Photo: Now that is a view.

Wat Prathat Doi Chom Thong

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According to Thai historians, there has been a stupa on the site of the low hill which is home to Wat Prathat Doi Chom Thong since the 10th century, when it was raised to hold a Buddha relic—hence the Prathat title—which makes the original chedi both pre-Thai and pre-Chiang Rai.

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

You are expected to earn the view. Photo taken in or around Wat Prathat Doi Chom Thong, Chiang Rai, Thailand by Mark Ord.

You are expected to earn the view. Photo: Mark Ord

Supposedly it is from the site of Doi Chom Thong that King Mengrai surveyed the surrounds and declaring that it would be a fine place to build a city, and 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 probably 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 wiharn is decorated in vivid scarlet and gold. The wat now has added prestige due to being the location for Chiang Rai’s very linga-esque founding city pillar. You’ll see this sited on a modern concrete base surrounded by lesser pillars just to the side of the ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 200 words.)

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