Photo: Street scenes around Sakhon Nakhon.

Wat Phra That Choeng Chum

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The most important Buddhist site in Sakhon Nakhon province, Wat Phra That Choeng Chum marks the spot where four fully enlightened buddhas -- including Shakyamuni himself -- are said to have laid footprints.


Photo of Wat Phra That Choeng Chum

The large and centrally located monastery is worth a visit, even if the actual footprints were covered over by the namesake chedi.

Built in the 18th century, the slender Lao-style chedi rises to 24 metres, topped by a multi-tiered golden umbrella. Its broad base covers the Buddha prints and a smaller stone prang built by the Khmers back around the 10th century, when the area was one of the northernmost outposts of the Khmer empire. It’s believed that a future buddha will some day lay another footprint, though it might look funny in the concrete-and-tile surface now encasing the complex.

An adjacent four-side wihaan with gabled roof houses Sakhon Nakhon’s most sacred Buddha image, Luang Phor Phra Ong Saen, cast in the Chiang Saen style back in the 13th century. You’ll also find a collection of smaller ancient Buddha images placed behind bars that make it seem like they’re serving out a prison sentence.

The extremely highly revered temple draws busloads of merit makers, especially on weekends and holidays. It also features on Sakhon Nakhon’s provincial seal and the “tails” side of Thailand’s 10 satang coin (worth a full tenth of a baht). Much of the revelry for the annual Wax Castle festival happens here in October, and a separate festival is held in January to honour the chedi.


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Wat Phra That Choeng Chum
West of Nong Han Lake at the corner of Charoen Mueang and Rueang Sawat
Admission: Free

Location map for Wat Phra That Choeng Chum

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