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Phra That Doi Kong Mu Temple
Phra That Doi Kong Mu Temple soul of Mae Hong Son
Phra That Doi Kong Mu Temple is the sacred temple of Mae Hong Son province for a long time. The temple is located on a hill to the west of Mae Hong Son city and it is a major provincial landmark.
Wat Phra That Doi Kong Mu formerly named is Wat Plai Doi, the temple itself is quite impressive, its two ‘chedis’ containing the remains of monks from Myanmar.
Phra That Doi Kong Mu Temple is famous for its view of the valley it overlooks. In the morning visitors can look out over mists and fog that accumulate in the valley below. This is one of the ‘iconic’ views of Thailand you often see on postcards and it is a genuine spectacle. If you visit the temple later in the day you will have a clear view of Mae Hong Son town, which does not quite have the same impact.
If you go to Mae Hong Son, Phra That Doi Kong Mu is on the top of the mountain overlooking Mae Hong Son. Great place to take photos.
The temple’s major annual ceremonies include New Year’s Day, Songkran Festival and the End of Buddhist Lent Day, in which a unique alms-giving ceremony is held.
Phra That Doi Kong Mu Temple has two Burmese-style Chedis. The larger chedi was built in 1860 and the smaller one was erected in 1874, almost 150 years ago.
The larger of the two was contains the relics of an important monk, Phra Maha Mok Kallana Thera, one of the disciples of the Buddha. The relics were brought to Mae Hong Son by migrants from Burma who built the pagoda. Around the base are niches enshrining images of the Buddha.
The smaller chedi enshrines the ashes of Phaya Singhanat Racha, the first governor of Mae Hong Son, who built this structure. A statue of Phaya Singhanat Racha is located at the foot of Doi Kong Mu Moutain.
Attached to the larger of the two chedis is a small, simple viharn, an assembly hall with a very ornate, multi tiered Burmese style roof comprising of several sections. Attached to the roofs ends are delicate Burmese style ornamental work metal sheets.
Away from the two chedis stands a larger Burmese style viharn. As opposed to the Lanna temples of the North and the Rattanakosin temples of Central Thailand, the floor plan of the viharn is on a horizontal axis, allowing a wide view of the building when approached from the front. The roof comprises of several sections. At the center is a Pyatthat, a very ornate Burmese style structure consisting of multiple tiers of receding size. The Pyatthat is topped with a hti, a Burmese style finial. The fairly simple interior enshrines the principal Buddha image in subduing Mara posture, as well as several other images.
Walking up to the hill top on the stairway is truly a delightful experience. While ascending to the hill top, visitors will encounter two enormous lion statues that are carved out of stone in Burmese style. The lions are present to guard the path that leads to the temple.
There are two different ways of reaching to Phra That Doi Kong temple. Visitors can climb to the top of the Doi Kong Mu using the stairway that starts from Wat Phra Non and goes until the temple while passing through the forests. Another way of reaching the hill top is to follow the second path that starts from Wat Muo Taw. In any case, it takes half an hour to reach the temple on foot. However, one can always use a motorcycle or a car to reach the temple but you will miss out on the scenic beauty that walking allows you to see.
How to get there
Wat Phra That Doi Kong Mu is located on Doi Kong Mu, only 3 kilometers from the west of Mae Hong Son. To travel there, take Highway no.108. From Phaya Singhanat Racha Monument, drive up the unpaved road on the left of the monument for around 1.5 kilometers. For more comfortable, we can provide the private package tour with the tour guide (in case you need more information) to you.
Address : Phra That Doi Kong Mu temple, Chong Kham, Mueang Mae Hong Son District, Mae Hong Son 58000, Thailand
Entracce Fee :The temple opens daily during daylight hours. Admission is free, donations are highly appreciated
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