Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon was first established by King U-Thong in the 1300s but was made famous by King Naresuan, who added the giant chedi still seen today to commemorate a major 17th century victory over the Burmese during which the king is said to have singlehandedly speared a Burmese crown prince and squashed the enemy's morale.
Surrounded by hundreds of stone, seated Buddhas in pristine condition, this vast chedi resembles the three chedis at Wat Phra Sri Sanphet, although far larger, and it can be scaled for a great view of Ayutthaya. Nearby is a fairly large and photogenic reclining Buddha. Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon is also a working temple and an extremely popular pilgrimmage site for Thai Buddhists. Rather than being annoyed by the crowds, join them as they burn incense and circumnavigate the chedi three times for good fortune.
How to get there
To get here, follow Rochana Road over the bridge to east Ayutthaya and take a right onto Route 3477 at the huge roundabout with Sampluem chedi at its centre. Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon will be about a kilometre down on the left. If you make it here, be sure to go another kilometre down the road to visit Wat Phanan Choeng.
Last updated on 10th February, 2013.