Shrouded in ancient mysteries and legends, Buffalo Horn Hill or Wat Khao Quai, is a landmark in Chiang Rai and a must on every visitors itinerary. A wooded hill prettily reflected in the lake below it is surmounted by a temple which is famous for its mythical beast, a creature sculpted in black granite with bear paws, resembling a bear overall but with five eyes and four ears. This very odd animal has given rise to several legends that are hundreds of years old, having its roots when the whole area was covered in jungle and was sparsely populated.
The most well known being the legend of a five eyed, 4 eared hot-coal-eating beast whose excrement was gold, which the villagers had tried to capture but had failed. A poor crippled villager returning to the village a wealthy man had claimed he had followed the beast to its lair and collected the gold dung that had made him wealthy. He apparently married the governor’s daughter and lived happily ever after and not forgetting his unwitting benefactor, built a temple to honour the beast.
Although the temple is essentially a traditional Buddhist temple, throughout the years other statues of mythical creatures were added on. In spite of this and other tales about the “beast”, the best aspect of the hill is the gorgeous 180 degree views of the city of Chiang Rai and its environs spread out below. It is really spectacular at sunset when the whole area appears tinted by the colours of the setting sun.
A viewing platform has been constructed outside the temple premises for visitors to take in the view. The temple itself is one of the many quaint ancient structures that dot the area. Buffalo Horn Hill can be accessed from the old Chiang Mai road. As for the beast, local residents still claim they hear and see strange animals and sounds coming from the vicinity of Buffalo Horn Hill.
With its lush tropical and advantageous location close to the Burma / Laos border and its access to the elephant conservation centre, Anantara Golden Triangle Thailand offers guests never to be forgotten sights and sounds; be it the diurnal or nocturnal sounds of tropical fauna or the sight of elephants in the camp next door. Warm friendly staff, large comfortable rooms, modern facilities and amenities complemented by glorious views makes this one of the “must experience” hotels in Chiang Rai. The perfect environment with clean air, ideal location, many interesting activities and efficient staff makes this one of the most popular Chiang Rai hotels.