It’s been almost a week since I’ve left Bangkok and started traveling through Thailand. I finished my teaching contract of half a year, so I’m going to travel the north and south of Thailand for about a month, before heading to the Philippines for a week or two. However, I still have plenty to write about my time in Bangkok, so that’s what I’ll be doing today. While living in Bangkok I used the BTS a lot, and if I had some time before or after an appointment or errand, I would sometimes hop over to another BTS station and take a look around the area, find a cafe or look for interesting sites. That’s how I ended up at Saphan Taksin twice and visiting Wat Yannawa next to the station, but not before having a meal at the food cart in front of the BTS stations entrance.
Wat Yannawa not very famous and both times I was there, there were not many other people and all of them were Thai. It’s just a local Buddhistic temple, so entry is free by the way. The main attraction at Wat Yannawa is the boat-shaped like building, that’s why it’s also known as the boat temple. The thought behind building this boat building was that they wanted to show what Chinese junk vessels looked like before they would completely disappear, like a memorial to Chinese junks. Instead of masts, this temple ship has two pagodas. You can also enter the boat-building from a side-entrance. You can see the pagodas up close and enjoy the view of the temple grounds and the sky scrapers in the distance. The second time I was there I was there during sunset, so the pagodas started to light up in different colors, so it’s also nice to see during evening hours.
In the tent-like hall in front of the Chinese junk building, there are a few nice looking statues. Fitting to the Chinese vessel, the decorations in this hall seem very Chinese inspired, with red lanterns and Chinese looking statues. Here you can offer candles, flowers or incense. Behind the ship building there is a more traditional looking temple building. I tried to go in, but the monks there seemed so startled to see me (I’m a girl) that I decided to just view it from the outside instead. While I walked away from the entrance a monk called me, so I thought I was being told off going around the temple, but then he warned me in perfect English that my bag open and that I should close it. This surprised me as it’s the first time a monk in Thailand has spoken to me, and since it’s never happened again.
The other building along the entrance are very modern and plain-looking buildings with some traditional roofs and details, but nothing special. That is, until you take the stairs to the upstairs area. When you walk away from the Chinese vessel building, towards the entrance, on your left there will be a big building with stairs going up along the outside. I wasn’t sure if I was allowed to go there, but I climbed them anyway. At the top there is a small temple-like building on the open rooftop space. This is a good place for taking pictures of the boat temple, the surrounding area and the infamous ghost tower.
That’s pretty much it for Wat Yannawa. There are also many monks just walking around and doing their thing, so if you want to see Thai monks, this is a pretty good place to go. Have you ever heard about the Boat Temple?