WAT PHANOM YONG
Wat Phanom Yong or the “Monastery of Wet nurse Yong” is an active monastery
located off the City Island in the northwestern area at Tambon Tha Wasukri. It is situated
on the north bank of Khlong Muang, the old Lopburi River in earlier times. Wat
Sala Pun
lies in its vicinity.

The history of this monastery is rather vague (as most of the ancient monasteries in
Ayutthaya). The monastery was likely built in the reign of King Narai (r. 1656-1688).  
The story goes that the area once was a garden owned by a wet nurse of King Narai.
This wet nurse (Phranom) was named Phrayong. Upon her death a monastery was built
and named in her honor. Its initial name was Wat Phranom Yong an aggregation of
Phranom and Yong. Around 1923, someone spelled the name of the temple slightly
differently, deviating the original meaning of its original name - local people tended not to
pronounce the letter "r" and the temple became known as Phanom Yong. The temple
was deserted after the fall of Ayutthaya in 1767.

Wat Phanom Yong was rebuilt by King Chulalongkorn (1868-1910). The Banomyong
family still takes care of this temple. The old Banomyong residency, which is now a
memorial, is located on the opposite bank of the city canal and can be reached by a
bridge.

The ubosot  has a double tiered roof. The elevated front porch has three entries, while
the roof is supported by four columns. The base of the hall is curved (junk shaped)
indicative of a construction of the Late Ayutthaya (1629 - 1767) and Early Ratanakosin
(1782 - 1851 A.D.) period. The ubosot is surrounded by a wall, separating the sacred
world within from the secular bustle outside.

In situ stands a vihara containing a large reclining Buddha image.

The
ancient Dock of the Royal Barges was located between Wat Phanom Yong and
Wat Choeng Tha, but nothing is left as the dock and barges have been burned down
during the fall of Ayutthaya in 1767.

The site is indicated on Phraya Boran Rachathanin's map drafted in 1926.
Text & photographs by Tricky Vandenberg - December 2009