WAT CHO AE (วัดชอแอ)
Wat Cho Ae is a "disappeared" temple that was once connected to a chain of Chinese
pagodas north of
Khlong Pratu Jin. This canal - now buried - once flowed along an
east-west axis toward the Chinese Gate (Pratu Chin), intersecting with
Khlong Pratu
Khao Pluak (the canal that once flowed from north to south in front of Wat Maha That).
The nearest modern landmark is Chiresat Witthayalai School.

Wat Cho Ae appears on Phraya Boran Rachathanin's (1926) map between
Wat Khun
Muang Jai and Pratu Jin. However, it was dropped from the Fine Arts Department maps
of 1957 and 1997. This temple can be classified as "disappeared", and no trace of it can
be found today. It may be safe to assume that Wat Cho Ae was architecturally lost
sometime after (1926), though it could have remained a ruin for some time before. It is
not clear what this temple ever looked like.

It isn't clear when Wat Cho Ae was originally founded or when it disappeared. During
the Ayutthaya period, a large population of Chinese maritime traders settled in this area,
and this temple was situated by a road known as China Street. Engelbert Kaempfer
wrote in 1727 that China Street was made of brick and included some of the best houses
in the city (p 44). In addition to the Chinese population; French, Dutch, Muslim, and
English merchants also resided along this road - including the Greek opportunist,
Constantine Phaulkon. China Street is also documented on the
French map by Sieur de
La Mare (1751).

This temple probably "disappeared" as a new population moved into the neighborhood
during the Ratanakosin period. Khlong Pratu Chin and Khlong Pratu Khao Pluak were
both buried in the rush to modernize the city. Subsequent road construction also took a
heavy toll.
Text by Ken May - January 2009
Maps by Tricky Vandenberg
Updated April 2014
Detail of Phraya Boran Rachathanin's map - Anno 1926
(Detail of Phraya Boran Rachathanin's map - Anno
Detail of a 1974 Fine Arts Department map
(Detail of a 1974 Fine Arts Department map -
Courtesy Dr. Surat Lertlum, Chulachomklao Royal
Military Academy)