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Wat Ton Laeng

19th century Thai Lü style temple with an unusual hipped roof

The combined viharn and ubosot of the Wat Ton Laeng in Nan
Combined viharn and ubosot
Name
Wat Ton Laeng
Date
Early 19th century
Location
About 70 kilometers North of Nan town
Nan

Located in a rural area about 70 kilometers North of the provincial capital Nan is the Wat Ton Laeng. The temple, also known as the Wat Ban Ton Laeng is an early 19th century temple in the Thai Lü style. It is a quiet place, seldom visited by foreign tourists.

The main building of this small temple serves both as a viharn and ubosot; its entrance is guarded by two colorful lion statues. The structure has small windows and very little exterior decoration. Its most distinctive feature is the very unusual, three tiered, overlapping, hipped roof laid with wooden tiles.

Hipped roof and a very small gable

Whereas at the Lanna or Rattanakosin style temples the roof descends on only two sides which leaves room for a large usually heavily decorated gable, at the Wat Ton Laeng the lower two tiers of the roof are hipped; the roof descends on all four sides towards the walls, leaving no room for a gable. Only on the top tier the roof descends to the walls on just two sides, leaving space for a small gable, that is decorated with a colorful sun ray motive. The edges of the lower two tiers of the roof are decorated with triple Naga finials.

Inside the viharn banners woven from cotton hang down from the ceiling. Seated on a pedestal is a large golden Buddha image. The image in the Bhumisparsha mudra (“Calling the Earth to witness”) is surrounded by a number of smaller images.

How to get to the Wat Ton Laeng

The Wat Ton Laeng is located in a quiet, rural area about 70 kilometers North of Nan town. It is found on a peninsula formed by the Pua and Khwang rivers, a little of Route 1080. To get there from Nan town, charter a songthaew or book a private taxi through hotel or travel agent.

The nearest airport is Nan town. Nok Air has multiple daily flights from Bangkok´s old airport Don Muang to Nan, prices start at around 1,800 Thai Baht one way.

Entrance fee & opening hours

The temple grounds are open daily during daylight hours, from about 6 am until 6 pm. Since the temple is rarely visited by tourists, the viharn will sometimes be locked.