Wat Phra Non

Stairs up Doi Kong Mu
The stairway up Doi Kong Mu to the temple on top

At the base of Doi Kong Mu is the small temple of Wat Phra Non (or Pra Nawn), which literally means 'temple of the reclining Buddha'. It's no surprise then that the major feature of the temple is a large reclining Buddha statue. The statue was commissioned in 1877 by Rama V and is rather more lifelike than most. The temple itself was started around 1875 as a resting place for the king.

The statue lies in a large wooden wiharn with an open front facing the street. In a room off to the left as you face the statue is a small museum opened in 1990. In addition to statues and religious books, the eclectic museum also houses old porcelain and even some items dating from the Japanese occupation in world war II.

Reclining Buddha
Graveyard of Wat Phra Non

Next to the wiharn is a small graveyard with four cenotaphs housing the ashes of the first four govenors of the city -- although its also claimed that the ashes of the first govenor are in one of the large chedis of Wat Doi Kong Mu.

Reclining Buddha
Standing Buddha image part-way up Doi Mu Kong

Behind the wiharn you'll find one of two stairways leading up the side of Doi Kong Mu. The stairs are guarded by two massive stone Shan lions. It's a rather exhausting climb all the way to the top. Mid-way up the side of the hill is a viewing platform with a standing Buddha image looking out over the city. There's a roadway if you want to drive.

Reclining Buddha
A small wooden shrine near Wat Phra Non

Next to the stairway are several small monuments. A tiny wooden shrine houses a small altar. Next to the wiharn is a large platform with a small square chedi and a seated Buddha image.