Published/Last edited or updated: 14th January, 2018
The twin Shan/Burmese style wats of Wat Jong Klang and Jong Kham and their reflections on Jong Kham Lake create the iconic Mae Hong Son view.
Wat Jong Kham, which also gives its name to the small adjacent lake, is the elder of the twin temples and its construction began in 1827 under the direction of the ruler of Mae Hong Son, Phraya Singhanatracha. The ruler was Shan but both Shan (Tai Yai) and Burmese craftsmen were employed in the undertaking and the result is a blend of Burmese and Tai Yai elements. (Incidentally, Jong is actually temple or wat in Shan and Kham means gold so the Thai name then erroneously translates as Wat Wat Gold.)
Jong Klang is thought to have been constructed a few decades later and again the elaborate tiered green roofs and golden chedi are strongly reminiscent of classic Burmese design as seen at Shwedagon in Yangon for example, while much of the decoration and trimmings demonstrate Shan flourishes.
The older temple is perhaps best known for its large wooden throne, but it’s in Wat Jong Klang that you’ll find the real attraction—an extraordinary array of paintings on glass and an impressive collection of teak statues and dolls of Burmese origin. The former, featuring images from the jakata and life of Buddha, date to some hundred years ago and are thought to have been painted by Shan artists from Mandalay while the latter, displayed in a small in-house museum, are said to date from the temple’s founding in the mid-19th century. In turn the work of Burmese craftsmen, the wooden figurines depict animals and mythical figures as well as more scenes from the Buddhist ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 300 words.)
Based in Chiang Mai, Mark Ord has been travelling Southeast Asia for over two decades and first crossed paths with Travelfish on Ko Lipe in the early 1990s.
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