Wat Khok Phlu, or the Monastery of the Mound of the Betel-vine, was located off the city island in the western area of Ayutthaya in the Pak Kran Sub-district. The temple stood on the south bank of the Chao Phraya River (1) and west of Khlong Takhian (2).

Wat Khok Phlu was north of Wat Klang (and west of Wat Klang Khlong Takhian, built in the Rattanakosin Era). Wat Kuti lies on its west.

Only a brick mound remains from the former village temple.

Historical data about the monastery and its construction are unknown.

There was a well-known floating market in its vicinity, which can be seen in the sketches of Engelbert Kaempfer (1651-1716 CE). Kaempfer was a medical doctor working for the Dutch VOC (Verenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie) who surveyed the city of Ayutthaya in June 1690 CE.

There was also one of the six former ferry crossings (3) on the south side of the city across the Chao Phraya River, linking the monastery with Tha Wang Chai (Wang Chai landing). [1]

The site is not indicated on Phraya Boran Ratchathanin's map drafted in 1926 CE and features only on Fine Arts Department maps since 1993 CE.

Wat Khok Phlu is in geographical coordinates: 14° 20' 20.3" N, 100° 32' 47.4" E.

(View of the site of Wat Khok Phlu - December 2008 CE)


(1) Not many people realise the Chao Phraya River was not running on the west side of the city island in the Ayutthaya period. At that time, it was the Lopburi River that flowed around Ayutthaya. Today's Chao Phraya River ran through the Bang Ban Canal to Si Kuk and from there to Bang Sai (historical site: Chedi Wat Sanam Chai), where the Lopburi River joined the Chao Phraya River. At the time, the Chao Phraya River was situated about ten kilometres west of the centre of Ayutthaya. The city was linked to the ancient Chao Phraya River in the northwest of Ayutthaya via the Khlong Maha Phram and in the southwest via the Khlong Nam Ya. Steve Van Beeck (1994), in 'The Chao Phya: River in Transition" (Oxford University Press - New York.), writes that "It was not until 1857 that an alternative path was created [for the Chao Phraya River]. A 5-kilometre channel was dug from the entrance of Wat Chulamani to Ban Mai. The river responded by following this new course and abandoning the old one, in effect making a secondary river of the stretch that ran from Ban Mai, and into the Chao Phya Noi. Half as wide as the river above and below it, the 1857 Ban Mai shunt funnels the Chao Phya down to Ayutthaya."

(2) Khlong Takhian is a still existing canal south of Ayutthaya's city island, running mainly through Pak Kran and Khlong Takhian sub-districts. The canal is named after the Malabar Ironwood, a tree often used for making boats and ship masts. The canal originates at the Chao Phraya River near the St Joseph Church in the former Cochin Chinese Settlement. It has its mouth further south, back in the Chao Phraya River, below the former Portuguese settlement and opposite the northern tip of Rian Island (Ko Rian). The canal was a man-made shortcut or 'Khlong lat' between two stretches of the old Lopburi River at a time the waterway was surrounding Ayutthaya, used by boats to avoid the heavy current of the river and the turbulent waters near the Bang Kraja confluence. Takhian is likely a corruption of the name of a former village called Ban Tha Khia near the mouth of the canal. The canal is also known as Khu Lakhon Chai. A floating market was held at the mouth of this canal. (3) In the Ayutthaya period, there were twenty-two ferry routes between the mainland and the city island.


[1] Kasetsiri, Charnvit & Wright, Michael (2007). Discovering Ayutthaya. Toyota Thailand Foundation. p. 297.