Wat Hong Thong (Wat Klang Na)
Wat Hong Thong, also known as Wat Klang Nam, is located in a mangrove forest area, Bang Pakong District, Chachoengsao. The temple has walkways connecting the shore with the stupa of Phrathat Khongkha Mahachedi Pricha Prapakon Prat Soranin Anusorn and Ubosot, the main hall, both of which are situated in the sea. The whole structure of the chedi has five levels with paintings concerning Buddhism and Thai kings, and several Buddha images hosted inside. On the highest level stands a golden stupa containing Arhats’ relics. From this level, visitors can overlook the sea as well as the shore. Additionally, while walking along the main walkway, you will see signs with morals written on them from which you can read and learn something. In addition, in the halfway point of the walkway stand sculptures of Phra Aphai Mani, Nang Phi Sua Samut, and other literary characters with a wooden walkway around the sculptures for visitors to have a closer look at them.
On the first level of the Phrathat Khongkha Mahachedi, a replica of the Buddha image of Luang Phor Sothorn together with several other Buddha images is hosted for visitors to pay their respect to. In addition, the temple holds Tak Bat Phra Roi, a ceremony of almsgiving by putting coins into alms bowls in front of hundreds of Buddha images. The temple also provides a coin exchange booth. On the second floor is a wax replica of Luang Pu Sot, also known as Phra Mongkhon Thepmuni (Sot Chanthasaro) of Wat Paknam Phasi Charoen with a replica of the Emerald Buddha hosted nearby. Moreover, there are paintings of both former and current Thai Kings, and of the members of the royal family. Also from the second level, you can get good views of the sea. If you look out to the sea during high tide, you will feel like the building is floating on the water.
On the highest level stands prominently a golden yellow chedi with a hall underneath where visitors are allowed to enter. In the hall, there is an altar with the world’s first Arhats’ relics to be hosted in the sea. Furthermore, on the right side of the chedi is another place of worship, the temple’s Ubosot. Located in the sea as well, it features beautiful wall paintings depicting the life and times of the Buddha.
For those who would like to visit the temple and make merit, Wat Hong Thong is open daily from 6:00 to 20:00. For those interested in Nekkhamma, it is held every year at the beginning of April. If you would like to take part in the Nekkhamma, please contact the temple on 038-528-367 in advance.