It was my last few days in Bangkok and I had a free day to explore more. I really wanted to see the ancient city of Ayutthaya, so I decided to book a tour with Oriental Escape. I had such a pleasant experience with their car service and thought their tours would have the same friendly and professional service!
I booked the Ayutthaya Experience tour a couple days before I had to leave and they confirmed the day after. My driver and guide met me right outside my hotel early in the morning. My guide, Rabbit, explained the itinerary and mentioned that our first stop would be Wat Phanan Choeng. The Buddhist temple is on the east bank of the Chao Phraya River and home to an giant seated Buddha.
Rabbit explained the history of the temple, but did not tell me about the seated Buddha and figured it would make a nice surprise. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I walked inside to the main assembly hall…wow! We walked up to the doors and staring down at us was the enormous seated Buddha. The size and beauty – I was speechless. It was quite the surprise!
We arrived right on time for one of the few orange cloth ceremonies they perform. They dress the orange cloth around the Buddha where it then gets handed down to people sitting on the floor.
It supposedly brings you good luck and you want to touch the cloth or cover your head, so we sat down and I managed to have the cloth drape over my head for a bit before the brief ceremony ended and the cloth was quickly retrieved.
Besides the main assembly hall, there was an ordination hall housing three Buddha images all in the posture of Subduing Mara where the left hand lies in the lap with the palm upward. The right hand bends over the right knee, with fingers slightly touching the ground.
Another room has another Buddha image in the Subduing Mara posture and the walls were covered with nice Chinese mural paintings.
The tour was off to a fantastic start. I really liked this temple and was so impressed with the giant seated Buddha. It was time to leave and see the rest of Ayutthaya.
Wat Phanan Choeng
Ho Rattanachai, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya District
Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, 13000, Thailand
+66 3524 1708