The Buddhist Temples of Mae Hong Son

Table of Contents

The Temples of Mae Hong Son province

This article is about the Temples of Mae Hong Son province. Changwat (province) Mae Hong Son is located in the northwest of Thailand. About 928 km from Bangkok, this province has long been very isolated. The total area of this province, 13,184 km2, makes it the third-largest in northern Thailand and the seventh-largest in the country.

The temples in this article are the temples in the province, comprising the provincial capital Mae Hong Son and the districts Pai, Khun Yuam and Mae Sariang. Most of the temples show Burmese and Shan/Pa’O influences. In this province are some of my favorite temples in North Thailand.

Old temple building Mae Hong Son Temples
The viharn at Wat Muang Pon

The Temples of Mae Hong Son

The most well-known temples of Mae Hong Son, the provincial capital, are Wat Jong Kham and Wat Jong Klang. These temples are located next to each other on the picturesque lake in the center of Mae Hong Son, a small and charming city. Besides these two temples, there are a lot of other temples in this town of which I have selected Wat Hua Wiang, the temple right next to the public market, and Wat Phra Non, the temple of the reclining Buddha, at the foot of Kong Mu Mountain. On top of this mountain, there is of course the Wat Phra That Doi Kong Mu, a popular and interesting temple that offers lovely views of the town. A staircase leads to the temple but there is of course also a road. The title photo of this article is the Buddha Hall of Wat Hua Wiang, by the way.

Temples on a lake

The Temples of Mae Sariang

Until 1908 the charming town of Mae Sariang was the administrative center of Mae Hong Son province. Mae Hong Son town then became the capital of the province. Mae Sariang though is the second most important town in the province. There are a number of interesting temples that show Shan, Lanna and Burmese influences such as Wat Chom Thong, Wat Jong Soon and Wat Sri Bun Ruang. Mae Sariang district also has by far the most opulent temple that still is under construction. This is the Wat Tham Phra (Tham Ngow), a temple that originally was a small cave temple.

Buddhist temple with bicycle Mae Hong Son Temples
Bicycle in front of Wat Jong Soon in Mae Sariang

The Temples of Khun Yuam

Khun Yuam is a much less visited town than the aforementioned in this article. It is a more or less one street with a couple of side streets but definitely worth spending the night. Wat Muai To and Wat Tor Phae are the most well-known temples of Khun Yuam but Wat Khum and Wat Kham Nai are worth visiting as well. About 10 km north of Khun Yuam is the Wat Muang Pon, the most important temple of Muang Pon, a Shan community.

Chedi of Buddhist temple Temples Khun Yuam
The chedi of Wat To Phae

The Temples of Pai

Temples are not the main attractions of this small town but there are a number of historically interesting and beautiful Buddhist temples in Pai. The article about the temples of Pai is under construction.

Chedi of a Buddhist temple
The Nam Hoo Temple in Pai