Echoes of the Bayon
Published: 18th June, 2016
The centrepiece is a large Bayon-style sanctuary made of laterite blocks. It’s the northernmost example of the architectural style perfected by Jayavarman VII, a Khmer king who added the magnificent Angkor Thom to the ancient city of Angkor. While Wat Chao Chan is far more modest, it stands as an important reminder that the Thais were not the first to pour creative resources into the area.
Draped in trees, the multi-tiered prang has reticulated corners that resemble lotus pedals rising to a pointed top. A tall and narrow reliquary once housed sacred relics, while Buddha images would have been placed in the surrounding niches. Adorned with laterite seated Buddha images so old that only the forms are vaguely distinguishable, a laterite base fronts the complex and was part of a wihaan added during the Sukhothai period.
Wat Chao Chan is located just west of Wat Choem Chun. Admission is free.
David Luekens first came to Thailand in 2005 when Thai friends from his former home of Burlington, Vermont led him on a life-changing trip. Based in Thailand since 2011, he spends much of his time eating in Bangkok street markets and island hopping the Andaman Sea.
These tours are provided by Travelfish partner GetYourGuide.
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