Today the district of Chiang Saen is famous for these ancient ruins of historic places, and therefore attracts many tourists each year. Of the many historic sites in Chiang Saen district, one that stands out is the Wat Phra That Doi Pu Khao, an ancient riverside temple.
This temple was constructed in the 8th century under the patronage of a king from Wiang Hirannakhon Ngoen Yang, is located just 2 kms from Chiang Saen Lake. While only the ruins of this ancient temple can be seen today, the original structure was constructed on an elevated level known for its famous views of the Golden Triangle. The Golden Triangle is the area of confluence around the Ruak River and the Mekong and this great scenic beauty can be witnessed from this site.
This ancient ‘Wat’ at present is just the ruins of its former architectural glory, with the ‘Vihan’ along with the remnants of the Chedis being the only remains of this once grand temple. Nevertheless, the temple displays the culture and history of Thailand along with its architectural prowess. Many tourists visit the ruined and historic Wat while going to the Sop Ruak Market. The Phra That Doi Pu Khao may not offer much, but it is still an important and historic landmark which provides a glimpse of the rich and historic culture of Thailand.