|Although few people know about it, an ancient well is located at the western side of the
Ayutthaya hospital. There were once three monasteries at this location that have been
destroyed. The well may have belonged to one of these temples at some time.
The local legend is that there is a secret tunnel inside this well that leads underneath the
Chao Phraya River. Siamese residents allegedly used it to escape Burmese invaders in
1767. Most versions suggest that the tunnel’s other exit was located inside Wat Phutthai
Sawan. Interestingly, there are two wells still in situ at that monastery. There are also a
number of stories about people diving into the wells to drown themselves rather than face
Burmese persecution. Royal Chronicles also mention several attempts by the Burmese to
burrow under a river to attack Siam.
Some elderly locals swear that they actually saw this tunnel as a youth, but nobody has
claimed to have entered it. The well has been repaired with modern bricks and it is now
filled with water. It would be an interesting project to explore this well for a hidden
tunnel. It would have collapsed long ago.
|Text & photographs by Ken May - August 2009
The well is in very close vicinity of the location where the Fine Arts Department
excavated some remnants of Wat Khok Khema (named Wat Khok Yai Ma on the 2007
FAD GIS map). The well was probably part of that monastery at earlier times.
|(Addendum by Tricky Vandenberg)