Wat Chum Saeng is a restored temple ruin situated in the northern part of Ayutthaya's city island in Tha Wasukri Sub-district, opposite the Bueng Phra Ram Park and part of the Ayutthaya Historical Park.

The restored temple is situated south of Wat Yan Sen and Wat Suwan Chedi, west of Wat Racha Burana and across Wat Langkha Khao, along the western stretch of Naresuan Road. The temple is named after a tree called locally Ton Chum Saeng (Xanthophyllum Lanceatum). (1)

Like most Buddhist temples, Wat Chum Saeng is aligned on an east-west axis, with access to the monastic hall in the east and a pagoda to the west. Some parts of the foundations of the outer boundary wall of the temple complex are still visible, and as there are traces of a moat, the sanctuary was likely surrounded by water (moated).

The pagoda here is a large bell-shaped chedi, largely eroded, still bearing a damaged harmika and an incomplete spire (some discs of the umbrella and the finial are missing). The main rectangle monastic structure was likely a prayer or sermon hall as there are no traces of boundary stones (sema) in situ. Only the brick foundations of the hall are visible.

A large damaged Buddha statue sits at the western end of the hall, while a few fragments of Buddha images are dumped nearby. The architectural style of the bell-shaped chedi of Wat Chum Saeng suggests that this monastery dates back to the middle Ayutthaya period.

Wat Chum Saeng stood on the east bank of a small canal called Lam Khu Pak Sa (Lit. the ditch to the mouth of the pond). This small watercourse diverted water from the old Lopburi River (a stretch called today Khlong Mueang) through the Maha Thera Mai Sae tunnel gate in the city wall and through the area presently called Bueng Phra Ram. The water ran through earthenware pipes under the Elephant Road, passed Wat Yan Sen and Wat Chum Saeng, then ran under the Palace Road to continue further south to join the Pratu Thep Mi Canal (2). [1]

Wat Chum Saeng shows on Kaempfer’s sketch drawn in June 1690 CE. Engelbert Kaempfer was a medical doctor working for the Dutch VOC (Verenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie) who visited and surveyed Ayutthaya extensively. On the sketch, we find a road along the east bank of Lam Khu Pak Sa going to the Wanon Bridge on the southern side of the city. South of Wat Chum Saeng (along Palace Road) is a moat, and in my opinion, this moat is also visible on Kaempfer’s sketch, running towards the stables near the Grand Palace. The moat was likely fed by the waters of Lam Khu Pak Sa. [2]

People living next to this restored ruin, access their houses by driving through the archaeological site. This should be avoided.

The site is located in geographical coordinates: 14° 21 '28.64" N, 100° 33' 52.63" E.


(1) Xanthophyllum Lanceatum is a low shrub or small tree growing from 3 - 12 metres tall in the Polygalaceae family. It grows across Southeast Asia. The bole can be 18 - 20cm in diameter. The oil obtained from the seed is used in preparing food and making candles and soap. The leaves are used as a hop substitute in beer making and the wood as fuel.

(2) Khlong Pratu Thep Mi was situated on Ayutthaya's city island outside the Historical Park in Pratu Chai sub-district. The north-south running canal had its mouth at the old Lopburi River opposite the mouth of Khlong Phraya Phan, leading to Wat Phraya Kong and Wat Phraya Phan. The canal was fed by the waters of Bueng Phra Ram, which in its turn was filled by the waters of the Lopburi River via the Lam Khu Pak Sra. The canal passed the fortified city wall at the Thep Mi Gate, also known as the Khao Semi Gate, a large watergate. The canal has been filled up after the fall of Ayutthaya (1767 CE), and only a few traces of the waterway are left today.


[1] Explanation of the map of the Capital of Ayutthaya with a ruling of Phraya Boran Rachathanin - Revised 2nd edition and Geography of the Ayutthaya Kingdom - Ton Chabab print office - Nonthaburi (2007) - page 53.

[2] Kaempfer, Engelbert - Werke 4. Kritische Ausgabe in Einzelbänden. Herausgegeben von Detlef Haberland, Wolfgang Michel, Elisabeth Gössmann - Engelbert Kaempfer in Siam. – Iudicum Verlag GmbH München 2003 - edited by Barend Jan Terwiel.