Wat Yai Suwannaram


This expansive temple, founded in the late Ayuthaya era, holds quite a bit of history. Foremost are the faded murals inside the beautiful bòht (ordination hall), which date back to about 1700, making them some of the oldest Thai-temple murals still in existence. Mostly they're rows of various deities though the entrance wall vividly shows the demon Mara and his army trying to stop the Buddha from reaching enlightenment.

Next door is a large, elaborate teak săh·lah (open pavilion; often spelt as sala) built in Ayuthaya during the 17th century and later moved to Phetchaburi by boat. Legend has it that the gash in the ornately carved wooden back door dates to the Burmese attack; however, this is highly unlikely. Finally there are also two hŏr đrai (sacred manuscript libraries) on stilts to guard against termites, a petite one in a pond and a tall one on land next to the monks' quarters.