Doi Suthep-Pui National Park protects a swathe of verdant forest and mountain ranges in Northern Thailand near Chiang Mai. Named after a hermit who lived in the forest before it became a national park, Doi Suthep Pui is perhaps most famous for the temple at the summit of Doi Suthep Peak, Wat Phra That Doi Suthep.
Founded in 1383, the temple is one of the most sacred in the North and affords some of the most spectacular views in Chiang Mai. The temple is reached via 306 steps leading up to the peak, but the climb is worth it for the views and the stunning temple itself. Other cultural attractions of note within the park include Bhubing Palace, the winter residence of the Thai royal family, as well as San Ku, an ancient earth mound dating back to the thirteenth century.
While most visitors come to Doi Suthep Pui National Park to see the temple, it’s also a place of great natural beauty, where numerous nature trails wind through the forest and past several waterfalls. The park is home to some 300 bird species and another 2,000 species of flowering plants and ferns, making it a great destination for wildlife viewing.