Wat Bang Kaphom in Samut Songkhram

I was on my way to the floating market at Amphawa the other week when I came across this interesting temple. On the outside it was deserted and very undistinguishable from any other temple that I had been to in Thailand. I almost passed it by but then a coach load of Thai tourists pulled into the small parking lot. They left their coach in single file and were led to a small wihan off to one side. My curiosity got the better of me and I decided to follow them. I am so glad that I did. Wat Bang Kaphom is located off Highway 325 between Samut Songkram and the Amphawa Floating Market. It is an old temple dating back to the Ayutthaya period. It is one of those places that should be in the Lonely Planet but isn’t.

The old building is dominated by a large Buddha Footprint in the center. It is unusual in that it has four distinct layers. There are four different footprints superimposed on each other. They are believed to date back to the Thonburi period and were once said to be covered in silver plating. The footprint at the lowest level is made from mother-of-pearl inlaid wood. What makes this room outstanding are the stucco reliefs found on the walls. Normally, temple walls are covered with mural paintings depicting episodes from the Buddha’s life. It is unusual to see this 3-D effect in a Thai temple, though I have seen many in India.

I wouldn’t suggest that you make a special trip to this temple, but it is a worthwhile stop on the way to the floating market. I have marked it for you on google maps. Visit our Samut Songkhram section of www.ThailandGuidebook.com for more ideas for places to visit in this province. Don’t forget to also bookmark www.ThaiFestivalBlogs.com for all the latest festivals and events in Thailand. We have also started to put our notes together on a new website site about Amphawa Floating Market at www.AmphawaFloatingMarket.com. All of these websites are part of the Paknam Web Network.

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