Wat Ket is a restored temple ruin situated on Ayutthaya’s city island in the Pratu Chai Sub-district. The site is located within the Ayutthaya Historical Park.

The ruin is south of Wat Phra Ram and opposite Ayutthaya’s City Pillar shrine and the Phra Kan shrine, as well as close to the Chao Sam Phraya Museum.

To its west is a place called Wang Chang (Elephant’s Palace), a location used for elephant shows and rides (heavily contested nowadays by animal lovers) exploited by the Ayutthaya Elephant Palace & Royal Kraal. The elephants are transported daily from the area behind the elephant kraal (Phaniat), where they reside at night, to the show location.

Wat Ket stands at the junction of Pa Thon and Si Sanphet roads, respectively Talaeng Kaeng Road and Maha Rathaya Road (1) in earlier times.

Talaeng Kaeng (ตะแลงแกง) refers to the junction of the roads mentioned above close to the centre of the city, and the location was also an execution ground (gallows). Close to Wat Ket stood the drum tower and to its north was the jailhouse.

Wat Ket is a typical monastic structure consisting of a stupa and a hall, while a moat replaces the outer wall. The beautiful stupa has a unique pyramidal shape in the Sukhothai style. We can only see the restored foundations of the hall. The complex is oriented on an east-west axis as usual with the entry to the east. Behind the temple is an octagonal brick-built pond, which had likely a ceremonial function in earlier times.

Wat Ket dedicates to the guardian spirit Jao Ket, the spirit of the Ho Klong or drum tower, which stood in its vicinity. The drum tower was a massive structure on which top officials beats the drums to warn the populace in the case of fire or other danger. This tower has since long disappeared. Jao Ket was a true spirit (phi) created by sacrificing a suitable individual as the Jao Ho Klong spirit. Then they buried the poor individual in the foundations underneath the structure (foundation sacrifices). [1]

In my opinion Engelbert Kaempfer, a medical doctor working for the Dutch VOC (Verenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie) and on a visit to Ayutthaya in 1690 CE, has Wat Ket drawn on his original sketch. The key reads “Regiu templu q. alteru aque de”, which I would translate as “Royal or magnificent temple and a watercourse on both sides.” (2)

The restored ruin of Wat Ket is in geographical coordinates: 14° 21' 9.38" N, 100° 33' 36.08" E.


(1) The main road in the centre of the city, 11 metres (six fathoms) wide and paved smooth with laterite for big events such as processions and military parades, often started from the Victory Gate, south of the city. It was called Phra Khlang Street (Rue du Barcalon for the French) by the westerners. [2].

(2) Regiu (Regius) [Royal], templu (templum) [temple], q. (que) [and], alteru (alterutrique) [on both sides], Aque [watercourse] - Transcription of writing on Kaempfer sketch map in Terwiel/Sternstein 'Prospects of Ayutthaya, Capital of Siam 1690', pp.166-8.


[1] Wales, H.G. Quaritch (1931) - Siamese State Ceremonies - Their history and function - London, Bernard Quaritch, Ltd. - Page 302-3.

[2] Baker, Chris (2014) - Final Part of the Description of Ayutthaya with Remarks on Defence, Policing, Infrastructure, and Sacred Sites - Journal of the Siam Society, Vol. 102.