Thursday, 6 March 2008

Wat Yai Chai Mongkon, Ayutthaya

Visible for miles around, the gold chedi of Wat Yai Chai Mongkon is one of the most stunning sites in town (though most of what is striking are recent additions).
King U-Thong founded Wat Yai in 1357 as a center for monks of a particularly strict order returning from study in Sri Lanka.
The recently restored white reclining Buddha near the entrance was built by King Naresuan. The massive pagoda celebrates the defeat of the Burmese at Suphanburi in 1592 and King Naresuan's defeat of the crown prince of Burma in an elephant joust. The gold chedi is surrounded by sitting Buddhas.
In front of the chedi are the stumps of columns which once supported the roof of the temple.
Location: The temple is a long walk (or a short tuk-tuk ride) southeast of ancient Ayutthaya, across the Pridi Damrong Bridge and NW of the train station. After crossing the Pasak River, take the Bangkok road, turning right about 300 m beyond the railway.
Hours: Daily 8am-6pm
Cost: 20B

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