Wat Phra That Doi Suthep
As the most famous of all the wats, this temple sits on Doi Suthep, high above all its competition. The location, which gives visitors a bird’s eye view of Chiang Mai, is a peaceful place to spend an hour or two and even has a meditation centre. The wat itself has a unique dragon-shaped staircase leading up 309 steps to a golden stupa surrounded by Buddha statues, burning incense and candles, plus paintings of monks and elephants. Beyond the main stupa, there are gardens, more shrines and prayer flags out among the trees. If you only have time for one wat, this is it. Tip: get the shuttle from Chiang Mai University – just outside the main entrance, to the left – for a shared fare with other passengers.