Wat Phrai, or the Monastery of the Spirit, is a defunct temple site situated on Ayutthaya’s city island in the Ayutthaya Historical Park in the Pratu Chai Sub-district.

The temple was located on the west bank of Khlong Chakrai Yai (1). Wat Pa Phat (defunct) stood in the north, while Wat Jao Phram was in the south. Wat Som stood in its vicinity, opposite the canal bank.

The ancient sites in its vicinity were cleared in the early 1970s during construction works of an expansion project of the (former) Ayutthaya Agriculture School (Withayalai Kasetrakam). There are no traces of ground-level foundations or brickwork, and I classified the temple as defunct. [1]

Historical data about the monastery and its construction is unknown.

The site shows on Engelbert Kaempfer's sketch drafted. Kaempfer was a medical doctor working for the Dutch VOC (Verenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie) who surveyed the city of Ayutthaya in June 1690 CE.

Wat Phrai is also found on Phraya Boran Ratchathanin's map of Ayutthaya, drafted in 1926 CE. Phraya Boran (1871-1936 CE) was the Superintendent Commissioner of Monthon Ayutthaya from 1925 till 1929 CE but occupied important functions since 1896 CE in Monthon Ayutthaya.

The Fine Arts Department maps do not mention the site.

The site was located in geographical coordinates: 14° 20' 43.55" N, 100° 33' 21.25" E.


(1) Khlong Chakrai Yai is part of a waterway running through the west of Ayutthaya from north to south. The canal was the extension of Khlong Pak Tho and ran from the Lam Hoei Bridge to the Chakrai Yai Gate opposite Wat Phutthaisawan. The canal was a shortcut through the oxbow of the Lopburi River and connected the old Lopburi River, present Khlong Mueang in the north with - what is today - the Chao Phraya River in the south. Ban Chakrai was a village located on the city island but outside the city walls.


[1] Bangkok Post - 09 Dec 1972 - Work suspended on Ayutthaya sites. The article states that "machinery engaged on the Ayutthaya Agriculture School extensions ploughed up the ruins of at least five temples in the disputed area" The work at the school was stopped after students had sent a petition to the NEC. The Director-General of the Fine Arts Department stated he was sure the damage had already been done. (Article courtesy of Ken May).