This temple is Chiang Mai's most important and visible landmark and overlooks the city from its forested mountain backdrop. Wat Phra That Doi Suthep is 15 kilometers from town, 3,520 feet above sea level and dates from 1383. The temple is approached by climbing a steep Naga staircase comprising more than 290 steps the less energetic may ascend by funicular cars. The temple's golden pagoda contains holy Buddha relics and attracts Buddhist pilgrims from all over the world throughout the year. The temple compound offers an exhilarating view of Chiang Mai city and surrounding countryside.
The sacred, Buddha-image-filled caves of Wat Tham Chiang Dao are 72 kilometres from town. The caves are illuminated by electric lights, while deepest recesses can be explored with local guides who carry oil lanterns.
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