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Wa (ว้า)

Name of a hill tribe in northern Thailand. Although only a few thousand live in Thailand, they are a large people with their majority living in Burma and Yunnan, where their number is estimated at around two million. Besides this, they are perhaps one of the most indigenous people in the region. Headhunters at first, then communists, many now have become illicit drug providers. According to some, Wa is a Shan term for aborigine and their worship of human skulls has prompted the use of the name Ta Wa (Wild Wa), as opposed to Lawa (Tame Wa). They are also called Wa Daeng (Red Wa).

waan haang jorakae (ว่านหางจระเข้)

See haang jorakae.

waan kaab hoy (ว่านกาบหอย)

Thai designation for a plant with the scientific name Rhoeo spathacea, in English commonly known by a variety of names, including Moses-in-the-Cradle, Purple-leaved Spiderwort, Oyster Plant, etc. It consists of succulent herbaceous stems to 25 centimeters long, which are green above and purple on the underside, in order to enhance photosynthesis (fig.). When flowering, it bears small, white, 3-parted flowers at base of leaves, held between 2 purple bracts (fig.). It is widely used as a low, bedding groundcover in parks and gardens. Fresh leaves are said to treat sore throat and cough, and to relieve thirst. In addition they can also be used as an external anti-inflammatory. In Thai it is also called waan kaab hoy khraeng (ว่านกาบหอยแครง). The plant is very similar to the creeper Purple Heart (Tradescantia pallida), which in Thai translates as hua jai muang (หัวใจม่วง). Also transcribed wahn kahb hoi. WATCH VIDEO.

waanlawichanih (วาลวิชณี)

Thai. ‘Yak's tail fan’. See padwaanlawichanih.

wabi-sabi (侘寂)

Japanese.  Term for a concept in Japanese aesthetics that evolves around the acceptance of transience and imperfection, with roots partly in Buddhism. It is prevalent in many forms of Japanese art and emphasizes on imperfection and impermanence. It is characterized by principles such as roughness, simplicity, asymmetry, and  modesty. The term may be translated as ‘forlorn and isolated’, though a more freely translated suggestion is austere beauty and rustic patina.

wachira (วชิร)

Thai for vajra, meaning sceptre, diamond or thunderbolt (fig.). The name appears frequently as a prefix in Thai nomenclature, e.g. Wachirawut, Wachiralongkorn, etc. See also THEMATIC STREET LIGHT (1) and (2).

Wachiralongkorn (วชิราลงกรณ)

Another -often used- transliteration for the name of prince Vajiralongkorn.

Wachirayahnawarohrot (วชิรญาณวโรรส)

Thai. Name of the tenth Supreme Patriarch of Thailand, who was in office from 1910 to 1921 AD. He was of royal descent, born as Prince Manutsayanaak Manop, the 47th child of King Mongkhut, whom himself lived for 27 years as a Buddhist monk before ascending the throne in 1851 as King Rama IV (fig.). His full ecclesiastical name and title is Somdet Phra Maha Samana Chao Krom Phraya Wachirayahnawarohrot. The Thai term for the patriarch is Phrasangkaraat, yet due to his royal descent, he was addressed as Phrasangkaraat Chao, rather than the usual Phrasangkaraat, which is used for patriarchs who were born as commoners. Also transliterated Vajirananavarorasa. See also POSTAGE STAMPS.

Wachirawut (วชิราวุธ)

1. Thai. ‘Armed with a wachira’. Name of the Thai king (fig.) with the crown title Rama VI (fig.) who ascended the throne on Sunday 23 October 1910, after the death of King Chulalongkorn and remained king until his death in 1925. He is often portrayed holding a sceptre, which in Thai is known as a wachira (fig.), a reference to both his name and status, and the top of the lanterns surrounding the area of his statue in front of Bangkok's Lumphini Park (fig.), are likewise adorned with a sceptre (fig.). Statues and monuments of this king can be found in many places nationwide, especially in and around Bangkok (map - fig.). His achievements (fig.) include the change of the Siamese flag from a red field with a White Elephant (fig.) to the current horizontally red-white-blue-white-red striped banner (fig.), the introduction of the Krut Trah Tang Hahng (fig.), the establishment of the look seua (fig.), the construction of his Chaleemongkhon Asana Residence (fig.), etc. His name is also transcribed Vajiravudh. See list of Thai kings.

2. A designation for the Vedic god Indra.

waen fah (แว่นฟ้า)

Thai. ‘Embedded with pieces of glass’. Name of an art form in which objects, figurines or statues are inlaid with mirrored-glass. It is often used in trays, bases or phaan (fig.), and with statues or figurines sometimes coloured glass is used (fig.). See also kaew.

Waen Kon (แหวนกล)

Thai. ‘Magical ring’. Golden rings set with gemstones which can be separated into four connected rings. It is typically produced in Chanthaburi province and is usually made into the shape of various animals, such as a serpent, naga, crab, fish, shrimp, etc.

wah (วา)

Thai longitudinal measurement equal to ca. two meters, or 96 niw, which exactly equals 199.968 centimeters.

wahn (วาฬ)

See pla wahn.

wahnon (วานร)

Pali word for ‘monkey’ or ‘ape’, which in Thai is called ling. However, when referring to the monkey-warriors of the Ramakien, usually the Pali term wahnon is used rather than ling, as in Wahnon Sip-paet Mongkut. See also THEMATIC STREET LIGHT and LIST OF RAMAKIEN CHARACTERS & NAMES.

Wahnon Sip-paet Mongkut (วานรสิบแปดมงกุฎ)

Pali-Thai. ‘Eighteen crowned monkeys’. Term used to refer to the eighteen deities that took avatars as monkey-warriors. They occur in the epic story of the Ramakien, and include Phra Phareuhadsabodih (fig.), who reincarnated as Malunthakeson (fig.); Phra Phirun, who became Wayabud (fig.); Phra Isaan, who took as avatar Chaiyaamphawaan (fig.); and Phra Angkahn (fig.), who was reborn as Wisantrahwih (fig.). See also LIST OF RAMAKIEN CHARACTERS & NAMES.

Waht Witthayawat (วาจวิทยาวัฑฒน์)

Thai. Name of a Luang, who was the first dean and founder of the Faculty of Dentistry of the Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, which he in 1940 established as the nation's first institution for the education of oral health personnel. The Museum of Dentistry (fig.), located on the university's campus, was established in commemoration of Waht Witthayawat and is named after him. Also transliterated Vach Vidyavaddhana.

wai (ไหว้)

Thai. The hands brought together in front of the chest or face, or above the head, as a greeting (fig.) or to pay respect (fig.). The height of the hands increases with the amount of respect paid, depending on who is greeted and according to social status. The more respect given the higher the hands are held (fig.). The young or the subordinate should always wai the older or senior person first, as it is believed by some that the opposite may cause the life of the former to be shortened. In Buddhism, this gesture, which is also known as phranommeua, correspondents with a mudra called namaskara in Sanskrit and namadsakahn in Thai, which represents prayer. It is often a gesture made by Avalokitesvara when depicted with more than two arms. See also wai kruh and aphiwaht. WATCH VIDEO.

wai kruh (ไหว้ครู)

Thai. ‘Greeting to the teacher’. Homage to a teacher, instructor or lecturer by bringing the hands together as in a traditional greeting or wai. See also Wan Kruh and compare with ram muay. Also transcribed wai kroo. See POSTAGE STAMPS (1) and (2).

waiolin mai phai (ไวโอลินไม้ไผ่)

Thai. ‘Bamboo violin’. Name for two different kinds of bowed string instrument, both made from bamboo. The first one is a stringed musical instrument made entirely from bamboo, including even the strings. It consists of a section of thick bamboo with a length of about 70-80 centimeters, with the strings cut out vertically from the trunk itself and held up from the surface by tiny pieces of wood which are also used to tune the instrument. It is played with a bow and used particularly by the northern hill tribe people (fig.) of Mae Hong Son province. Besides this a second model of bamboo violin exists. The latter also has a body or sound box made from a bamboo cylinder, but with real violin strings, a neck and a peg box. This one is found more commonly, throughout Thailand.

Waiyawet (ไวยเวทย์)

Thai.  ‘One with Magical Powers’. Name of a yak character who is depicted with a red complexion and bulging tah phlohng, i.e. ‘wide open eyes’. He wears a chadah-style crown similar to that of Indrachit (fig.) and that of Totsakiriton (fig.), of which the latter also has a red complexion. His weapon is a gada, i.e. a club or mace. Unlike many other giant characters, he has no upright fangs in the corners of his mouth, but rather protruding vampire-like teeth. His usually referred to as Thao Waiyawet and also transliterated Wayawet. At Wat Thipsukhontharam (fig.) in Kanchanaburi, he is erected in pair with Subankhiri (fig.), as guardians of Phra Phutta Mettaprachathai (fig.). See also MAP and TRAVEL PICTURES.

Wajirunhit (วชิรุณหิศ)

First crown prince of the Rattanakosin period. Born on 2 July 1878 heir to the throne and son of King Chulalongkorn and Queen Sawang Watthana (fig.). According to some sources he was more intelligent than most of his peers and was very conscientious.  At the age of 13 he wrote his own diary with an agenda of duties and responsibilities for himself as future king. He was the favourite of King Chulalongkorn, who personally instructed and prepared him with the purpose to succeed him. In 1895, he unexpectedly died from typhoid and was succeeded by his thirteen year old half-brother Wachirawut (fig.), the eldest son of Queen Saowapha, who in 1910 eventually ascended the throne as Rama VI. He has a memorial statue in front of the Benjamaraat Waranuson Building (fig.) at Wat Mahathat Yuwaraja Rangsarit (fig.). Also transcribed Vajirunhis. See also TRAVEL PICTURES.

wak (วรรค)

Thai. A space between phrases or sentences used in Thai writing, in place of punctuation marks.

wala kote (ဝါးလက်ခုပ်)

Burmese. Name of a bamboo clapper, a traditional musical instrument from Myanmar. It consists of a bamboo cylinder of which the top part has been split into two halves, while from the bottom part the centre has been cut away leaving just two stick-like grips, that remain attached at the very bottom by one of the natural segment joints in bamboo. It is played by releasing and squeezing the grips at the bottom part which causes the top part to clap.

Wali (วาลี)

Thai. Name of a character from the story Phra Aphaimanih (fig.) by Sunthorn Phu (fig.). She is an ugly-looking, yet intelligent woman commander in the army of Phaleuk (ผลึก) and responsible for the royal harem of concubines. When Prince Utsaren and his father, the King of Langka, attacked the Kingdom of Phaleuk, Utsaren is captured. To avoid an even bigger battle if the prince would be set free, he is instead teased and taunted by the ugly Wali until he dies of rage. As a result, Wali is in turn killed by an illness caused by the ghost of Utsaren. Also referred to as Nang Wali, i.e. ‘Miss Wali’. See also POSTAGE STAMP.

walking Buddha

An important new development in iconographic art introduced during the Sukhothai period. Images of walking Buddhas refer to a scene in the life of the Buddha when he returned from the Tavatimsa heaven after he preached there to his mother who had died seven days after his birth. He is descending to earth by stairs accompanied by the gods Brahma and Indra. In combination with a vitarka or dhammachakka mudra this form refers to peripatetic instruction. Today, images of walking Buddhas are found throughout Thailand (fig.).

Walrus Tusk Beetle

Common name for a species of longhorn beetle in the family Cerambycidae, and with the scientific designation Dorysthenes walkeri. READ ON.

wan (วัน)

1. Thai for ‘day’.

2. Thai  for ‘fly’ (insect), a word used besides the more common term malaeng wan.

3. Thai for ‘forest’, ‘grove’ and ‘orchard’, as in amphawan, i.e. mango orchard’ or mango forest’.

Wan Anurak Moradok Thai (วันอนุรักษ์มรดกไทย)

See Thai Heritage Conservation Day.

Wan Boromma Racha Phisek (วันบรมราชาภิเษก)

Thai term for Coronation Day, i.e. the single occasion of the actual coronation event of a King of Thailand, in contrast to the annual commemoration thereof, which is called Wan Chat Mongkhon.

Wan Damrong Rachanuphaap (วันดำรงราชานุภาพ)

Thai for ‘Damrong Rachanuphaap Day’, an annual memorial day held on 1 December, the day that coincides with the date of this prince's demise in 1943, and on which he is now annually remembered. Unlike the annual Chulalongkorn Day in October, it is not a public holiday. Also transcribed Wan Damrong Rajanubhab. See also Damrong Rachanuphaap and wan.

Wan Chakri (วันจักรี)

Thai name for Chakri Day. See also Chakri and wan.

Wan Chaleum Phra Chonma Phansa (วันเฉลิมพระชนมพรรษา)

Thai. Birthday of King Rama IX, which is 5 December and coincides with National Day, as well as with Father's Day in Thailand, as the King is largely as the father of the nation. On this day, public and company buildings, as well as many private homes across the nation are adorned with the yellow personal royal flag of the monarch (fig.), as well as the Thai national flag. In addition, shrines with large pictures of the Thai monarch are erected and adorned with flowers and other offerings, and across the country there are fireworks (fig.). On the King's 80th birthday, the firework even included some personalized shapes (fig.). The symbol of Father's Day is the Canna, known in Thai as Phuttaraksah (fig.).

Wan Chat Mongkhon (วันฉัตรมงคล)

Thai. ‘Day of the Auspicious Royal Umbrella (fig.)’. Name for Coronation Day, when Thai sovereignty is celebrated. It began in the reign of King Rama IV, when it was held od May 15, and during the reign of King Rama IX it was celebrated on May 5th, yet in 2019, with the coronation of King Rama X it changed to be on May 4th, from that year onward. See also wan, chat and mongkhon.

Wang (วัง)

1. Thai. Name of a river in North Thailand that near Nakhon Sawan merges with the rivers Nan, Yom (fig.) and Ping (fig.), thus forming the Chao Phraya River (fig.). See MAP.

2. Thai for ‘palace’. If it is the palace of a king it is called Phra Rachawang. Compare with the Chinese word wang.

wang (王)

Chinese for ‘king’ or ‘ruler’. The character consists of three horizontal strokes and one vertical stroke. It is a pictograph in which the top horizontal stroke represents ‘heaven’, the bottom horizontal stroke ‘earth’ and the middle horizontal stroke the ‘emperor’ or ‘king’, who was regarded as a Son of Heaven and as such the liaison between heaven and earth, a task symbolized by the vertical stroke in the character (fig.). Tigers have a distinctive mark on their forehead, that strongly resembles this Chinese character (fig.). The tiger, rather than the lion, is hence regarded as the King of the Animals in Chinese culture, simultaneously symbolizing royalty and fearlessness. The Thai word for ‘palace’ is similarly Wang and suggests a likely etymological relation to the Chinese word for king. See also yu, zhu, and CHINESE CHARACTER FORMATION & ETYMOLOGY.

Wang Ban Dokmai (วังบ้านดอกไม้)

Thai. ‘Flower House Palace’. Name of the former residence of Prince Burachat Chaiyakon, the Krom Phra of Kamphaeng Phet (fig.), located in Bangkok's Ban Baat District. After it was abandoned by the prince, the building for a while also housed the Revenue Department, when the latter moved its offices from Ho Ratsadakon Phiphat (fig.), located within the Grand Palace complex. Today, Wang Ban Dokmai seems to stand idle and in need of some patching-up. See also POSTAGE STAMP and MAP.

Wang Bang Khun Phrom (วังบางขุนพรหม)

Thai. Name of a former Royal Palace, located on the banks of the Chao Phraya River. READ ON.

Wang Burapha Phirom (วังบูรพาภิรมย์)

Thai. Name of a former Royal Palace, that was once located in the South of Rattanakosin Island. READ ON.

Wang Ka (วังกะ)

Thai. Until 1939 the (former) name of Sangkhlaburi.

Wang Chan Kasem (วังจันทรเกษม)

Thai. ‘Happy Moon Palace’. Name of a royal mansion in Bangkok's Dusit area and since 1941 the home of the Ministry of Education. READ ON.

Wang Klai Kangwon (วังไกลกังวล)

1. Thai. ‘Palace Far Away from Sorrow’. Name of the Royal Summer Palace in Hua Hin, built between 1927 and 1929 on the order of King Prajadhipok and despite its name, it became the place where King Rama VII was informed of the 1932 Revolution that ended his power and replaced the Absolute Monrachy with a Constitutional Monrachy. The palace is still used as a gettaway from Bangkok by the current King and Queen. See MAP.

Wang Klai Kangwon

2. Thai. ‘Palace Far Away from Sorrow’. Name of a school in Hua Hin, named after the Royal Summer Palace and where King Bhumipol Adulyadej initiated a royal project to use the THAICOM satellite for tele-education, which serves as the centre for disseminating secondary level education via satellite, to schools in rural areas. The project is honoured on a Thai postage stamp issued in 1997, to pay homage to and to publicize the genius of King Rama IX in telecommunications (fig.).

Wang Lang (วังหลัง)

Thai. ‘Rear Palace’. Royal title given to the third king, as well as to his residential palace. Compare with Wang Nah and see also Krom Phra Rachawang Bowon Sathaan Phimuk.

Wang Matcha (วังมัจฉา)

Thai. Fish Palace’ or ‘Palace [of the] Fish’. Name of the second level in the series of seven falls of the Erawan Waterfall (fig.) at Erawan National Park (fig.) in Kanchanaburi Province. The name refers to the fish that dwell in basin at the base of this cascade. Visitors can swim here and when resting in the water the fish will come over and nipple from any exposed skin taking many a bather by surprise, when they are unexpectedly treated with this underwater massage. See MAP and WATCH VIDEO.

Wang Nah (วังหน้า)

Thai. ‘Front Palace’. Royal title given to the viceroy or vice-king, as well as to his residential palace. Compare with Wang Lang and see also Krom Phra Rachawang Bowon Sathaan Mongkhon, as well as Wang Nah Chan Kasem in Ayutthaya (map - fig.).

Wang Parutsakawan (วังปารุสกวัน)

Thai. ‘Parutsakawan Palace’. Name of a European-style royal mansion in Bangkok's Dusit area, named after one of the four paradise gardens of the Hindu god Indra. READ ON.

Wang Pramuan (วังประมวญ)

Thai. ‘Combined Palace’. Name of the royal residence of Prince Phitayalongkorn (fig.) and later of his son Phisadet Ratchani. READ ON.

