Wat Phayap is worth a visit to check out a “cave” that was created by plastering sparkling rocks to a concrete frame.
The one-of-a-kind shrine room materialised in the 1990s, when Wat Phayap’s abbot began collecting shiny stones that cement companies were blasting out of mountains over in Saraburi province. The monk created a cave-like room beneath his residence, fastening the rocks all over the walls. It feels almost like an actual cave thanks to the many stalactites and stalagmites hung from the ceiling.
The dim room also features several Buddha images, including some that are up to three centuries old. The largest is a white seated Buddha with hands striking the Dharmachakra mudra, also known as the gesture of teaching the wheel of Dharma. You’ll also find a glittering Dharma wheel near a spot where a monk often sits, trading blessings for alms.
Wat Phayap is a large temple but there’s not much else to see beyond the cave. An image of a baby Buddha stands next to the ordination hall, holding a hand up as if to say, “I’m number one!” Within a three-minute stroll of Ya Mo, Wat Phayap is easy to visit on the way into the old quarter.
How to get there
Marked by an English sign, the gate to Wat Phayap is located towards the northern end of Chumphon Rd, just northeast of Ya Mo. Once inside the grounds you’ll see green English signs pointing to “Amazing cave in the city”.
By David Luekens
Last updated on 7th September, 2016.