Wat Pho, or the Monastery of the Bodhi Tree, is located off the city island in the northern area of Ayutthaya, in the Khlong Sra Bua Sub-district. This area, east of Khlong Sra Bua (1), was called Thung Kaeo (2). The ruins of Wat Pho are situated between Wat Kuti Thong and Wat Wong Khong. To find the relatively well-preserved ruins, you must go off-road on a small path leading to the site.

Access to the monastery was via a canal called Khlong Wat Pho, which can be noticed on Phraya Boran Rachathanin's map drafted in 1926 CE. The canal stood likely in connection with Khlong Pha Lai. In earlier times, this monastery seems to have been surrounded by a moat, as still traces of it can be seen. Khlong Wat Po was filled in the last century, probably when the road linking Wat Mai Khlong Sra Bua to Wat Wong Khong was constructed. A ferry service - one of the former seven northern ferries across the old Lopburi River - was going up and down from the Ten Cowries Landing on the city's side across to Khlong Wat Pho. (3) [1]

In situ are the restored ruins of an ordination hall, a vihara and four foundations of minor chedis, all surrounded by an outer wall. These structures had their main entrance in the south, as the Buddha images must have faced the Lopburi River. All structures are built in an east-west alignment.

To the west of the monastic sanctuary stands a royal residence (tamnak) used mainly by high-ranking people when visiting a temple. The building has windows in Arabic style, divulging Iranian influence. A moat partly surrounds the area. In the north of the site stands a chedi with a double-redented dome, indicative of the architecture from the late Ayutthaya period (1629-1769 CE).

Bricks can still be found over a large area, so the monastery could have contained much more structures.

Following the Fine Arts Department, the site was 8 Rai, 1 Ngan and 56 Talang Wa, which is approximately 70 acres.

Historical data about the monastery and its construction is unknown.

The site is challenging to access in the rainy season due to flooding.

The ruin of Wat Pho is in geographical coordinates: 14° 21' 49.65" N, 100° 33' 52.09" E.


(1) Khlong Sra Bua, or the Lilly Pond Canal, is situated in the northern area, off the city island, in the Khlong Sra Bua District. The waterway splits from Khlong Hua Ro between Wat Ngiu (defunct) and Wat Si Liam. The canal has its mouth at the City Canal (Khlong Mueang) between Wat Na Phra Men and Wat Mai in front of the northeastern corner of the Grand Palace. The canal was a shortcut in the old Lopburi River.

(2) Thung Kaeo, or Crystal Field, is an area north of Ayutthaya bordered on the west and north by Khlong Sra Bua, on the east by Khlong Hua Ro, and on the south by Khlong Mueang.

(3) In Ayutthaya times, there were twenty-two ferry routes. In the northern area, the six other crossings were: Tha Nuea to Wat Khun Yuan, Tha Ma Ap Nam to Wat Choeng Tha, Tha Khan to Sala Trawen, Wat Tha Sai to Wat Rong Khong, Wat Song to Wat Pa Khonthi and Tha Khun Nang to Wat Mae Nang Plum.


[1] Rachathanin, Phraya Boran. Athibai Phaenthi Phra Nakhon Sri Ayutthaya kap khamwinitjai khong Phraya Boran Racha Thanin. Explanation of the map of the Capital of Ayutthaya with a ruling of Phraya Boran Rachathanin - Revised 2nd edition and Geography of the Ayutthaya Kingdom. Ton Chabab print office. Nonthaburi (2007). p. 72.