Wang Sra Pathum (วังสระปทุม)

Thai. ‘Lotus Pond Palace’. The residence of Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, located  in Bangkok's Pathumwan District, along Khlong Saen Saeb (fig.). It has been in use since 1915 and was previously the residence of Queen Sawang Watthana (fig.), a consort of King Rama V and the grandmother of King Bhumipon Adunyadet. The compound has several buildings, the main one being Phra Tamnak Yai (พระตำหนักใหญ่ - fig.), i.e. ‘Large Royal Residence’. See also sra and pathum, as well as MAP.

Wang Theptaroh Daen Mangkon Hom (วังเทพธาโร แดนมังกรหอม)

Thai. ‘Selasian Wood Palace, Realm of the Aromatic Dragons’. Name of a garden in Trang. READ ON.

Wang Wei (王维)

Chinese. Name of a Chinese poet and artist from the Tang Dynasty, who was also known as the Poetic Buddha, and one of the most celebrated men of arts of his time. Besides a poet, he was also a renowned painter, a successful statesman, and a talented musician who played the pipa (fig.). He was born in 701 AD and died in 761 AD. Of his poetic opus, a corpus of around 400 poems survive. Of the Jade Gate, the pass that was once at the frontier where China ended and Central Asia began, he infamously wrote: ‘If you go further West, you will see no more friends’.

Wang Witthayu (วังวิทยุ)

Thai. ‘Wireless Palace’. Name of the former residence of Prince Rangsit Prayurasakdi in Bangkok. READ ON.

Wang Woradit (วังวรดิศ)

Thai-Pali. ‘Palace of the Glorious Ditsakun Family’. Name of the former residence of Prince Damrong Rachanuphaap. READ ON.

wan kohn (วันโกน)

Thai. ‘Shaving day’. The day of the month on which Buddhist monks and novices shave their heads anew, in Thailand traditionally on the day before wan phen, i.e. the day of the new moon or full moon. It is said that one reason for monks and novices to shave their heads is to resemble the features of a naga, for just as the naga helped the Buddha in his ordeal to reach Enlightenment, also the children help their parents to get a better afterlife, by making merit for them by ordaining or becoming a buatnaag. In Thailand, monks and novices also shave off the eyebrows, whereas in neighbouring Theravada Buddhist countries, i.e. Myanmar, Cambodia, and Laos, monks and novices do not shave off the eyebrows, and in Myanmar, monks and novices shave their heads four times a month (fig.). See also buat and wan.

Wan Kruh (วันครู)

Thai. ‘Day of the teacher’. A day, in the past usually on a Thursday somewhere in June or July, because Thursday in the Phra prajam wan-system is associated with meditation and hence with learning and teaching. However, now the day is officially set to be on January 16th of each year, irrespective of what day it is (though depending on the school, it may still be held on another day or date), when students collectively pay respect to their teachers (wai kruh). On this day teachers (kruh means ‘teacher, tutor or master’ and derives from the word guru) receive offerings from their students. These could be anything, but usually include trays with phum dokmai, called phaan phum, as well as other flowers and gifts. However, formerly they would receive a golden tray with three kinds of flowers: i.e. the ixora, in Thai called ‘kem’, the flower of the ‘makeua’ or eggplant, and a lotus. These flowers each have their own symbolic implication: ‘kem’ means ‘needle’, and refers to the wit that the students will obtain by their tuition; the flower of the eggplant bends under the weight of its fruit and thus indicates obedience and respect; and the lotus is the general symbol for Enlightenment. Wan Kruh dates back to the period when the temple was the only centre of education.  of each year. The day is now officially known as Wan Kruh Haeng Chaht, i.e. ‘National Teacher's Day. Alternatively spelled Wan Kroo. Compare with ram muay. See also Phra Phareuhadsabodih and the postage stamp issued to mark the Centennial of Thai Teachers Training (fig.). See also ajaan and wan.

Wan Kruh Haeng Chaht (วันครูแห่งชาติ)

Thai. ‘National Teacher's day’. See Wan Kruh.

Wan Mae (วันแม่)

Thai. ‘Mother Day’. Thai public holiday and birthday of queen Sirikit. This refers to the queen's status as a public mother figure. It is annually celebrated on 12 August. Since jasmine, known in Thai as dok ma-li, is in Thailand considered a symbol for maternal love, it has been assigned to be the flower of Mother Day (fig.).

Wan Makha Bucha (วันมาฆบูชา)

Thai for the day when Makha Bucha is annually celebrated.

Wan Muay Thai (วันมวยไทย)

Thai. ‘Muay Thai Day’. Initiated in 2012 and annually on 6 February.

Wanna Uthayaan (วนอุทยาน)

Thai name for any forest park, similar to a National Park (Uthayaan Haeng Chaat), but with a different status and usually covering a smaller area.

wannayuk (วรรณยุกต์)

Thai linguistic term meaning ‘tone mark’. A tone mark is used to change the tone and the meaning of a word. Thai language has four tone marks but five tones: the middle or common tone (siang sahman - uses no tone mark), the low tone (mai ek - อ่),  the falling tone (mai toh - อ้), the high tone (mai trih - อ๊) and the rising tone (mai chatawah - อ๋). MORE ON THIS.

Wannongkrahn (วรรณนงคราญ)

Thai. Name of one of the seven guardian spirits that looks out for children and that are generally known as Mae Seua. This thevada guards all the children that are born on a Monday and is represented with an off-white (khao-nuan) human-like body and the head of a horse. Compare also with Ma Mian, i.e. Horse-Face (fig.).

wan phen (วันเพ็ญ)

Thai for ‘full-moon day’. The day (wan) of full moon often coincides with Buddhist holidays. A painting named Full Moon (จันทร์เพ็ญ) by the Thai artist Manit Poo-ahrih (มานิตย์ ภู่อารีย์) was depicted on a Thai postage stamp issued on 2 August 2013 (fig.) as part of a set of eight stamps on contemporary art in the third series of commemorative stamps to mark the 2013 World Stamp Exhibition. See also Wan Phra and Wan Tham Masawana.

Wan Pheut Mongkhon (วันพืชมงคล)

Thai for the day when the royal ploughing ceremony is held.

Wan Phra (วันพระ)

Thai. Buddhist holiday in Thailand. Often coinciding with wan phen or full moon day. Also Wan Tham Masawana. See also wan.

Wan Piya Maha Raj (วันปิยะมหาราช)

Thai. ‘Day of the beloved great king’. Thai name for Chulalongkorn Day, a public holiday on 23 October. Also transcribed Wan Piya Maha Raat. See also Piya Maha Raj.

Wan Raeng Ngan (วันแรงงาน)

Thai for ‘Work Force Day’. Thai term for Labour Day. It is a public holiday, held annually on May 1st.

Wan Rattamnoon (วันรัฐธรรมนูญ)

Thai. ‘Constitution Day’. Thai name for the public holiday celebrated on 10 December commemorating the constitution.

Wan Tamruat (วันตำรวจ)

Thai. ‘Police Day’. Thai name for the national observance day that since 1915 is held annually on 13 October in honour of the Royal Thai Police (fig.). National Police Day is celebrated in various ways, usually with every city and police station in the nation organizing its own ceremonies and events. Celebrations usually begin by a speech in front of the local police station and attended by local dignities and religious leaders, and followed by a memorial service in honour of police officers who died in the line of duty. After the official rituals, various events are organized that are usually also open to the public. Also referred to as Wan Tamruat Haeng Chaht (วันตำรวจแห่งชาติ), i.e. ‘National Police Day’.

Wan Tham Masawana (วันธรรมสวนะ)

Thai. Buddhist holiday. Often coinciding with full moon or wan phen. Also Wan Phra.

Wanthong (วันทอง)

Thai. ‘Day of Gold’ or ‘Golden Day’. One of the main characters from the story Khun Chang Khun Paen written by King Phra Phutta Leut La. The bigamous Wanthong vacillated between true love and respectability and was eventually executed by the king as a troublemaker. Her headless spirit Praet Wanthong later appeared to halt a fight between her son and her stepson. Wanthong is depicted on the fourth design of a set of four postage stamps (fig.) on the story, issued in 2011 to mark National Children's Day. Also known as Nang Phimphilalai.

wan tua (วันตัว)

Thai for the day of the week on which one was born. Like a horoscope in the West, the days of the week are in Thailand used to verify one's personality and fortune, like in the systems phra prajam wan, thep prajam wan, dao prajam wan, sat prajam wan and sih prajam wan.

Wan Visakha Bucha (วันวิสาขบูชา)

Thai name for the day when Visakha Bucha is annually celebrated.

Wan Waithayakon (วรรณไวทยากร)

Thai. Name of a grandson of King Mongkut (fig.), who was born on 25 August 1891. He studied at Oxford University and the Paris Institute of Political Studies, and was an Army Major General with the royal rank of Krom Meuan. READ ON.

Wan Yahwachon Haeng Chaht (วันเยาวชนแห่งชาติ)

Thai. ‘National Youth Day’. Set up in Thailand in the year 1985, after the United Nations announced 1985 as International Youth Year and invited its members to participate in the celebrations under the slogan Participation, Development and Peace. So, on 18 June 1985, the then government passed a decree to make September 20th of each year National Youth Day, a date chosen in honour of King Rama VIII, who was born on 20 September 1925 and ascended the throne as a youthful king, as well as of King Rama V, whose birthday is 20 September 1853. In 2010, a Thai postage stamp was issued to mark the 25th anniversary of the National Youth Day (fig.).

wararam (วราราม)

Pali-Thai. Title that derives from combining the words wora and araam, meaning ‘superb’ or ‘excellent’, and ‘temple’ respectively. It is often included in names of temples, e.g. Wat Sothon Wararam Worawihaan, Wat Thawon Wararam (fig.), Wat Arun Rajawararam, Wat Suthat Thepwararam, etc. It can also be transcribed warahrahm or waraaraam, and is sometimes pronounced woraram.

war elephant

See chang seuk.

warih (วารี)

Thai-Pali term for ‘water’, as in Warih Kunchon, i.e. ‘Elephant [of the] water’, and Sri Warih, i.e. ‘Holy water’.

Warih Kunchon (วารีกุญชร)

Thai-Pali. ‘Elephant [of the] water’. Also transcribed Waree Kunchorn. See Chang Nahm.

Warunih (วารุณี)

Thai goddess of wine. Also transliterated Warunee.

wasabi (わさび, 山葵, 和佐比)

Japanese. ‘Japanese horseradish’. Name of a plant which root is used as a spice. READ ON.


See feng.

Wasp Moth

Common name of a species of day-flying moth, that belongs to the family of Syntominae. The species, known by the scientific names Syntomis and Amata, has several subspecies, usually discerned by the different wing patterns and the rings on their abdomen. Species found in Southeast Asia include Syntomis huebneri (fig.) and Syntomoides imaon (fig.), the latter which is also commonly known as the Handmaiden Moth (fig.) or Tiger Grass Borer. Wasp Moths are about the same size of a small wasp and mimic its colouring. This disguise aides them in their protection, as predators are less likely to attack them if they believe they could be harmed. Even humans often take them for wasps. Adults feed on pollen and nectar from flowers. Their caterpillars can do substantial damage to orchard trees as they bore into the wood. It is found in Malaysia, as well as in Thailand, where it is known as phi seua yah, meaning ‘grass butterfly’.

Wasuthep (วาสุเทพ)

1. Thai name of Gustave Schau (fig.), the Danish Lieutenant Colonel who in 1897 AD was hired by King Chulalongkorn (fig.) to set up a Siamese Provincial Police force, and of which he became the first Commander-in-Chief. From 1913 to 1915 he was appointed to the fifth Chief of Police, with the rank of Major General and was bestowed with the bandasak or title of Phraya. Also transliterated Vasuthep. See also Royal Thai Police.

2. Another Thai name for Narai or Vishnu. Also transliterated Vasuthep.

wat (วัด,​​ ວັດ)

Thai and Laotian word for a Buddhist temple or monastery, derived from the Pali word avasa, as well as from the Sanskrit word avasatha. A typical wat in Thailand is generally used for both religious, educational and residential purposes, and consist in general of a bot (boht - fig.), the ordination hall; a viharn (fig. - wihaan), the prayer hall; a sala (fig.), an open shelter with a roof; and a number of kutis (fig.), the quarters of the monks. Larger temples usually also have a ho trai (fig.), a library for Buddhist writings; a mondop sometimes housing a Buddhapada; a ho klong (fig.), a drum tower; and a ho rakhang (fig.), a belfry; whilst smaller temples like the wat pah, forest temples, have in general no boht or ordination hall. In rural Thailand the wat usually serves as a religious centre as well as a social meeting place. Thailand has around 27,000 Buddhist temples. Also araam.

Wat Angthong (วัดอ่างทอง)

1. Thai. Name of a Theravada Buddhist temple in Prachuap Khirikhan.

2. Thai. Name of a Theravada Buddhist temple in Ayutthaya.

Wat Arun (วัดอรุณ)

Thai. ‘Temple of dawn’. An 86 meter high structure alongside the Chao Phrya River, with prangs in Khmer style consisting of a main stupa flanked by four smaller ones, which are actually prangs on a chedi shaped base. Its grooved towers indicate that the authority who commissioned the construction was a king. When General Taksin after the fall of Ayutthaya appeared with a liberating army on the Chao Phraya river at dawn the temple name was changed in Wat Jaeng, a synonym for the later Wat Arun which is derived from the Indian god of dawn, Aruna. In 1772 AD, when general Chakri, the later king Yotfa, was appointed supreme commander of the Siamese armies by King Taksin, he conquered the Laotian city of Vientiane and brought the Emerald Buddha (fig.) back to Thonburi where the statue was placed  in Wat Arun. Today the temple is still in use by members of the royal court for religious state ceremonies, such as the annual kathin phra racha thaan (fig.). Its official name is Wat Arun Rajawarahrahm and the temple is one of the few throughout Thailand conferred with the highest royal title of Rajavora Maha Vihaan. Its outline is part of the logo of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (fig.). On the quayside in front of the temple is a banner with in Thai the full name of Krung Thep, i.e. Bangkok (fig.). See also POSTAGE STAMPS (1), (2), (3), (4), (5), (6), (7) and (8), as well as MAP, TRAVEL PHOTOS (1), (2) and (3), QUADCOPTER PICTURE, and PANORAMA PICTURES (1), (2), and (3).

Wat Arun Rajawarahrahm (วัดอรุณราชวราราม)

Thai. The full and official name for Wat Arun. Often this name is followed by the highest royal title for temples, i.e. Rajavora Maha Vihaan. See MAP.

Wat Asokaraam (วัดอโศการาม)

Thai. Name of a Buddhist temple in Samut Prakan, named after the Indian-Mauryan Emperor Asoka. READ ON.

Wat Ban Den (วัดบ้านเด่น)

Thai. Name of an 80 rai Buddhist temple complex in the Mae Taeng area of Chiang Mai province. Located on a small hill the enormous compound is visible from afar. READ ON.

Wat Bang Khae Yai (วัดบางแคใหญ่)

Thai. Name of an ancient Buddhist temple in Samut Songkhram, which dates from the Ayutthaya period and was renovated in the reign of Rama II. READ ON.

Wat Bang Kung (วัดบางกุ้ง)

Thai. Name of an ancient temple in Samut Songkhram, which dates from the Ayutthaya period and was once used as a military camp for Siamese navy troops during the 1765 war against the invading Burmese. READ ON.

Wat Bang Peng Tai (วัดบางเพ็งใต้)

Thai. ‘Riverside Village Temple Underneath The Full Moon’. Name of a Buddhist temple in Minburi, located on Khlong Saen Saeb, a major canal that runs through Bangkok (fig.). On weekends and holidays the area around the temple turns into a floating market, which is known as Talaat Nahm Khwan-Riam (fig.) and on such days, when many people are expected to visit the area, the temple may organize special events to allow visitors to make merit. As is the case with most temples in Thailand, it serves as a social meeting place and blends in perfectly with the adjoining market. A section of the temple has a garden with statues of reusi, i.e. Thai hermits, in various poses that represent exercises to promote physical health (fig.) akin to those at Wat Poh (fig.). See also Ban Suan Phuttasin. See also POSTAGE STAMPS, MAP, and WATCH VIDEO.

Wat Bang Phli Yai Nai (วัดบางพลีใหญ่ใน)

Thai. Name of a Buddhist temple in Samut Prakan, that houses the much venerated Buddha image Luang Pho Toh (fig.), i.e. one of the five Buddha images mentioned in the Legend of the Five Floating Buddha Statues (fig.), known in Thai as Tamnaan Luang Pho Loy Nahm Hah Phi-Nong. Besides the Luang Pho Toh image, it also houses copies of two of the other Buddha images mentioned in the legend, namely Luang Pho Wat Ban Laem from Wat Phetchasamut Worawihan in Samut Songkhram and Luang Pho or Phra Phutta Sothon (fig.) from Wat Sothon Wararam Woriwihaan in Chachengsao (fig.). See MAP.

Wat Bang Phli Yai Nai

Wat Bang Thong (วัดบางโทง)

Thai. Previous name for the Buddhist temple Wat Mahathat Wachiramongkhon in Krabi (fig.).

Wat Ban Laem (วัดบ้านแหลม)

Thai. Former name for Wat Phet Samut Worawihaan in Samut Songkhram.

Wat Banrai (วัดบ้านไร่)

Thai. Name of a Buddhist temple in the tambon Kut Phiman, amphur Dan Khun Thot, in Nakhon Ratchasima province. This Korat temple is associated with the noble monk Luang Pho Khun (fig.), whose portrait and statues are found found all over the complex. It has a unique wihaan, which is named Whihaan Thep Withayakhom, after Luang Pho Khun's honorific name, i.e. Phra Thep Withayakhom. The hall is built in a pond, features a tusked elephant's head, is surrounded by mythological and religious characters, and is accessible via a long naga-bridge. Inside is a exhibition devoted to the life and work of Luang Pho Khun. See MAP.

Wat Benjamabophit (วัดเบญจมบพิตร)

Thai. The Marble Temple in Bangkok (fig.). Built around the turn of the 19th. century by order of King Chulalongkorn. The temple is built of white Carrara marble from Toscana and has a cruciform bot. The base of the central Buddha image (fig.), which is a copy of  the Phra Phutta Chinnarat image (fig.) from Phitsanulok, contains the ashes of king Rama V. In the gallery of the courtyard behind the bot there are 53 Buddha images (33 originals and 20 copies) that represent different poses and styles from throughout Thailand and other Buddhist countries. Half of the images are in a seated pose while the other half are in depicted in a standing pose, and hey have been erected in an alternate way, so that a seated image is always displayed next to a standing one and vice versa. Often abbreviated Wat Ben. See MAP.

Wat Boromaracha Kanchana Phisek Anuson (วัดบรมราชากาญจนาภิเษกอนุสรณ์)

Thai. Name of the largest Chinese Buddhist temple in Thailand. READ ON.

