Leng Buai Ia Shrine
The Leng Buai Ia Shrine (Thai: ศาลเจ้าเล่งบ๊วยเอี๊ยะ) is a Chinese shrine, in the Samphanthawong district of Bangkok's Chinatown. It is located in a courtyard amongst a network of narrow alleys off Charoen Krung Road.
The shrine is considered to be the oldest Chinese shrine in Thailand, based on a plaque contained inside with a Chinese inscription stating that it was built in 1658, during the Ayutthaya period. Thought to have originally been a Teochew-style shrine, it would have been used by Chinese businessmen aiming to improve the prosperity of their businesses and to establish social connections.
Style and Layout
Built in a classic Chinese architectural style, the shrine has a roof made of glazed colored tiles, adorned with two ceramic-clad dragons. The two main columns at the shrine entrance are also entwined by ceramic-clad dragons.
The shrine contains, at its center, an altar dedicated to Leng Buai Ia and his wife. To the left and right there are altars to the deity Gong Wu (Guan Yu) and the Queen of Heaven, Tianhou respectively.
Other items inside the shrine include three plaques from the reign of the Kangxi Emperor in the Qing dynasty, a bell inscribed with the name of Choen Thai Chue, and a container for incense sticks given as a gift from King Chulalongkorn (Rama V).
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