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Wat Doi Mae Pang

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The Wat Doi Mae Pang temple complex lies on a low wooded hill around 20 kilometres south of Phrao.

Photo of Wat Doi Mae Pang

We say complex as the temple buildings sprawl over a wide area just to the east of the main road. They even have a 1.2 kilometre marked visitor’s trail through the temple grounds.

Wat Doi Mae Ping’s claim to fame is an unusual one and has made it something of a celebrity temple in these parts. According to local legend, King Bhumibol Adulyadej was flying into Phrao in a helicopter for a visit. (Air was the only easy way to get to Phrao in those days.) While flying over the wat he is reported to have seen the resident abbot floating in mid-air above the temple. Concluding that such a remarkable abbot, and therefore such a prestigious temple, deserved to be put on the map, he decreed that a route be built linking this remote town and amazing wat to ‘civilisation’, or at least Chiang Mai.

The floating abbot died aged 98 and the temple grounds now houses a small museum dedicated to his name, which houses some of his possessions plus a small collection of photos. You’ll also find a wooden chalet built for a subsequent royal visit and a large Buddhist seminary as well as the usual shrines and chedis and a large fish pond. The venerable temple is set amid forest with some majestic trees, while the signposted walkway leads you on a trail through the grounds stopping at various points of interest. This is an interesting and unusual temple.

How to get there
Take Route 1001 south of town and you’ll see the temple on a low hill to your right after some 20 kilometres.

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What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Phrao.
 Check out our listings of other things to do in and around Phrao.
 Read up on how to get to Phrao, or book your transport online with 12Go Asia.
 Do you have travel insurance yet? If not, find out why you need it.
 Planning on riding a scooter in Phrao? Please read this.
 Browse tours in Thailand with Tourradar.

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