This mountaintop temple in the forest meditation tradition affords tremendous westward views over the Mekong valley and Sangkhom.
Rimmed by potted flower bushes, a wide platform allows visitors to take in the breathtaking scenery from a few different vantage points.
The temple also includes a small vihara that sits at the top of a long stairway with statues of naga serpents guarding it on either side. It's very quiet and peaceful at the top, with a few Buddha images and murals depicting the Buddha's birth, enlightenment, first discourse and passing into Nirvana. It's a great place to meditate or simply hang around as the breeze rustles leaves in the deep forest that surrounds the temple.
This is a working forest temple with a small community of monks who are serious about their meditation. It's necessary to wear proper attire and behave respectfully if you visit. Admission is free but donations are appreciated.
How to get there
The temple is only a few km from Sangkhom as the crow flies, but it's a roundabout trip by road that requires backtracking to Than Thong Waterfall and taking the side road that shoots southwest from there. There are signs in English if coming in either direction. Once you take the turnoff, it's another eight km along a desolate road that gradually takes you uphill. You'll need to take one right, which is also marked by a sign. The temple can also be reached via a steep two km footpath that begins to the east of Sangkhom, just before the km 81 pillar. The trailhead is behind the last house at the end of Soi 5. The resident monks use this path to reach the village for alms round in the early mornings.
By David Luekens
Last updated on 23rd March, 2014.