Wat Sangkha Kaeo Don Han is an ancient temple situated in Chiang Saen of Chiang Rai Province. It is well-known as an “important academic discovery.” Those who love history should not miss visiting this temple. The boards inside the temple tell the history of it. According to Yonok chronicle, after the establishment of the city called Hiran Nakhon Ngoen Yang, Lao Chok people built a temple, called Sangkha Kaeo Don Han or Wat Sangkha Yang Ngoen, in approximately 639 A.D. at the area full of jujube trees. This corresponds to Prachum Pongsawadan (historical annals) Phak Tee 61. That is Wat Sangkha Yang Ngoen was located on the east of Hua Wiang near Wat Pa Khao Pan.
In the present, this temple is deserted, leaving a platform of Chedi behind the image hall facing eastwards and a platform of the chapel. The sketches on brick slabs are found in the temple. They present the story of Vessantara Jataka; for example, the part when Prince Vessantara walks in the forest and the part when Choo Chok visits Prince Vessantara. The temple’s architectural style suggests that it was constructed during the 21st Buddhist century and was deserted in 1804 during the war to expel the Myanmar.
The reason why Wat Sangkha Kaeo Don Han is an important discovery is the process of making the sketches on brick slabs. The picture was inscribed on the brick slabs before burning. After that, those slabs were covered with lime in a faithful intention not to reveal the picture. Besides, pieces of broken mural paintings from the wall of the image hall are also found with good condition of the color and the picture itself. The interesting thing is the use of only two colors: vermilion and red. These are ancient patterns reflecting the history of people in this area.
How to get there:
It is located near Wat Phra That Chom Kitti. Go along Chiang Saen- Golden Triangle Road.