Wat Jong Klang and Wat Jong Kham

Wat Jong Klang and Wat Jong Kham

Stunning setting

More on Mae Hong Son

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.

Travelfish says:
Easily Mae Hong Son’s most photographed wats. Photo by: Mark Ord.
Easily Mae Hong Son’s most photographed wats. Photo: Mark Ord

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.

Tales from back in the day. Photo by: Mark Ord.
Tales from back in the day. Photo: Mark Ord

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.)

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Reviewed by

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.

Tours in Thailand



Our top 10 other sights and activities in and around Mae Hong Son

Mae Hong Son Living Museum
Mae Hong Son Living Museum

Fascinating do it yourself historical walking tour

Ban Rak Thai
Ban Rak Thai

A great day out on a scooter

Trekking
Trekking

Many options

Huay Sua Tao and visiting the Kayan people
Huay Sua Tao and visiting the Kayan people

Interesting visit and they need the cash

Boat trips
Boat trips

Go for a float down the scenic Pai River

The Bamboo Bridge, Su Tong Pae
The Bamboo Bridge, Su Tong Pae

An attractive and photogenic stop-off

Mae Hong Son markets
Mae Hong Son markets

A few to choose from

Tham Wua Forest Monastery
Tham Wua Forest Monastery

Only worth visiting for meditation purposes

Tham Pla National Park
Tham Pla National Park

The fish cave