Near the very new, very Chinese styled temple of the Chee Chin Khor Moral Uplifting Society is the very old and unique Thai temple of Wat Thong Noppakhun. There's very little information available about this temple, including its age. The ubosot (ordination hall) appears to be very old, probably pre-dating the founding of Bangkok, although the Chinese style of the wiharn (prayer hall) suggests that it was built, or rebuilt, in the era of King Rama II.
The small ubosot is one of the most unique in Bangkok. The sema stones (boundary markers defining the hallowed ground around the ubosot) are encased in cylindrical columns. Just a small slot on either side reveals that the stones are inside.
The other unique feature of the ubosot are the windows. The stark white walls are pierced by deep oval windows protected by gold and lacquer shutters. The windows are ringed by carved wooden frames. Inside are reportedly some quite fine murals featuring the white Siamese cat, but the ubosot is rarely opened for visitors.
Several chedis (stupas or pagodas) surround the ubosot, some of them quite large. At the north side of the walled compound holding the ubosot is a slightly larger wiharn (prayer hall). The Chinese porcelain decoration on the gable ends of the wiharn suggest that it was built during the reign of Rama II, when this style was very popular.
Inside the wiharn are bronze panels depicting the life of the Buddha (the jakata). Outside, the windows and doors are framed with elaborate filigrees of plaster.
Outside the walled area holding the ubosot and wiharn, there is a large area of monks quarters (kuti) with a drum tower and a lovely residence for the abbot. To the east of the walls is a large paved area, to one side of which is a concrete replica of a Chinese junk with a rather sickly boh tree growing in its center. Curiously, a few yards from the rudder is a single plaster Chinese grave.
The temple is near the Chee Chin Khor Moral Uplifting Society temple on the banks of the the Chaophraya River, a short distance from the Klong San pier. The easiest way to get there is by boat. Take the Chaophraya River Express boat to the Siphraya Pier. You will need to walk from the express pier out to the lane and around the Royal Orchid hotel to get to the cross-river ferry pier. Take the cross-river ferry to the Klong San pier. The cost is just 3 Baht (0.08 USD).
From the Klong San pier, walk through the market until you reach a side road on your right. Follow this road through the gates and onto the street opposite Taksin Hospital. Cross the road and turn right. Just past the signal flag tower you'll see signs pointing to the police station down a small road on your left. Follow this street past the police station and Pong Patchamit Fort. You'll end up in the parking lot of the Yok Yor restaurant. Exit the other side of the parking lot, to your left, and walk down the road past the Baan Chaophraya condominium. Wat Thong Noppakhun is directly ahead of you. See our map of Klong San for more information.