Wat Kluai, or the Banana Monastery, is an active temple located off Ayutthaya's city island in the eastern area, in the Kramang Sub-district. The monastery is situated on the east bank of the Pa Sak River. The temple can be reached by taking road No 3477, parallel with the railway and south of the Pridi-Thamrong Bridge. North of the temple is Wat Phichai Songkhram, and south lies Wat Ko Kaeo.

In situ is a relatively small monastic complex. The ordination hall stands in the classic east-west alignment facing the Pa Sak River. The ubosot, built in the late Ayutthaya style, has two elevated porches, each with four columns supporting the two-tiered roof. Each porch has two entries. The southern and northern walls have three rectangular windows. An inner wall surrounds the structure, called 'Kamphaeng kaeo,' separating the monastic and secular worlds.

The temple is mentioned in the Royal Chronicles of Ayutthaya as being the place where Luang Saraseni with his followers set up camp in December 1766 CE. The Phraya of Tak was promoted to Phraya Kamphaeng Phet by the Siamese King Ekathat (reign 1758 - 1767 CE) and appointed as a brigade commander of a boat army that he had to constitute at Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon to confront the Burmese in the open plains southeast of Ayutthaya. Phraya Kamphaeng Phet assigned the Phraya of Phetburi as his front guard while Luang Saraseni’s troops were in support. The front guard consisting of five fighting boats, got in contact with the enemy. The boats of the Phraya of Phetburi got entirely encircled by the numerous boats of the Burmese. Phraya Kamphaeng Phet and Luang Saraseni moored their boats and watched but did not advance to reinforce the front guard. The troops of the Phraya of Phetburi were slain, and the latter, after a heroic battle, was impaled by the Burmese. Phraya Kamphaeng Phet and Luang Saraseni fled the scene, did not return to the capital, and set up stockades respectively near Wat Phichai and the adjacent Wat Kluai. Phraya Kamphaeng Phet, the later King Taksin (reign 1767-1782 CE), likely convinced that Ayutthaya would be soon lost to the Burmese, decided to seek his fortune in the south, while Luang Saraseni went his own way and fled elsewhere. [1]

Its historical background and period of construction are unknown.

Wat Kluai is indicated on Valentyn's map "Groote Siamse Rievier Me-Nam Of Te Moeder Der Wateren In haren loop met de vallende Spruyten Verbeeld" as Wat Kloy. François Valentyn (1666-1727 CE) was an important historian of the Dutch East India Company [V.O.C], best known for his encyclopaedic illustrated account of the Dutch trading Empire in Asia, Oud en Nieuw Oost Indien (Amsterdam 1724-1726 CE). [2]

We find the monastery also on a 19th-century map and Phraya Boran Rachathanin's map drafted in 1926 CE.

Wat Kluai is in geographical coordinates: 14° 21' 2.72" N, 100° 34' 57.07" E.


[1] Cushman, Richard D. & Wyatt, David K. (2006). The Royal Chronicles of Ayutthaya. Bangkok: The Siam Society. pp. 512-514.

[2] Valentyn, François (1626). Oud en Nieuw Oost-Indiën. Deel 3. Boek 6. Beschryvinge van Siam en onsen Handel aldaar.