Wat Phra That Doi Suthep

This wat is covered in gold at the top of a hill to the west of Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Take a taxi from Chiang Mai town to the Chiang Mai Zoo.

Then walk.

I’m serious.  It’s about 10K (or 7 miles), mostly uphill, passing Wat Pha Lat, some roadside snack stalls at a viewpoint where you can see all of Chiang Mai stretched out before you, mini-sized dogs with jackets or sweaters, woodsy trails and waterfalls.

Take a camera, a water bottle, and a journal.  Wave at the people on buses that will pass you.  Wave at the people on bicycles.  Breathe in the forest air.  Take a lot of breaks to write in the shade of a tree.

When you reach the wat, it will all be worth it.

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You then get to walk up a ton of stairs with dragon railings before you reach the courtyard with a jackfruit tree and then can pass through the gates to enter the wat of gold itself.  It’s crowded, but that’s okay.  There are a million places you can sit off to the side, surrounded by tourists yet alone with your writing and perhaps the sound of some kids playing music and the murmurs of various languages around you.

Go there to find the relic hidden inside your story, your poem, yourself.

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