On the Monk’s Trail


Having faded into obscurity, Wat Pha Lat is a charming oasis in the middle of Doi Suthep.

Before the road to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep was built, people used to walk up the mountain to worship at the temple. This was how the pilgrim’s or monk’s trail came to be. About midway, people would stop for a rest along a waterfall under a canopy of trees. This place of respite, Wat Pha Lat, is now a monastery mostly visited by hikers looking for a peaceful trail with easy access from the city.

So you don’t stray too far from the path, strips of saffron cloth are tied to trees along the way. We had a brief debate if these pink puffs looked more like Fraggle or truffula tree tops.

Other colorful things along the way included clitoria and St. Andrew’s Cross spiders.

You know you’ve arrived when you reach a thatch bridge. It’s sturdier than it looks. Shortly after you cross the bridge, the trail turns into steps and you get a glimpse of a sun bleached naga staircase.

Some statues were elaborately accessorized.

Others more simply.

Some not at all.


Like the baubles embedded in the Naga statue, Wat Pha Lat is a little gem in the woods.


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