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Home Thailand The Golden Triangle ⇒ Wat Pradat Pukhao

Thailand’s Golden Triangle

6Wat Pradat Pukhao

Naga steps leading Wat Pradat Pukhao
Naga steps leading to
Wat Pradat Pukhao

Opposite the new Golden Triangle monument, a set of Naga steps leads to the small, beautifully maintained Wat Pradhat Pukhao halfway up the steep hill. Coming from the river there are two buildings. The one on the right is the ordination hall done in Luang Prabang style. Inside it lacks the usual clutter of many Thai temples and instead there is an elegant and powerful simplicity. There is an ancient Bodhi tree in the courtyard, the roots twisting round the relics of several stone Buddhas which are said to be over a thousand years old. These are the remains of the original images from the viharn to the left.



The Remains of a Chedi
The Remains of a Chedi

At the top of the hill are the ruins of an older temple, one of the oldest in the region in fact. There are a number of colourful myths about the founding of the area posted around the site. Local legends date the temple from 759AD but archaeological evidence dates it to around the 14th century, still a respectable age. Unusually, the temple has a mondop, a small room at the back of the viharn housing the important images. This one is forbidden to women who must pay their respects from outside. It’s a pleasant little ruin with informative notices in English explaining the main points.

Between the two temples is a viewing area and carpark from where you can get an overview of the Golden Triangle confluence and into Myanmar and Laos and imagine you can see China. A very wild area with almost no signs of human habitation, it’s easy to imagine mule trains winding through the dense vegetation along half-hidden jungle paths, guarded by small armies controlled by warlords engaged in bloody vendettas with each other.

 
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