Wat Borom Niwaat Rachaworawihaan (วัดบรมนิวาสราชวรวิหาร)

Thai. ‘Great Royal Abode Temple’. Name of a royal temple in Bangkok of the class Phra Araam Luang. READ ON.

Wat Bowonniwet Wihaan Rachaworawihaan (วัดบวรนิเวศวิหารราชวรวิหาร)

Thai. ‘Royal Temple Hall and Glorious Abode’. Name of a temple in Bangkok's Phra Nakhon district. READ ON.

Wat Bowonsathaan Suthawaht (วัดบวรสถานสุทธาวาส)

Thai. ‘Exalted Temple and Pure Avasa’. Name of a temple in Bangkok's Phra Nakhon district. READ ON.

Wat Buak Khrok Luang (วัดบวกครกหลวง)

Thai. Name of a Buddhist temple in the tambon Tha Sala (ท่าศาลา) of Chiang Mai city. The temple's wihaan, believed to be more than 300 years old, is built in the Lan Na style and was restored during the reign of Kaew Nawarat, the last King of Lan Na and Prince Ruler of Chiang Mai. The wihaan houses a Buddha image in the marapajon pose and its walls are covered with 14 murals in blue, red, and white. The murals on the northern wall depict scenes from the Mahosot Chadok, while the murals on the southern side depict scenes from the Totsachat Chadok. See also POSTAGE STAMPS, TRAVEL PICTURES and MAP.

Wat Buppharam (วัดบุพพาราม)

Thai. Name of a Buddhist temple in Chiang Mai. READ ON.

Wat Burapha Ku Ka Sing (วัดบูรพากู่กาสิงห์)

Thai. Name of a Khmer prasat-style ancient religious monument in the Tambon Ku Ka Sing in Roi Et Province, built in a mixture of laterite and sandstone. The historical site comprises of three stone spires called prang that are built on a base, with the central prang being somewhat larger than the other two prangs. There is a Nandi mandapa with the statue of a bull, i.e. the vahana or vehicle of the Hindu god Shiva known as Nandi, evidence that the site, thought to date from BE 1560-1630, i.e. the early to late 11th century AD, was likely dedicated to the worship of Hindu god Shiva. In the front are rectangular library buildings and the ruins are surrounded by a wall, with gopura entrance pavilions at the four cardinal directions. On the outside thereof is a U-shaped moat that surrounds the outer wall. It has a long antechamber with three entrances at the front and at both sides. Many of the door posts have Khmer-style colonettes, i.e. decorated columns that are also referred to as pilasters. The base of the prang is made of sandstone and carved with lotus petals and flame-like kanok figures. Inside the inner chamber of the central prang, there is a yoni, i.e. the base meant to hold a lingam. The lintels found over the door posts depict the god Indra on his mount, i.e. the three-headed elephant Airavata, and kala faces, some with hands that hold a garland. Often referred to as simply Ku Ka Sing, which may also be transliterated Ku Kah Singh. See also EXPLORER'S MAP and WATCH VIDEO.

Wat Burapha Phiram (วัดบูรพาภิราม)

Thai. ‘Temple of the Pleasing East’ or ‘Temple of Happiness in the Foreground’. Name of a third-class royal temple in Roi Et, that was formerly known as Wat Hua Ro (วัดหัวรอ), and later as Wat Burapha, due to its location in the east of the city.  The temple was built in 1913 AD and was at that time used as overnight accommodation for traveling merchants and other people, who then traveled mainly on foot. Adjacent to its ubosot is a large standing Buddha statue known as Phra Phuttha Rattana Mongkhon Mahamuni (พระพุทธรัตนมงคลมหามุนี). It is the tallest Buddha image in Thailand and stands in the pahng prathan phon pose, i.e. the ‘posture of giving a blessing’. The statue is also known as Luang Pho Yai (หลวงพ่อใหญ่) and was built with in 1973 with reinforced concrete. The statue is 59.2 metres tall, though including the pedestal, which doubles as a museum with many rooms, it has a total height of 67.85 metres. Luang Pho Yai is a symbol of the province and is also mentioned in the slogan of Roi Et as Phra Soong Yai (พระสูงใหญ่), i.e. the ‘Big Tall Buddha’. To the east of the temple is an old city moat and a shrine dedicated to Chao Pho Mahe Sakdanuphaap (เจ้าพ่อมเหศักดานุภาพ). In between this is an artificial cave with a gilded reclining Buddha, which on the outside is surrounded by niches of which each houses a Buddha statue of the Phra prajam wan system, in which each day of the week corresponds to a certain representation of a Buddha image in a different pose. Adjacent to the cave is a garden with statues depicting the main scenes from the life of the Buddha. See also EXPLORER'S MAP and WATCH VIDEO (1) and (2).

Wat Chai Chumphon Chana Songkhram (วัดไชยชุมพลชนะสงคราม)

Thai. ‘Temple of the Glorious Assembly that Won the War’. Name of a temple in Kanchanaburi, that due to its location in the south of Kanchanaburi city, just south of the confluence of the rivers Kwae Yai (แควใหญ่) and Kwae Noi (แควน้อย), is also known as Wat Tai (วัดใต้), i.e. ‘Southern Temple’. At its compound, is the JEATH War Museum (fig.), a small museum dedicated to the history of the Thailand-Burma Railway during WWII, built from 1942 to 1943 by Allied POWs under the direction of the Imperial Japanese Army, who at the time occupied the area, and aimed to create a safe overland route via the historic Three Pagoda Pass (fig.) in order to supply their troops fighting at the front in Burma. The name JEATH is an acronym made up of the first letters of the countries whose POWs worked on the construction of the railway, namely: Japan, England, Australia and America, Thailand, and Holland. The museum consists of bamboo huts that recreate the sleeping quarters of the Allied POWs and narrates life in the camps and work on the railway by means of paintings, drawings and photos, many made by former POWs, as well as weapons, scale models, and maps. The museum was founded in 1977 by Phra Thammakhunaphon (พระธรรมคุณาภรณ์), who is also known as Luang Pho Phaiboon Katapunnoh (หลวงพ่อไพบูลย์ กตปุญฺโญ), the then abbot of the temple. Also on the temple's compound is a mondop, a kind of temple hall, dedicated to Phra Wisutthirangsih (พระวิสุทธิรังษี), a former abbot of this place, who is also known by the names Luang Poo Pliyan Inthotsaroh (หลวงปู่เปลี่ยน อินทสโร) and Luang Pho Wat Tai (หลวงพ่อวัดใต้), who was born on 5 April 1862 and passed away on 4 April 4 1947, 85 years old and a day short of his 86th birthday. In the centre on the grounds of the temple compound is the former crematorium used to cremate the body of Phra Thammakhunaphon, who besides the founder of the museum and a former abbot of Wat Tai, also was the former Ecclesiastical Provincial Governor of Kanchanaburi (fig.). He passed away in India on 25 December 2002, while he led Buddhist pilgrims to pay homage to Buddhist holy places in India. The former crematorium is fashioned in the shape of a divine vehicle pulled by a white horse, the animal of the Chinese zodiac that symbolizes the year in which he was born, as well as the year of his demise. The male deity seated on the horse raises a dhammachakka, the Buddhist ‘Wheel of Law’ (fig.) that symbolizes the ongoing cycle of cause and effect in ones life, known as kam (karma) and resulting in perpetual reincarnation. Inside the edifice is a memorial museum dedicated to this monk, with pictures and some of his personal belongings and borikaan, i.e. eight permitted articles Buddhist monks may have for daily life, such as his alms bowl, robe, etc. See also TRAVEL PICTURE and WATCH VIDEO.

Wat Chai Sri Phum (วัดชัยศรีภูมิ)

Thai. ‘Temple of the glorious field of victory’. Name of a temple in Chiang Mai, built in 1519 AD, during the reign of King Phaya Meuang Kaew (1495 - 1526). It is located opposite of the remnants of the ancient city wall at the northeastern corner of the moat surrounding the old city. The temple has a white prasat-style chedi, decorated with a gilded pinnacle and gilded ornaments, as well as with niches that house gilded Buddha images, each standing in the pahng prathap yeun pose. In addition, the temple has a wooden ho trai, besides the other, expected temple buildings. See also Chai and Sri, and compare with the name Chaiyaphum. Also spelled Wat Chai Si Phum. See MAP.

Wat Chaiwatthanaram (วัดไชยวัฒนาราม)

Thai. One of the most impressive of ancient Buddhist monasteries, built in 1630 AD on the banks of the Chao Phraya River in Ayutthaya. READ ON.

Wat Chaleum Phrakiat Phrachomklao Rachanuson (วัดเฉลิมพระเกียรติพระจอมเกล้าราชานุสรณ์)

Thai. Name of a stunning hilltop temple in Lampang, which was originally named Wat Phraphuttabaht Poo Pha Daeng. The most impressive part of the temple is the bare rocky mountain on which it is located and which is dotted with small chedis, mostly white in colour, and which gives the location the epithet Temple of the Floating Pagodas. A climb to its summit offers stunning views of the area. Also transliterated Wat Chaloem Phra Kiat Phrachomklao Rachanusorn. See also TRAVEL PICTURES, EXPLORER'S MAP, and WATCH VIDEO.

Wat Chalo (วัดชลอ)

Thai. Name of a Buddhist temple in the amphur Bang Kruwey (Kruai) of Nonthaburi. READ ON.

Wat Chamadevi (วัดจามเทวี)

Thai. Name of a Buddhist temple in Lamphun. READ ON.

Wat Chang Lom (วัดช้างล้อม)

1. Thai. ‘Temple of the Encircling Elephants’. Name of an ancient Buddhist temple in Sri Satchanalai Historical Park. The temple's chedi, in Singhalese style and surrounded by 39 sculptures of elephants, was built around 1285 AD, i.e. in the Sukhothai Period, in order to house relics of the Buddha, that were dug-up elsewhere and re-buried at this spot by King Ramkamhaeng (fig.). See also Wat Mahaeyong (fig.), Wat Sorasak (fig.), and chang, as well as TRAVEL PICTURES, POSTAGE STAMPS and MAP, and WATCH VIDEO.

2. Thai. ‘Temple of the Encircling Elephants’. Name of an ancient Buddhist temple in Sukhothai with a large bell shaped chedi, of which the square base is surrounded by 32 caryatid-like figures in the form of White Elephants, as well as another name for Wat Sorasak (fig.), i.e. another similar temple in Sukhothai Historical Park, with a base surrounded by 24 White Elephants. See also chang, MAP, and WATCH VIDEO.

Watchanihsoon (วัชนีสูร)

Thai. Name of the consort to the demon king Thao Chakraphad, ruler of Maliwan, a city or kingdom in the Ramakien, whom she bore a son called Banlaichak, the younger brother of Suriyapop (fig.) and the elder brother of Nonyuphak. See also LIST OF RAMAKIEN CHARACTERS & NAMES.

Wat Chan Tawan Tok (วัดจันทร์ตะวันตก)

Thai. Western Moon Temple. Name of a Buddhist temple in the northern Thai city of Phitsanulok and of which the surrounding wall, as well as its main prayer hall, known as Maha Wihaan Reuan Thong (มหาวิหารเรือนทอง), are completely gilded. The many and often multi-leveled roofs of this wihaan have multiple chofa, i.e. bird's head-like finials at either end of Thai Buddhist temple roofs, that are at the bottom front adorned with crystals and the depiction of a thepanom (fig.), i.e. an angel (thep) in a respectful posture clasping the hands as a token of worship and sign of respect (phanom), whilst the hook at the crooked peak is shaped into a Garuda-like face. Once attached to the roofs, many are adorned with wings and a tail making them reminiscent of the Golden Swan or Hamsa (fig.), which is in Thai referred to as Hong Thong, whilst at the beak a small temple bell, called a kradeung (fig.), is attached, that tinkles in the wind, akin to wind chimes. The yellowish orange to golden colour of this prayer hall makes it reminiscent of the wax edifices that are carried to the temple in a procession (fig.) during the annual Wax Castle Festival in Sakon Nakhon, in order to mark the ending of the Buddhist Lent. WATCH VIDEO.

Wat Charoen Rat Bamrung (วัดเจริญราษฎร์บำรุง)

Thai. Name of a Buddhist temple in Nakhon Pathom, which is also known as Wat Nong Phong Nok (วัดหนองพงนก). In front of the complex is a large statue of Luang Pho Prathan Phon, i.e. a Buddha image in the pahng prathan phon pose (fig.), i.e. the ‘position of giving a blessing’ or the ‘blessing pose’. The image is seated in western style, with one hand held up the thumb and index finger touching or nearly touching, while the other arm is held down with hand palm up and the elbow in L-shape. This large gilded Buddha statue is flanked by six crowned Buddha images, three on either side and seated in the half lotus position, each with a different animal depicted on the pah thip, i.e. the ornamental cloth hanging from the bottom of the image, in front of the pedestal (fig.). On either end of this row of statues is a large Buddha image standing in the pahng um baat pose, i.e. holding an alms bowl. See also PANORAMIC PICTURE and WATCH VIDEO (1), (2) and (3), and VIDEO (E).

Wat Chedi Hoi (วัดเจดีย์หอย)

Thai. Name of a temple (wat) in the Tambon Bo Ngun (บ่อเงิน) of the Amphur Laht Lum Kaew (map) in Pathum Thani Province. It is famed for its stupa (chedi) made from a great number of fossilized oyster shells (hoi), that were found in the temple's compound. The shells were first discovered when the temple's abbot ordered a water reservoir dug for the irrigation of the temple's 20 rai large herbal garden. After the discovery, the abbot and members of the temple committee continued to search in other places of the compound for more shells. Many more were found, including some large ones, believed to be about 8 million years old. Their quest, which ended in 1995, lasted for 12 years and resulted in the construction of the temple's stupa (fig.). See MAP.

Wat Chedi Jed Thaew (วัดเจดีย์เจ็ดแถว)

Thai. ‘Temple with Seven Rows of Stupas’. Name of an ancient Buddhist temple in Sri Satchanalai Historical Park. The complex has 26 chedi arranged in a U-shape around the wihaan and main pagoda, with the latter being in the Singhalese style and topped by a lotus-bud. See also POSTAGE STAMPS and MAP.

Wat Chedi Jed Yod (วัดเจดีย์เจ็ดยอด)

Thai. ‘Temple with the Seven Stupas’. One of the most important sanctuaries of northern Thailand in Chiang Mai, also known by the name Wat Photharam Maha Wihaan. READ ON.

Wat Chedi Luang (วัดเจดีย์หลวง)

Thai. ‘Temple of the Royal Stupa’, sometimes referred to as ‘Temple of the Big Stupa’. Name of a Buddhist temple in Chiang Mai. READ ON.

Wat Cheung Tha (วัดเชิงท่า)

Thai. Name of a Buddhist temple located on the banks of the Meuang Canal in Ayutthaya, to the north of the city island of Phra Nakhon Sri Ayutthaya. READ ON.

Wat Chiang Man (วัดเชียงมั่น)

Thai. Name of a Buddhist temple in Chiang Mai, located within the old city moat. READ ON.

Wat Chiang Yeun (วัดเชียงยืน)

1. Thai. Name of a Buddhist temple in the northern Thai town of Chiang Rai. Both its ubosot and wihaan are erected in a reddish-brown colour mixed with parts of brown laterite, especially at the windows and in the ubosot also at the doors, and overall adorned with contrasting golden embellishment in typical Lan Na style. On each corner, the ordination hall has a large statue of one of the Si Tian Wang, i.e. the Four Heavenly Kings’, one for each of the cardinal directions of the world, normally typically found at the entrances of Taoist and Mahayana Buddhist temples, and here depicted in a rather Thai style. The interior of the ubosot is richly decorated with colourful murals with scenes from Buddhism, as well as depictions of Thai and regional traditional festivals. The principal Buddha image in the bot, as well as some lesser Buddha statues on his sides, are all gilded and seated in the maravichaya pose, while adjacent to the main altar is also a white Buddha statue cut from marble in the same pose, while on the opposite side, at the end of the elevated row of seats reserved for monks, is a wax statue of Phra Kruh Methangkon (เมธังกร), a late famous Buddhist monk from Phrae who was a thera, i.e. a senior Buddhist monk who has been more than ten years in the priesthood, and who as a teacher was instrumental in bringing about important reforms into the religious and secular education system of temple schools. Adjacent and to the south of the ubosot is a small pavilion dedicated to Kruh Bah Khamlah Sangwaroh (คำหล้า สังวโร), another great thera monk of Lan Nah, who restored many important relics. This pavilion, with a naga staircase, houses both a wax image and a bronze statue of this important monk of the past. See also TRAVEL PICTURE, EXPLORER'S MAP and WATCH VIDEO.

2. Thai. Name of a Buddhist temple in the northern Thai town of Chiang Mai.

Wat Chom Si (ວັດຈອມສີ)

Lao. Name of a Buddhist temple in the city center of Luang Prabang (ຫຼວງພະບາງ) and which is also known as Wat Phou Si (ວັດພູສີ), due to its location on Mount Phousi. READ ON.

Wat Chuthathittham Sapharam Worawihaan (วัดจุฑาทิศธรรมสภารามวรวิหาร)

Thai. Name of a Buddhist temple complex located at the foot of a Mt. Phra Chulachomklao, on the island of Koh Si Chang, off the coast of Chonburi, located just across from Thah Lahng Pier. The ubosot houses a 1.25 meters tall Buddha image in the Sukhothai style. On the slope above the temple complex are Thai-Chinese shrines dedicated to Chao Mae Kwan Im (fig.) and Chao Pho Khao Yai (fig.), while the white mondop just below the summit houses a Phraphuttabaht (fig.). See also TRAVEL PICTURE and MAP.

Wat Doi Suthep (วัดดอยสุเทพ)

Thai. Temple in North Thailand, built at a height of 1,053 meters on the hill of Doi Suthep, 14 kms to the West of the city of Chiang Mai. READ ON.

Wat Doi Ngam Meuang (วัดดอยงำเมือง)

Thai. Name of a Buddhist hilltop temple in the city of Chiang Rai. READ ON.

