Photo: At the City Pillar Shrine.

Temples, churches and shrines of Chanthaburi

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Visiting some of Chanthaburi’s temples, churches and shrines is a fascinating way to get a sense for the area’s cultural diversity. Four sites are easy to include on a stroll around the Chanthaboon old town, and we’ve added four more that you might sprinkle in while on day trips elsewhere in the province.

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In Chanthaburi town

Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception Anchoring a community of Vietnamese-Thai Catholics, this striking gothic edifice stands as the city’s most noticeable landmark. A French mission was first established here in 1711 and the site remained active during the French occupation of 1893 to 1905, with the current structure completed by Vietnamese in 1909. The nave features marble floors and depictions of saints in the stained glass windows. Out in the courtyard, thousands of sapphires adorn a statue of the Virgin Mary that collects offerings of flower garlands, as though it were a Buddhist or Hindu shrine.

A striking edifice. Photo taken in or around Temples, churches and shrines of Chanthaburi, Chanthaburi, Thailand by David Luekens.

A striking edifice. Photo: David Luekens

The first Vietnamese arrived in Chanthaburi in the 19th century after fleeing persecution in Cochinchina (southern Vietnam), and two more waves followed in the 20th century in response to French colonialism and, later, the communist takeover that followed the American War. The local Vietnamese have assimilated in many ways and mass is now conducted in the Thai language. The nave is usually locked; to look inside you’ll have to attend mass or inquire at the church office for a private tour. The cathedral stands on the east bank of the river and is easy to reach via a footbridge from Chanthaboon old town.

Wat Khetnaboonyaram Also known by the Vietnamese name of Chua Phuc Dien, this 200-year-old pagoda in the heart of town displays that not all of Chanthaburi’s Vietnamese-Thai residents adhere to Catholicism. A dragon-studded gate leads to the inner sanctuary featuring several images including Amithaba, the buddha worshiped in Pure Land Buddhism; Kuan Yin, the goddess of compassion; and Maitreya, the chubby future buddha. This is not a major site but we think it’s worth a quick stop to cool off halfway down the old ... Travelfish members only (Around 1,200 more words) ... please log in to read the rest of this story.

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Popular attractions in Chanthaburi

A selection of some of our favourite sights and activities around Chanthaburi.

Best places to stay in Chanthaburi

A selection of some of our favourite places to stay in Chanthaburi.

What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Chanthaburi.
 Check prices, availability & reviews on Agoda or Booking
 Read up on where to eat on Chanthaburi.
 Check out our listings of things to do in and around Chanthaburi.
 Read up on how to get to Chanthaburi, or book your transport online with 12Go Asia.
 Do you have travel insurance yet? If not, find out why you need it.
 Planning on riding a scooter in Chanthaburi? Please read this.
 Buy a SIM card for Thailand—pick it up at the airport when you arrive.
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Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Chanthaburi? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Thailand.

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