A big reclining Buddha
Crafted in the 1970s and known as Phra Phuttha Hattha Mongkhon, the image’s facial expression resembles the reclining Buddha at Bangkok’s Wat Pho, though it’s not gilded and also not quite as long. It’s one of the city’s most revered Buddha images, along with the standing Buddha at the top of the mountain in Hat Yai Municipal Park.
The head can be viewed from outside, but to see the rest you’ll need to walk inside the chunky concrete wihaan topped by an image of Vishnu, the Hindu god riding the three-headed elephant, Erawan. There’s not much else to see at the temple other than a few minor halls housing some smaller seated Buddha images.
Wat Hat Yai Nai is a compulsory stop for many Thai tourists and Buddhist locals on weekends. Expect to see crowds of uniformed kids if arriving when the associated school is letting out.
Wat Hat Yai Nai is located off Phet Kasem Road at the end of Phet Kasem Soi 26, three kilometres west of the train station. A tuk tuk or motorbike taxi from the train station shouldn’t cost more than 200 baht round trip.
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.