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Wat Thaton (วัดท่าตอน)

Thai. Name of a Buddhist hilltop temple in the sleepy town and tambon of Thaton, located along the Kok River (fig.) in the amphur Mae Ai, in the far north of Chiang Mai Province and bordering Myanmar. The temple's courtyard features some statues of Kuan Yin, as well as two giant Chinese dragons, one in gold and one in silver (fig.), akin to the silver and golden trees called ton mai ngeun ton mai thong (fig.), whereas the main building of this temple complex consists of a pagoda. The inside of the pagoda features a labyrinth of corridors, halls and niches, that exhibit a rich variety of oriental artifacts on Buddhism and mythology, including a number of rather unique Buddha images, many of which are from different countries and areas all over Asia and quite a number that display rare poses and mudras. There is also a winding staircase shaped in the form of a dragon's body leads to the upper chamber, that houses a relic (fig.). The relic shrine is flanked by a golden and a silver dragon and at each side of the shrine also stands a Burmese-style guardian creature known as nagah (fig.), i.e. a legged naga-like mythological compound animal, one in silver and one in gold (fig.). See MAP.