Wat Matchimawat

Wat Matchimawat
The ordination chapel and dining hall of the temple.

Near the center of the old town is the temple of Wat Matchimawat, also commonly called Wat Klang. It's one of the oldest and largest temples in the city, thought to be founded 400 years ago, although the large and imposing ubosot was built in the late nineteenth century.

Next to the ubosot to the south is a wiharn used as a dining hall that elegantly combines European and Chinese styles. North of the ubosot is a wiharn now housing a branch of the National Museum. The exhibits include a late sixth century statue of Ganesh, the elephant headed Hindu god, and ceramics from China and Europe, showing the importance of Songkhla as a trading center. The museum is open from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. every day.

Ho Trai
The library of the temple.

The temple's main buildings are in a line on the eastern half of the temple compound. The western half is mostly open grass and gardens. A small brick arcade is labeled as a 'hermitage' off to one corner. Opposite this, set in a small group of buildings, is a tiny ho trai, a sort of library building for the storage of Buddhist texts, which are usually inscribed on palm leaves.