Wat Paknam Phasi Charoen
Wat Paknam Phasi Charoen is a unique royal temple that was established in 1610 during the Ayutthaya period. It is famous for its large seated Buddha that is the largest in Bangkok. The temple is also a prosperous center of meditation and Buddhist education. The temple has branches in the USA, Japan, New Zealand & India.
The Giant Buddha
The Buddha image is 69 meters tall and 40 meters wide at its lap. The image is called Phra Buddha Dhammakaya Thepmongkhon and is dedicated to the Thai royal family and the temple?s former abbot Luang Pu Sodh. It is made entirely of pure bronze (the only one in the world) and is in the meditation posture. Inside the lotus bud on the head of the Buddha is a relic of the Buddha while the chest contains a gold heart. The Buddha is fast becoming a new tourist attraction in Bangkok and dominates the local skyline.
Wat Paknam Stupa
A white stupa named Maharatchamongkhon is behind the giant Buddha. It is 80 meters high with a 12 sided polygon shape containing 5 floors. The top floor is a beautiful dome with an 8-meter emerald glass stupa containing Buddha relics and a colorful psychedelic ceiling.
Wat Paknam Museum
The second floor is the museum which contains a lot of interesting artifacts that have been donated to the temple. You will find Buddhist art, Buddha images, wooden furniture, ceramics, and even some classic vintage cars.
On other floors are more Buddha images, meditation rooms, and images of famous monks including Luang Pu Sodh. The terrace on the 5th floor gives a great view over the surrounding area.
Wat Paknam Ubosot
The Ubosot contains an Ayutthaya-style Buddha image while the walls are decorated with beautiful murals.
At the front of the Ubosot is a statue of Luang Pu Sodh and a golden elephant both of which are popular with worshippers who stick gold leaf on them.
Opposite the Ubosot up a flight of stairs is a shrine room containing the body of Luang Pu Sodh (1916-59), a former abbot of the temple. Many Thai worshippers come here to pay their respects.
The temple grounds are surrounded by canals and two other interesting temples are nearby, Wat Khunchan & Abonsawan.
Wat Khunchan is just across the canal from Wat Paknam. It features many unusual visually appealing statues which make for great photos including a large Buddha seated on the backs of three elephants.
Behind this on the riverside is a large reclining Buddha with other quirky images scattered around the temple grounds.
Just behind Wat Paknam on the way to Wat Khunchan is the ancient Wat Abonsawan. It?s a small temple but the Ubosot is worth a look for the 28 Buddha statues within, all identical.
Wat Paknam is worth visiting if you have an interest in seeing unique temples. Its a bit different and of course features the biggest Buddha in Bangkok! The temple is busy on weekends as it is an important temple for Thai people. During the week it is quiet. The temple complex is also disabled-friendly with a lift in the stupa as well as chair lifts.
How to get to Wat Paknam
The most convenient way is to take the BTS to Wutthakat station. There is a taxi rank underneath the station. All the drivers know Wat Paknam. The fare is about 45-50 baht on the meter. There are also motorcycle taxis for 40 baht. The temple is closest to MRT Bang Phai which is a 10-15 minute walk away. Taxis are not so easy to find here and you will have to navigate the back streets to the temple using the big Buddha as a visual guide.
Location: 300 Ratchamongkhon Prasat Alley, Phasi Charoen Bangkok, Thailand 10160
Opening Hours: 08.00-18.00
Getting There: MRT Bang Phai, BTS Wutthakat