Wat Tao, or the Monastery of the Tortoise (1), is located outside the city island in the western area of Ayutthaya in the Pak Kran Sub-district. The temple stood north of Khlong Wat Chai Watthanaram along Road No 3469, just opposite Wat Ta Muk.

Wat Suren stood in the north, while Wat Krachai was in the south.

In situ is a large brick mound covered with vegetation.

The historical background and construction period of the former monastery are unknown, although the temple is mentioned in the Royal Chronicles of Ayutthaya.

The army of the Burmese General Nemiao Sihabodi (Ne Myo Thihapate) set up army camps around the city of Ayutthaya in early 1767 CE. One of the stockades reinforced with bastions was set up at Wat Tao. From this position, the city was fired at with large guns.

"The next morning Nemiao, the general of the armies, conscripted men and had all his army masters and brigade masters lead them on in to establish stockades at the Monastery of the Krachai Plant, the Monastery of the Victory Pavilion, the Monastery of the Tortoise, the Monastery of the God Indra and the Monastery of Red. They had bastions built in each and every stockade and large and small guns taken up onto them to be fired at the capital in volleys.” [1] (Named respectively: Wat Krachai, Wat Ta Muk, Wat Tao, Wat Suren and Wat Daeng)

Wat Tao is mentioned on the Monthon Krung Kao map of 1916 CE and later Fine Arts Department maps but is not indicated on Phraya Boran Ratchathanin's map of 1926 CE as it is outside the scope of his map.

The site is in geographical coordinates: 14° 20' 29.95" N, 100° 32' 2.11" E.


(1) It is also called the Monastery of the Stove, depending on which version of the Royal Chronicles (Thai tone mark issue).


[1] Cushman, Richard D. & Wyatt, David K. (2006). The Royal Chronicles of Ayutthaya. Bangkok: The Siam Society. p. 512.

(View of the mound of Wat Tao covered in vegetation - December 2008 CE)