Wat Bang Phli Yai Nai (วัดบางพลีใหญ่ใน)
Wat Bang Phli Yai Nai is a Buddhist temple located in the province of Samut Prakan. This temple is regarded for its impressive and intricate architecture, characterized by stunning traditional Thai design and meticulous attention to detail. Its main attraction is the image of Luang Pho To.
Name (Thai): วัดบางพลีใหญ่ใน
Address: 130 หมู่ที่ 10 Bang Phli Yai, Bang Phli District, Samut Prakan 10540
Opening Hours: 6.00 to 17.00 daily
Entrance Fee: Free
Length of Trip: ~1 hour
Trip Type: Cultural / historical
Age Restrictions: None
Dress Code: Modest and conservative
Nestled within the sacred grounds of Wat Bang Phli Yai Nai, you’ll encounter a revered treasure: the Luang Pho To (หลวงพ่อโต), a sacred gilded image captured in the iconic gesture of Subduing Mara, often referred to as “Calling The Goddess Of The Earth To Witness.” The image of Luang Pho To is enshrined within the hallowed confines of the Phra Ubosot, the temple’s ordination hall, and its presence evokes a profound sense of spiritual significance.
The history of Luang Pho To is steeped in folklore, tracing its origins back to a bygone era during the Ayutthaya period. The legend tells of three brothers who, while seeking refuge from the ravages of war with the Burmese, witnessed an extraordinary sight. As they ventured near the tranquil waters of the Khlong Samrong canal, they spotted the image, gracefully floating on the surface. This divine encounter marked the beginning of the image’s presence at the temple.
With a history dating back to the middle Ayutthaya period, Wat Bang Phli Yai Nai stands as a testament to Thailand’s enduring heritage and the rich tapestry of its past. Originally christened as Wat Phlapphla Chai Chana Songkhram, which translates to the “Victory Pavilion,” the temple’s historical significance is deeply intertwined with the legendary triumph of King Naresuan over the Burmese army in this very region. The temple was founded to commemorate this momentous victory, and its name pays homage to the remarkable achievements of this revered monarch.
Wat Bang Phli Yai Nai is conveniently located along Samut Prakan’s Khlong Samrong canal, making it accessible by various means of transportation:
MRT or BTS: Take the subway to the Samrong Station on the yellow line. Alternatively, you can take the skytrain to the Samrong Station on the blue line. From Samrong, it’s a ~1 hour songthaew ride or a ~30 minute taxi ride to the temple.
Taxi: You can easily take a metered taxi to the temple. Just inform the driver of the temple’s name and address, and they should be able to take you directly to the entrance. It’s a 30 minute to 1 hour drive from Sukhumvit – the fare will likely range from 120-200 baht.
When visiting Wat Bang Phli Yai Nai or any other Buddhist temple in Thailand, it’s essential to adhere to a respectful dress code as a sign of reverence and cultural awareness. The dress code includes the following guidelines:
Modesty: Dress modestly and avoid clothing that is revealing or overly casual. Sleeveless tops, shorts, and short skirts are generally not considered appropriate attire.
Covered Shoulders & Knees: Both men and women should ensure their shoulders and knees are covered. It is customary to wear clothing that extends below the knee, such as long pants or a long skirt.
Remove Your Shoes: Before entering any temple building, you should remove your shoes. The temple provide a designated area with security for this purpose.
Respectful Attire: Remember that the temple is a place of worship and reflection. Dressing respectfully demonstrates your understanding of the spiritual significance of the place.
By adhering to these dress code guidelines, you’ll show your respect for the temple and the local culture, ensuring a harmonious and culturally enriching experience during your visit to Wat Bang Phli Yai Nai.
The best time to visit Wat Bang Phli Yai Nai is during the Rab Bua festival, also known as the Lotus Throwing Ceremony. This annual event usually takes place in the morning of November 22nd in the Thai lunar calendar, which typically corresponds to late October or early November in the Gregorian calendar. The Rab Bua festival is a significant and unique celebration at the temple, where devotees gather to offer lotus flowers to the Luang Pho To image and pay their respects.
Wat Bang Phli Yai Nai is indeed worth visiting, especially if you have an interest in exploring Thailand’s rich cultural and spiritual heritage. This temple, with its origins dating back to the Ayutthaya period, offers visitors a glimpse into the country’s past and its enduring Buddhist traditions. The serene and beautifully adorned temple grounds, along with the fascinating Luang Pho To image and the annual Rab Bua festival (Lotus Throwing Ceremony), create a unique and spiritually enriching experience.