Wat Doi Thep Somboon (วัดดอยเทพสมบูรณ์)

Thai. ‘Mountain Temple of the Perfect Deity’. Name of a Buddhist hilltop temple in Nong Bua Lamphu, with on its summit the Phra Phuttha Chayanti Nong Bua Lamphu (พระพุทธชยันตีหนองบัวลำภู) Buddha statue that stands in the pahng prathan phon pose, i.e. the ‘position of giving a blessing’ or ‘blessing pose’, and that overlooks the city. Both the main road and subsequent staircase towards the summit are flanked by golden naga-balustrades, of which the former is about 630 meters long. Underneath the base of the Phra Phuttha Chayanti Nong Bua Lamphu Buddha statue is a small museum that displays two human skeletons and some ancient tools, jewelry and pottery, that were discovered in the area, which has many pre-historical limestone caves, such as those at Phu Pha Ya (ภูผายา), some of which have prehistoric paintings estimated to be around 2,000 to 3,000 years old. A short walk through a wooded area leads to a hut for monks, as well as to a building with a reclining Buddha statue, of which the bottom of the staircase is flanked by two guardians in the form of nok hadsadi, mythical birds with the head of an elephant (fig.). WATCH VIDEO.

Wat Dok Kham (วัดดอกคำ)

Thai. Name of a Lan Na-style Buddhist temple in Chiang Mai, located within the walls of the old city, along the eastern moat, just a short distance north of Tha Phae Gate (fig.). Inside the wihaan is a Buddha image seated in the bhumisparsa pose whereas the eastern outer wall has a standing Buddha image with an abhaya mudra. See MAP.

Wat Dong Phra Chao (วัดดงพระเจ้า)

Thai. Name of a Buddhist hilltop temple in Phayao that features a large outdoor reclining Buddha image, that —situated on the roadside summit of this temple— has fast become a landmark of the area visible to anyone traveling on National Highway No. 1 between Phayao and Lampang. Besides two streets that give access to the temple, the summit can also be reached by a wide staircase that is flanked by naga balustrades and that leads straight to the feet of the reclining Buddha statue.

Wat Don Sak (วัดดอนสัก)

Thai. Name a Buddhist temple in Surat Thani that features a giant statue of Luang Poo Thuad (fig.), and despite the fact that many similar giant statues of this popular Buddhist monk (fig.) have been popping up allover Thailand in recent years, including the allegedly 59 meter tall Luang Poo Thuad Khao Yai statue in Nakhon Sri Thammarat, which declares to be the tallest in the world, this one with an supposed height of 34.9 meter (excluding the base) also claims to be the largest in the world. The temple was founded in ca. 1507 and also has a cave that today is known as Tham Singkhon (ถำสิงขร). In the mid-Ayutthaya period, there were troops of Nakhon Sri Thammarat and Chaiya stationed in the area in order to oversee the safety of the local people and traders whilste the cave was used to store materials and was hence referred to as Tham Sing Khong (ถำสิ่งของ), which means ‘Cave [with] Things’ or ‘Material Cave’, which over time developed into the current name. The complex also a couple of decommissioned wooden fisher boats that are used as decoration, one of which has been installed at the entrance of the cave. See also TRAVEL PICTURE and PANORAMA PICTURE.

Wat Duang Dih (วัดดวงดี)

Thai. ‘Temple of Good Luck’, but also ‘Temple of the Auspicious Stars’ or ‘Temple of Good Karma’. Name of a small Lan Na-style Buddhist temple in Chiang Mai, located within the walls of the old city, near the Three Kings Monument (fig.). Its buildings are characterized by carved wood architecture, and it has a redented chedi with on its square base a statue of an elephant on each of its corners. It has a rather small ubosot and hence the larger wihaan is typically used by the monks and novices to assemble for prayers. It is one of the oldest temples in Chiang Mai, and it is assumed that it was built sometime shortly after King Mengrai (fig.) founded Chiang Mai, and was at some point used as a school for the children of the local nobility. Throughout its existence, the temple has been known by a variety of names, including Wat Phantunom Dih or Wat Phantunom Dih (วัดพันธุนมดี); Wat Udom Dih or Wat Udom Dee (วัดอุดมดี); Wat Phanom Dih or Wat Phanom Dee (วัดพนมดี); and Wat Ton Mahk Neua (วัดต้นหมากเหนือ), i.e. ‘Temple of the Northern Betel Nut Tree’, of which an derivation is still used today by some as yet another name, i.e. Wat Phan Dih or Wat Phandee (วัดพันธู์ดี), which translates as ‘Temple of the Good Strain’. Wat Duang Dih was declared an ancient monument by the Fine Arts Department in 1981. Also transliterated Wat Duangdee. WATCH VIDEO.

Wat Ek Phnom (វត្តឯកភ្នំ)

Khmer. ‘Temple of the Prime Hill’. Temple near the Cambodian city of Battambang. It consists of an ancient Hindu temple that dates back to the 11th century AD and was built in the reign of King Suryavarman I, as well as a modern Buddhist prayer hall and a giant Buddha statue, seated on a concrete building that houses a number of gilded Buddha images. Besides this, there are also modern edifices in the Khmer style. See also TRAVEL PICTURE and MAP.

Water Buffalo

The Asian domestic buffalo is a large bovid, with the scientific designation Bubalus bubalis, that originated and is widely found in South, East and Southeast Asia. READ ON.

water cabbage

See jok.

water chestnut

For Thai water chestnuts or water caltrop, see krajab; for Chinese water chestnuts, see somwang.


Common name for a waterbird with the scientific name Gallicrex cinerea. This rather secretive bird is distributed in South, East and Southeast Asia, where it lives near swamps and marshes. Adults are dark brown with buff and grey fringing above, and paler underparts, which are streaked and barred with darker markings. Males have grow up to 43 centimeters tall and females up to 36 centimeters. The bill of both sexes is yellowish-grey and the legs are greenish-grey with females and rather yellowish-grey in males. Their bodies are flattened laterally to allow easier passage through reeds and undergrowth. In the breeding season the females are somewhat darker and the plumage of the males becomes black-grey, with brownish-buff wingtips, red legs and a red facial shield. In Thai it is known as nok ih-lum (นกอีลุ้ม) and nok ih-lom (นกอีล้ม).

water coconut

Colloquial name for the woody fruit cluster of the nipa palm. Its fruit consists of a cluster of woody nuts, compressed into a large ball, that grows upward on a single stalk (fig.). It is used to be made into a refreshing drink, usually consisting of both the sap and the translucent flesh of this fruit (fig.). In Malaysia and Singapore, the immature fruits are used as a dessert ingredient.


See nahm tok.

water hyacinth

Originally, a native weed of the Amazon river basin in South America, where its shiny green leaves and lilac flowers (fig.) with purplish-blue and yellow colouring (fig.), made it a favourite pool decoration in colonial European gardens. The plants stay buoyant due to large air cavities in the hollow and partly bulbous stems. In the 19th century Dutch colonialists took it to Java from where it was taken to Siam by visiting Thais who called it pak tob chawa, i.e. ‘Java grass’ or ‘Java weed’. However, the invasive plant eventually found its way into the wild, where it soon became a menace. A single water hyacinth produces namely enough seeds to generate 3,000 offspring in less than two months, doubling its size in just over a week. In the Amazon this poses no problem as certain herbivorous fish and water floods keep it under control, but elsewhere such explosive growth over time forms a dense mat of floating foliage (fig.), resulting in lack of oxygen and sunlight that consequently threatens fish and other aquatic life. It can grow so densely that it completely blocks rivers and canals, and the water is no longer visible. Besides being an nuisance for navigation, it also hinders shipping traffic, as plants easily get stuck in the blades of a boat's propeller. This actually led to the invention of the longtail boat, which has a motor with a propeller on a long shaft, specially designed to avoid floating rubble and which can easily be lifted out of the water and cleared if the propeller gets stuck in the floating foliage. The problems is now largely eradicated by using the weed as pigs food and the dried stems for weaving, especially in furniture (fig.). The water hyacinths are taken from the water surface by special equipped boats (fig.). The indigenous Intha people (fig.), that live on and around Inle Lake (fig.) in Myanmar's Shan State, dredge up (fig.) grass-like weeds (fig.) from the bottom of the lake, which they mix with buoyant water hyacinths in order to create floating gardens (fig.) on which they grow a variety of crops, most commonly tomatoes. Its scientific name is Eichhornia crassipes. See also TRAVEL PICTURES (1) and (2).

water lettuce

See jok.

water lily

A aquatic plant with floating leaves and colourful flowers of the family of Nymphaeaceae, sometimes confused with the lotus (fig.). Often found in ponds near temples and in colours that vary from white (fig.) and yellow (fig.), over pink (fig.) and lavender blue to purple, and with a number of gradations in between, as can be seen in Beung Kum (บึงกุ่ม) a marsh with lilies on the outskirts of Bangkok (map - fig.). The floating leaves of the water lily make great rafts for insects and animals to rest or bask on (fig.). They are completely water-repellent and often hold miniature pools of stagnant water, that form convenient watering-places for many insects to drink from. As is known from fossils, water lilies are one of the very first flowering plants to have evolved. In Thai known as dok bua. See also POSTAGE STAMPS and WATCH VIDEO.


See taeng moh.

water mimosa

See krachet.

Water Monitor

A large species of monitor lizard with the binomial name Varanus salvator, capable of growing up to 3 meters in length with a maximum weight of over 90 kilograms, though most are only about half that size. Their body is muscular with a long, powerful, laterally compressed tail, used for swimming and in defense. There are several subspecies, such as the Black Water Monitor (Varanus salvator komaini - fig.), and they are one of the most common monitor lizards found throughout Asia, ranging from Indian subcontinent to Indochina, the Malay Peninsula and various parts of Indonesia. They typically inhabit areas close to water (fig.). See also TRAVEL PICTURE, WILDLIFE PICTURES (1), (2), (3), (4), VIDEO (1), (2), (3) and (4), and VIDEO (E).

water pipe

A hookah. A bamboo cylinder (fig.) filled with water with a valve used by some hill tribes (fig.) in North Thailand to smoke gancha (marihuana). The water acts as a filter and coolant. It is singed and smoked similar to opium. In Thai called bong or bong gancha.

water puppetry

See mua roi nuoc.

Water Scavenger Beetle

Common name for a large family of mostly aquatic beetles, known scientifically as Hydrophilidae. Generally, they are dark in colour and have extended mouthparts used for directing food to their mouths, which aids them in scavenging for food on the water surface. In addition to scavenging, some adults may be predatory or vergetarian, and some members of this family are only semi-aquatic or even terrestrial. There are many different species, and one species in particular, i.e. Hydrous cavistanum, which belongs to the order Coleoptera and in Thai goes by the names maeng tab tao and malaeng niang (แมลงเหนี่ยง), is fried and eaten as a snack (fig.) in some parts of Thailand, especially in Isaan.

Water Scorpion

Name for a large aquatic bug, belonging to the family Nepidae. READ ON.

Water Snowflake

Common name for an aquatic plant, that is also commonly known as Floating Hearts and which bears the botanical name Nymphoides indicum. READ ON.

water spinach

See phak bung.

Wathoun Darei (ဝသုန္ဒရေ)

Burmese name for the earth production spirit (fig.) in Myanmar, i.e. the spirit of the earth, a figure akin to the Thai goddess Thoranih, i.e. the mother of the earth (fig.). Also transcribed Wet Thonedaree.

Wat Hong Thong (วัดหงษ์ทอง)

Thai. ‘Temple of the Golden Hong’. Name of a Buddhist seaside temple in Bang Pakong District of Chachengsao Province. The ubosot and gilded bell-shaped chedi (fig.) adorned with Garudas are built on stilts above the sea, making this temple a top location for a sea breeze sunset, with its image reflecting in the water below. See also TRAVEL PICTURES (1) and (2), and MAP.

Wat Huai Mahin Fon (วัดห้วยมะหินฝน)

Thai. Name of a Buddhist temple in Chiang Rai's Mae Chan District, located on a hill and featuring a steep naga-staircase. Behind the main prayer hall is a gilded stupa. The platform on which it sits, as well as the top of the naga-staircase, offer a panoramic view of the area below. At the main entrance to the temple, some distance past the main gate, there is a small bridge with two statues of guardian lions, yet not the more commonly found mythological ones that in Thai are called singh, but rather of true lions that in Thai are referred to as singtoh. Also at the bridge is a statue of Phra Siwalih (fig.), a venerated monk who as a result of his merit gained in previous lives attained Enlightenment as soon as he got ordained. At the time of our visit the main prayer hall apparently had the status of a wihaan, since it lacked the bai sema (fig.), i.e. boundary markers at the eight cardinal points, that surround an ubosot, the counterpart of a wihaan. However, in a storage hall with some coffins and Buddha statues adjacent to the prayer hall, lay some look nimit (fig.), i.e. nine large round stones that are buried in the ground, one in the centre of the chapel and eight underneath the bai sema, in order to mark the boundary of the consecrated area of a Thai temple on which the ubosot is built, thus suggesting that the main prayer hall was likely awaiting an upgrade to te status of ubosot. WATCH VIDEO.

Wat Huai Mongkhon (วัดห้วยมงคล)

Thai. ‘Temple of the Auspicious Creek’. Name of a Buddhist temple in the tambon Thap Tai (ทับใต้), near the seaside resort of Hua Hin in Prachuap Khirikhan Province, and originally called Wat Huai Khot (วัดห้วยคต), after its location in the local community of Huai Khot (ห้วยคต). The temple has a giant statue of Luang Poo Thuad (fig.), that was built in the honour of King Bhumipon Adunyadet's 72 birthday, i.e. his sixth birthday cycle according to the Chinese zodiac and which was inaugurated by Queen Sirikit Kitthiyagon on 27 August 2004, who subsequently granted permission to enshrine her monogram on the pah thip in front of the statue which, with a lap width of 9.9 meters and a height of 11.5 meters, at the time was claimed to be the largest in the world. However, similar large statues of this famous historical monk from southern Thailand have later been erected in other places too, sometimes seated on a cobra snake (fig.) and many with much larger dimensions (fig.), such as those of Wat Don Sak (fig.) and at Phuttha Uthayaan Maharaat (fig.) in Ayutthaya which is part of Wat Wachira Thammaram. The statue at Wat Huai Mongkhon sits on a 3-storey base, 70 meters wide and 70 meters long, which doubles as a large hall for worshiping. Also transliterated Wat Huay Mongkhol, Wat Huai Mongkhon, Wat Huay Mongkol, or similar. See also EXPLORER'S MAP.

Wat Huai Pla Kang (วัดห้วยปลากั้ง)

Thai. ‘Temple of the Crayfish Creek’ or ‘Temple of the Dwarf Snakehead Fish Rivulet’. Name of a Buddhist temple in Chiang Rai, which features a nine-tiered Chinese-style pagoda and a 79 meters tall white Kwan Yin statue, said to be the largest image of this goddess of mercy in Thailand. The balustrades of the staircase towards the plateau on which the statue is erected, consists of large white Chinese dragons. In front of the stairs is a giant bronze joss stick pot, whilst at the top anyone climbing the staircase is greeted by a statue of Wei Tuo, the guardian of Mahayana Buddhist monasteries. Flanking this, are life-sized statues of the Eighteen Arahats, nine on either side, lining the edge of the platform. Surrounding the hall underneath the Kuan Yin base are statues of the twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac. Inside the giant Kuan Yin statue itself is a lift that takes visitors up 25 storeys, offering an amazing bird’s eye view of the area, literally through the third eye of Kwan Yin. The wall at the elevator ground floor features bas-relief stuccos of the Four Heavenly Kings, the four guardian gods in Mahayana Buddhism, i.e. one for each of the cardinal directions of the world. On the inside, the walls of the giant statue have white stucco decorations of Kwan Yin in various poses, as well as other characters from Mahayana Buddhism and Taoism. The inner walls of the prayer hall also have white stucco decorations depicting scenes from Buddhism and the jataka, whereas the main pagoda houses a collection of various woodcarver statues of Kuan Yin in different manifestations, with the largest located at the ground floor and flanked by her child disciples Golden Boy and Jade Girl. In addition, the upper floors also feature wooden statues of Maitreya, the Buddha, the Buddhist monk Luang Poo Toh, and a framed woodcarving with the portraits of the past monarchs of the Chakri Dynsaty, from Rama I to Rama IX. Also transliterated Wat Huai Pla Kang. See also PANORAMA PICTURE, TRAVEL PICTURES (1), (2), (3) and (4), WATCH VIDEO (1) and (2), THEMATIC STREET LIGHT, and MAP.

Wat Huai Sai Khao (วัดห้วยทรายขาว)

Thai. ‘White Sand Creek Temple’. Name of a Buddhist temple in the northern Thai province of Chiang Rai with an exquisite architecture, strangely beautiful, with bright colours, and many statues. The temple combines a variety of styles from Thai and Burmese art, as well as from India. Walking into the temple somewhat feels like entering a colourful theme park, with almost every corner of the temple being decorated with some eye-catching attraction, such as pumpkin-shaped amalaka-like domes with golden spires, male and female giants, a majestic serpent staircase, and many other statues of various deities and mythological creatures. The temple is located along the main Phayao-Chiang Rai road on the western side, while on the opposite eastern side of the road are some large statues of war elephants with their respective mahouts and historical kings in battle dress, that also belong to the temple. WATCH VIDEO.

Wat Hua Khoo (วัดหัวคู้)

Thai. ‘Temple of the Twisted Head’. Name of a Buddhist temple of the Mahanikaai Sect in Samut Prakan. READ ON.

Wat Hua Lampong (วัดหัวลำโพง)

Thai. Name of a third class royal temple in Bangkok's Bang Rak district and that dates from the early Rattanakosin period. READ ON.

Wat Intharawihaan (วัดอินทรวิหาร)

Thai. Name of a Buddhist temple in Bangkok, which contains a 32-meter high standing Buddha image (fig.), known as Luang Pho Toh. READ ON.

Wat Jaeng (วัดแจ้ง)

Thai. ‘Temple of dawn’. Old name of, and synonym for Wat Arun. See also POSTAGE STAMPS.

Wat Jong Kham (วัดจองคำ)

Thai. Name of a temple located on the bank of the Nong Jong Kham (หนองจองคำ) city lake in Mae Hong Son, adjacent to Wat Jong Klang (fig.). Both temples and their environment are a popular postcard picture (fig.) often used by the Tourism Authority of Thailand in their promotion of Thailand as a picturesque holiday destination. The temple was built in 1827 by Singha Nat Racha (fig.) as the first temple of Mae Hong Son and is in the Burmese-Thai Yai style. Between 1932 and 1936 the artisan Sla Po Tong Te-Chagomen (สล่าโพโต่ง เตชะโกเมนต์) built a wihaan with three facades to house a large Burmese style Buddha statue with a lap width of 4.85 meters and called Luang Pho Toh (หลวงพ่อโต). It is equal in size to Phra Sri Sakyamuni, the Phra prathaan or principal Buddha image in the royal wihaan of Wat Suthat in Bangkok and the oldest remaining Buddha image from the Sukhothai period. Also transcribed Wat Chong Kham. See MAP.

