The city of Chiang Mai has a wealth of beautiful and historic Buddhist Wats (temples), 36 Wats within the old city walls and many more in the surrounding countryside. Near the summit of Doi Suthep, a 5300 feet peak named after the hermit Sudeva who lived on the mountain's slopes for many years, is the 600 year old temple of Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep.
After a drive up the mountain's winding road, the final climb to the site is via an enormous mythological Nagas (Dragon-headed serpent) staircase of 306 steps. On a clear day, there are incomparable views over the city of Chiang Mai from the temple grounds.
Wat Chedi Luang consists of an impressive chedi, originally built in 1411. It reached a height of over 278 feet before it was partially destroyed by an earthquake in 1545. It now reaches a height of 196 feet. The temple also contains the city pillar. Statue in small shelters surrounding this building are the home of guardian spirits.