Wat Phai Somnarin is an active temple located off Ayutthaya's city island along the east bank of the Pa Sak River in the eastern area in the Ban Ko Sub-district. It is the most northeastern monastery in the city district. The temple is situated opposite the mouth of Khlong Oom (1).

In situ are the classic monastic structures of a Buddhist temple.

The monastery dates from the post-Ayutthaya era and was established as Wat Nak Ninlaphon in 1777 CE, ten years after the fall of Ayutthaya to the Burmese. The regular inundations of the temple site during the flood season damaged the monastic structures. Most of the monastery collapsed into the river when the Pa Sak River was straightened and changed course from Khlong Om to its present river bed. Only the old ordination hall remained and was restored in 1957 CE.

Wat Nak Ninlaphon changed its name to Wat Phai during the reign of King Rama VI. The story goes that the government set up military training camps in the areas of Thung Ban Ko, Ban Pho, and Ban Map Prachan. The troops were sent out to find bamboo to establish their training camps and found a dense bamboo forest near Wat Nak Ninlaphon. After that, the government renamed the monastery Wat Phai.

Over time, Wat Phai became deteriorated. The Somnarin family helped fund the temple's restoration, and the local community added the family name to Wat Phai as a token of respect.

The temple is shown as Wat Phai on the old Monthon Krung Kao map of 1916 CE.

Wat Phai Somnarin is in geographical coordinates: 14° 23' 10.19" N, 100° 35' 5.00" E.


(1) Khlong Oom (อ้อม) was a stretch of the old Pa Sak riverbed. The Pa Sak River was straightened in - what I believe - the 19th century in front of Wat Phai. The cut-off bend in the river was named Khlong Oom and became silted over time. The same re-channelling of the river gave birth to Khlong Hantra, which also was, before the cutting, a part of the Pa Sak riverbed.