The Buddha liked the hill
Well there is, and the town of Chom Thong grew up around it.
Most of what you see today dates though from the mid-15th century, with the main worshipping hall a later addition. This Burmese-Shan-style wat is highly prestigious among locals -- you can tell by the number of lottery ticket sellers outside the main gate -- and the gold-leaf covered, Burmese-style chedi is said to house, not a Buddha hair, tooth or even finger, but part of the right side of his head no less! Furthermore, unlike most relics it isn’t entombed in the chedi but kept in a glass case which can be taken out and washed. (Well, maybe something got lost in translation.) We couldn’t see it, but then aren’t sure what the right part of Buddha’s head would look like anyway.
The wat is attractively laid out, with the fine gold-coloured chedi surrounded by square colonnades enclosing also the main hall, secondary shrines, statues and a small, well-kept garden. It’s worth a wander and you can’t miss it – smack bang in the middle of town on the edge of the highway.
A small souvenir and clothes market operates in the car park as well as an excellent coffee shop plus a couple of local cafes.
Based in Chiang Mai, Mark Ord has been travelling Southeast Asia for over two decades and first crossed paths with Travelfish on Ko Lipe in the early 1990s.
These tours are provided by Travelfish partner GetYourGuide.