Near the morning market in downtown Mae Hong Son is the Wat Hua Wiang temple. The Burmese Shan style temple was founded in the second half of the 19th century. On the large temple grounds are a viharn, an ubosot, a chedi and a large open sala.
Large wooden viharn
The viharn is a large, impressive Burmese style wooden structure. Its roof consists of multiple sections, receding in size towards the top. False floors are build between the roof’s sections. The edges of the roof are adorned with decorative designs made from silver colored metal sheets.
Attached to the main building is a smaller structure with a Pyatthat, a multi tiered roof, topped with a golden hti, an ornament shaped like an umbrella.
The temple’s principal Buddha image is the Phra Chao Phala Lakhaeng, which is enshrined in the viharn. The highly revered image was cast in the 1930’s in Mandalay in Burma, from where it was brought over the Wat Hua Wiang. The Mandalay style bronze image is in the Bhumisparsha mudra.
Ubosot, chedi and two storey sala
The smaller ubosot, where monks get ordained into monkhood, was built in 1998, replacing a much older structure. The brick building has a wooden roof, the edges of which are adorned with golden decorative designs. As the viharn, attached to the main building is a smaller structure with a Pyatthat, a Burmese style multi tiered roof topped with a golden hti. The ubosot is usually not open to visitors.
Next to the ubosot is a slender, circular chedi topped with a golden hti. The white and gold chedi is guarded by lion figures. The grounds also contain a large two storey sala, an open pavilion, which is used for several functions.
How to get to the Wat Hua Wiang
The temple is found on the intersection of Pha Nith Watana road and Khunlum Praphat road in Mae Hong Son town, a few hundred meters North West of Chong Kham lake. From many of the downtown hotels, the temple is within walking distance. Alternatively, take a tuk tuk or motorbike taxi for between 20 and 40 Thai Baht.
Entrance fee & opening hours
The temple opens daily during daylight hours. Admission is free.