Photo: More than just crocodiles at Wat Chakrawat.

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Wat Chakrawat

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Affectionately known as the Crocodile Temple, Wat Chakrawat is best known for the three live crocodiles that preside over the crowded grounds. You’ll also find some exceptional 19th-century temple architecture along with a few other quirks and quiet spots for taking a break from the bustle of Chinatown.

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Presented as a royal temple in 1835, Wat Chakrawat houses one of the largest communities of monks and novices in Bangkok. The monastic residences are squeezed around a large concrete lot that gets stuffed with cars each day, as it’s one of the only places to park in Chinatown. The temple’s name apparently means “cyclone” in Hindi; perhaps the nearby South Asian community in neighbouring Pahurat had something to do with that.

What will our fortune be today? Photo taken in or around Wat Chakrawat, Bangkok, Thailand by David Luekens.

What will our fortune be today? Photo: David Luekens

The older part of the temple ushers in a peaceful atmosphere after navigating through the car park. A shrine featuring a gold-leaf-covered Buddha image seated with feet on the floor in the “forest retreat” posture tops a large flower-lined mondop. Shake out one of the fortune sticks and head over to the nearby desk to find out that “It’s not the time for you and your lover to get married” or “It’s so clear that a fish will turn back to be a ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 400 words.)

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