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Visit Wat Niwet Thammaprawat (Ayutthaya)

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Wat Niwet Thammaprawat

Thai name : วัดนิเวศธรรมประวัติราชวรวิหาร

GPS : 14.231683,100.576148 (See on the map)


The construction of Wat Niwet Thammaprawat was ordered by King Chulalongkorn (Rama V by his reign name) to an Italian architect, Joachim Grassi, to be the royal temple for Bang Pa-In palace located opposite. The King wanted a building whose architecture would remind European churches although it would a Buddhist temple. This is how Wat Niwet Thammaprawat and its neo-Gothic style welcome statues of Buddha in the places which are usually intended for a chirstina cross and Christian images. Wat Niwet Thammaprawat Ratchaworawihan was completed in 1878, the date seen on the spire clock. Besides the main building, there are other European-style constructions in the complex.

The other particularity of Wat Niwet Thammaprawat is the way to access it. As it is located on an island oppositie to the Royal palace with an arm of the river between them, a small cable car system was installed. Its starting point is in the parking lot of the royal palace.

Practical information about Wat Niwet Thammaprawat

This temple is not in Ayutthaya but in Bang Pa In.
No admission fee but donations to pay the cable car operating costs are welcome.
Reaching Bang Pa-In railway station takes between 1 hour and 1h45 from Bangkok depending on the trains (see Bangkok - Bang Pa In trains timetable) or around 15 minutes from Ayutthaya (see Ayutthaya - Bang Pa In train schedule) . Then right in front of the train station you will find either a collective taxi (songthaew) which will take you to Bang Pa-In Royal Palace for 15 THB or a motorcycle taxi station (fare 20 THB). Otherwise this is only 20 minutes walk to go to the parking lot of the royal palace where the cable car to the temple strats.
I recommend that you combine visits to the royal palace and Wat Niwet Thammaprawat. It is done very well by train back and forth from Bangkok or Ayutthaya. You just have to locate the train schedules well knowing that you do not need to buy tickets in advance, at the station just before departure, that is enough and that allows a little flexibility on the return schedule. However, allow a minimum of 2 hours on site to visit the royal palace and an hour for the temple.
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Rules to respect when visiting a temple

Wat Niwet Thammaprawat is a temple and when you visit a temple in Thailand there are some rules to know and follow :

  • Dress properly (knees and shoulders should be covered)
  • Take off your shoes when entering the buildings
  • Be quiet
  • Don't hug or kiss
  • Don't point your feet to Buddha's image
  • Don't smoke

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