The temple located 23 kilometers from Chachoengsao town, the Wat Pho Bang Khla was formerly called Wat Pho and is believed to have been built during the reign of King Taksin the Great (between 1767-1782). The temple’s architecture bears the influence of Ayutthaya and Rattanakosin-style art. Its ordination hall, or Wihan, looks out on four porches made of plaster-covered brick; its gabled roofs are covered with terracotta tiles called Klet Tao.
The most interesting sights at the temple, however, are not related to religion – they are the temple’s resident bats, Khangkhao Mae Kai, which reside in the trees within the temple grounds. The world’s largest bat species, the bats have a wolf-like face, reddish-brown fur and a nearly 1-meter wingspan. At dusk, the bats swoop out of the trees to feed, dining on fruit and the young leaves of nearby Bodhi trees, mango trees and tamarind trees. A cruise along the Bang Pakong River takes visitors past the temple, and visitors can disembark at the temple’s pier.
The temple is open daily from 6.00 am-6.00 pm.
How to get there:
To get there, take Highway 304 (Chachoengsao – KabinBuri) for around 17 kilometers. Turn left onto Highway 3121. Drive through the town of Bang Khla for around 6 kilometers, past the shrine and the monument of King Taksin the Great, and turn left for around 500 meters.