Wat Jong Klang (วัดจองกลาง)

Thai. Name of a temple in Burmese-Thai Yai style, located on the bank of the Nong Jong Kham (หนองจองคำ) city lake in Mae Hong Son, next to Wat Jong Kham (fig.). It is located in picturesque surroundings and often features, together with its neighbouring temple, in holiday brochures. The temple contains a wihaan that houses a gilded replica of the Sihing (สิหิงค์) Buddha image. It also has 33 wooden human and animal figures representing scenes from the Vessantara jataka, carved by Burmese craftsmen and taken from Burma in 1857 AD. The temple also has stained-glass windows depicting scenes from the life of prince Siddhartha and once again from prince Wetsandorn, as well as the way of folk life in the past. According to a record they were made by Burmese artisans from Mandalay. Recently also a Bamboo Buddha, i.e. a style of Buddha image from Myanmar, has been added (fig.). Also transcribed Wat Chong Glang or similar. See MAP.

Wat Jong Mahkkaeng (วัดจองหมากแกง)

Thai-Shan. Former name of Wat Sri Boon Reuang, a temple in Mae Sariang, in Mae Hong Son province (fig.), in which the word mahkkaeng (หมากแกง) is a Shan word that means tamarind’ (in Thai called makhaam) and that refers to the fact that the temple grounds once used to have many tamarind trees.

Wat Jong Soong (วัดจองสูง)

Thai. Temple situated in the tambon Mae Sariang, in the homonymous amphur Mae Sariang, and in the province of Mae Hong Son. Like many temples in this region, it is built in a mixture of Burmese and Shan art styles. The temple compound is located in the centre of town and features several Shan-style chedi, as well as some wooden monastic buildings. The temple is located adjacent to Wat Sri Boon Reuang. Also transcribed Wat Jong Sung and alternatively known as Wat Utthayarom (วัดอุทธยารมณ์). See MAP.

Wat Kaew Phichit (วัดแก้วพิจิตร)

Thai. Name of the very first Buddhist temple of the Thammayut sect in Prachinburi. It was built in 1879 by a local millionaire. In 1918, Chao Phraya Aphaiphubet, a relative to the Bunnag family, had a new ubosot constructed, replacing the old building that was by then in disrepair. The new ordination hall has an architectural design of mixed styles of Thai, Chinese, Cambodian and European art.

Wat Kaew Korawarahm (วัดแก้วโกรวาราม)

Thai. Name of a third class Buddhist temple of royal rank in Krabi, situated on a hill in the heart of this coastal town. READ ON.

Wat Kanlayanamit Woramahawihaan (วัดกัลยาณมิตรวรมหาวิหาร)

Thai. Name of a first class Buddhist temple of royal rank, located on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River in Thonburi. READ ON.

Wat Ket Karam (วัดเกตการาม)

Thai. Name of a Buddhist temple in Chiang Mai, of which the main stupa houses a hair relic of the Buddha. READ ON.

Wat Ketu Madi Sri Warahrahm (วัดเกตุมดีศรีวราราม)

Thai. Name of a Buddhist temple in Samut Sakon, which was built in 1963 AD and claims to have the tallest wihaan in the nation. READ ON.

Wat Khae (วัดแค)

Thai. Name of an old Buddhist temple in Suphanburi, whose name appears in the story of Khun Chang Khun Phaen. READ ON.

Wat Khao Bandai It (วัดเขาบันไดอิฐ)

Thai. Name of a Buddhist temple in Phetchaburi, which is located on  a 121 meter tall hill named Khao Bandai It, from which it gets its name. READ ON.

Wat Khao Cha Ngok (วัดเขาชะโงก)

Thai. Name of a Buddhist temple located on a mountain overlooking the Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy or CRMA (fig.) in Nakhon Nayok Province, in Central Thailand. The temple consists of several attractions, such as a cliff with a mural of the Phra Phutthachai (พระพุทธฉาย) Buddha image wearing a brown robe and of which it is said to be in ‘various poses’ and named after a similar image painted on the wall of a cave at Wat Phra Phutthachai (fig.) in Saraburi; a waterfall; old overgrown jungle dwellings; a section with statues of various animals; statues of the protagonists from the Chinese epos Journey to the West, and some royal figures from Thai history; a hilltop shrine with statues of tigers and hermits, who are in Thai called reusi, as well as stunning panoramic views of the area, including the CRMA complex; and a mondop with the Buddhapada or ‘actual’ footprints of the Buddha, which is accessible by a long naga-staircase. Adjacent to the mondop is a large standing Buddha statue in a brown robe and in a standing pose crafted to resemble the mural of the Buddha on the cliff below. Whereas the waterfall is adjacent to the main temple area, the hilltop shrine and mondop are a good climb away from it, but in part accessible by a steep road that at times requires low gear use. Also transliterated Wat Khao Cha-ngohk. WATCH VIDEO (1) and (2).

Wat Khao Chom Thong (วัดเขาจอมทอง)

Thai. Name of a Buddhist temple at the foot of Khao Chom Thong, i.e. the ‘Golden Peak Mountain’, which area is maintained by the temple, who also built the staircase that leads towards the summit and that opened on 21 August 2016. The mountain trail, that ascends one way and descends another, takes visitors through dense bamboo forest and steep cliffs with stunning views. Along it, several Buddha statues and a temple bell are erected. On the way up the path derives to a small grotto with a well, whilst on the way down the trail passes a lush rock face adorned with golden images of the Buddha, as well as some other characters from Buddhism. The temple and its mountain are located in Khonburi Tai (ครบุรีใต้), in Khonburi (ครบุรี) District of Nakhon Ratchasima Province. To its east and south, the summit overlooks the Moon/Mun Bon (มูลบน) Reservoir, on which fishermen have built traps and platforms with nets. On this lofty side of the mountain's peak is a cliff in the shape of a turtle's head. There are plans to built a Khmer-style sanctuary at the summit and in 2014 a foundation stone towards this goal was laid in a special ceremony, while a scale model of what the finished prasat-like building must look like is located in a hangar of the temple at the foot of the mountain. However, a decade later, construction on the —initially estimated— 20 million baht project, has yet to be commenced. Also known as Phu Chom Thong and sometimes transliterated Wat Khao Jom Thong. WATCH VIDEO and VIDEO (E).

Wat Khao Chong Chat (วัดเขาช่องชาด)

Thai. ‘Maroon Mountain Pass Temple’. Name of a rural Buddhist hill top temple in Udonthani province. It features a gilded naga-staircase that leads up to a giant white Buddha statue seated in the meditation pose, and with a third eye and an elongated golden flame on its head. The base of the statue is connected to the summit of the mountain it sits on by a pedestrian bridge. A nature trail further leads to the edge of the mountain's rock face, which is in fact the border with the neighbouring province of Nong Bua Lamphu. From here, visitors can enjoy some magnificent views of the valley below. The trail further leads down, away from the cliff edge, past a number of Buddha statues in various poses. Besides some dogs, domestic chickens and plenty of roosters, the temple also has some Lesser Whistling Ducks (fig.). WATCH VIDEO.

Wat Khao Chong Krajok (วัดเขาช่องกระจก)

Thai. ‘Temple at the Mountain with the Hole Mirror’. Name of a Buddhist temple in Prachuap Khirikhan (fig.). Part of the temple is located on Khao Chong Krachok (เขาช่องกระจก), a mountain that overlooks Ao Noy or Ahw Noi (อ่าวน้อย), Ahw Manahw or Ao Manao (อ่าวมะนาว) and Ao/Ahw Prachuap (อ่าวประจวบ), i.e. the 'Small Bay', 'Lemon Bay' and the 'Bay of Prachuap', respectively. The name of the mountain means ‘Mt. Hole Mirror’ and is named after an opening in a side of the mountain in which the sea and sky seem to reflect, and which can be visited by either climbing some stairs, or by descending a steep ladder from its summit. At the summit large Thai letters read Meuang Sahm Ahw or Mueang Sam Ao (เมืองสามอ่าว), i.e. ‘City of Three Bays’, referring to the three aforementioned bays. On the seaside there is a cave that has a niche that can be used for meditation, whilst the grotto also features a statue of Kuan Yin (fig.), the Chinese goddess of mercy, as well as a gilded statue of Sun Wukong, i.e. the Monkey King, holding his magical golden staff (fig.) which can be used for measuring the depth of the sea water and for flood control by holding down the sea, thus causing the sea to be turbulent. At the cave is a glass balcony that offers stunning views from the area below. Both the temple and the mountain are also the home to a large group of macaques. Also transliterated Wat Khao Chong Krachok and officially known as Wat Thammikaram/Thammikarahm (วัดธรรมิการาม - fig.). WATCH VIDEO.

Wat Khao Din (วัดเขาดิน)

Thai. ‘Earth Mountain Temple’. Name of a Buddhist hill top temple in Bang Pakong District of Chachengsao Province. On the summit is a large stupa that in part doubles as a museum. The museum's inner walls are decorated with murals depicting the monarchs of the Chakri (fig.) Dynasty and some of their main accomplishments. At the back of the ordination hall or ubosot is a statue of King Taksin on horseback (fig.). There are also murals with scenes of episodes from the life of Buddha. The temple also has a small grotto and is home to some animals, such as several kinds of fish, turtles, chickens and cocks, dogs and cats, and some Helmeted Guineafowl (Numida meleagris). The temple has many statues, both secular and religious in nature, and indoor as well as outdoor. The religious statues are from various eastern religions, including Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism, Hinduism, and Taoism. WATCH VIDEO (1), (2) and (3).

Wat Khao Noi (วัดเขาน้อย)

Thai. Name of a Buddhist hill top temple in the seaside resort of Hua Hin (fig.), that features a 21 meter tall statue of the mendicant monk Phra Siwalih (fig.). WATCH VIDEO.

Wat Khao Sanam Chai (วัดเขาสนามชัย)

Thai. Name of a Buddhist hill top temple just south of the seaside resort of Hua Hin. It features a Laotian-style pagoda that contains a bone relic of the Buddha known as Phra Boromma Sahrihrikathat. The temple is a famous meditation place and was established by the monk Phra Worawit Worathammo (พระวรวิทย์วรธมโม) with the intention to disseminate proper meditation practices according to the Tipitaka. The top of the mountain has several viewpoints that offer panoramas of the area, as well as of the nearby coastline and sea. WATCH VIDEO.

Wat Khao Yoi (วัดเขาย้อย)

Thai. Name of a Buddhist temple at Khao Yoi (เขาย้อย), a rocky mountain in Phetchaburi Province. The temple has an adjacent school and is associated with the mountain after which it is named and that is home to several limestone caves. The temple hosts a modern staircase to the mountain's summit, that has a platform from which visitors can enjoy panoramic views of the area. Besides this, it also maintains an old path with stairs to two limestone grottos, the first one with several large halls and steep ladders and corridors that connect the various halls. The temple's ubosot is made of wood and features both wooden statues and carvings of bas-reliefs that depict scenes from Buddhism. The temple's compound is also home to a large group of macaques, as well as life-sized sculptures depicting monkeys from the Ramakien. See also LIST OF RAMAKIEN CHARACTERS & NAMES, TRAVEL PICTURES (1), (2) and (3), and WATCH VIDEO (1) and (2), and VIDEO (E).

Wat Khiriwan (วัดคีรีวัน)

Thai. ‘Wooded Mountain Temple’ or ‘Forested Hill Temple’. Name of a Buddhist temple in Nakhon Nayok. The temple's main attraction is a Khmer-style prasat that houses a 1,000 year old Buddha image carved from a sacred bodhi tree (ton poh). The statue is seated in the naagprok pose and is known as Luang Pho Poh. The temple's mondop, located on the top of a hill, enshrines a replica of the Emerald Buddha, which weighs 1 ton and —akin to the genuine Emerald Buddha— is dressed in different attires according to the three seasons (fig.). These garments are decorated with real diamonds with a combined weight of 7 carat, as well as with over 2,000 genuine gems and rubies. See also khiri and wan.

Wat Khlong Suwannakhiri (วัดโขลงสุวรรณคีรี)

Thai. ‘Crowd of the Golden Mountain Temple’. Name of the ruins of a former Buddhist temple in Khu Bua, a tambon as well as an archaeological site in Ratchaburi. Its made of bricks on a laterite base. Overgrown with trees and enshrined on the temple's cement platform with wooden columns yet without a roof, three stone Buddha images were discovered, which were made in accordance with the iconographic style and characteristics of the early Ayutthaya period. Hence, it was initially assumed that the temple also dated to this period, though later evidence showed that the temple is much older and actually dates to the early Dvaravati period, i.e. from around the 6th century AD. Also transliterated Wat Klohng Suwankhiri or similar.

Wat Khong Khao (วัดโขงขาว)

Thai. Name of a Buddhist temple and study center in Chiang Mai's Hang Dong (หางดง) district. It is located on a large forested domain and features both a wihaan and an ubosot. WATCH VIDEO.

Wat Khrua Khrae (วัดขัวแคร่)

Thai. Name of a Buddhist temple in Chiang Rai, which is also known as Wat Mangkhon Thawararahm (วัดมังคลถาวราราม), oftentimes transliterated Wat Mangkol Thawararam. This quiet temple features many nicely decorated buildings and its prayer hall houses a giant white Buddha image with dark crystal eyes, seated in the half lotus position and performing a dhammachakka mudra. See also TRAVEL PICTURES (1), (2), (3), (4), (5) and (6), PANORAMA PICTURES (1) and (2), and MAP.

Wat Khuan Inthanin Ngam (วัดควนอินทนินงาม)

Thai. ‘Crowd of the Golden Mountain Temple’. Name of a Buddhist temple in Trang, of which the ubosot has a roof that has been painted into the thong chaht, i.e. the National Tricolour of Thailand. READ ON.

Wat Khuan Khah Mah (วัดควรค่าม้า)

Thai. ‘Temple Worthy of a Horse’. Name of an ancient Buddhist temple in Chiang Mai. READ ON.

Wat Khunaram (วัดคุณาราม)

Thai. Name of a Buddhist temple on Koh Samui (fig.), famous for the shrine of the so-called Mummy Monk, a glass box that contains the mummified remains of Luang Pho Daeng (fig.), a revered Buddhist monk who in 1973 died whilst meditating and who was consequently preserved in the samahti pose. The mummified monk was then put on display as a reminder of the transience of human existence.

Wat Klai Kangwon (วัดไกลกังวล)

Thai. ‘Temple Far From Worries’. Name of a Buddhist temple of the Mahanikaai sect in Chainat. READ ON.

Wat Kreun Kathin (วัดเกริ่นกฐิน)

Thai. ‘Temple that heralds kathin (laymen offering of monk's robes)’. Name of a countryside Buddhist temple complex in the Amphur Ban Mih (บ้านหมี่) of Lopburi Province. READ ON.

Wat Kumpha Pradit (วัดกุมภประดิษฐ์)

Thai. ‘Temple of the Artificial Pot’. Name of a picturesque Buddhist temple in the Amphur Mae Rim (แม่ริม) of the northern Thai province of Chiang Mai. READ ON.

Wat Ku Phra Kona (วัดกู่พระโกนา)

Thai. Name of a Buddhist temple located in the Amphur Suwannaphum in Roi Et Province and situated in a forest that includes rubber trees and which is abound with numerous macaques. READ ON.

Wat Lahm Chang (วัดล่ามช้าง)

Thai. ‘Temple of the Thetered Elephants’. Name of a Lan Na-style Buddhist temple in Chiang Mai, located within the walls of the old city. READ ON.

Wat Lahn Boon (วัดลานบุญ)

Thai. Name of a Buddhist temple located along Khlong Prawet Burirom (fig.) in Laht Krabang (ลาดกระบัง), a khet or zone (city district) that belongs to Greater Bangkok and until 1972 had the status of an amphur or provincial district in the then still province of Minburi (มีนบุรี), which in 1931 was dissolved and incorporated into the capital Phra Nakhon (พระนคร) as an administrative subdivision, changing its status from an amphur or provincial district to a city district or zone known in Thai as a khet, together with Laht Krabang. Wat Lan Boon was established in 1897 and today covers an area of ​​21 rai, 2 ngan and 98 square wah, i.e. circa 3.4 hectares. It has a Chinese-style ubosot, as well as a wihaan that houses the Luang Pho Phet (หลวงพ่อเพชร) Buddha image. See also EXPLORER'S MAP and WATCH VIDEO.

Wat Lahn Kuat (วัดล้านขวด)

Thai. ‘Temple of a Million Bottles’. Buddhist temple complex located in the amphur Khun Hahn of Sri Saket province. This temple was constructed in 1981 and is decorated with innumerable glass bottles and bottle caps, that glitter and sparkle in the sunlight and were donated by the people. The majority of the empty bottles used in the construction of the temple are large-sized green or brown bear bottles, said to have been acquired during a major cleanup of the litter in the area. They are used in each and every building within the complex, including even the water tower, the monks quarters or kuti, bathrooms, and the crematorium or Phra Meru. It is also called Wat Maha Chedi Kaew, i.e. the ‘Temple of the Great Crystal (or Glass) Pagoda’ (fig.). It is sometimes referred to as a forest temple (wat pah). Also transcribed Wat Lan Kuat. See MAP.

Wat Laht Phrao (วัดลาดพร้าว)

Thai. Name of a Buddhist temple in Bangkok's Chokchai 4 area, located on Laht Phrao Wang Hin Road. READ ON.

Wat Laksi Raht Samohson (วัดหลักสี่ราษฎร์สโมสร)

Thai. Name of a Buddhist temple complex located along the Damnoen Saduak Canal in Samut Sakon. The highlight of the temple is the Luang Pho Toh Mahayana Park with a Mahayana-style Buddha image enshrined in a replica cliff, that totally surrounds the statue, giving it a cave-like appearance and from which —behind the Buddha image— a waterfall flows. On the inside of the surrounding cliff are several niche-like grottos with statues of characters from Buddhist folklore. The temple also has a large statue of Rahu and a unique giant reclining image of Kuan Yin, a large reclining Buddha, and a hall with an image of Bhumibalo (fig.), i.e. King Rama IX ordained as a monk and seated in the lotus position in front of a giant bodhi tree leaf (fig.), surrounded by statues of thepchumnum, i.e. angels or thevadas in phranommeua posture.

Wat Lan Kuat (วัดล้านขวด)

See Wat Lahn Kuat.

Wat Lat Phrao (วัดลาดพร้าว)

See Wat Laht Phrao.

