Na szlaku Monk's Trail - szlak mnicha w Chiang Mai Tajlandia z dzieckiem

Wat Pha Lat Monk’s Trail - Kids Friendly Trail in Chiang Mai

Wat Pha Lat Monk's Trail (the monk's trail) is a trekking path through the jungle that grows over Doi Suthep Mountain in Chiang Mai. We decided to use this trail to reach a beautiful old temple hidden in the forest. I can already tell you that it was well worth it. A map of the route and the necessary details can be found in the post. 

Everything you need to know about Monk's trail

  • The entire trail includes the route to the temple at the very top, the famous Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. We opted only for the part leading to Wat Pha Lat temple.
  • There is a map at the entrance to the trail - it is worth taking a picture because this route is not on Google Maps and there is no way to confirm that you are walking the right direction. Luckily, it is hard to get lost there because the path is clear and periodically marked with orange sashes tied to trees.
Mapa szlaku Monk's Trail - szlaku mnicha w Chiang Mai
Monk's Trail Map
  •  The route to the temple is about 1.3 kilometres and the elevation is about 178 metres. So the trail is not that challenging. We were able to walk with our children, with the youngest being 5 years old. Smaller children may need help at times and it is better to have a carrier.
  • It is better to wear sport shoes.
  • The trail leads through the jungle, so it is better to have mosquito repellent with you. We did not notice large numbers of mosquitoes, but it was cold season.
  • I recommend going early in the morning, when it's not so hot yet, and of course bring water with you and a snack.
  • I recommend going early in the morning, when it's not so hot yet, and of course bring water with you and a snack.
  • It is better to be prepared for the sun and take any kind of hat and sunscreen. The deeper you go into the forest the more pleasant is the shade.

  • The trail ends at the temple, so don't forget to dress appropriately.
On the Monk's Trail in Chiang Mai
Markings on the trail

How to get to Monk's trail

The entrance to the trail is in the forest behind Chiang Mai University near Chiang Mai Zoo. 

Take the initial Suthep Alley road and then follow the navigation (Plus Code Google Maps: QWXR+3V Chiang Mai, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai Province)). 

A landmark that can help you find the trail is a radio antenna. The trail starts in the woods at a map board.

Following the Monk's Trail to the Hidden Temple

Our goal was to reach Wat Pha Lat temple, which was to be the reward for the effort we had put in.

In fact, I wasn't entirely sure what the route would actually turn out to be and whether it would be suitable for children. However, if the monks can do it, then we parents must too. 

Monk's Trail turned out to be of medium difficulty, very easy in some places and a little more challenging in others due to the terrain. 

However, we easily walked it taking rests along the route. It took us 1 hour and 35 minutes to walk the route including visiting the temple. 


The Monk's Trail - step by step

Monk's Trail Chiang Mai with Children
Beginning of the trail

The trail begins with a gentle path that turns into an uphill climb after a dozen metres of walking. 

The next section leads to a place called Rocky Ground on the map. This is where it gets more difficult and you can get a bit tired. However, after this passage, the terrain flattens out until you reach the ruins of Wat Sam Yot. 

Monk's trail w Chiang Mai
Rocky ground

Shortly before the ruins, the monk's trail splits into two routes as can be seen on the map. Actually, it is easy to miss this branch because the second path at this point was more overgrown. I cannot tell what the rest of this path is like as we chose to follow the trail alongside the ruins of Wat Sam Yot and next to the waterfall.

As we passed the ruins of Wat Sam Yot, to which you have to detour slightly from the main route, the path and surroundings slowly began to change. There were stones again and it became uphill. We heard the river humming and soon after passing a large bamboo we reached the first waterfall. Then we passed another one and we already knew we were close because we could hear gongs from the temple.

The journey through the trail is well worth the effort because once we emerged from the jungle, a stunning view appeared in front of us. A hillside covered in lush greenery, with a waterfall flowing briskly over the rocks. Amongst this breathtaking scenery, the splendid structures of the ancient temple, Wat Pha Lat, were perfectly placed.

Wat Pha Lat Temple Chiang Mai
Wat Pha Lat Temple
Wat Pha Lat Temple Chiang Mai
Wat Pha Lat Temple - Hidden Gem in Chiang Mai

Read more about Wat Pha Lat, a unique temple set in the jungle on the side of a mountain.

Returning from the trail

From the Wat Pha Lat temple, you can continue the trail up to the Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. It's a more difficult and challenging route according to the information I gathered. You can also go up the hill by taking a taxi or catching a red song taew.

Song taew

We decided to end the tour at this point as the children were tired and hungry. In fact, we could have walked down the trail to our car, but we ordered Grab and drove down all the way around. 

Monk's Trail Map

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