In 1922, the Shan migrants built the Wat Phnom Yat on top of Phnom Yat. This is a place of worship at the heart of Pailin. Several stories, folk tales and legends surround the area of the wat and its construction. One such story revolves around a couple with the same name, Yart, who were both gem miners. After they grew old, they meditated together on a mountain now known as Phnom Yart.
At the same time, other residents bought guns to protect their properties and hunt for wild animals. Due to the pleasure hunting, the spirits of the forest became angry and showed themselves to the couple in order to convey their message saying that if the residents stop firing, the spirit will give them a precious stone. The spirit also ordered them to build a wat and perform the peacock dance every day, hence, the Wat Phnom Yat.