Sunday, April 4, 2010

Wat Amphawa Chediyaram

With the Amphawa floating market becoming more and more popular as an more authentic alternative to the standard tourist target at Damnoen Saduak, I have used the opportunity to drop it a visit as well. Though I think it is definitely worth a visit, I instead write about the temple right next to it, which normally visitors to the market only notice as their parking lot. Since shopping isn't among my favorite pastimes, I had some time to spend while the family was still busy, and did some walking around the temple complex. It was quite surprising how few people I saw strolling around there, compared to the crowded market area.

Most beautiful is the main hall, which contains the large Buddha statue. While for me as a non-Buddhist the statue did not look any special, the murals on the walls were the most interesting thing to look at in the hall. The one behind the Buddha statue shows, if I am not totally mistaken, the former capital city Ayutthaya before it was destroyed by the Burmese in 1767. But not only the mural behind the Buddha is worth looking at, between each window it has one showing some historical or mythological scenes. It even has small signs under them explaining what it depicted - but sadly only in Thai, so I could not understand which one is the most notable of these murals.

But not just this main hall of the temple has something special to show, in a small and inconspicuous building is another Buddha statue, and more notable a large footprint. Light inside was a bit weak, so the photo turned out to be a bit blurred, I did not bring the tripod since most of the photos I do in Thailand are in the strong sun outdoors, when a tripod is only unnecessary weight.

The final building I entered is the courtyard, a walkway with the donated Buddha statues at the walls, and a white chedi in the middle. Though this part looked so similar to the ones I had seen in countless other temples already, here's a photo of the smaller statues.

1 comment:

Catherine said...

I stayed overnight during the week at Amphawa and loved the quiet. I was up at 6am to watch the monks sliding by with their bowls and paddling on the river.

When I went back on a weekend I was surprised at the activity. No more long walkways with closed doors - Amphawa had turned into a modern, very upmarket shopping area.

It was so busy with tourists, you had to walk sideways if you wanted to walk at all.

When I go back next, it'll be during the week. For sure.

And when I go back next, I'll spend more time at the Wat, just as you've suggested.