Wat Phra That Doi Kong Mu
Burmese-style Wat Phra That Doi Kong Mu is located around 1,500 meters up Doi Kong Mu hill. The 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.
The temple itself is quite impressive, its two ‘chedis’ containing the remains of monks from Myanmar. Behind the two chedis is a large ‘wiharn’ and further up the hill you can see a large standing Buddha attached to the temple. A trip to this temple is usually combined with trips to two other temples - Wat Phra Non and Wat Muo Taw – both in relatively close proximity. This is definitely somewhere to visit in the morning if you can.
Details: Admission to the temple is free but donations are suggested. In late October see a local festival where people in the area visit the temple in order to make merit by bringing food for monks who are in retreat.
How to get there: The journey to Wat Pha That Doi Kong Mu takes about 4 hours from Mae Hong Son and back. The tours available from the town are probably the best way to approach this hill trip. Otherwise Songtaew will take you to the hill from the town and you have to walk up to the temple. You can rent motorcycles and cars to drive you to the top of the hill if you don’t want to walk.