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Wat Choeng Tha, Ayutthaya Overview

Located in the north of the city of Ayutthaya, Wat Choeng Tha is a legendary temple built in the early Ayutthaya period. It is known for its famous mural paintings, the prang or tower as well as the the interestingly shaped ordination hall with its base in the form of a boat. The temple was renovated around the mid 19th century and much of it has been preserved till the present date.

This temple was built specifically in a way so that it could face the Lopburi River. The Royal Palace was on the other side of the Lopburi River, and it was designed in a way so that the royal family could easily access it by boat. Wat Choeng Tha is still an active temple. The active part of Wat Choeng Tha is situated slightly east of the more ancient structures.

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Attractions At Wat Choeng Tha

Wat Choeng Tha
  • The most striking thing about this temple is its Khmer-style Prang (a tall tower-like spire), which has niches in all directions.
  • The Buddha images in the ‘Halting of Evil’ pose here also interesting.
  • The Prang here is partially hollow on the inside, and there is a discreet hole next to the altar through which the inner halls of the temple can be accessed.
  • In front of the Prang stands the Sermon Hall ruin. Many more standing Buddha images can be found in the arched niches on the back wall of the Sermon Hall.
  • An altar with two Buddha images sitting in the Taming Mara pose has been constructed more recently in the middle of the Viharn (prayer room).
  • The Ubosot or the holy prayer room is located to the west of the Prang. Covered in intricately carved lion images, the Ubosot is rarely open to visitors as in most active temples.
  • Many small Chedi’s in a variety of styles and from various periods can also be found on the premises of this temple. This indicates that this monastery was of great importance throughout history.
  • There is also a beautiful active sermon hall close to Khlong Mueang canal, where elaborate murals seem to have been painted during the Chakri Dynasty. They portray several Jakata tales and are representative of Thai culture during the Ayutthaya period. Another distinctive feature of this sermon hall are the wooden shutters, which display Chinese characters and motifs.
  • A Buddha footprint is on display at a small museum on the premises, which also displays old ceramics pieces and local terracotta craft ware.

How to Reach

By Boat
It is situated beside Khlong Mueang canal (previously the Lopburi River), and boats can easily dock here. Thus, unlike other places in Ayutthaya, one of the simplest ways to reach this temple is by boat.
By Foot
If you are in the vicinity, you could walk to this temple.
By Bicycle
As while visiting most places in Ayutthaya, the cheapest way to visit this temple is to rent a bicycle for the whole day for just THB 61.
By Bike
Another economical, yet more comfortable way to reach this temple is via bike. You can rent a bike for THB 305 - THB 429 per day from various places in the city to do the same.
By Tuk-Tuk
Tuk-Tuks are readily available in Ayutthaya city and are a comfortable and cheap option at THB 305 per hour.
By Rental Car
Renting a car is the most comfortable and expensive option. But maybe ideal if you are travelling with a big group or family.

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