WAT PHANOM YONG (วัดพนมยงค์ )
Wat Phanom Yong or the Monastery of Wet nurse Yong is an active monastery
located off the city island in the northern area in Tha Wasukri sub-district. It is situated on
the north bank of
Khlong Mueang, the old Lopburi River in earlier times. Wat Sala Pun
lies in its vicinity.

The history of this monastery is rather vague (as most of the ancient monasteries in
Ayutthaya). The monastery was likely built in the reign of King Narai (r. 1656-1688).  
The story goes that the area once was a garden owned by a wet nurse of King Narai.
This wet nurse (Phra Nom) was named Phrayong. Upon her death a monastery was built
and named in her honor. Its initial name was Wat Phranom Yong an aggregation of
Phranom and Yong. Around 1923, someone spelled the name of the temple slightly
differently, deviating the original meaning of its original name - local people tended not to
pronounce the letter "r" and the temple became known as Phanom Yong. The temple
was deserted after the fall of Ayutthaya in 1767. (1)

Wat Phanom Yong was rebuilt by King Chulalongkorn (1868-1910). The Phanomyong
family still takes care of this temple. The old Phanomyong residency, which is now a
memorial, is located on the opposite bank of the city canal and can be reached by a
bridge.

The ubosot  has a double tiered roof. The elevated front porch has three entries, while
the roof is supported by four columns. The base of the hall is curved (junk shaped)
indicative of a construction of the Late Ayutthaya (1629 - 1767) and Early Ratanakosin
(1782 - 1851 A.D.) period. The ubosot is surrounded by a wall, separating the sacred
world within from the secular bustle outside.

In situ stands a vihara containing a large reclining Buddha image.

The
ancient Dock of the Royal Barges was located between Wat Phanom Yong and
Wat Choeng Tha, but nothing is left as the dock and barges have been burned down
during the fall of Ayutthaya in 1767.

The site is indicated on a 19th century map and on
Phraya Boran Rachathanin's map
drafted in 1926.

Wat Phanom Yong is located in Geo. Coord.: 14° 21' 42.59" N, 100° 33' 5.99" E.

Footnotes:

(1) The 19th century maps indicates already Phanom instead of Phranom.
(2) The father of Pridi Phanomyong, Nai Siang, adapted the surname Phanomyong in
1866. The name was derived from Khao Phanom Yong, a hill in Huai Sai Sub-district of
Nong Khae District in Saraburi Province. The grandfather of Pridi, Nai Koet, was
cremated here and his remains put in a shrine on the hill. Khao Phanom Yong was
already of some importance at the end of the 17th or the beginning of the 18th century. In
the Royal Chronicles of Ayutthaya we read that King Süa (r. 1703-1709) visited the
mountain to venerate a funeral site. [2]

His Majesty thereupon advanced his groups of troops and headed off towards the
east and His Majesty toured along to [CD: the vicinity of] the Mountain of
Phanom Yong. His Majesty thereupon ascended to venerate the holy funeral
monument [CFK: site] [D: station] on the top of that mountain and His Majesty
remained there for another three days.

The reason for this visit could be that King Süa went to pay respect to his deceased wet
nurse instead of what was written earlier to be the one of King Narai. This issue needs
further research.

References:

[1] The Royal Chronicles of Ayutthaya - Richard D. Cushman (2006) - page 396 /
Source: British Museum, Reverend Phonnarat, Royal Autograph and Chronicle source
unknown - The King Continues His Tour and Falls Ill.
Ordination hall of Wat Phanom Yong
Reclining Buddha at Wat Phanom Yong
Text, maps & photographs by Tricky Vandenberg - December 2009
Updated November 2013, March 2015
View of the temple premises
View of the temple premises
(Ordination hall of Wat Phanom Yong)
(Reclining Buddha at Wat Phanom Yong)
(View of the temple premises)
(View of the temple premises)
Detail of a 2007 Fine Arts Department GIS map
(Detail of a 2007 Fine Arts Department GIS map -
Courtesy of the Fine Arts Department - 3th Region)
Detail of a 19th century map
Detail of Phraya Boran Rachathanin's map - Anno 1926
(Detail of a 19th century map - Courtesy of the Sam
Chao Phraya Museum - map is orientated S-N)
(Detail of Phraya Boran Rachathanin's map - Anno
1926)