Wat Sao Thong

In the modern bustling city center is the shady retreat of Wat Sao Thong, also know as Wat Wang Tawan Tok. The temple gained some notoriety in 1993 when it restored an old Thai traditionally styled wooden house that was used as monk's quarters (kuti). The structure consists of three houses connected by a common elevated platform, and was built between 1888 and 1901. The house is full of finely carved detail panels and the restoration was given an award by the Architects' Association of Thailand.

Wat Sao Thong
The once restored monk's quarters
Wood Carvings
A tiger carved into one of the panels.

Unfortunately, the Thai climate requires such wooden structures to be constantly maintained, and that has not happened with this award winning restoration. The building is obviously deteriorating rapidly. You can still see some of the fine details on the exterior, but windows are missing and it appears the floor may be rotting. The building is no longer open to the public.

Elsewhere in the large leafy compound there's a thriving amulet market. At the far south end is the temple's ubosot (ordination hall), looking a little forlorn and in just as much need of repair as the old monk's quarters.

Sweeping up
An old monk rakes leaves in front of the temple's ordination hall

Next to the ubosot is a small pavilion covering what is generally called a 'honeymoon bed' - a wooden bed frame with shutters to allow it to be completely enclosed. Why its there in the temple isn't clear.

Getting There

Wat Sao Thong is right on Ratchadamnoen Road just a short distance from the Bovorn Bazaar. It is walking distance from most of the other center center sights.