarding locations that one shouldn’t miss in Chiang Mai? Please write it in the comments, I will be back in the city for sure!