Temples of Thailand - a photographic journey
Bangkok Area Provinces: Central North North-East West South East
The Ancient Siam Civilization of
Wat Na Phra Men
A temple, which is still in use today and the only one, which was not destroyed during the Burmese invasion, because the cannon that was pointed at the temple exploded and fatally injured the Burmese king. It is a good example of a typical Ayutthaya-style temple. The full name is Wat Na Phra Meru Rachikaram. Inside the Phra Ubosot is a famous and valuable statue of Buddha called Phra Buddha Nimit Wichitmarnmolee Srisanphet Boromtrilokanat. It was created in 1505 and is the largest and most beautifully dressed Buddha image in Ayutthaya. On our third visit to Ayutthaya in 2005 (2548) we learned about the small viharn behind the main building, which contains the over 1000 years old Dvaravati-style statue of Phra Kanthararat. It dates back to the Srivichai period and is one of only 5 statures of this style and size in Thailand, but the only one made of bluish limestone.
We went back a few times, mainly to pay our respect to the presiding Buddha image. However, during our last visit in November 2008 it was very obvious that this temple is really nothing more than a tourist spot today. Tourists, or even just western looking people, will have to pay entrance fee. It doesn't matter if you just come to make tumbun at this temple, you will be asked in a very unpolite way to pay. The fact that Thai people don't have to pay and just because you are not a Thai you have to pay would be considered very racist outside Thailand.