Thailand - Chachoengsao
Bangkok and it also has a short coast to the Gulf of Thailand (on the east side of the Thai peninsula), about one to two hours by car from Bangkok. The province is located on the bank of Bang Pakong River and is rich in agricultural products such as rice and mango.
The history of Chachoengsao dates back to the reign of King Phra Borom Tri Lokkanat in the Ayutthaya period. By the way, The name "Chachoengsao" is derived from Khmer and means "deep canal". The province is called "Paet Rio" as well. (Paet means eight and Rio means stripes)
We visited there one day trip from Bangkok. You'll enjoy the temple "Wat Sothon" that people there deeply worship, "Wat Samanratanaram" which honor Thailand's largest reclining Ganesha, the old market, "Talat Khlong Suan" that is also called a hundred year-old market, "World Sand Sculpture" where you can see various sand statues and so on.
[Chachoengsao] Wat Sothon
| Wat Sothon or Wat Sothon Wararam Worawihan, originally called "Wat Hong",
was built in late Ayutthaya Period. They say this temple is
the largest Wat (temple) in the world.
The building of the temple was huge and outstandingly beautiful. I was quite amazed that there was a temple like this near Bangkok. The temple is very popular among people in Thailand including the locals; the annual number of visitors is the second after Wat Phra Kaew - Temple of the Emerald Buddha in Bangkok.
The monastery houses the sacred Buddha image called Phra Phutthasothon or Luang Pho Sothon that is one of the most worshiped Buddha images in Thailand and also is most revered by local people.
Legend says that this Buddha images was found while floating down in the river, however, people couldn't pull it out until they built a small shrine and had a ceremony to invite the image.
|The appearance of Wat Sothon 1
A huge monastery in white, decorated with gold.
|The appearance of Wat Sothon 2
The view from its site. Very surprised with the huge and beautiful building.
The upper part of the building. Decorated with gold and Buddha images.
I don't know why but some rabbits can be seen.
In front of the temple, very spacious and a lot of cars and visitors come and go.
|In front of the hall
Beautifully designed very tall lights are side by side. They are really tall!, compared to the people walking around.
|The scene in the main hall
Buddha images are housed. The ceiling is very high and it's a spacious place.
|The scene in the main hall 2
the sacred Buddha image in the center called Phra Phutthasothon or Luang Pho Sothon that is one of the most worshiped Buddha images in Thailand and also is most revered by local people.
|The scene in the main hall 3
A lot of visitors pay respect to the Buddha images.
|The scene in the main hall 4
The stone floor is designed with various patterns such as tortoise and other animals.
|Before get in in
If you wear revealing clothes, you have to put on a robe like in the picture.
There is a large hall next to the main hall.
You'll see an offering Thai dance.
(Still, when I got there, the dance had just finished.)
|Next to the main hall 2
It has a wide room for praying. Compared to the main hall, it's very crowded with visitors. It looks like they are locals, no westerners or tourists.
|Next to the main hall 3
A lot of Buddha images are housed. People pray and put gold leaves on the images.
|Next to the main hall 4
Around the entrance. I wanted to light a candle (the picture right) and take it to the front, but it was very hard because of the the crowd.
A popular sweet snack in Thailand, baked sticky rice mixed with coconut milk and a little sugar in a bamboo stick.
They are various sweets.
They have a market on the way to the temple from a parking lot.
You can buy various things such as food, cookies and lotteries.
Thai dessert called "Khanom Jaak", roasted with sticky rice and palm sugar and shredded coconut in nipa palm leaves.
Selling lottery tickets can be seen so often in a temple.
I sometimes buy some but never win !