Wat Phra Mahathat Woramahawihaan

Top choice in Nakhon Si Thammarat

The most important wát in southern Thailand, stunning Wat Phra Mahathat Woramahawihaan (simply known as Mahathat) boasts an imposing 77m white chedi (stupa) crowned by a gold spire piercing the sky. According to legend, Queen Hem Chala and Prince Thanakuman brought relics to Nakhon more than 1000 years ago, and built a small pagoda to house the precious icons. The temple has since grown into a huge site, and today crowds gather daily to purchase the popular Jatukham amulets.

Within the courtyard beneath the towering chedi rise up scores of further grey chedi. Don’t miss the hall enclosing a splendid stairway – all red, green and gold – and the museums featuring antique statues from all eras and corners of Thailand including an 18th-century reclining Buddha. Frequently filled with visiting school kids who apply gold leaf to the temple statuary, the wát is a 10B sŏrng·tăa·ou (pickup minibus) ride from the town centre.