Wat Leng Hok Yi (วัดเล่งฮกยี่, 龙福寺)

Thai-Tae Chew. ‘Buddhist temple (wat/yi) of the dragon (leng) of good fortune (hok, as in Hok Lok Siw)’. Name of a Chinese-style Mahayana Buddhist temple in Chachengsao. It is located in the tambon Ban Mai, about a kilometer from the city centre and is an extension of Wat Leng Ney Yi (วัดเล่งเน่ยยี่) in Bangkok. It was built in 1906 during the reign of King Rama V. When the latter visited the area in order to inaugurate the Bangkok-Chachengsao railway track, he gave the temple the Thai name Wat Jihn Pracha Samohson (วัดจีนประชาสโมสร), i.e. ‘Chinese Temple Citizens' Club’. Amongst the temples' buildings is a 7-storey pagoda. See MAP.

Wat Lohk Molih (วัดโลกโมฬี)

Thai. Name of a Buddhist temple in Chiang Mai, located in the area just North of the old city moat. It was built in the first half of the 16th century, presumably by command of Phaya Meuang Kaew, who ruled the city from 1495 to 1526 AD. See also lohk and molih. Sometimes transcribed Wat Lok Molee. WATCH VIDEO and MAP.

Wat Lokayasutharam (วัดโลกยสุธาราม)

Thai. Name of an ancient Buddhist temple in Ayutthaya, which features a 42 meter long and 8 meter high outdoor reclining Buddha. Hence the temple is also referred to as Wat Phra Non, i.e. ‘Temple of the Reclining Buddha. It was presumably built somewhere between the later half of the early to middle Ayutthaya Period and was allegedly commissioned by Somdet Phra Nakhon Inthrathirat (14091424 AD), while some sources mention roughly the year 1452 AD as the date [of the completion?] of its construction. See MAP.

Wat Luang (วัดหลวง)

Thai. Another name for Phra Araam Luang, i.e. a Buddhist temple that a King or a member of the royal family had built or restored.

Wat Luang Phih Saem (วัดหลวงพี่แซม)

Thai. Name of a Buddhist temple in Chonburi. The compound features a modern and very stylish prayer hall and an artificial cave, set in a tranquil garden with streams and a waterfall. The grotto, referred to as Tham Phayanaag Phaya Muchalin (มุจลินทร์), i.e. the ‘Royal Naga King Muchalinda Cave’, houses various serpent-like naag or naga; reusi or hermits; a statue of Yom, the Vedic god of death; a statue of Ganesha holding a naga; several Buddha statues, and other edifices and images related to Buddhism, local folklore, and Thai history. The naga is, besides the guardian of the  Buddha and protector of the earthly waters, also the symbol of fertility, steadfastness, wealth and abundance, and being associated with water, it dwells in bodies of still and flowing water, as well as beneath the earth, where it guards minerals and gems. Hence, the cavern has a pool with a multi-headed naga, as well as a niche that holds a large treasure in the form of jewelry, gold and gems. In front of the wihaan is an immense bronze Buddha image seated on a lotus base which is supported by an overarching naga. Inside the ordination or prayer hall are several unique displays related to Buddhism and Thai history. On the porch in between the two entrance doors, is a bronze Buddha statue standing on Brahmanaspati (fig.), a composite animal known as Lord of the Jungle (fig.) which combines features of the animal mounts or vehicles of the three main Hindu gods, thus having the beak of Vishnu's Garuda, the horns of Shiva's bull, and the wings of Brahma's hamsa, i.e. a sacred swan, whilst this creature mounted by the Buddha, represents the ascendancy of Buddhism over Hinduism. On one inner wall are some framed stuccos of Vishnu seated on Garuda, who are known in Thai as Phra Narai and Krut respectively; of King Bhumiphon with his Mother, Princess Sri Nagarindra, the Queen Mother; and of the Buddha standing inside a coiled multi-headed naga whilst making an abhaya mudra, i.e. a hand position that symbolizes ‘fearless’, ‘calm’, ‘reassurance’ and ‘no fear’. WATCH VIDEO.

Wat Mahaeyong (วัดมเหยงคณ์)

Thai-Singhalese. Name of an ancient Buddhist temple in Ayutthaya, which was built in 1438 AD and commissioned by King Borommarachathiraat II (1424–1448). READ ON.

Wat Mahawan (วัดมหาวัน)

Thai. Name of a Buddhist temple in Chiang Mai built in a mixture of Lan Na and Burmese styles. READ ON.

Wat Mahathat (วัดมหาธาตุ)

1. Thai. Name given to temples in Thailand that house a relic of the Buddha, hence temples with this name are found in many locations throughout the nation, e.g. in Ayutthaya (map - fig.), in Sukhothai (map), etc. See also that. See POSTAGE STAMP (1), (2), (3) and (4), TRAVEL PICTURE, THEMATIC STREET LIGHT, WATCH VIDEO, and VIDEO (E).

2. See Wat Mahathat Yuwaraja Rangsarit.

Wat Mahathat Wachiramongkhon (วัดมหาธาตุวชิรมงคล)

Thai. Name of a Buddhist temple complex in Krabi, which is also known as Wat Bang Thong. READ ON.

Wat Mahathat Wora Maha Wihaan (วัดมหาธาตุวรมหาวิหาร)

Thai. Name of a temple in Nakhon Sri Thammarat which is over a thousand years old, dating back to the Srivijaya period. READ ON.

Wat Mahathat Yuwaraja Rangsarit (วัดมหาธาตุยุวราชรังสฤษฎิ์)

Thai. Name of one of the few temples in Thailand that is bestowed with the highest possible royal title of Rajavora Maha Vihaan. READ ON.

Wat Meun Nah Som Phu Araam (ວັດໝື່ນນາ​ ຊົມພູອາຣາມ)

Thai. ‘Ten Thousand Fields Mountain View Temple’. Name of a picturesque Buddhist temple in the city of Luang Prabang, in northwestern Laos. It, i.e. the ‘Temple’, is situated on the plains or ‘Ten Thousand Fields’, with a view or ‘Mountain View’ on Mount Phousi, a towering hill (phu) in the city center of Luang Prabang (fig.), which also has a Buddhist temple (araam) at the top (fig.). The temple's name is also transliterated in various other ways, such as Vat Munna Somphouaram and Wat Mouanna Somphouaram, which can lead to some confusion. WATCH VIDEO.

Wat Meun Toom (วัดหมื่นตูม)

Thai. ‘Temple of the Ten Thousand Buds’. Name of a small Lan Na-style Buddhist temple in Chiang Mai, located within the walls of the old city, which features a striking front and entrance gate, decorated with mythological figures and animals from the mythical Himaphan Forest, as well as a garden with a sala-style shrine that houses a statue of Thao Wetsuwan. See also TRAVEL PICTURE and WATCH VIDEO.

Wat Meun Toom

Wat Ming Meuang (วัดมิ่งเมือง)

Thai. ‘Temple of the City's Cherished Possession’. Name of an important and prosperous Buddhist temple in the city of Chiang Rai. It is a former Thai Yai temple which was reportedly founded by Nang Ua Ming Jom Meuang (fig.), the mother of King Mengrai (fig.), and renovated by Chao Nang Talamae Sri (fig.), the wife of King Mengrai (fig.) and daughter of a Mon King from Hongsawadih. Hence the temple was under royal patronage. The temple's Burmese-style architecture and iconography are mixed in with local Lan Na-style, and houses a statue of King Mengrai seated besides his Queen. Sometimes transliterated Wat Ming Muang. See also TRAVEL PICTURES (1), (2) and (3), and WATCH VIDEO.

Wat Muang Chum (วัดม่วงชุม)

Thai. Name of a rural temple in Kanchanaburi, that displays a glass casket with the body of the mummified monk Luang Poo Thiang (fig.), the former dean and abbot of this temple, as well as a kejih.

Wat Na Phra Men (วัดหน้าพระเมรุ)

Thai. A temple in Ayutthaya, located on the bank of the Chao Phraya River, to the North of the former palace. READ ON.

Wat Nawong (วัดนาวงศ์)

Thai. Name of a Buddhist temple, also known as Wat Pahng Kho, that is situated in the tambon Chedi Chai (เจดียชัย) of the ampheu Pua (ปัว), in Nan Province. This temple, constructed in the Lan Na style, is a magnificent structure made from golden teak. The temple is adorned with intricate gold decorations and features a three-tiered roof with a raised chofa, bird's head-like finial at either end of Buddhist temple roofs in Thailand. In front of the temple, there is a phayanaag serpent and a large singh lion statue. Inside, the temple houses a finely crafted Buddha image, which was enshrined to honour King Rama IX's 60th anniversary in 2006. This Buddha image was bestowed by King Bhumipon Adunyadet and is one of the nine Buddhist temples honoured by the monarch on this occasion, the number corresponding to his regnal title, Rama IX. The compound also has a pristine white stupa adorned with a golden pinnacle, golden ornaments, gilded Buddha statues, and depictions of the twelve animals of the Lan Na zodiac (fig.). In this zodiac, the elephant holds the position that the pig occupies in the more widely known Chinese zodiac (fig.). The four Buddha statues situated in niches at the upper part of the stupa, one on each of the four sides of this redented chedi (fig.), represent the four different standing images of the Phra prajam wan system. This system of personal worship in Thailand associates each day of the week with a Buddha image corresponding to the day one is born (fig.). The four statues, all in a standing pose, are: on the northeastern wall, a Buddha statue in the pahng tawaai naet (fig.) pose, representing Sunday; on the northwestern wall, a Buddha statue in the pahng um baat (fig.) pose, representing Wednesday; on the southwestern wall, a Buddha statue in the pahng ram peung (fig.) pose, representing Friday; and on the southeastern wall, a Buddha statue in the pahng hahm yaht (fig.) pose, representing Monday. The smaller Buddha statues in the niches at the base are all seated in the maravijaya pose, also known as bhumisparsa (fig.). WATCH VIDEO.

Wat Naxao Sukharaam (ວັດນາຊາວສຸຂາຣາມ)

Lao. ‘Naxao Temple of Happiness or ‘Naxao Monastery of Well-being. Name a serene Theravada Buddhist temple located in the tranquil village of Naxao (ນາຊາວ) in Khwaeng Luang Pha Bang (ແຂວງຫຼວງພະບາງ), a province in northern Laos, approximately 27 kilometres from its capital city of the same name, Luang Pha Bang (ຫຼວງພະບາງ), commonly transcribed in English as Luang Prabang and formerly the capital of the Lan Xang or Lan Chang Kingdom. The temple features a Maha Bodhi-style pagoda (fig.), symbolizing the ‘Great Enlightenment’ or ‘Great Awakening’, modelled after the original stupa at Bodh Gaya in Bihar (बिहार) State, North India, where the Buddha attained Enlightenment or bodh, near the town of Gaya (गया). This pagoda, constructed in the sikhara-style (fig.), is a truncated pyramidal structure, typically topped with an amalaka (fig.), a circular, decorative, ribbed ornament found on the summit of northern-style Hindu temples, and crowned with a spire. Adjacent to this pagoda is an edifice featuring a raised platform with a rectangular pedestal supported by four pillars with lotus-shaped cornices (fig.). Atop this pedestal are two golden rocks, one stacked on the other, with the uppermost rock topped by a stupa, reminiscent of the Golden Rock (fig.) at Mount Kyaihtiyo (fig.) in Myanmar's Mon State. The outer walls of the temple's prayer hall are adorned with murals depicting stories from the life of the Buddha, as well as the Totsachat (ທົດສະຊາດ), representing the last ten incarnations or lives of the Buddha before his final birth as Prince Siddhartha. These murals are part of the Jataka tales, which narrate a total of 550 incarnations that every soul must undergo before achieving Buddhahood. Opposite this, there's a spacious assembly hall, accessible from the front via stairs flanked by guardian lions, or from the side through a ramp adorned with a naga balustrade. Inside, it features an altar with various Buddha statues, several large gongs, and an ornate gilded pavilion throne, referred to as a banlang kheuonthi (ບັນລັງເຄື່ອນທີ່), the Lao equivallent for the Thai busabok (fig.), which comprises a square, open structure intricately carved from wood, supported by four posts that uphold a tapering roof crowned with a spire. The term Sukharaam (ສຸຂາຣາມ) can be broken down into two parts: sukha (ສຸຂາ), which means ‘happiness’ or ‘well-being’, and aaraam (າຣາມ), which means ‘temple’ or ‘monastery’. So, Sukharaam essentially means ‘Temple of Happiness’ or ‘Monastery of Well-being’. Wat (ວັດ) is another word for ‘temple’ or ‘monastery’, and Naxao (ນາຊາວ) is the name of the village. The name of the temple may hence be translated to ‘Naxao Temple of Happiness’ or ‘Naxao Monastery of Well-being’. WATCH VIDEO and VIDEO (E).

Wat Neramit Wipatsanah (วัดเนรมิตวิปัสสนา)

Thai. ‘Temple of creative meditation or Enlightenment (wipatsanah)’. Name of a picturesque temple (fig.) located on a hillside near Phrathat Sri Song Rak in the amphur Dahn Saai (Dan Sai) in the Isaan province of Loei. Its gates, surrounding walls and buildings are constructed in laterite, giving the place an ancient, yet very natural look (fig.). It has a large ubosot (fig.) that is surrounded by a verdant garden with tropical plants and trees, and houses three replicas of the Phra Phutta Chinnarat Buddha image, a large one flanked by two smaller. The ubosot's roof is supported by large pillars that are painted black and decorated with golden kranok-style designs. Its interior also has several colourful murals and paintings, depicting both scenes from the chadok and the Buddha's life. The gable on the back of the ubosot has a detailed relief of monks out on thudong. On the left side of the bot is a mondop with a nicely adorned interior, dedicated to the late phra kruh Phawanawi Suttiyahn (ภาวนาวิสุทธิญาณ) and which houses a shrine, the coffin, a bronze statue and a wax figure of this venerated monk (fig.). Both its walls and ceiling are decorated with colourful angels and golden thepada. See MAP.

Wat Nikon Rangsarit (วัดนิกรรังสฤษดิ์)

Thai. Name of a rural Buddhist temple in the tambon Yan Ta Khao (ย่านตาขาว), located in the amphur of the same name, in Trang province, i.e. in southern Thailand. READ ON.

Wat Niwet Thammaprawat (วัดนิเวศน์ธรรมประวัติ)

Thai. ‘Temple Estate of the Dhamma Chronicles’. Name of a Buddhist temple in Bang Pa-in, cleverly disguised as a Gothic church, down to stained glass windows and the spiky eaves. It is located on a small island in the Chao Phraya River, opposite of the Bang Pa-in Summer Palace. The temple was built in 1878 on the orders of King Rama V. It is only accessible by boat or by a cable-car that goes across the river (fig.) and which is operated by the monks of the monastery. The temple garden also features an ancient sundial and several Buddha images. See MAP and WATCH VIDEO.

Wat Nong Nok Chum (วัดหนองนกชุม)

Thai. ‘Swamp Bird Community Temple’. Name of a quiet Buddhist countryside temple in the tambon Thung Sai (ทุ่งทราย) of Sai Thong Watthana (ทรายทองวัฒนา) district, in Kamphaeng Phet province. READ ON.

wat pah (วัดป่า)

Thai. ‘Forest temple’. Popular Thai name for temples in the jungle where monks stay to live and meditate in tranquility. Also known as aranyawasi and the practice of clergy dwelling in caves and forests is referred to as the Thai Forest Tradition, and was established by Phra Ajaan Man (fig.).

Wat Pah Daet (วัดป่าแดด)

Thai. ‘Sunlight Forest Temple’. Name of a Buddhist temple in Chiang Mai, yet not an aranyawasi-style forest temple, as the inclusion of wat pah in the name might suggest, but an ordinary Buddhist temple located in the amphur meuang of Chiang Mai. The temple has a large and striking wihaan, and features a mural that is depicted on a Thai postage stamp issued to commemorate the Thai Heritage Conservation Day in 2017 (fig.). Also transliterated Wat Pa Daed. See MAP.

Wat Pah Dong Rai (วัดป่าดงไร่)

Thai. Name of a Buddhist temple in Udonthani of which the ubosot is built in the form of a giant lotus and located in a small lake. It is fully known as Phutta Uthayaan Wat Pah Dong Rai (พุทธอุทยานวัดป่าดงไร่), i.e. ‘Jungle Farm Forest Temple Buddha Park’, yet is also referred to as Wat Pah Santi Wanaraam (วัดป่าสันติวนาราม), and nicknamed Lotus Temple. Initiated in 2003 and entirely funded by donations, it was completed only in early 2019 after a 16 year long period of construction. Its design is inspired by that of the Lotus Temple in Delhi, India (fig.). See also TRAVEL PICTURES and MAP.

Wat Pah Huai Laht (วัดป่าห้วยลาด)

Thai. Name of a large Buddhist forest temple in Phu Reua, in Loei province. It has a giant wihaan with a large white Buddha statue seated in the meditation pose, whilst the surrounding area features some unique sculptures. WATCH VIDEO.

Wat Pah Khlong 11 (วัดป่าคลอง ๑๑)

Thai. ‘Canal 11 Forest Temple’. Name of a Buddhist wat pah or forest temple in Pathum Thani. READ ON.

Wat Pah Lahn Kuat (วัดป่าล้านขวด)

See Wat Lahn Kuat.

Wat Pahk Khao Sahn Tai (วัดปากข้าวสารใต้)

Thai. ‘Southern Pahk Khao Sahn Temple’. Name of a Buddhist temple in Saraburi, named after the district in which it is located, namely Pahk Khao Sahn, with pahk meaning ‘mouth and khao sahn meaning polished rice’. To its north, there is another temple which is known as Wat Pahk Khao Sahn Neua (วัดปากข้าวสารเหนือ), i.e. ‘Northern Pahk Khao Sahn Temple’. Eye catcher at this temple are several statues of Thao Wetsuwan, a yak or giant guardian, here depicted with a red complexion, i.e. of Tavatimsa level and also referred to as Thao Wetsuwan Thepbut Sutthep (เทพบุตรสูติเทพ), and here labelled Thao Wetsuwannoh (ท้าวเวสสุวรรณโณ), as well as Yak Wat Tai (ยักษ์วัคโค้). Two statues of this giant flank one of the temple's entrances, and he is also erected in front of a building, where he is flanked by Manuthiha, i.e. mythological sphinx-like creatures, with a body that is half-man and half-lion (fig.), and here also with a red complexion. On either side of this is a statue of a golden naga (fig.). See also PANORAMIC PICTURE.

Wat Pahk Nahm Choloh (วัดปากน้ำโจ้โล้)

Thai. ‘Choloh Estuary Temple’. Name of a temple in Chachengsao. READ ON.

