This is a popular Ayutthaya temple for tourists. This antique temple, despite its appearance, is thought to date back to before Ayutthaya was founded. For a long time, the Chinese inhabited the neighborhood where this temple is located. Almost all Thais and Chinese-Thais come to Wat Phanan Choeng to worship the largest Buddha image in Ayutthaya, Phra Phuttha Trairatana Nayok, also known as Luang Pho To Buddha Image or Sam Po Kong Buddha Image in Chinese. Wat Phanan Choeng Worawiharn is located on the south bank of the Pasak River, opposite the main city, in Khlong Suan Plu Subdistrict. Wat Phanan Choeng may be found on the right after turning left from Wat Yai Chai Monkon about a kilometer.
History of Wat Phanan Choeng
Wat Phanan Choeng has a long and illustrious history. The construction began before the city of Ayutthaya was founded. It’s impossible to say who made it because there’s no definite evidence. Lord Sai Nam Phueng (Phra Chao Sai Namphung), according to the Northern Chronicles, was the founder and granted the name “Wat Chao Phra Nang Choeng,” as well as the old royal chronicles. The Buddha image was established in B.E.1867, according to Luang Prasert Aksornnit, which was 26 years before King U-Thong founded Ayutthaya. Luang Pho Sam Po Kong, a big Buddha image and the largest in Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya was a stucco Buddha image in Buddha overcoming temptations, with a lap width of 20 meters and a height of 19 meters. It had been destroyed in the city’s trash, but it had been restored throughout. Until the time of King Mongkut of Rattanakosin, who ordered the restoration of the Buddha’s entire body in B.E.1851 and renamed him “Phra Buddha Trirattana Nayok,” or “Luang Pho Sam Po Kong” among Thai Buddhists of Chinese heritage.
“Phanaeng Choeng” means “cross-legged sitting.” As a result, “Phanan Choeng Temple” (Wat Phra Naeng Choeng or Wat Phra Chao Phanaeng Choeng) refers to the temple in Luang Por To where the Buddha image is seated in the position of “Buddha conquering temptations.” Another temple legend is “Phra Nang Soi Dok Mak,” according to which the queen sat cross-legged while Phra Nang Soi Dok Mak resisted her death. They used to call the temple because Chinese people like to sit cross-legged rather than squat. Some people refer to it as “Wat Phra Nang Au Choeng” because of the cause of her death; however, if the temple’s name is translated as “Wat Phanan Choeng,” it refers to a temple with a sitting Buddha image, which is “Luang Por To.”
Luang Pho To of Wat Phanan Choeng
“Luang Pho To” or “Phra Buddha Trirattana Nayok,” a Buddha image in U-Thong art at the end, in the position of Buddha defeating temptations, cross-legged, lap-size 14.20 meters wide, 19.20 meters high, gold-lacquered stucco material Since the inception of the city, Luang Pho To has been recognized as an old amulet of Ayutthaya. According to the Ancient Documents of Luang Prasert Aksornnit, it was built in B.E.1868 or during King Ramathibodi I’s reign. According to legend, when the enemy conquered Ayutthaya, Luang Por To wept. Luang Por To, also known as “Sampokong” among Chinese people, is one of the most recognized people in the country. Every year, a large number of Chinese people, in addition to Thais, come to worship.
Golden Buddha statue in Wat Phanan Choeng
The golden Buddha image, cement buddha, and Naga buddha are all major Buddha images in Wat Phanan Choeng’s ubosot. The first was constructed of bronze during the Sukhothai period, with a lap width of 3 cubits and a height of 4 cubits with a bright golden color reflecting beautifully. The middle one is an Ayutthaya era stucco Buddha image with a lap width of 4 cubits and a height of 5 cubits. The most recent Buddha image was a reddish-colored Sukhothai-era Buddha image with a lap width of 3 cubits and a height of 5 cubits.
