Wat Phra That Chom Wae was built under the initiative of Phaya Ngam Mueng, King of Phu Kam Yao or Phayao Province in the present. Legend goes that, in 1294, Phaya Ngam Mueng went up to Doi Sang Kam, the former name of Doi Chom Wae, to observe the areas of habitation of his people. Four months after he returned to Phu Kam Yao, the King ordered Phra That Chom Wae to be built as a centre of repose and worship for the townspeople.
Relics from the head of Buddha and a large amount of precious objects were kept inside the building. The construction was completed on the full moon night of the eight lunar month. Later on, the place was dilapidated due to lack of maintenance since Phu Kam Yao was colonised by the Myanmese. Phra That Doi Wae was restored during the reign of Phraya Han, the first King of Mueng Phan, who worked with the townspeople to rebuild a bigger building where Phra Maha Shinathat was kept inside. The latest restoration was carried out on the occasion of His Majesty the King’s 50th coronation anniversary. A large monument called Phra Kesa Mangkalanusorn was built on Doi Wae. Each year, on the full moon night of the eight lunar month, people will come to sprinkle water on here for a blessing.
It is believed that those who come to pay respect to Phra That Doi Wae will be saved from all kinds of danger. In addition, they will also be adored by adults because ‘Wae’ rhymes with ‘wae’, meaning ‘visit’ Thai, and the cry of babies.
How to get there:
From Amphoe Mae Suai, drive along Highway 118 back to Chiang Rai-Mae Suai junction. Go straight towards Phayao Province. Drive past Wat Rong Khun and Amphoe Mae Lao and turn right into Highway 1 (Chiang Rai-Phayao). Cross Mae Lao River and drive past Huai Sai Khao Hotspring to arrive in Amphoe Phan. Turn right into the inner road at Wat Chai Mongkol junction for about 300 metres. The entrance to Phra That Chom Wae is on your right. Distance totals 49 kilometers.