Twin Pagodas on the hill top
A landmark in Mae Hong Son. Wat Phra That Doi Kong Mu is located at the summit of Mt. Kong Mu. The temple location offers a panorama view of the city on a larger map and its surroundings.
Wat Phra That Doi Kong Mu is the oldest and most significant landmark in the province. It stands atop Kong Mu hill, and can be seen from anywhere in town. Formerly named “Wat Plai Doi”, the temple has two Burmese-style chedis (pagodas).
- Wat = temple
- Phra That = relics
- Doi = hill
- Kong Mu = pagoda
The two big white chedis will welcome you. The larger Chedi, completed in 1860, houses the relics of Phra Moggalana, one of the Lord Buddha’s chief disciples, which were brought from Burma by the builder, Chong Tong Su, and his wife. The smaller one was erected in 1874 by the first governor of Mae Hong Son, Phraya Singhanat Raja.
A big Buddha Day
Particularly on festival-days, the local people, monks, and novices gather at the temple, and people make offerings of flowers, incense, and candles.
However, throughout the year, the temple grounds are never short of visitors to enjoy the view and tranquil surroundings.
How to walk up Wat Phra That Doi Kong
We usually get up early in the morning to go see the sunrise. However, the majority of foreign visitors come up to see the sunset behind the temple in the west.
A. Walk up a stair from town on the north route with a local who is exercising, and on the way back when it got dark, we had a solar-powered pathway lighting system.
B. Walk 2 kilometers on the south route to the temple along the main road. Normally, we walk down this path, and there aren’t many tourists around.
Two of the temple’s major annual ceremonies are New Year’s Day and the End of Buddhist Lent Day, when a unique alms-giving ceremony is held. See more to know how to make merit by offering food.
Rules to respect when visiting a temple
- Dress properly.
- Take off your shoes when entering the buildings.
- Be quiet.
- Don’t point your feet at Buddha’s image.
- Don’t hug or kiss.
- No smoking
When you visit Mae Hong Son, don’t forget to go up here and take in the view of how nice it was to visit a non-touristy area and a city with a slower pace of life. There’s only one province of Thailand in this century. Also, why do they walk three times around the pagodas?
If you have not been up to Wat Phra That Doi Kong Mu, then you cannot really say you have been to Mae Hong Son. C’mon, let’s get started!