This golden and Naga Buddha figure was recently discovered by chance, according to legend, because it was initially plastered with plaster until it resembled a general stucco Buddha image. The reason for this is most likely because Ayutthaya was invaded by the enemy in the past. People feared that the golden Buddha image and the Naga Buddha image might be stolen or burned back then. While the mortar was still wet, the gold was plastered to create a robe and various elements such as Sculpture the Buddha’s face and hair to show that it wasn’t a golden Buddha and a Naga Buddha image. Due to the crumb of cement that had been split out and the interior was gold, it was not realized until later that it was a golden Buddha image. As a result, the cement was gradually chipped away, revealing a golden Buddha picture ensconced within the temple’s chapel.
Chao Mae Soi Dok Mak
Aside from Luang Pho To, which is a centerpiece of the temple, many people visit every day to worship. In the pre-Ayutthaya era, there is also “Phra Nang Soi Dok Mak Shrine” or “Mae Soi Dok Mak Shrine,” which is a memorial to love that ended in tragedy. Many individuals wish to pray for the blessing of love in their worship. According to the tradition of the Northern Chronicles, the King of Krung Jean (China) Phra Nang Soi Dok Mak had an adopted son named Soi Dok Mak by Jan Mak when she was a young woman with a beautiful appearance. The king of Ayodhya (Ayutthaya), according to the fortuneteller, would be her spouse. As a result, King Krung Jean had a royal message for King Sai Nam Phueng to deliver.
After hearing the royal message, King Sai Nam Phueng traveled by boat to Krung jean. The King of Krung jean was overjoyed. As a result, he was given the task of organizing a procession to welcome Phra Chao Sai Nam Phueng into the palace, as well as the coronation of Phra Nang Soi Dok Mai as his bride. King Sai Nam Phueng returned to the city after paying his respects to King Krung Jean. As a result, King Krung Jean provided 5 junk boats and 500 Chinese workers talented in various disciplines to return to Ayothaya. When the king arrives at “Mae Bia Pak Nam,” which is near “Laem Bang Kacha” (in front of Wat Phanan Choeng at present), King Sai Nam Phueng was the first to arrive in the city, preparing the palace for the arrival of Phra Nang Soi Dok Mak. When Phra Nang Soi Dok Mak did not see King Sai Nam Phueng pick her up in the morning welcoming procession, she became enraged
As a result, she refused to get off the boat, claiming, “It’s difficult to travel to the city; why didn’t the king come to take me up when I arrived at the palace?” I’m not going anywhere till he comes to pick me up.” “If she has already arrived, stay there as she pleases,” King Sai Nam Phueng responded, thinking she was joking. The monarch then came to fetch her up on his own when he boarded the junk where Phra Nang Soi Dok Mak was staying. As a result, she had a lot of complaints to make to him. King Sai Nam Phueng was perplexed as a result. “Stay here if you don’t want to get up.” Phra Nang Soi Dok Mak misunderstood what he said. She misunderstood what he meant to say and resolved to kill herself on the royal barge at Pak Nam Mae Bia until she died. It was king Sai Nam Phueng’s deep sadness that he kindly brought the body to the royal fire at Laem Bang Kacha and constructed a monastery there called “Wat Phra Chao Phra Nang Choeng” or “Phanaeng Choeng,” which means “the touchy queen.” The king then authorized the construction of Mae Soi Dok Mak Shrine to memorialize her love. From before the Ayutthaya era until the present day, this temple has served as a reminder of Thailand’s long-standing friendship with China. There are additional events to keep Chinese traditions alive, such as the pouring of baskets and cleaning the Chinese cemetery, among others.
Chinese architecture and art are abundant at the Phra Nang Soi Dok Mak Shrine. Pei Niang is inscribed in Thai and Chinese characters on the placard in front of the temple. It signifies “grieving girl” when translated separately, but “merciful mother” when translated together. The shrine is a two-story brick structure with intricate stucco decorations. The owner of the property is on the ground floor, while the goddess Guan Yin, Phra Nang Soi Dok Mak’s idol, is on the second floor. It also houses a Chinese-style statue of Chao Mae Soi Dok Mak, which the Chinese hold in high regard. Almost everyone came to the temple to cover Luang Pho To’s riches, and they also had to show homage to Chao Mae Soi Dok Mak. This shrine also houses an antique anchor, which is thought to be the anchor of the Phra Nang Soi Dok Mak vessel. For a long time, people have spoken about Chao Mae Soi Dok Mak’s purity and supernatural power. She is claimed to be monogamous, devoting all of her affection to King Sai Nam Phueng and forbidding any man from touching her statue under any circumstances.
