In the 19th century, King Rama III commissioned this central wiharn designed to look like a classic Chinese junk as he saw steamboats taking over. The junks no longer sail the Chao Phraya, but this riverside temple and its concrete commemorates the craft a bit. The altar is in the wheelhouse and two chedis represent the masts. On the right side of the temple grounds as you enter from Charoen Krung Road, is a sort of temple-cum-museum housing a variety of Shakyamuni Buddha relics you can actually see under minature glass stupas. Nonbelievers may decide that the pieces of bone, flesh and brain look decidedly like colored pebbles and crystals but this is a holy site and visitors, who rarely include tourists, are likely to be making offerings and praying within. The use of this site as a temple dates back to the Ayutthaya Period but the buildings are modern. Wat Yannawa (or Yan Nawa) is a unique Bangkok temple and its proximity to Central Pier on the Chao Phraya River and the Saphan Taksin BTS SkyTrain station makes it worth a stop.
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