The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception

Chan's signature landmark

Photo of The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, , Chanthaburi

What we say: 3.5 stars

Reflecting Chanthaburi's large Vietnamese Roman Catholic minority, this gothic-style cathedral is the largest church in Thailand and the city's most noticeable landmark.

The cathedral looms over the river from the eastern bank just across from the old town. The first missionary chapel was built here in 1711, but the current structure was constructed mainly by Vietnamese in 1909.

A large statue of the Virgin Mary stands in front of the church, and locals can often be seen offering flower garlands and burning incense before the statue, exemplifying how Christianity has adapted to Asian customs.

The cathedral is still home to a thriving Vietnamese-Thai congregation, but the sanctuary is only open to the public during weekend church services and special events.

Last updated: 3rd December, 2014

About the author:
Usually found exploring Bangkok's side streets or south Thailand's islands, David Luekens is an American freelance writer & photographer who finds everyday life in Asia to be extraordinary. You can follow his travails here.
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