Photo: This setting helps Wat Sala Loi earn its name, which means “Temple of the Floating Pavilions”.

Wat Sala Loi

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Established by Ya Mo and her husband in 1827, Wat Sala Loi is a highly revered temple that received quite a makeover in the 1970s.


Photo of Wat Sala Loi

The highlight of the “Temple of the Floating Pavilions” is a large wihaan designed in a contemporary Thai style with sharply slanting roofs and walls that are supposed to create the feel of a ship riding the waves. Adorning the outer walls, ceramic tiles from Dan Kwian display scenes from the life of the Buddha. In 1973 the Siam Architects Society awarded the wihaan as the best avant-garde religious building of the year.

Inside the wihaan, a roughly five-metre-tall white standing Buddha image is depicted wearing a cape with two hands raised in the holding back the ocean posture. It’s a highly unusual depiction that reminded us a little of the storm troopers from Star Wars. The surrounding walls narrow towards the back of the hall, forming a triangular frame around the Buddha.

A small pond topped by pavilions and elevated footpaths helps Wat Sala Loi earn its name behind the wihaan. The grounds also feature a large concrete shrine room housing an image of Ya Mo placed high above the ground. Out front, an ugly concrete car park bustles with vendors selling lottery tickets and caged birds and fish that people purchase to set free.

We found the whole affair to be a bit kitschy, but it could be worth a trip out here if unusual Buddha images intrigue you.


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How to get there
Wat Sala Loi is located three km northeast of Ya Mo; tuk tuks charge around 150 baht for a round trip from downtown. If coming on your own, cross the moat to the north of the old quarter and head east to where Rop Mueang Rd (Highway 224) turns south, across from the northeast corner of the old quarter. A side lane cuts east from this curve and is marked by a gate with the temple’s name written in Roman letters, and from here it’s a five-minute stroll to the temple.

Wat Sala Loi
3 km northeast of Ya Mo
Admission: Free

Location map for Wat Sala Loi

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