A walking tour
Published/Last edited or updated: 24th June, 2017
Three impressive temples—Wat Mahathat Worawihan, Wat Kampheng Laeng and Wat Yai Suwannaram—collectively display the range of religious artistry that helped shape Phetchaburi from the 12th to 18th centuries. The following three-kilometre walking or bicycling itinerary will also take you to lesser-known temples plus the riverfront, old teak houses and fresh markets.
Fronting the complex stand a series of halls with gabled roofs punctuated by impressive Ayutthaya-period stuccowork, a specialty of Phetchaburi. Nagas, bulls and thep phanom (“praying angels”) rise from the eaves as Garuda lifts Shiva and lions nuzzle up to a Bodhi tree. The detail is exquisite. Step inside the ordination hall to watch a monk blessing visitors in front of several revered Buddha images and some interesting murals—keep an eye out for the depictions of people mooning one another!
From Wat Mahathat Worawihan you might pop across the street for a coffee and Mon-style food at Baan Khao Chae before heading briefly east on Phra Song Road and cutting left (north) on narrow Khlong Krachaeng Road. Just past a house owned by the late Manat Chanyong, one of the most talented and popular Thai writers of the 20th century, you’ll spot another collection of fine stuccowork along with crumbling chedis and a riverfront statue of 19th-century Siamese poet, Sunthorn Phu, at Wat Phlap Phlachai.
Continue north, passing century-old teak houses and a shrine to the Ramayana epic’s monkey king, Hanuman, and then turn right and cross the bridge marked by images of three-headed elephant Erawan. On the other side, step down to your right and stroll north along the narrow lane closest to the river, stopping to peep the street art and perhaps grab a snack at Rim Nam ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 700 words.)
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.
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