Photo: Interesting details.

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.

We say complex as the temple buildings sprawl over a wide area just to the east of the main road and the temple even comes with a 1.2-kilometre visitors’ trail through the temple grounds!

You may find you have the grounds to yourself. Photo taken in or around Wat Doi Mae Pang, Phrao, Thailand by Mark Ord.

You may find you have the grounds to yourself. Photo: Mark Ord

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 the king of Thailand (Rama IX we assume) was flying into Phrao in a helicopter for a visit to one of his remoter territories. (In those days there were no roads so air was the only easy access method.)

Whilst flying over said wat he saw the resident abbot floating in mid-air above the temple. Naturally concluding that such a remarkable abbot, and therefore such a prestigious temple, deserved to be put on the map he decreed that a route must be built linking this remote town and amazing wat to civilisation—or at least to Chiang Mai.

The main affair. Photo taken in or around Wat Doi Mae Pang, Phrao, Thailand by Mark Ord.

The main affair. Photo: Mark Ord

Said flying abbot died aged ninety-eight and the temple grounds now houses a small museum to his name which displays 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 or lake full of some of the biggest catfish we’ve seen in a while.

The venerable temple is set amid forest with some majestic trees to be seen whilst the signposted walkway leads you on a trail through the grounds stopping at various points of interest. If you head down to the south side of the low hill then a path follows the lakeside with views across to a very modern looking but imposing stupa on ... please log in to read the rest of this story.

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How to get there
From Phrao, take Route 1001 south of town and you’ll see it on a low hill to your left after some 20 kilometres.

Wat Doi Mae Pang
A bit over 20 km south of Phrao.

Location map for Wat Doi Mae Pang

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