Wat Phanan Choeng

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Wat Phanan Choeng
Luang Pho Tho
People sit covered under orange drapes, that run down from the Buddha's shoulder, for the blessing ceremony
The shrine to the Chinese princess Soi Dok Mak

Wat Phanan Choeng (Thai: วัดพนัญเชิง (Pronunciation)) is a Buddhist temple in the city of Ayutthaya, Thailand, on the east bank of the Chao Phraya River at the south-eastern side of the confluence of the Chao Phraya and Pa Sak rivers.

Today, as part of the Ayutthaya Historical Park, the temple is a popular tourist attraction.



Built in 1324, some 26 years before the city of Ayutthaya was officially founded, the temple must have been partly connected to early settlements in the area. These notably allegedly[1] included a 200-strong refugee community from Song Dynasty China. The large wihan, the highest building within the temple complex, houses an immense gilded 19 meter high seated Buddha from 1334 CE. This highly revered Buddha statue is called Luang Pho Tho (Thai: หลวงพ่อโต) by Thais, and Sam Pao Kong (Thai: ซำเปากง) by Thai-Chinese. The statue is regarded as a guardian for mariners. Allegedly, prior to the destruction of Ayutthaya by the Burmese in 1767 CE, "tears flowed from the sacred eyes to the sacred navel".[2] The statue has been restored several times in history. King Mongkut named the statue Phra Puttha Thrai Ratana Nayok after its restoration in 1854 CE.

Visit by Zheng He[edit]

The temple was visited in 1407 CE by Zheng He, a Chinese Muslim eunuch admiral from Yunnan who leading his second Ming imperial voyage. He bestowed gifts upon the temple in a great ceremony that included Siamese royal participation, and is today remembered by Thai-Chinese visitors who still visit the temple in his honour.[3]


Wat Phanan Choeng is located in Khlong Suan Plu Sub-district, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Thailand, 13000.[4]

Opening hours[edit]

Wat Phanan Choeng opens daily from 8 am until 5 pm. The entrance fee is 20 baht, paid at a small booth at the entrance/check-in).[5]


By car[edit]

From Bangkok by road Asia. (Highway 32), turn left and go straight until you see Chedi Wat Sam Pluem in the middle of the road. Then, turn left at the traffic circle Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon. Go straight for about 500 meters, the temple is located on the right-hand side.

By public transport[edit]

There have 3 ways. The first way is from New Mor Chit station, there are many lines of bus to Ayutthaya every day. The second way is vans at the Victory Monument. The third way is vans at Future Park Rangsit. Then, on motorcycle taxi or auto rickshaw to Wat Phanan Choeng.[6]

By train[edit]

From Bangkok railway station to Ayutthaya railway station, change to ride a motorcycle taxi or auto rickshaw for more convenient than walking to go straight to Wat Phanan Choeng.


  1. ^ Ayutthaya Historical Research (AHR). "Wat Phanan Choeng".
  2. ^ Richard D. Cushman (David K. Wyatt Ed.): The Royal Chronicles Of Ayutthaya. The Siam Society, Bangkok 2000, ISBN 974-8298-48-5
  3. ^ http://www.lonelyplanet.com/thailand/ayuthaya-province/ayuthaya/sights/religious-spiritual/wat-phanan-choeng
  4. ^ Location Wat Phanan Choeng. Retrieved: March 26, 2018, https://www.tourismthailand.org/Attraction/Wat-Phananchoeng--22
  5. ^ Attractions of Ayutthaya. Retrieved: March 26, 2018, https://nashaplaneta.net/en/asia/thai/ayutthaya_wat_phanan_choeng
  6. ^ Wat Phanan Choeng Ayutthaya. Retrieved: March 28, 2018, http://www.paiduaykan.com/province/central/ayutthaya/watphananchoeng.html

Coordinates: 14°20′39″N 100°34′44″E / 14.34417°N 100.57889°E / 14.34417; 100.57889