A man came to clean the image of Phra Nang Soi Dok Mak decades ago. When the man came home, he appeared to be in excruciating pain and died for unknown causes. In the past, there was a scenario identical to this where two men came to polish her picture and died quickly. Phra Nang Soi Dok Mak was known to be dissatisfied, and she still refuses to let any man touch her image. There will be a ceremony to worship Mae Soi Dok Mak Shrine when a Chinese opera is performed in the ninth month at Wat Phanan Choeng. The incense burner is the sole thing summoned to the outdoors during the shrine’s ritual procession. People who are Chao Mae Soi Dok Mak mediums from all around the world will attend this event. It is believed that Chao Mae Soi Dok Mak, a medium who typically can not speak Chinese, was able to speak Chinese astoundingly well.
Previously, the shrine’s whole staff was made up of Chinese people who could listen and speak the language fluently. They asserted “Chao Mae Soi Dok Mak used to come here and inquire for old treasures that she had acquired from China. What happened to it and where is it now?” Furthermore, every member of the shrine’s management team had already witnessed Chao Mae Soi Dok Mak. She is dressed in white Chinese clothing and has a stunning face.
The holiness of Chao Mae Soi Dok Mak is still revered today. Those who come to the shrine and express a wish, such as requesting a child, life success, or love, are frequently granted their wishes. They return to Chao Mae Soi Dok Mak with pearl necklaces, cosmetics, and lion dances when they have obtained everything they require. The legend of Prince Sai Nam Phueng and Queen Soi Dok Mak is also a legend of Wat Phanan Choeng Worawihan’s building, leading people to believe that Chao Mae Soi Dok Mak can inspire individuals who pay tribute to realize their goals in every way.
Travel to Wat Phanan Choeng
Getting to Ayutthaya from Bangkok
-Private cars from Bangkok, can travel to Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Province. There are several routes as follows.
1. Take Highway No. 1 (Phahon Yothin Road) through Pratunam Phra In. Then turn left onto Highway No. 32, turn left onto Highway No. 309, into Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Province.
2. Take Highway No. 304 (Chaeng Watthana Road) or Highway No. 302 (Ngamwongwan Road), turn right onto Highway No. 306 (Tiwanon Road) and cross the Nonthaburi Bridge or Nuan Chawee Bridge. to Pathum Thani Province, continue with the route Pathum Thani-Samkhok-Sena (Highway 3111) turning right at Sena District. Take Highway No. 3263 to Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Province.
Travelers can check more suitable routes from the Google Map application.
– Van. Tourists can take a Bangkok-Ayutthaya van at Mo Chit Bus Terminal. Or at the Future Park Rangsit shopping mall, the fare starts at 60 baht, depending on the distance and the pick-up point.
– Train Visitors can use the train that runs north from Hua Lamphong Station. Get off at Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Station The trains are available daily from 04.20 A.M. – 10.45 P.M. Fares start at 15 baht for third-class trains. Tourists can contact the State Railway of Thailand for more information at 1690 or visit www.railway.co.th.
How to get to Wat Phanan Choeng
– private car Wat Phanan Choeng is located outside the island of Ayutthaya. from the island of Ayutthaya Drive to the Chedi Wat Sam Pluem Roundabout. Turn left until you see Wat Yai Chaimongkol. Then turn right and drive straight to find Wat Phanan Choeng by the river.
– Tuk-Tuk: In Ayutthaya, there are tuk-tuks available at a rate of 20-40 baht per person, depending on the distance. For chartering a car: The cost of renting a tuk-tuk per hour is around 200 baht.
– Grabcar: The Ayutthaya area has a ride-hailing system through the Grab application. You can check the fare rate each time on the screen before you click to call the car to various places. Tourists can download the Grab app at http://grb.to/2F9a2bx.
Buying tickets for Thai nationals is free. Foreigners have an entrance fee of 20 baht.
Address: Moo 2, Khlong Suan Phlu Subdistrict, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Province
Open for viewing: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.