Wat Pahk Nahm Phasi Chareun (วัดปากน้ำภาษีเจริญ)

Thai. ‘Phasi Chareun Estuary Temple’. Name of a royal temple in Bangkok's Phasi Chareun district. READ ON.

Wat Pahng Kho (วัดปางเคาะ)

See Wat Nawong.

Wat Pah Ratana Suwan (วัดป่ารัตนสุวรรณ)

Thai. Name of a small but neat forest temple located in Chiang Mai's Doi Lo (ดอยหล่อ) District. The temple is surrounded by longan trees, known in Thai as lamyai, whose fruits are picked and sold in order to finance the temple's material needs. The western name for both the tree and fruit derives from the Chinese longyan and literally means ‘dragon eyes’. Besides monks, dressed in safron coloured robes, the temple is also home to some Buddhist nuns and a couple of temple boys, who all wear white clothes. Also living on the compound are some dogs, some of whom have been given names of soft drinks, e.g. Cola, Sprite, etc. WATCH VIDEO.

Wat Pah Ruak Tai (วัดป่ารวกใต้)

Thai. Name of a Buddhist temple in the vicinity of the Lao River in the northern province of Chiang Rai and of which the majority of the buildings are painted red. The temple has some well-maintained and neatly manicured gardens that surround many of the edifices, as well as some topiary sculptures (fig.) of which the bright green colours contrast nicely with the red walls. On the outside there is a topiary hedge in the form of rabbits and other animals, and whereas chickens roam feely in and around the compound, in the back of the temple complex are some cages with a special breed of chickens, a Black-collared Starling (fig.), and a couple of Talking Hill Mynas (fig.). Whereas no specific reason is given as to why the temple buildings are painted red, the colour is understood to be auspicious and in China it is symbol for good fortune and good luck, as well as for health, happiness, harmony, peace and prosperity, while it in general also represents loyalty and righteousness. In the thong chaht, i.e. the Thai national flag, the colour red represents the nation and its citizens. The temple's name means Southern Ruak Forest Temple, with Ruak being both the name of a species of small bamboo and the name of a river in Chiang Rai province. WATCH VIDEO.

Wat Pariwaht Ratchasongkraam (วัดปริวาสราชสงคราม)

Thai. Name of a riverside Buddhist temple with an enclosing wall along the Chao Phraya in Bangkok, which features flamboyant mosaics and sculptures from various religions and cultures, international history and mythology, and even international idols from famous cartoons and pop-culture icons, as well as creatures of fantasy and imagination, all incorporated into typical Thai-style beautification. READ ON.

Wat Pah Sorayoh Ban Khum Din (วัดป่าโสรโยบ้านขุมดิน)

Thai. Name of a Buddhist forest temple in Khon Kaen Province, located on the main road to Chaiyaphum. It is situated on a large domain in a desolate wooded area and features a white and golden chedi, known as Phrathat Chedi Manja Khiri Sri Sorayoh (พระธาตุเจดีย์ มัญจาคีรีศรีโสรโย - fig.), that is built on a small hill. In the front center of the stupa, on the platform of the first level, is a bronze statue of the travelling monk Phra Siwalih. The balconies surrounding the higher levels of this pagoda offer panoramic views of the wider area. The main chapel, adjacent to the stupa yet separated by some bushes, consists of a simple sala-like open pavilion, but is enclosed with low brick walls that are decorated with bas-reliefs that depict major episodes from the life of the Buddha, as well as elephants, lotusses, and scenes of traditional village life. The temple's entrance along the main road has a multi-headed, naga-bridge and gate in auburn stone, reminiscent of those at Khmer-style temples in Cambodia. Since the chedi is located some 800 meters away from the main entrance of the temple and several dirt roads crisscross the domain, a Good Samaritan has put up a road sign with the English text ‘Go to J.D.’, with J.D. being a rather unique and somewhat funny spelling for chedi. WATCH VIDEO.

Wat Pah Thamma Uthayaan (วัดป่าธรรมอุทยาน)

Thai. Name of a large but rather odd Buddhist forest temple in the northeastern Thai province of Khon Kaen. The temple is located on a large domain and has a mixture of religious and secular statues and edifices. Scattered throughout the forest in which the temple is located there are a number of spacious open-sided hangars. Each one has at its centre a large Buddhist item or a tall Buddha statue in a pose depicting one of the major scenes in the life of the Buddha, i.e. his birth, his Enlightenment, his demise, etc. One hall has a giant Wheel of Law, which represents the dharma, i.e. the teachings of the Buddha in Theravada Buddhism. Besides this, the temple features many items that appear to be somewhat out of place, such as statues of Kung Fu Panda, Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Pokemon, Doremon, and the Hulk, as well as of protagonists from other famous cartoons. There are also plenty of statues and figurines of animals scattered all over the domain and many of the walkways are lined with replica trees that are decorated with colourful flowers, birds and other animals. Besides the many dogs, chickens and roosters, that dwell freely all over temple, there is also an enclosed animal section that houses carp, pheasants, rabbits, turtles and tortoises, and even an albino crocodile, that in front of its enclosure has a statue depicting a scene from the Thai love story Kraithong which features a giant crocodile called Chalawan (fig.). Whereas construction is still ongoing in some parts of the temple, including the building of a new stupa called Phra Maha Chedi Phutta Metta Luang, other parts of the temple seem rather neglected, with some edifices already having fallen in disrepair. Also transliterated Wat Pa Thamma Utthayan. WATCH VIDEO.

Wat Pathum Wanaraam Rachaworawihaan (วัดปทุมวนารามราชวรวิหาร)

Thai. ‘Royal Lotus Hall Abode Temple’. Name of a royal temple of the class Phra Araam Luang in Bangkok's Pathum Wan district. READ ON.

Wat Phah Nahmthip Thepprasit Wanaram (วัดผาน้ำทิพย์เทพประสิทธิ์วนาราม)

Thai. ‘Elixir of the Angelic Accomplishment Cliff Temple’. Name of a temple located on a huge 2,500 rai domain in Roi Et and featuring a pagoda known as Phra Maha Chedi Sri Chai Mongkhon (พระมหาเจดีย์ศรีชัยมงคล). With Roi Et meaning ‘Hundred-and-one’, the six-floor pagoda has the symbolic height of 101 meters and is at its base also 101 meters wide. It is furthermore built in an area of 101 rai, and enshrines the portraits of 101 monks of the past. The main pagoda is surrounded by 8 smaller pagodas, their number representing the Buddhist Eightfold Path, that Buddhism aims to spread in all cardinal directions, akin to the location of the smaller pagodas, , whereas each one house a look nimit (fig.), i.e. large round stones, normally buried in the ground and marking the boundary of the consecrated area of a Thai temple on which the main prayer hall is built, yet here still above ground, with the ninth ball that is normally buried in the centre of a prayer hall, here still on the ground floor of the pagoda . The top floor, which has a pinnacle of real gold that weighs around 60 kilograms, houses relics of the Buddha. Designed by the Fine Arts Department, construction on the temple started in 1985, and was still ongoing in 2023. WATCH VIDEO.

Wat Phai Rong Wua (วัดไผ่โรงวัว)

Thai. ‘Bamboo Shed Cow Temple’, a Buddhist temple in Suphanburi, named after the area in which it is located and originally a bamboo grove where local villagers brought their cattle to rest in the shadow whilst they were farming the fields. READ ON.

Wat Pathum Wongsawaht (วัดปทุมวงษาวาส)

Thai. Name of a Buddhist temple in the tambon Ko Wai (เกาะหวาย) of the amphur Pak Phli (ปากพลี) in Nakhon Nayok Province. It is an old temple associated with the Thai Phuan community, which are Laotian immigrants who settled in this area over 200 years ago. Most of this temple's buildings are painted pink. Its square features a statue of Luang Poo Thuad (fig.), a highly venerated Buddhist monk from the 16-17th century AD, seated on a giant pink lotus. The temple has an ubosot that is surrounded by bai sema (fig.), stone boundary markers at the eight cardinal points around a bot, that are erected on top of a capital of four lions, akin an Asoka Pillar (fig.), whilst at the front it has a large bronze statue of Rahu (fig.), the god of darkness and legless demon who causes the eclipses of the sun and moon. Adjacent to the temple square is another field with a building that on its roof has a giant statue of the Vedic god Indra seated on is mount, the three-headed White Elephant Erawan (fig.), as well as the Indian-style white Kusawadih (กุสาวดี) stupa, a white dome considered the highlight of this temple. It houses a relic of the Buddha which is also placed atop of an Asoka Pillar-like capital with four lions, carved from Indian jade. In front of this is a statue of a crowned Buddha and next to it lies a fortune stone, known in Thai as hin siang thai (หินเสี่ยงทาย), a heavy and rather large stones used to foretell if a wish will be granted or not, and in Myanmar hence known as oracle stones. Fortune seekers will rub the stone while making a wish, and then predict if the stone will feel either heavy or light when lifted. If the feel of it corresponds to their prediction, it is believed that their wish will be fulfilled. The ceiling of the dome has a bright painting depicting thevada or angels in heaven. Against the inner walls surrounding the relic are eighty gilded buddha-like statues, seated in meditation in the half lotus position, that is one for each year that the Buddha has lived on earth. The temple also has a building that is home to the Human Wisdom Center, known in Thai as  Soon Phumipanyah Manut (fig.). Also transliterated Wat Pathum Wongsawat. WATCH VIDEO, and VIDEO (E).

Wat Phah Bong (วัดผาบ่อง)

Thai. ‘Temple of the Pierced Cliff’. Name of a Buddhist temple in Chiang Mai located within the old city moats. The temple's compound features several interesting objects. READ ON.

Wat Phah Laht (วัดผาลาด)

Thai. ‘Cliff Slope Temple’ or ‘Monastery at the Sloping Rock’. Name for a ca. 500 year old Buddhist temple in Chiang Mai, built on a forested mountain slope on Doi Suthep, adjacent to a small waterfall. Formerly, this spot was a resting place for people walking up to worship the reliquary at mountain top monastery of Wat Doi Suthep (fig.). When Kruh Bah Sri Wichai (fig.) from 1934 to 1935 built the road up Doi Suthep, the local workers for their input are said to have reached the third stage of spiritual development, known as anagami, the last stage before becoming an arahan, which is the final stage before reaching buddhahood. The place later developed into a dwelling place for monks and was named Wat Sagitaka (วัดสกิทาคา), sometimes referred to as Wat Sagitakami (วัดสกิทาคามี), after the second stage of the four stages of Enlightenment in Buddhism, known as sakadagami. See also TRAVEL PICTURE (1) and (2), and WATCH VIDEO.

Wat Phanan Choeng (วัดพนัญเชิง)

Thai. Name of a Buddhist temple in Ayutthaya. READ ON.

Wat Phet Samut Worawihaan (วัดเพชรสมุทรวรวิหาร)

Thai. ‘Temple of the Jewel of the Ocean’. Name of a royal Buddhist temple located along the Mae Klong River in Samut Songkhram Province. READ ON.

Wat Phitchaya Yahtikarahm Worawihaan (วัดพิชยญาติการามวรวิหาร)

Thai. Name of a royal Buddhist temple in Bangkok's Thonburi District. READ ON.

Wat Phnom (វត្តភ្នំ)

Khmer. ‘Hill Pagoda’ or ‘Mountain Temple’. Name of a temple on a 27 meter tall hill, called phnom in Khmer, and built by a wealthy lady, called Penh (fig.). It is located in the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh, which derives its name from this place. Statues of lady Penh can today be found in and around Wat Phnom (fig.). See also wat and MAP.

Wat Phohn Chai (วัดโพนชัย)

Thai. ‘Victory Hill Temple’ or ‘Temple on the Mound of Victory’. Name of a Buddhist temple in the district Dan Sai/Dahn Saai (ด่านซ้าย) of Loei Province. The temple's compound is home to Phiphithaphan Phi Tah Khohn, i.e. the ‘Phi Tah Khohn Museum’ (map - fig.), which displays a variety of items related to this annual festival of ghosts known as Phi Tah Khohn (fig.). The main prayer hall of this local village temple houses the principal Buddha statue and its upper walls are decorated with cartoon-like murals in bright colours, depicting scenes from the Totsachat, i.e. the stories about the last ten chaht or lives of the Buddha before his final birth as Prince Siddhartha. See also EXPLORER'S MAP, and WATCH VIDEO (1) and (2).

Wat Phothisat Banpotnimit (วัดโพธิสัตว์บรรพตนิมิต)

Thai. Name of a Buddhist temple in Kanchanaburi Province, that features a mixtures of iconographic styles from both Mahayaan or Mahayana Buddhism and Therawaht or Theravada Buddhism, as well as influences from Lan Na and Burmese architecture. On the temple domain are also statues of the late 16th to early 17th Century King Naresuan (fig.) of Ayutthaya; and of the 7th Century Queen Chamadevi (fig.) of Lopburi, the legendary first ruler of the Mon city of Haripunchai, then part of the Dvaravati Kingdom. WATCH VIDEO.

Wat Phra Borommathat Chediyaram (วัดพระบรมธาตุเจดียาราม)

Thai. Name of a Buddhist temple in Kamphaeng Phet, situated on the west side of the Ping river. READ ON.

Wat Phra Chetuphon (วัดพระเชตุพน)

See Wat Poh.

Wat Phra Chetuphon Wimon Mangkhalaraam (วัดพระเชตุพนวิมลมังคลาราม)

See Wat Poh.

Wat Phra Dhammakaya (วัดพระธรรมกาย)

See Wat Phra Thamma Kaay.

Wat Phra Kaew (วัดพระแก้ว)

1. Thai. ‘Temple of the Jewelled Buddha’. The most important temple in Bangkok and Thailand, housing the Emerald Buddha (map - fig.). It is a royal temple without a Sanghavasa, built next to the old royal palace Phra Rachawang in Phra Nakhon (fig.). The inner walls of the gallery that encloses the temple have elaborate murals depicting the complete story of the Ramakien. They were initially painted during the rule of Rama I, but restored several times afterwards. The temple is much publicized. The main pagoda and the outer wall is shown on the one baht coin (fig), as well as on several Thai postage stamps (fig.), the mondop and a mural are depicted on the 2nd Series of the 2008 Amazing Thailand postage stamps (fig.), while the gilded Chinese-style portal guardians carved on the wooden door panels of the Southern Porch (fig.) feature on a Thai postage stamp issued in 2008 (fig.), and its belfry, i.e. the ho rakhang (map - fig.), was printed on a postage stamp in 1967 (fig.). The temple's official name is Wat Phra Sr Rattana Sahtsadahrahm. See also PANORAMA PICTURE, LIST OF RAMAKIEN CHARACTERS & NAMES, and MAP.

2. Thai. ‘Temple of the Jewelled Buddha’. Name of the temple in Chiang Rai that initially possessed the Emerald Buddha. The Buddha image was discovered in 1434 when lightning struck the temple's octagonal chedi revealing the statue. The current temple complex consists of several edifices. The ubosot, i.e. the main prayer hall, is home to Phra Chao Lan Thong, i.e. a bronze Buddha image seated in the maravijaya pose. When the original Emerald Buddha was removed and housed in Wat Phra Sr Rattana Sahtsadahrahm in Bangkok (fig.), the temple produced a replica (fig.), which is also known as Phra Yok Chiang Rai, i.e. the Chiang Rai Jade Buddha Image. Today, it not enshrined in a stupa but on display in a small, elevated, Lan Na-style building in the back of the temple complex. The complex also has a museum, in Thai fully known as Phiphithaphan Hohng Luang Saeng Kaew (พิพิธภัณฑ์โฮงหลวงแสงแก้ว), literally the ‘Principal Palace of the Shining Crystal Museum’, yet in English usually referred to as Saeng Kaew Museum (map - fig.), which focuses on the history and development of Wat Phra Kaew, with ample displays of Buddhist and Lan Na artifacts. The original name of the temple was Wat Pa Yia, a local dialect meaning ‘bamboo forest temple’. See also TRAVEL PICTURES (1), (2) and (3), MAP, and WATCH VIDEO.

Wat Phra Kaew, Chiang Rai

3. Thai. ‘Temple of the Jewelled Buddha’. Name of a temple in Kamphaeng Phet adjacent  to a former royal palace. Many of the Buddha images in this temple are now tarnished by weather conditions and corroded by the ravages of time, but are because of this even more impressive.

4. Thai. ‘Temple of the Jewelled Buddha’. Name of a hilltop temple at Phra Nakhon Khiri Historical Park, in Phetchaburi. See also POSTAGE STAMP.

Wat Phra Kaew Don Tao (วัดพระแก้วดอนเต้า)

Thai. ‘Temple of the Jeweled Buddha on the highland of palm fruits’. Name of a temple in Lampang that was built by order of King Anantayot and where between 1436 and 1468 the Emerald Buddha was housed. Legend tells that a senior monk of the temple one day found an emerald stone in a watermelon which he had carved into a precious Buddha image. A watermelon in Northern-Thai dialect is called ‘mahk tao’, hence the etymological origin of the temple's name (map - fig.). The temple architecture is a mixture of styles and influences from Haripunchai, Burma and modern Thailand, with images and art in Mandalay and Lan Na styles, among others. The temple also has a building known as Wihaan Phra Phutta Sayait that is home to an ancient reclining Buddha statue believed to date to the 7th century, when the temple was first built. See also EXPLORER'S MAP, and WATCH VIDEO (1), (2), (3), (4), (5) and (6).

Wat Phra Non (วัดพระนอน)

1. Thai. ‘Temple of the reclining Buddha’. Buddhist temple at the foot of the hilltop temple Wat Phrathat Doi Kong Moo (fig.) in the amphur meuang of Mae Hong Son. It houses a 12 meter long reclining Buddha image in Thai Yai style which was cast in 1875 AD, commissioned by the wife of Singha Nat Racha, the city's first ruler (fig.). The temple also features a herbal garden and in the yard behind the temple's wihaan is a naga-staircase leading to a Shan style Buddha image, seated in the bhumisparsa pose (fig.). See MAP.

2. Thai. ‘Temple of the reclining Buddha’. Buddhist temple in Kamphaeng Phet.

3. Thai. ‘Temple of the reclining Buddha’. Another name for Wat Lokayasutharam, a Buddhist temple in Ayutthaya (fig.).

Wat Phra Non Chaksi (วัดพระนอนจักรสีห์)

Thai. ‘Temple of the Chaksi reclining Buddha’. Buddhist temple in Singburi. READ ON.

Wat Phra Non Chaksi Worawihaan (วัดพระนอนจักรสีห์วรวิหาร)

See Wat Phra Non Chaksi.

