Photo: Scenery surrounding Chiang Rai.

Wat Prathat Doi Chom Thong

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According to Thai historians there has been a stupa on this low hill since the 10th century, when it was raised to hold a Buddha relic – hence the ‘Prathat’ title.

Photo of Wat Prathat Doi Chom Thong

The local king at the time – presumably Mon – ordered some relics which had come into his hands to be split between the 3 hill-top temples of Wat Doi Tung, Wat Doi Chom Thong and Wat Prathat Chom Kiti in Chiang Saen district.

That makes the original chedi pre-Thai and pre-Chiang Rai and indeed King Mengrai, when visiting the sacred hill and surveying the surrounds declared it would be a fine place to build a city so ordered the construction of Chiang Rai in 1260. He also restored the already ancient stupa and temple site so most of what you see today dates originally from the late 13th century.

The current stupa is hexagonal, so typical Chiang Saen style, and clad in gold leaf while the main viharn is decorated in vivid scarlet and gold. The Wat now has added prestige through being the location for Chiang Rai’s founding city pillar, looking very linga-esque to us and sited on a modern concrete base surrounded by lesser pillars just to the side of the main temple. It might be the most prestigious for locals, but not perhaps the most interesting for foreign visitors, but what we appreciated most were the magnificent views from the hill-top. What’s more the grounds hold the Forget Me Not Coffee shop so very pleasant for a morning brew and view.

Often noted simply as Wat Doi Tong on maps it’s located on the low wooded hill you’ll see just before Mae Fah Luang Road and Bridge slightly to the northwest of the town centre. Another that is perhaps not worth a visit on its own but convenient, for example, if you’re cycling or driving over the bridge, or combined with a walk along leafy Singhaklai Road.


Wat Prathat Doi Chom Thong
Doi Thong Rd
Daily 08:00-17:00

Location map for Wat Prathat Doi Chom Thong

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What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Chiang Rai.
 Check prices, availability & reviews on Agoda or Booking
 Read up on where to eat on Chiang Rai.
 Check out our listings of things to do in and around Chiang Rai.
 Read up on how to get to Chiang Rai, 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 Chiang Rai? Please read this.
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