One of the main attractions of visiting Thailand is its many temples, including Wat Phra That Doi Kong Mu. In fact, you will never get bored moving from one temple to another. Each temple has their own signature style. You can also learn the history and culture from each temple that you visit.
Wat Phra That Doi Kong Mu
This is a temple with a Burmese style that is located on top of the Doi Kong Mu hill facing Mae Hong Son. The temple itself was set up in 1860, having several constructions and structures including two viharas and chedis. If you come to the top area, the atmosphere is peaceful and serene. Not to mention that you will also be pampered with the amazing view in front of you.
The signature style of the temple is the chedis or the stupas – and there are two BIG structures of them. The biggest one was built in 1860 with Buddha images, golden spire on the top, and also some octagonal shapes. The stupa is a shrine for Phra Moggalana ashes, one of Buddha’s main disciples. The smaller stupa has the ashes of Mae Hong Son’s first governor. It was the same man who built the chedi in 1872. It has some images of a Naga, a lion, and also a golden spire top.
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The Signature Style
The two chedis are attached to a smaller and simpler vihara. Besides the vihara, there is also an assembly hall with Burmese style, complete with the adorned multi-tiered roof creating several layers and sections.
Apart from the two chedis, you will see the bigger Burmese vihara. The floor plan has a horizontal axis. As the result, it allows a wider building view from the front side. The centre has Pyatthat, a Burmese structure with heavy decorations with multiple receding size tiers. On top of Pyaatthat, there is Burmese finial, the hti.
Since the temple is situated on top of the hill, you can enjoy the 360 degrees panoramic views of Pai Valley, Mae Hong Son town, and Chong Kam Lake. You can even see the airport on one side of the view and the Burmese forested hill on the other. You can also enjoy the sunset and sunrise. During sunrise, the valley will be covered in the morning mist. During sunset, you will see the sun disappears right behind the mountains. If you still want to enjoy the peaceful and quiet surroundings, you can always head to a small coffee shop not far from the car park.
Reaching the Temple
There are some options to reach the temple from Mae Hong Son. You can always walk there, but it is going to be super tiring. Don’t underestimate the trip because it can affect you physically. The easiest way (and most travellers claim to be the most comfortable option too) is to use tuk-tuk. Yes, it is available in the town. This motorbike taxi can be found close to the market areas, usually in the city centre. You may have to spend at least 100 baht per trip.
Once you reach the spot, you will find two paths leading up the hill – it is 250 meters in height. One path starts at Wat Muo Taw and the other at Wat Phra Non. The temple itself opens daily and there is no entrance fee. However, despite its free admission, they appreciate donations.
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If exploring temples is one of your favourite activities, you should plan your trip to Thailand right away. Don’t forget to visit Airpaz and arrange your itinerary. You should also reserve early so you can enjoy the inexpensive rate.