Wat Phra Phai Luang (วัดพระพายหลวง)

Thai. Name of a large and important temple complex in the northern section of Sukhothai Historical Park, which was likely constructed during the reign of the Khmer King Jayavarman VII. READ ON.

Wat Phra Phut Sri Wilai (วัดพระพุทธศรีวิไล)

Thai. ‘Temple of the Brave Buddha’ or ‘Temple of the Beautiful Buddha’. Name of a Thai-Chinese Buddhist temple in Samut Prakan. READ ON.

Wat Phra phuttabaht (วัดพระพุทธบาท)

Thai. Temple in the province of Saraburi that houses a Phraphuttabaht, i.e. a footprint of the Buddha, in a small nicely decorated mondop. This giant footprint was discovered during the rule of King Song Tham (1610-1628) and bears the 108 auspicious signs of a buddha. The temple is one of the only few throughout Thailand conferred with the highest royal title Rajavora Maha Vihaan and as one of nation's landmarks, a scale model of the iconic mondop earned itself a spot (map - fig.) in Mini Siam in North Pattaya (fig.). It is also the location of the annual Flower Offering Ceremony during the Tak Baat Dokmai Festival, in which devotees offer the clergy Weeping Goldsmith flowers (fig.), in Thai called dok khao phansa, literally ‘entering Buddhist Lent flowers’. Also transliterated Wat Phra phuttabaat. See also POSTAGE STAMPS (1), (2) and (3), as well as MAP.

Wat Phraphuttabaht Poo Pha Daeng (วัดพระพุทธบาทปู่ผาแดง)

Thai. ‘Grandfather Pha Daeng's Temple of the Lord Buddha's Footprint’. Former name of Wat Chaleum Phrakiat Phrachomklao Rachanuson, a stunning hilltop temple in Lampang province. See also wat, Phraphuttabaht, poo, and Pha Daeng.

Wat Phra Phutthachai (วัดพระพุทธฉาย)

Thai. Name of a Theravada Buddhist temple in Saraburi that features a cave-like cliff that has a mural of Phra Phutthachai (พระพุทธฉาย), a Buddha image wearing a brown robe and of which it is said to be in ‘various poses’. The Buddha image is painted on a stone slab that sits on a ridge. There are also some prehistoric drawings at the base of the cliff, including lines of animals with lines resembling a deer. Near the entrance to this Buddha image, a human-like figure as well as some pictograms were found, similar to the circa 3,000 years old prehistoric paintings that were previously discovered at Pha Taem National Park (fig.) in Ubon Ratchathani Province. On top of the hill, also a footprint of the Buddha was found, which appears as an imprint in the exposed bedrock. At the bottom of the staircase that leads to the mondop with the Buddhapada or Phraphuttabaht, there often are macaques hanging around that belong to a large group that lives in the surrounding forest. WATCH VIDEO.

Wat Phraphuttha Saengtham (วัดพระพุทธแสงธรรม)

Thai. ‘Temple of the Light of the Lord Buddha's Dhamma (Law)’. Name of a large Buddhist temple complex in Saraburi, set on 300 rai of land, i.e. ca. 48 hectares. Its name is symbolized in the temple's shiny mushroom-shaped hall, that houses a giant Buddha statue seated in the lotus position whilst making a dhammachakka mudra, a pose also known as pahng pathom thetsanah which symbolizes the Buddha's first public discourse of his doctrine and that was given to five ascetics at Mrigadava, a deer park in Sarnath, hence the depictions of two deer and the five panjawakkih at the base of the statue. Uniquely, the temple's ubosot is marked with bai sema on top of the capital of an Asoka Pillar, i.e. four lions perched on a circular platform that rests on an inverted lotus flower. The Phra prathaan or principal Buddha image at the temple's ubosot is seated in the half lotus position and is depicted with a varada mudra, indicating the ‘granting of a wish’. In a corner of the compound is a garden with a statue of Kuan Yin, the Chinese goddess of mercy, flanked by her two most loyal disciples, i.e. Golden Boy and Jade Girl. The entrance of the path to this garden has two Imperial Guardian Lions, whilst the end of the path is flanked by a Bi Xie on either side, a fierce but auspicious creature from Chinese mythology that resembles a winged lion. WATCH VIDEO (1) and (2).

Wat Phra Prang Muni (วัดพระปรางค์มุนี)

Thai. ‘Temple of the Hermit's Stupa’. Name of a Buddhist temple in Singburi. READ ON.

Wat Phra Singh (วัดพระสิงห์)

1. Thai. Name of a Buddhist temple in the city of Chiang Rai, that houses a replica of the original Phra Phutta Sihing Buddha statue, which is also known as Phra Singh (fig.) and from which the temple got its name. Phra Singh was brought from Kamphaeng Phet to Chiang Mai by Thao Maha Phrom (มหาพรหม), the ruler of Chiang Rai and the younger brother of Phaya Keua Nah (fig.), the eight king of the Mengrai Dynasty who ruled the ninth reign of the northern kingdom of Lan Na from 1355 to 1385. When the latter later ordered the sanctum where Phra Singh was enshrined to be rebuilt, Thao Maha Phrom requested for the Buddha statue to be brought to Chiang Rai in order to have a replica made at Koh Don Thaen (เกาะดอนแท่น), an island in the Mekhong River near Chiang Saen, with the aim to enshrine it in Chiang Rai's Wihaan Luang. After the death of Phaya Keua Nah, his son Phaya Saen Meuang Ma (fig.) succeeded his father as the new ruler of Lan Na. Jealous of Phaya Saen Meuang Ma's accession to the throne, Thao Maha Phrom attacked Chiang Mai, but was captured by Phaya Saen Meuang Ma. Consequently, Phra Singh was ordered to be returned to Chiang Mai, where it has been enshrined in Wat Phra Singh Woramahawihaan ever since, whilst the replica of Phra Singh (fig.) that Thao Maha Phrom had commissioned was later enshrined in Wat Phra Singh in Chiang Rai, where it remains to this day.

2. Thai. Short name for Wat Phra Singh Woramahawihaan.

Wat Phra Singh Woramahawihaan (วัดพระสิงห์วรมหาวิหาร)

Thai. Full name and title of a first class Royal temple (Woramahawihaan) in the city of Chiang Mai, built in 1345 AD by command of Phaya Phayu (fig.), the seventh king (1337-1355) of the Mengrai Dynasty (eight reign), to house the ashes of his father Phaya Kham Fu (1328-1337). It is an important Buddhist monastery, accommodating about 700 monks and novices, as well as the ancient Phra Singh (fig.) or ‘Lion Buddha’, a Buddha statue in Singhalese style after which the temple is named and that is housed in a small wihaan with antique murals. This Buddha image was installed in this temple in 1367 and is one of three Buddha statues in Thailand, that are claimed to be the Phra Phutta Sihing. The temple's main chedi, which was originally white and with a supporting White Elephant on each side of the square base, was eventually completely gilded, including the elephants and the smaller surrounding stupas. The temple is usually referred to by its abbreviated name, without the royal title, i.e. Wat Phra Singh. See also MAP and WATCH VIDEO.

Wat Phra Shiva Jao (วัดพระศิวะเจ้า)

Thai. Another name for Wat Phra Siwa Chao.

Wat Phra Siwa Chao (วัดพระศิวะเจ้า)

Thai. ‘Lord Shiva Temple’. Name of a Thai Hindu sanctuary in Bangkok, also known as samahkhom tantra, i.e. the ‘Tantra Association’ or ‘Tantra Society’. READ ON.

Wat Phra Sri (วัดพระศรี)

Thai. Popular name for Wat Phra Sri Rattanamahathat in Phitsanulok.

Wat Phra Sri Maha Uma Devi (วัดพระศรีมหาอุมาเทวี)

Name of an temple in Bangkok which is commonly nicknamed Wat Kaek Silom, the ‘Indian Temple of Silom’ and devoted to the goddess Uma. It was built in the Rattanakosin period, around 1879 by a group of Indian people who lived in Bangkok and purchased a plot of land on Silom Road where they initially built a small sala named Sala Sri Mari Amman. It was looked after by a group of Indian Tamils who introduced their culture here, as they did in other parts of Asia. Later, Indian settlers who lived in Bangkok contributed in building the temple and in installing the principal image of the goddess Uma in the ubosot, in addition to images of many other Hindu deities, some imported from India. Annually the temple holds the ancient festival of Navaratri (Dushera), a festival dating from Vedic times and in which rituals are performed worshipping Uma as well as other deities (fig.). The festival continues for ten days and nine nights, and on the last day ends with the feast of Vijayadazaami in which images of different forms of the goddess Uma, such as Kali and other deities, such as Kanthakumara, are carried around in a chariot procession, outside the temple (fig.). See MAP.

Wat Phra Sri Rattanamahathat (วัดพระศรีรัตนมหาธาตุ)

1. Thai. Important temple in Phitsanulok that houses the Phra Phutta Chinnarat Buddha image (fig.). Abbreviated the temple is called Wat Phra Sri (วัดพระศรี), but it is also referred to as Wat Yai (วัดใหญ่). Besides housing one of the country's most revered Buddha images, the temple's pagoda contains a relic of the Buddha, hence the word Mahathat in its name. See MAP, TRAVEL PICTURES (1), (2), (3), (4) and (5), POSTAGE STAMPS (1) and (2), and WATCH VIDEO.

2. Thai. Name of a temple at Meuang Chaliang (เชลียง), i.e. the former name of Meuang Sri Satchanalai, in present-day Sri Satchanalai Historical Park, in Sukhothai Province, and which is depicted on a Thai postage stamp as part of a set of four stamps, issued in 1993 to mark the annual Thai Heritage Conservation Day and to promote the Sri Satchanalai Historical Park (fig.).

3. Thai. Name of a temple in Lopburi.

4. Thai. Name of a temple in Suphanburi (fig.).

Wat Phra Sri Rattana Sahtsadahrahm (วัดพระศรีรัตนศาสดาราม)

The official Thai name of Wat Phra Kaew in Bangkok.

Wat Phra Sri Sanphet (วัดพระศรีสรรเพชญ์)

Thai. The remains of a royal temple in Ayutthaya with three distinctive chedis. READ ON.

Wat Phra Thamma Kaay (วัดพระธรรมกาย)

Thai. Name of a Buddhist temple in Pathum Thani, located in the tambon Khlong Sahm of the amphur Khlong Luang. READ ON.

Wat Phrathat Cho Hae (วัดพระธาตุช่อแฮ)

Thai. A well-known place of pilgrimage about 10 kms from the city centre of Phrae, where worshippers wrapped a satin cloth named Cho Hae, around the 33 meters high gilded chedi (fig.). This satin fabric, after which the temple is named, is believed to have come from Sipsongpannah. See MAP.

Wat Phrathat Chomsak (วัดพระธาตุจอมสัก)

Thai. Name of a Buddhist hilltop temple on the outskirts of the northern Thai city of Chiang Rai, overlooking the rice paddies of the district or tambon of Ban Duh (บ้านดู่). At its foot there is a statue of Mae Phra Thoranee (fig.), the mother or goddess of the earth, who appears as a witness of the Buddha's accumulated merits from earlier lives, just before the moment of his Enlightenment, and here depicted wringing water from her long black hair, thus aiding Siddhartha, i.e. the bodhisattva or buddha-to-be, in his resistance against Mara (fig.), i.e. the Evil One, by flushing his army of spirits away and saving the Buddha from the temptation of desire. A triple staircase, flanked by four nagamakara (fig.) balustrades, leads to a platform at the summit, as well as to an entrance of the temple. Located outside the temple's surrounding outer wall and also overlooking the valley below are two statues of senior monks with the title of kruh bah, i.e. Kruh Bah Khamlah Sangwaroh (ครูบาคําหล้า สังวโร) and Kruh Bah Inthah Suthontoh (ครูบาอินถา สุทนฺโต). The ceiling of a sala-like edifice in front of the temple's main stupa is decorated with paintings depicting scenes from the life of the Buddha, whereas the ceiling of the pitched roof at the front features some religious drawings with geometric and magical diagrams called yantra, with written texts in ancient script, some depictions of deities, as well as of animals, some of which also appear on vertical thong kathin banners (fig.), such as a turtle, which is known as tao and represents consciousness; a fish which is called matcha (มัจฉา) and symbolizes doubt; a centipede in Thai called takaab which symbolizes anger; and a crocodile, known as jorakae, with lotus flowers in its mouth and here representing greed. In the top corners on either side of this ceiling is on the left a depiction of a peacock and on the right a rabbit, which are symbols of the moon and the sun, that if depicted together (fig.) stand symbol for Enlightenment (fig.), akin to the Chinese characters for sun and moon, i.e. ri () and yue (), that when placed together as ming (), become to mean ‘bright’, ‘clear’, or ‘to understand’. WATCH VIDEO.

Wat Phrathat Doi Chom Thong (วัดพระธาตุดอยจอมทอง)

Thai. Name of a hilltop temple in the city of Chiang Rai. The temple predates the city and according to folklore Poh Khun Mengrai (fig.) first came upon this solitary hill on the banks of the Kok River (fig.) when he was following an elephant that had wandered off. The location was then the site of a stupa, that according to chronicles of the Yonok Kingdom, an early legendary kingdom in present-day Northern Thailand that probably existed several hundred years before ancient Chiang Saen (fig.), was built in 940 AD by Phaya Reuan Kaew (เรือนแก้ว), the then ruler of Chai Narai (ไชยนารายณ์), i.e. the area of today's Wiang Chai (เวียงชัย) District, in order to house relics of the Buddha, that were acquired from a Sinhalese monk by Phaya Phangkaraat (พังคราช) a ruler of Yonok, who divided them into three parts, and had each enshrined in a separate stupa, at three different temples, namely Wat Phrathat Doi Chom Thong, Wat Phrathat Doi Tung (fig.), and Wat Phrathat Chomkitti (วัดพระธาตุจอมกิตติ). King Mengrai so liked the area of Wat Phrathat Doi Chom Thong that he in 1260 founded the city of Chiang Rai near its location. WATCH VIDEO.

Wat Phrathat Doi Kong Moo (วัดพระธาตุดอยกองมู)

Thai. A hilltop temple in the amphur meuang of Mae Hong Son. READ ON.

Wat Phrathat Doi Kham (วัดพระธาตุดอยคำ)

Thai. ‘Buddha's Relic Golden Mount Temple’. Name of a hilltop temple located on the outskirts of Chiang Mai city. At the foot of the mountain on which it is located, along the road that leads to the summit, is a shrine dedicated Puh Sae Yah Sae (ปู่แสะ ย่าแสะ), the guardian spirits of Chiang Mai (fig.), who together with their son, Sudeva Rikshi or Suthep Reusi (สุเทพฤาษี), wander the slopes of Doi Suthep, where they are attended by six lesser spirits. Since they are legendary associated with a story about buffalo sacrifice, the shrine is scattered with edifices of Water Buffalo, including a life-sized statue of both a dark buffalo and an albino buffalo. In between the two is a statue of the hermit Suthep Reusi. The temple itself has more than 1,300 years of history, believed to be built in circa 687 AD to enshrine Buddha's relics. Its golden chedi is somewhat reminiscent of that of of Wat Doi Suthep (fig.). The area in front of the main wihaan, as well as the temple's balcony, feature several large outdoor Buddha statues, including a reclining Buddha. The spacious balcony overlooks the area below and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and the valley. Traditionally, believers come here to offer white jasmine flowers, especially as a kind of kaebon after their earlier wishes have come true. The wall along the main road towards the temple has a huge painting of the gods and demons Churning the Ocean of Milk. WATCH VIDEO.

Wat Phrathat Doi Khao Kwai Kaew (วัดพระธาตุดอยเขาควายแก้ว)

Thai. Name of a hilltop Buddhist temple on the outskirts of the city of Chiang Rai and that is associated with the story of Sih Hoo Hah Tah (fig.), a local legendary creature with four ears and five eyes, that eats red-hot charcoal, which it defecates as pure gold. According to the legend, the creature was thought to be the incarnation of the father of a boy called Ai Thuk Khata (อ้ายทุกคตะ), who had caught the animal and later married Simah (สีมา) the royal daughter of Phaya Phanthumatiraat (fig.). When the latter died, his ashes were enshrined in this temple, that was reportedly specially built for this event, and as his son-in-law, Ai Thuk Khata became the king's successor. On the western flank of the hill is a platform with a balcony that can be reached by a flower-tunnel and that gives access to a small cave that contains charcoaled wood that is used to feed this local mythological creature, and which is offered to the animal in small braziers called tao tahn, i.e. ‘charcoal stoves’ (fig.). WATCH VIDEO.

Wat Phrathat Doi Saket (วัดพระธาตุดอยสะเก็ด)

Thai. Name of a hilltop temple located in Chiang Mai province. READ ON.

Wat Phrathat Doi Tung (วัดพระธาตุดอยตุง)

Thai. Name of a Buddhist temple in Chiang Rai province, located on Doi Tung mountain, to the Northwest of the town, near the Burmese border and reportedly built in 911 AD by King Achutarat of Chiang Saen. READ ON.

Wat Phrathat Doi Wao (วัดพระธาตุดอยเวา)

Thai. Name of Thailand's northernmost Buddhist temple, located in Mae Sai district of Chiang Rai, on a hill named Doi Wao and overlooking the border town of Tachileik in the Republic of the Union of Myanmar. WATCH VIDEO.

Wat Phrathat Haripunchai (วัดพระธาตุหริภุญชัย)

Thai. Name of a Buddhist temple in Lamphun. READ ON.

Wat Phrathat Lampang Luang (วัดพระธาตุลำปางหลวง)

Thai. Name of a temple in Lampang with an enclosing wall in Lan Na style. READ ON.

Wat Phrathat Phanom Woramahawihaan (วัดพระธาตุพนมวรมหาวิหาร)

Thai. Name of a revered temple in Nakhon Phanom, with a distinct stupa in Laotian style. READ ON.

Wat Phrathat Pha Son Kaew (วัดพระธาตุผาซ่อนแก้ว)

Thai. ‘Temple on the Hidden Glass Cliff’ or ‘Stashed Chrystal Cliff Temple’. Name of a Buddhist temple hidden away high up in the hills of Phetchabun, at an elevation of about 830 meters above sea level. The temple features a gilded stupa in the form of a lotus bud (fig.) and a wihaan which is topped by a collection of five ice-white Buddha images of increasing heights. They are nested on the wihaan's roof and arranged in a row, with the largest one, seated in the back, being a crowned Buddha. The images are all seated in the pahng samahti or meditation pose, also known as dhyani, on a lotus base and overlooking the valley. Though their meaning remains unclear, it is presumed that they may represent ei