Categories
Chiang Mai Sightseeing

Phuping Palace

Phuping Palace is a great place with beautiful gardens and greenery

phuping palace, bhubing palace, winter palace

Phuping Palace is the Royal winter residence of the Thai Royal Family. It is located in thearea of Doi Suthep – Pui National Park where temperatures are lower than in town and the atmosphere is more moist. The Palace that was completed in 1961 is also used to receive guests of the Royal Family.

Phuping Palace is located in the west of Chiang Mai city and can easily be combined as part of a day trip or half-day trip to the nearby Doi Suthep temple, the holiest temple in the north of Thailand and Doi Pui Hmong village. Phuping Palace has become known as the winter palace because members of the royal family stay here when they visit the north of Thailand during the cool season when the mountain air is cool and clean and the flowers are in full bloom. The palace is also used for prominent State visitors from overseas. The king and queen of Denmark were the first foreign royals to stay at Bhuping Palace when they visited Thailand in January 1962.

phuping palace, bhubing palace, winter palace

phuping palace, bhubing palace, winter palace

Phra Tamnak Phuping Rajanives was built in northern Thai architectural style called “Ruen Mu” (Group of Houses). The building sits on stilts. The upper floor is the royal residential area while the ground floor houses the royal entourage. The building master plan was design by Prince Samaichalerm Kridagara while Mom Rachawongse Mitrarun Kasemsri designed the building.

As the Palace buildings are not open to the public, the main attraction are the landscaped gardens that can be visited when none of the members of the Thai Royal Family stays at the Palace.

phuping palace, bhubing palace, winter palace

phuping palace, bhubing palace, winter palace

One of the main attractions is the rose garden named Suan Suwaree. Besides the roses, the spread out gardens contain many species of flowers and plants such as several species of camellias, ferns, giant bamboo and colorful orchids.

A large water reservoir with fountains provides water for the Palace complex during the dry season. Even the water reservoir is beautiful with colored lights, musical fountains etc.

The landscaped gardens and grounds are open to the general public every day from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Visitors should wear appropriate attire. The palace is closed when the Royal Family is in residence, between January and early March.

phuping palace, bhubing palace, winter palace

phuping palace, bhubing palace, winter palace

Entry to the buildings themselves is prohibited, but you are free to explore the grounds and take photos. When visiting any royal grounds in Thailand you should dress and behave respectfully. At Phuping Palace you are not allowed to wear shorts or skimpy clothing. Shoulders must be covered. At the entrance to the grounds there is a clothes rental service for visitors who arrive without suitable attire. Admission is 50 Baht per person. 

doi suthep temple, wat doi suthep, wat phra that doi suthep, wat phrathat doi suthep, phra that doi suthep temple, phrathat doi suthep temple

hmong village, doi pui hmong tribal village, hmong tribal village, doi pui hmong village

The travel to Phuping palace is easy because it is the same way to Doi Suthep, a renowned mountain, which is about 5 km from Chiang Mai. You can take a red pick-up passing in front of Chiang Mai Zoo. You can also stop over to pay homage to Khru Ba Si Wichai Monument. Khru Ba Si Wichai is the one who constructed Phra That Doi Sutheip Temple. The red pick-up services are provided to lead to Doi Suthep temple, Phuping Palace and Doi Pui Hmong Village. The distance from Chiang Mai Zoo to Phuping Palace is about 17 km. The most comfortable way is by private taxi. Taxis or minivans can be booked by most travel agents in Chiang Mai town. 

Categories
Chiang Mai Markets & Shopping

Warorot Market

Exploring Warorot Market the main market in Chaing Mai

warorot market, kad luang, chiang mai market

Warorot Market is a local Thai market and a busy hive of activity in Chiang Mai city center, opening early in the morning and closing after dark.

Warorot Market is…something else.  You literally can get just about anything within this area from jeans to furniture and kitchen ware, fabric and medicine, donuts, dried fruit, Souvenirs, woks, wigs, shirts, hats, lotions, bags, tea leaves, spices, fresh produce, chopsticks, handicrafts and etc.  There are several buildings and alley ways that make up the total area and are well worth a couple areas discovering all the nooks and crannies. 

warorot market, kad luang, chiang mai market

Warorot Market is known as Kad Luang (‘big market’) to locals. Big market is about right from a three-storey undercover complex, Warorot extends out to countless street stalls and shopfronts on both sides of Chang Moi Road. As a result, the name Warorot is often used to refer to Chiang Mai’s entire downtown area, the patch of China Town that sits between Thapae Gate and the Ping River.

Warorot used to be the trading centre for the north of Thailand. Nowadays it is a place where you can go to find pretty much anything you need from plastic containers to fresh meat.

warorot market, kad luang, chiang mai market

Warorot market is situated at the corner of Chang Klang Road and Chang Moi Road, very near to the Ping River.  It opens daily early in the morning and closes after dark. Go by foot, pedicab, Tuk-Tuk or Songtheaw as it is nearly impossible to get a park there unless you have a motor bike.

If you are after a taste of real Chiang Mai life then a wander round Warorot Market is highly recommended.  

