Wat Chaloem Phrakiat: Temple of the Floating Pagodas – the most frightening viewpoint

I've seen a lot of viewpoints and climbed a lot of mountains. I'm already accustomed to mountain peaks, where you can stand on a stone and look into an unfenced abyss. That is, now you are alive and healthy, but literally one wrong step forward, and now you are gone…

In the end, you even stop paying attention to it – you just look where you can go and where you can no longer go.

But in the place I want to tell you about, when my wife and I got to the observation deck, we just huddled in a corner and for some time we couldn’t even just get to our feet – it was so scary!

When you look into the distance, even from a great height, it’s not particularly scary. It’s truly scary when there’s an abyss right under your feet or, as in this case, on all sides.

This post is dedicated to a place called “Wat Chaloem Phrakiat: Temple of the Floating Pagodas”.

Another version of the name: “Wat Chaloem Phra Kiat Phrachomklao Rachanusorn”.

What is Wat Chaloem Phrakiat: Temple of the Floating Pagodas

As the name suggests, this is the “Temple of Floating Pagodas”.

You can read the meaning of the word “Pagoda” on Wikipedia:

In short, it is a type of religious building. But for our purposes this is not so important. The essence of this place is that there are two observation platforms, which are located on the top of a high cliff. The views from here are stunning. But the main highlight of this place is the platform, which seems to hang in the air above a bottomless abyss.

This place is quite close in essence to Sky Walking, at least in terms of the sensations it evokes.

If you look closely at the upper edge of the mountains, you will see buildings at the very edge – this is where you have to climb.

This place is located in the Thai province of Lampang.

How much does it cost to enter Wat Chaloem Phrakiat: Temple of the Floating Pagodas

Ticket prices are as follows:

  • Thai child – 70 baht
  • Thai – 120 baht
  • Child of a foreigner – 280 baht
  • Foreigner – 490 baht

This price includes car transfer.

How to get to Wat Chaloem Phrakiat: Temple of the Floating Pagodas

Lampang province is located approximately 600 km from Bangkok and 750 km from Pattaya, next to the provinces of Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai, that is, it is the north of Thailand.

The Temple of the Floating Pagodas itself is located about 65 km from the city of Lampang.

Coordinates of observation platforms: https://www.google.com/maps/@18.7463333,99.5297498,17z

Coordinates of the place where you can park your vehicle and buy tickets: https://www.google.com/maps/@18.7420156,99.533577,16.09z

After purchasing tickets, you need to wait until there are several people and you are loaded into a pickup truck. A car along an extremely steep mountain road will take you to the place where you will begin your trek up the mountain on foot. The road is very steep! Free your hands (for example, from your phone) and hold the handrails with both hands! You yourself will quickly understand this at the beginning of the journey, but you will no longer be able to let go of the handrail even for a second to put something in your bag…

You will travel a significant part of the route by transport. You cannot travel there on your own, in your own transport!

After you get out of the pickup and come to your senses, you need to move along the only road until you see the stairs. You need to move up this staircase until you see a fork – right and left. Turn right.

Here is the route diagram – we are interested in points marked 15 and 16.

Is it difficult to climb Wat Chaloem Phrakiat: Temple of the Floating Pagodas

Of the places I visited, it was one of the easiest, primarily due to the fact that a significant part of the route is covered by vehicles.

But there are plenty of steps there – about the same as climbing the stairs to the 10th-15th floor. You need to climb to the top of the rock using the stairs (this is not the very bottom, part of the route has already been completed).

Way to Wat Chaloem Phrakiat: Temple of the Floating Pagodas

This was a photograph of the stairs from an intermediate viewpoint. And here is a photograph of the landscape from this intermediate viewpoint.

And this video is halfway to the Temple of the Floating Pagodas.

Already high, isn't it? This is far from the end of the climb.

In the middle of the journey, so that you don’t get bored, you will come across this bridge.

After the bridge there will be a fork – let me remind you that you need to turn right. We'll come back to what's on the left later.

Viewpoints Wat Chaloem Phrakiat: Temple of the Floating Pagodas

When you get to the top, you will see three viewpoints at once. In this photo you can see two of them: the roof of one at the bottom of the frame, and the second vantage point next to the white and gold stupa or pagoda.

In this photo you can see the third viewpoint, made in the form of a small temple. You can also see stupas and other religious buildings on mountain peaks, but your excursion does not imply that you will climb there.

So, the most impressive viewpoint is the one next to the white and gold structure. You need to climb the iron ladder even higher. There is a notice there – no more than 10 people can be on the site at the same time. Then I thought – do they still have Covid here? But only when I climbed up and pressed myself against the wall out of fear and tried not to move or even breathe much, I understood why here should be no more than 10 people.

The corresponding mood arises already in the process of climbing the flimsy-looking iron stairs. The observation deck itself is an iron platform with low railings. It’s scary that the wind will blow you over the railing, and it’s also scary to think that this whole flimsy structure is now going to fall into the abyss.

This is not my first time in places like this where it’s scary. The only thing you need to do is just wait. Literally in a few minutes you will begin to get used to the “new life circumstances” and at first you will be able to simply stand up, and then go to the center of the site, and then even without much fear, stand holding the railing.

Photos and videos of Wat Chaloem Phrakiat: Temple of the Floating Pagodas

From here a wide viewing angle opens up, the view of the mountainous surroundings is unobstructed.

Those hills in the distance are also mountains.

Nearby there is another mountain of approximately the same height.

Video from the stupa:

And this is a small temple, at the same height as the stupa, but it’s not so scary here.

Video from the temple:

Magic lake Wat Chaloem Phrakiat

At the end of the path along the stairs, you came across a fork and I have already told you twice where to turn. What will we see if we turn left?

The diagram shows this place as a lake. Moreover, there is a lake with a legend – if a woman draws water from this lake, the water immediately disappears. There is no need to throw coins there either.

This is, as they say, expectations.

In reality, I only saw this there:

Well, that is a dead end and nothing more.

Whether the woman has already scooped up all the water, or whether one needs to climb into that hole, I don’t know.

Is it worth visiting Wat Chaloem Phrakiat: Temple of the Floating Pagodas

I liked this place. Not the most difficult climb up the mountain, beautiful views, strong emotions when you are at the top.

If you are somewhere nearby, then it’s worth stopping by here. This place is unique in its own way.

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