Wat Chin Pracha Samoson (Wat Leng Hok Yi) is located on Suphakit Road in Ban Mai Subdistrict, one kilometre away from the city hall. The temple was built in 1906 during the reign of King Chulalongkorn. This is a Chinese Mahayana temple which is a branch of Wat Leng Nei Yi in Bangkok. When King Chulalongkorn paid a visit to Monthon Prachin Buri to officially open the Bangkok-Chachoengsao Railway, he named the temple “Wat Chin Pracha Samoson”. It also has a Chinese name, Leng Hok Yi, with “Hok” meaning good fortune or happiness and “Leng” meaning a dragon therefore sometimes it’s called “Wat Mangkon Watsana” or “Wat Mangkon Haeng Chok”, signifying the temple of the dragon of good fortune. When it comes to feng shui, the temple is considered the dragon’s belly with its head lying at Wat Leng Nei Yi in Bangkok and its tail at Wat Leng Hua Yi in Chanthaburi. It is believed that the three parts of the dragon lie in wealthy areas including Yaowarat, one of Bangkok’s commercial zones; Paet Riw, or Chachoengsao, the city of abundant crops; and Chanthaburi, the city of gemstones.
The temple has many interesting things, e.g. the paper statues of the four heavenly kings at the entrance, the temple’s three principle Buddha images and statues of the eighteen Arhats made of paper from China, a cast sculpture of the God of Wealth (Cai Shen) on the right side of the principle Buddha images, and statues of other Chinese gods and goddesses. Moreover, there is a massive bell with a weight of about one tonne. It is one of the three bells which have the inscription of Prajnaparamita. It is believed that ringing the bell is equivalent to prayer which gives you merit. Furthermore, the temple has several shrines including the shrine of Buraphachan, the shrine of Guanyin with her carved wooden statue made of 100 year-old root along with Phaya Mangkoo, or the Great Dragon, the shrine of Ksitigarbha and Sa Nathi Sawan.
To pay respect to Phaya Mangkon, visitors have to:
- Stroke its head three times and pray for intelligence and good jobs.
- Stroke its body by following the direction of its scales three times and pray for good health.
- Stroke its tail by following the direction of its scales three times and make a wish for your future.
Do not touch its beard because it is believed among the Chinese that this will make the dragon powerless; thus people will no longer be able to make a wish for what they want.