Photo: One wat one border post.

Wat Fa Wiang In

Our rating:

Though not an architecturally remarkable temple, Wat Fa Wiang In possesses significant historical significance and comes with an unusual and to our, knowledge unique feature—it could legitimately feature in either, or both, our Thailand or Burma coverage since the border literally runs right through the centre of it.

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The small temple is located in the border hamlet of Lak Taeng, four kilometres north of the town of Piang Luang. To the north is Burma’s Shan State and to the west Mae Hong Son Province. Wiang Haeng lies some twenty kilometres south.

A base with a view. Photo taken in or around Wat Fa Wiang In, Wiang Haeng, Thailand by Mark Ord.

A base with a view. Photo: Mark Ord

Most of Wat Fa Wiang In, as you see it today, was constructed in the late 1960s when the village was chosen as the base for the Shan United Revolution Army who were fighting the Burmese military for autonomy under the leadership of General Mo Heng, (aka Zao Korn Zurng). A shrine to this great Shan hero, who died in 1991, lies on the hill above the temple overlooking Burma.

When Burmese government forces reached a peace deal with the Shan Army in 1996 (after their then boss, drug warlord Khun Sa, went into retirement), the area reverted to Burmese government control. As long as both sides of the border had been under de-facto administration of the Shan there wasn’t an issue. The Thais were always sympathetic to their ethnic cousins and the Burmese weren’t in a position to do anything about it but when the time came to mark out the legal frontier both governments realised that—according to earlier British/Siamese surveys—the actual border was found to go straight through the middle of the temple grounds. Well, it’s been that way ... Travelfish members only (Around 300 more words) ... please log in to read the rest of this story.

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How to get there
Continue through Piang Luang on Route 1322 and Lak Taeng lies some four kilometres further north. The wat on a hill overlooking the village is hard to miss and the access road is signposted in English. There may be occasional songthaew buses travelling between the two villages—especially on market days—otherwise, if you don’t have transport you’ll have to negotiate with the moto-taxis next door to the Coke and Coffee restaurant in Piang Luang. Offering around 100-150 baht should suffice for the round trip.

Wat Fa Wiang In
4km north of Piang Luang
Admission: Free

Location map for Wat Fa Wiang In

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What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Wiang Haeng.
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