Riverside temples

Old wats with a sinking Buddha legend

Photo of , , Mukdahan

What we say: 3 stars

A few quiet temples are situated along the riverside road and are worth a peek both for a handful of individual sights and the overall relaxed temple air that makes for good photos of monks strolling around and dogs sleeping next to chedis.

Closest to Indochine Market is Wat Yod Kaew Siwichai, the highlight of which is a seated Buddha image that stands a good eight metres high and is housed in a glass pavilion that stays fully illuminated throughout the night. Also note the white lotus bud chedis here.

Further south is Wat Si Mongkon Tai, an ancient temple that used to hold the Phra Chao Ong Luang, a revered Buddha image which is believed to be older than the town itself. Legend has it that when Thao Kinnaree (the founder of Mukdahan) discovered the image under a boddhi tree there were actually two Buddhas, not one. One was made of iron and Wat Si Mongkon Tai was built to house it. The following day the image sunk to the ground and so was relocated to a sacred shrine and the second image was enshrined in the wat instead. Recently this image was also relocated, this time to Wat Sri Boon Reung. Opposite the wat is an old boddhi tree, the base of which is a popular place to have your fortune told, although you'll need to be conversant in Thai to get much out of a session.

A short walk further south from Wat Si Mongkon Tai is Wat Si Boon Reung, which now houses the sacred Phra Chao Ong Luang image. In Mukdahan, the Songkran festival centres around this wat because of the image. Note the enigmatic purple and baby blue protective dog statues which flank the ubosot stairs.

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Last updated: 31st January, 2013

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