Chiang Saen's Wat Phra That Doi Pu Khao is centered on a mondop surrounded by five small satellite chedis at the back of the viharn. These structures are enclosed by double boundary walls with a staircase on each side, except for the walls on the west side. According to legend, Chao Kaeo Ma Muang had this temple constructed around 759. However, the architecture indicates that it was probably constructed around the 14th century.
The car park offers a fine view of Sop Ruak, the center of the "Golden Triangle," where the borders of Myanmar, Laos and Thailand meet. The main entrance of the temple is a long staircase guarded by impressive crested nagas. The brick viharn has been renovated, as has a small shrine that women are prohibited from entering.
The temple is located on a hill overlooking Sop Ruak, a few kilometers north of Chiang Saen, Chiang Rai province.
Updated: November 4, 2009.
Copyright © Craig Emmott 2009. All rights reserved.