Wat Nang Krai was located off the city island in the southern area of Ayutthaya in the Samphao Lom Sub-district (1).

The temple was situated in or near the former Cochin Chinese settlement on the south bank of the (present) Chao Phraya River (2) and east of Khlong Takhian (3).

The St Joseph church stood on its west, while Wat Daeng was on its south. Wat Phutthaisawan and Wat Tamnak were on its east side.

Wat Nang Krai is shown on a 19th-century map as Wat Nai Krai and depicted with a chedi, but today, there are no visible traces of this former temple.

The site is also indicated on Phraya Boran Ratchathanin's map drafted in 1926 CE and here called Wat Nang Kai. Phraya Boran (1871-1936 CE) was the Superintendent Commissioner of Monthon Ayutthaya from 1925 to 1929 CE but occupied important functions since 1896 CE in Monthon Ayutthaya.

Historical data about the monastery and its construction are unknown.

Wat Nang Krai was in geographical coordinates: 14° 20' 18.01" N, 100° 33' 12.97" E.


(1) Sub-district called after the village Ban Samphao Lom near the Chao Phraya River. The village is on the Monthon Krung Kao map (1916 CE). John Bowring (1857, London, John W. Parker and Son, West Strand), in his book ‘The Kingdom and People of Siam’, wrote: "Between the modern and the ancient capital, Bangkok and Ayuthia, is a village called the “Sunken Ship,” the houses being erected round a mast which towers above the surface at low water."

(2) 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."

(3) 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.