After snacking on the sai ua and fried pork we decided make the trip to other side of the street to go check out Ton Lamyai market.

warorot market, kad luang, chiang mai market

The Chiang Mai Flower Market, Ton Lamyai, is situated by Worarot Market and runs along the Ping River towards Thapae Road. The market is the only place in Chiang Mai to buy fresh cut flowers and abounds with colour.

The market is open 24 hours but is best visited at night when you can witness thousands of fresh blooms arrive on the back of pick up trucks just hours after being cut. If you are looking for a display or bouquet as a gift this is definitely the place to come and the many vendors will make you something special at unbelievable prices.

warorot market, kad luang, chiang mai market

Much more fun is to pick your way through the various specialist stalls at Ton Lamyai (normally on the river side of the road) and choose your own individual flowers and bouquets.

There are flowers of all descriptions from roses to chrysanthemums, lilies to birds of paradise all ready to reach their absolute prime. To the western eye is is perhaps the orchids that really catch the eye. These beautiful flowers are available in hundreds of varieties and colour. It is amazing to see piles of fresh cuts orchids several feet high that would cost a King’s ransom at home but can be bought for a song at Ton Lamyai.

Categories
Chiang Mai Sightseeing Chiang Mai Temples

Doi Suthep Temple

Doi Suthep Temple the jewel of Chiang Mai

doi suthep temple, wat doi suthep, wat phra that doi suthep, wat phrathat doi suthep, phra that doi suthep temple, phrathat doi suthep temple

Overlooking the city of Chiang Mai, the 5,283-foot mountain called Doi Suthep is part of the twin-peaked Doi Suthep-Doi Pui National Park. There was no proper road up the mountain until the mid-1930’s, when a monk named Phra Khruba Srivichai initiated the construction of one, mainly with volunteer labor, to help pilgrims who wanted to visit the famous Wat Phra That Doi Suthep near the summit. This temple offers spectacular views and much lower temperatures even in the hottest months.

doi suthep temple, wat doi suthep, wat phra that doi suthep, wat phrathat doi suthep, phra that doi suthep temple, phrathat doi suthep temple

doi suthep temple, wat doi suthep, wat phra that doi suthep, wat phrathat doi suthep, phra that doi suthep temple, phrathat doi suthep temple

Doi Suthep temple is one of the most beautiful temples in the North of Thailand, but it is also one of the most famous amongst visitors. If you wish to discover this beautiful temple in a quiet and more private atmosphere, get there early in the morning. Before 8am the temple is very silent, still bathed in the light of the sunrise and blissfully empty. If you arrive around 7am, you will also have the pleasure of seeing monks returning by foot from the city for their morning alms ceremonies.

doi suthep temple, wat doi suthep, wat phra that doi suthep, wat phrathat doi suthep, phra that doi suthep temple, phrathat doi suthep temple

Another magical moment of the day to discover Doi Suthep temple is in the evening. The evening monks chanting ceremony is an unforgettable moment to witness (around 18.00).

As Doi Suthep temple has public opening times, you might want to contact your hotel’s receptionist and arrange a tour for these two private moments.

Construction of Doi Suthep temple began in 1386 under King Kuena and was completed within a few years. The temple complex was periodically expanded and embellished over the following centuries.

doi suthep temple, wat doi suthep, wat phra that doi suthep, wat phrathat doi suthep, phra that doi suthep temple, phrathat doi suthep temple

doi suthep temple, wat doi suthep, wat phra that doi suthep, wat phrathat doi suthep, phra that doi suthep temple, phrathat doi suthep temple

According to legend, holy relics discovered during the reign of King Ku Na (1355-85) were placed on the back of a white elephant, which transported them to near by Wat Suan Dok. The elephant was then set free to wander, and it climbed the mountain to the site of the actual temple, were it trumpeted three times, turned around three times, knelt down and then died. The temple was immediately built on the miraculously chosen site.

Wat Doi Suthep is approached by a steep flight of 300 stairs flanked by green trees and guarded by 16th-century Naga (mystic snake) figures. An easier, if less atmospheric, route is via an adjacent cable car.

doi suthep temple, wat doi suthep, wat phra that doi suthep, wat phrathat doi suthep, phra that doi suthep temple, phrathat doi suthep temple

Enclosed by a frescoes cloister, the upper terrace is home to a tightly-packed complex of small shrines, bells, golden umbrellas and Buddha statues. In the center of the upper terrace is the great chedi, a 16th-century expansion of the 14th-century original. The dazzling gold plated temple is modeled on Wat Phra That Haripunchai in Lamphun (build in the 9th century).

Doi Suthep temple is part of the Doi Suthep-Pui National Park, and surrounded by forest and rich jungle, supporting some 330 species of birds. From the temple’s lower terrace, you will see spectacular views over the city of Chiang Mai.

doi suthep temple, wat doi suthep, wat phra that doi suthep, wat phrathat doi suthep, phra that doi suthep temple, phrathat doi suthep temple

doi suthep temple, wat doi suthep, wat phra that doi suthep, wat phrathat doi suthep, phra that doi suthep temple, phrathat doi suthep temple

TIPS:

  • Please note that shoes must be removed when entering the temple upper terrace and shoulders must be covered.
  • Other places to be visited around Doi Suthep Temple are Phuping Palace, Mon Tha Than Falls and the Hmong Village.