Wat Molilokayaram

Monks quarters
The odd building now used to house monks.

Tucked away just inside the Bangkok Yai canal, right behind the Pom Wichai Prasit Fort is the small temple of Wat Molilokayaram. The temple dates all the way back to the Ayutthaya period, before Bangkok was the capital of Siam. After the Burmese destroyed Ayutthaya, when General Taksin restored order he established Thonburi as the capital and built his palace next to Wat Arun.

The ubosot of the temple.

Wat Molilokayaram stands between Taksin's old palace -- now the headquarters of the Royal Navy -- and the Bangkok Yai canal. When Taksin established his court next to the temple, he raised it to be a second class royal temple. Rama III gave the temple its current name, and probably built the Chinese styled wiharn.

The most unusual structure of the temple is a two storey building with a masonry first level and a wooden house making up the second storey. There are two chedis at either end and deep alcoves line the base. The alcoves house statues in military uniforms, although they are mostly in ruins. The structure appears to have originally been a library (ho trai) but is now used as monk's quarters.

Getting There

The best way to get to Wat Molilokayaram is by boat. Take the Chaophraya Express Boat to Thien pier, then take the cross-river ferry to Wat Arun. Walk down the alley beside Wat Arun, turn left down the narrow street behind the temple, past the Royal Navy headquarters, and then turn left again at the Bangkok Yai canal to enter the temple.