Wat Sanam Chai, or the Monastery of the Field of Victory, is an active temple located off the city island in the western area of Ayutthaya, in the Ban Pom Sub-district. Wat Chai Watthanaram (restored ruin) is north, while Wat Kuti (mound) is south.

The monastery features an ordination hall with a single porch supported by four pillars. It has a double-tiered roof. The porch also has a second lower double-tiered roof, while to keep the visual balance, the west side of the ubosot, though not having a porch, was lowered with a double-tiered roof. Some Chinese ceramic ware decorates the front gable. There are two entry doors on the east side, and the sidewalls have three windows. A low wall surrounds the hall.

Behind the ubosot, but a bit southward, there is a four-tiered pyramidal square chedi, built of brick and mortar, reflecting the Mon style. A small bell-shaped dome tops the structure. The stupa is hollow inside and contains old Buddha images in perfect condition.

On Simon de La Loubère's map of 1693 CE, it is indicated that 'Peguans' (Mons) settled in the area between Khlong Takhian (1) and Khlong Klaep (2).

Wat Sanam Chai was likely a temple of the Mon community in the late Ayutthaya period.

Based on the Temple Registration System of the National Office of Buddhism, Wat Phra Ngam was established around 1557 CE in the reign of King Chakkraphat (1548-1569 CE). It is thus an Ayutthaya-era temple. It received its Wisung Kham Sima in 1567 CE.

Wat Sanam Chai does not figure in the Royal Chronicles of Ayutthaya.

The history of this temple is unknown.

The site is in geographical coordinates: 14° 20' 29.92" N, 100° 32' 36.66" E.

(The Mon settlement on de La Loubère's map - English version 1693 CE)


(1) 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. The canal is also known as Khu Lakhon Chai. A floating market was held at the mouth of this canal.

(2) Khlong Klaep, or the Paddy Husk Canal, is a defunct canal situated off the city island in the western area of Ayutthaya, of which some stretches still can be seen today. The 1.5 Km long canal had its mouth at the old Lopburi River, today the Chao Phraya River. The canal continued under the same name on the opposite side of Ayutthaya's city island until Khlong Chakrai Yai. Khlong Klaep ran south of Wat Lot Chong, passed by Tamnak Jao Phraya Kalahom (also called Tamnak Phra Jao Prasat Thong) and continued until the moat of Wat Suren, south of Wat Worachet.