Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon

The large chedi (the dome-shaped structure with a pointy head) in the middle is so big you can see it miles away!

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When we first arrived, the first thing that we noticed from quite a distance before entering was the large chedi. The ancient buildings were so old and beautiful it certainly brought me a sense of admiration and excitement! Besides the large chedi that stuck out like a sore thumb, once I stepped into the ancient building’s compound, I was presented with rows of buddha statues aligned along the walls outside. Some dressed in yellow robes while others did not.

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The rows of buddha statues surrounding the chedis. Image credit: http://www.instagram.com/rinuo/

The rows of buddha statues have apparently been replaced by new ones as the original ones collapsed over time. An interesting note is that Ayutthaya History mentioned that the base of the buddha statues contained ashes of the dead. However, I have no idea whose ashes it could be. It could either be the monk’s ashes, civilians ashes or maybe even the people who fought in the war against the Burmese. There wasn’t enough information for me to find out.

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The outside view from the wishing well.

After admiring the buddha statues with just a few seconds (because we only have 3 hours), I climbed the stairs into the large chedi. The stairs were quite steep, however as always, going up isn’t the problem. Going down, later on, will be quite a challenge for a height-phobic sapiens such as I.

What appears to be a wishing well appeared right before my eyes the moment I stepped onto the highest floor.

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Wishing Well

Curiosity fueled me, so I took a look at the bottom of the well, only to see a handful of shining coins and paper money down below. Maybe the well is not that great at granting wishes?

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Inside the wishing well

After taking my time observing everything, I took a trip to a lower level to look at the peripheral of the chedi. There was nothing else that was out of the ordinary about the two smaller chedis, however, the view of Ayutthaya from this point was quite spectacular. As you can see down below. The buddha statues aligned the walls pretty well, however, only one of the smaller statues was dressed in a yellow robe, I do wonder why.

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The scenery view from the middle section of  Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon

Fortunately, before we left, we stumbled upon this reclining buddha statue. There wasn’t anything noteworthy about the statue though at least we didn’t miss out on something that could have been amazing. According to Lonely Planet, the reclining buddha is 7meters long and if you manage to somehow stick a coin between the Buddha’s feet, you’ll be awarded good luck (really, who comes up with this stuff). We took around 45 minutes for the entire temple, however, it is possible to take up to around 1 hour plus if you wish to leisure around and discover a bit more. This was one of my favorite temples in Ayutthaya, probably my second favorite out of all of them!

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Entrance fee: Free
Opening Hours: 0800 – 1630



References


  1. Vandenberg, T. (2016). History of Ayutthaya – Temples & Ruins – Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon. Ayutthaya-history.com. Retrieved 4 December 2016, from http://www.ayutthaya-history.com/Temples_Ruins_YaiChaiMongkhon.html

 

 

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