Photo: Evening light at Wat Phlap Phlachai with Khao Wang in the background.

Temples of Phetchaburi

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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.





Start on Damnoen Kasem Road at Wat Mahathat Worawihan, the most revered temple in Phetchaburi. It’s also the most recognisable wat thanks to a Khmer-style prang that stands 42 metres tall alongside four smaller prangs and a four-sided cloister lined with dozens of Buddha images. Built in the 12th century at a point that pretty much marked the southern limit of the Khmer empire, the prangs were made of laterite and later covered in the white plaster seen today. Locals claim that relics of the Buddha were enshrined inside.

Wat Mahathat is easy to find... Photo taken in or around Temples of Phetchaburi, Phetchaburi, Thailand by David Luekens.

Wat Mahathat is easy to find... Photo: David Luekens

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 ... please log in to read the rest of this story.


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Temples of Phetchaburi
Scattered around central Phetchaburi

Location map for Temples of Phetchaburi

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