The temples of Old Bangkok

Wat Chaiyathit, an early Ayutthaya-period temple in Bangkok. Source: Bangkok Post 20140731

A feature on the old temples of the original settlement of Bangkok, in Thon Buri, on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River.

Wat Chaiyathit, an early Ayutthaya-period temple in Bangkok. Source: Bangkok Post 20140731
Wat Chaiyathit, an early Ayutthaya-period temple in Bangkok. Source: Bangkok Post 20140731

Revisiting the original Bangkok
Bangkok Post, 31 July 2014

Thon Buri, the portion of Bangkok lying on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River, is widely known for its scenic waterways, historic temples, diverse culture and many culinary delicacies. A study, carried out by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration’s Department of City Planning in 2012, listed 452 Buddhist temples in the capital, including 211 in Thon Buri. A self-designed walking trip, inspired by a trip led by culture expert Chulapassorn Panomvan Na Ayudhya, allowed us to explore six temples in the Thon Buri district of Bangkok Noi, most of which are in a sub-district called Bang Khun Non.

During the Ayutthaya period (1350-1767), the only settlement in what is now Thon Buri was a small riverside village known as Bangkok. That name may be a derivation from koh, meaning “island”, or it may come from the Thai word for the hog plum tree, makok nam, many of which used to be grown there. Since it was next to a major transportation route, the Chao Phraya, and close to where this river flows into the sea, the village of Bangkok became an important transit point for goods entering or leaving the country.

Full story here.

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Author: Noel Tan

Dr Noel Hidalgo Tan is the Senior Specialist in Archaeology at SEAMEO-SPAFA, the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Archaelogy and Fine Arts.

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