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I finally made it to the adventure of a lifetime and now I'm a citizen of the World. Indy author, blogger, in love with being an author - Mom of two grown children and widow of the most wonderful man to ever live - Devon "Pete" Hall.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Stairway to Nirvana

The throngs going up and coming down.
I would love to write a stunning piece that in some way was worthy of the beauty of the temple on the mountain of Doi Suthep, but I don’t think anyone could convey its majesty. This in spite of the throng of visitors on the day I went to the mountain.
Zeroed in so he steps would be visible.

High in the hills north of Chiang Mai the temple sits at the top of a reported 330 steps. I didn’t count them – or rather I stopped at 88 because I was out of breath. After every three or so flights, I stopped for a breather and prayed I’d made it to the top. For me, it was grueling, and I was more than a little relieved to see many younger people struggling as well.

When I finally reached the peak, I stopped for an ice cream and to sit in the shade for a while before entering the sacred areas. I watched as children acted much as they would in Disneyland and thought how amazing it was that this place was, indeed, both holy place and entertainment. Most were very respectful of the sanctity of the place, but it was arranged to accommodate tourists as much as worshipers.

Just a few of the bells - each about two feet long.
Before I even entered the actual temple area I felt myself relax and slow down and I’m someone usually bothered by crowds. For some reason, the many, many people didn’t bother me this time.

Once I shed my shoes and the last staircase into the temple, I was too blown away by the beauty and odd sense of tranquility that I simply walked around and took all the pictures I could. 
The stunning golden dome and nearby pagoda.

The temple itself is surrounded on four sides by bells, and I found myself ringing three – one for each of my lost loved ones – and listening to the distinctive sounds each one gave out.
Famous reclining Buddha


A long time passed before I shook myself out of a reverie sitting on a bench around the base of a tree, a lovely fuchsia bush near the bells and then I walked around and explored the grounds. There was a stunning view of the city, a plaza and various stations of Buddha. The golden dome and pagodas surrounding it were wonderful. It was indeed a lovely representation of Nirvana – a place or state of bliss.

Just barely visible behind the golden monks is a painting of other notables.
The feeling of pure awe didn’t leave me for quite a while and as I reviewed the pictures, it returned. I’m looking forward to Angkor Wat next month in Cambodia. I’m quite sure I will re-experience the awe.

My final discovery was the elevator both up and down from the temple. I'm glad I didn't know it existed until it was time to go down. I'm sure I would have wimped out and I'm rather proud of having made it to the top!

Plaza - amazing
City view

The "other" view from the top - of the elevator shaft.


  1. I'm sure I'd be huffing and puffing through out that stair climb! Your pictures are gorgeous.

    1. So glad you enjoy them Melissa - my camera battery died and these were done on my old Samsung phone Took a lot of editing to get anything workable.