Wat Phra That Mae Yen, The Temple on the Hill also known as the White Buddha of Pai
Getting There: 2km walk from center of town or rent a scooter
Costs: free admission
Suggested Times: I’d recommend that you go for sunset, it’ll be busy but worth it for the views as the sun goes down!
Nearby Attractions: Pai Canyon or the Hot Springs can be done during the day before heading here for sunset.
Nearly anywhere in Pai if you look out you’ll be able to see a distant statue on the hill side, this is the White Buddha of Pai. To reach this attraction it is a fairly easy walk out from the South of town along a main road where you’ll see signs for it.
Once you reach the base of the temple you’ll notice that there are quite a few steps between you and the top, 353 steps to be exact. It isn’t a particularly difficult climb as the mountain climate in Pai tends to be a little bit cooler than other regions of Thailand. Once at the top you’ll be greeted by the White Buddha statue, gorgeously lit up by the sunlight.
The temple is pretty much just that; a huge White Buddha, it’s really impressive but not too dissimilar to any other Giant Buddha statues you’ll see all over Thailand. What does make this place well worth the visit is the sunset; as this is one of the best spots in the area to watch the sunset you’ll find this site to be a bit crowded in the later afternoon as the sun begins to set. If you aren’t big on sunsets and just want to see the statue then I’d suggest you head up here in the morning to avoid the heat and crowds!
The Buddha is sat facing West, making it such a good spot for sunset and the views are pretty awesome. The sun sets behind one of the mountains, so the Buddha is lit up with sunlight until the sun drops behind, which is when the colors in the sky light up in a golden hue with pinkish colors on the horizon.
This is well worth a visit while in Pai and combining it with the Canyon and the Hot Springs will make for a fun and action packed day!