Text by Ken May - March 2009
Maps by Tricky Vandenberg
Updated June 2015
WAT SINGHA RAI (วัดสิงหราย)
Wat Singha Rai might be a disappeared temple. It appeared on Phraya Boran
Rachathanin's (1926) map. It was also listed on the Fine Arts Department tourist map of
1993. There are some contradictions as to its exact location. Nevertheless, this temple
would have been located along
Khlong Nai Kai (Khlong Makham Riang) on the
property of where a Women's Dormitory stands today.
Khlong Pratu Jin - now buried -
once flowed through this area along an east-west axis toward the Chinese Gate (Pratu
Jin).

It isn't clear when Wat Singha Rai was originally founded. Chinese maritime traders
settled in this harbour/warehouse area along a road known as China Street. China Street
is documented on the
French map by Sieur de La Mare (1751). Engelbert Kaempfer
added in 1727 that China Street was made of brick and included some of the best
houses in the city (p 44). In addition to the Chinese population, these houses also
belonged to French, Dutch, Muslim, and English merchants.

It is not clear what this temple looked like. No trace of it can be seen for certain. There
exists a rectangular mound just north of
Wat Tha Ma in which a temple was once
located. There are a few sections of Buddha images stacked next to a tree as evidence.
There is also a second rectangular mound to the west of this site, but it has eroded down
to only a few bricks. One of these sites might be the remains of Wat Singha Rai, but
more research is needed to be sure.

This temple probably 'disappeared' as a new population moved into the neighborhood
during the Ratanakosin period. It may have also been a casualty of road construction in
the area. Given its location near the harbour, it could also have been a casualty from the
period in which King Rama I and King Rama III removed bricks to Bangkok to build a
new capital.

During the post-Ayutthaya period, a teacher training college for women was located
close by. This explains why this old temple is situated on a women's dormitory property
today.
(Detail of a 19th century map - map is orientated S-N)
Detail of a 19th century map - map is orientated S-N
Detail of Phraya Boran Rachathanin's map - Anno 1926
(Detail of Phraya Boran Rachathanin's map - Anno
1926 - different spelling of the name)
Detail of a 2007 Fine Arts Department GIS map
(Detail of a 2007 Fine Arts Department GIS map -
Courtesy of the Fine Arts Department - 3th Region)