• Wat Phra That Doi Suthep is a must-see for visitors to Chiang Mai, Thailand. It draws crowds of tourists and Thai pilgrims from all over.
  • There’s a secret to experiencing Doi Suthep temple at its best: Visit at Night. As the sun sets, the temple takes on a whole new beauty.
  • While the official closing time is 8:00 pm, visitors can explore the grounds until 9:00 pm before everything closes for the night.
Share This Article:

When planning your Chiang Mai itinerary, most probably you’d include a visit Wat Phra That Doi Suthep (or more commonly known as Doi Suthep Temple) on the list of places to go.

While this magnificent temple is a worthy stop any time of day, there’s a hidden gem waiting to be discovered – a nighttime visit. Sure, Doi Suthep offers stunning views throughout the day. But venturing up the mountain after dark reveals a whole new experience.

This article will explore why a nighttime visit to Doi Suthep Temple should be on your Chiang Mai adventure list.

At night, under the moonlight, Doi Suthep’s pagoda and Buddha statues shine in a way you won’t experience during the daytime visit to the temple.

While Doi Suthep Temple itself closes to the public at 8:00 pm, visitors are allowed to stay on the grounds and explore until 9:00 pm before everything closes for the night. So you can take your time taking in the sights and soaking up the atmosphere.

By choosing to visit after dark, you can ditch the daytime crowds and explore the temple in a peaceful atmosphere, with fewer people around.

After you’ve finished exploring Doi Suthep Temple at night, you can extend your evening at Malin Plaza, the night market at the foot of Doi Suthep mountain.

Less Crowd At Night-time

Doi Suthep Temple is a popular tourist destination in Chiang Mai, which means it can get quite crowded during the day. However, there’s a secret for those who prefer a more peaceful experience: visit at night.

The crowds thin out considerably after sunset, allowing you to explore the temple grounds with a sense of tranquility. You’ll share the space with just a handful of other visitors, creating a much more serene atmosphere compared to the daytime hustle.

The bustling tourist crowds of the day fade away, replaced by a peaceful serenity.

The tranquility replaces the bustling atmosphere of the daytime, making your visit a deeply spiritual experience, rather than just a tourist attraction.

A Cooler, More Enchanting Experience

While Chiang Mai’s tropical climate offers sunshine year-round, the heat, especially during the hot season, can reach a scorching 35°C. This can make exploring Doi Suthep Temple a sweaty affair.

The cooler evening air makes walking around the temple much more comfortable. You won’t need to constantly seek shade to cool down, allowing you to fully appreciate the surroundings.

Additionally, the daytime crowds tend to avoid the naga staircase due to the heat. But at night, the atmosphere transforms. The cooler temperatures, gentle breeze, and illuminated stairs create a magical ambience that entices you to walk down them. It’s a perfect spot to capture breathtaking photos for your Instagram memories.

The famous naga staircase, often avoided by daytime visitors due to the heat, transforms into a tempting path at night.

Doi Suthep’s Night-time Magic

Doi Suthep Temple transforms at night. The once sun-drenched grounds soften under the cool, silvery moonlight. This gentle light allows you to appreciate the intricate details of the golden statues and temples that seem to shimmer with an otherworldly glow.

As you wander the temple grounds, a cool breeze carries the scent of night. The golden statues and temples, usually bustling with tourists, now shimmer serenely.

This tranquility replaces the bustling atmosphere of the daytime, making your visit a deeply spiritual experience, rather than just a tourist attraction. The unique atmosphere you’ll find here at night is something you simply wouldn’t encounter under the harsh glare of the midday sun.

The golden pagoda glows under vibrant lighting, casting a magical spell over the surroundings. It’s like stepping into a fairytale.

Doi Suthep’s City Night View

A visit to Doi Suthep Temple isn’t complete without experiencing the incredible view of Chiang Mai city. Standing on the mountaintop, you’ll be rewarded with a breathtaking panorama that unfolds beneath you. The city stretches out in all directions, and at night, the twinkling lights create a magical scene.

On the way down the mountain, you might also come across a viewpoint where your guide can stop the car. This spot often provides an even clearer view of Chiang Mai, allowing you to appreciate the city’s layout and beauty at night before ending the Doi Suthep Temple trip.

On the way down from Doi Suthep temple, your guide may make a stop half way at a viewpoint with an even more amazing perspective of Chiang Mai.

Night Market After Doi Suthep Temple

A hidden gem for those visiting Doi Suthep Temple at night is Malin Plaza, also known as Kad Na Mor. This lively night market sits right across from Chiang Mai University, conveniently located at the foot of the mountain. It’s a perfect stop for dinner or browsing after your temple visit – most cars returning from Doi Suthep will pass right by it.

This lively night market is a popular spot, especially with students from nearby Chiang Mai University. Unlike the bustling Night Bazaar, Malin Plaza offers a more relaxed atmosphere with a higher concentration of local shoppers.

For those returning from Doi Suthep after dark, Malin Plaza is a perfect stop for dinner. With rows of food stalls offering a variety of delicious options, you’re sure to find something to satisfy your appetite.

At Malin Plaza you’ll discover a wide variety of food stalls perfect for grabbing a delicious dinner before heading home.

After your Doi Suthep night tour, treat yourself to a relaxing massage at Malin Plaza.

Doi Suthep Night Visit: Tour or DIY?

The best way to explore Doi Suthep Temple at night is by joining a night tour.

Public transportation, like Songthaews, can be unreliable at night. Once you finish admiring the temple, you might find yourself stranded without a ride back down.

Night tours, like this one, offer a convenient solution. A tourist van will pick you up from your hotel or a designated spot and bring you back comfortably after your visit. Night tours are often cheaper than the standard daytime tours because they’re shorter.

Normally the night tour will combine a visit to Doi Suthep with another temple, like the ancient Wat Umong temple, in the late afternoon before heading up the mountain for night visit. This is a good deal because you get to see even more!

Taxis and the ride-hailing aps like GRAB are an option, but the cost for a round trip is more expensive than taking the tour. Plus, it’s no guarantee that the GRAB driver is willing to accept the job by going up there to pick you up.

The most important factor to consider is safety. Driving up the winding mountain road at night is strongly discouraged. The darkness and sharp turns can be hazardous for unfamiliar drivers.

So, skip the stress of transportation and potential dangers, and join a night tour for a smooth and unforgettable experience at Doi Suthep Temple under the stars. (check your travel date and availability here)

Public transport is hardly available at night so please avoid planning your Doi Suthep night visit by using public transport.

Some furry friends owned by the nearby villagers. They’re used to visitors and likely won’t bother you.

If you prefer a day-time visit, we have another article here that can help you to plan your trip to Doi Suthep Temple. Including how to go there, the temple’s history, the ticket price, recommended tours, and so on. Take your time and read the article here.

Share This Article: