Wat Phu Khao Thong (Golden Mount)

Golden Mount
The towering whitewashed prang of the Golden Mount.

Out in the flat plain of rice fields and fish ponds northwest of town rises the stark white stupa of Wat Phu Khao Thong. The name literally translates to "Golden Mount."

The site has been a temple since 1569, but the Thais have not always been happy about that. The original chedi on the site was erected by the Burmese during a brief occupation of Ayutthaya. When they were finally run out of the city, Buddhist law prohibited the Thais from pulling down this reminder of Burmese occupation.

King Nareusan
Modern statue of King Nareusan, in front of the Golden Mount.

The Thais had to put up with it for nearly 200 years until the chedi finally collapsed due to lack of maintenance. King Borommakot promptly put up the pagoda more or less as you see today on the Burmese base, just in time for the Burmese to attack again and completely destroy Ayutthaya.

The chedi was recently completely restored and a huge statue of King Nareusan was installed on a marble base about 100 yards away, on the road leading up to the temple.

You can climb up to the base of the chedi for a view over Ayutthaya in the distance. On a good day you can spot the needles of Wat Phra Si Sanphet. On the north side, facing the new statue of King Nareusan, a cramped passage curves down and back up to the center of the chedi, but without a light you won't see anything.