WAT THA HOI (วัดท่าหอย)
Wat Tha Hoi or the Monastery of the Landing of the Shellfish was located off the
city island, in the southern area of Ayutthaya in Samphao Lom Sub-district. The remains
of the monastery are situated east of
Khlong Khu Cham, opposite Wat Tawet.

In situ is a restored ruin consisting of a number of brick foundations of walls and
monastic structures as well as some bases of small chedi on the southern side of the
premises. The site has been excavated in 2015. The perimeter is roughly 110 meters
wide on 160 meters deep.

Its historical background and period of construction are unknown, but the monastery
should at least date from
King Narai's reign (r. 1656-1688). We find a reference to this
monastery in the Royal Chronicles of Ayutthaya.

Chinese harassment of Burma started from 1648 onward. Ten years later, with the
Chinese still hanging around, agricultural activities slowed down and a shortage of rice
occurred. Lower Burma became disturbed. In 1661, the Prince of Prome raised an
insurrection and was crowned as
King Maha Pawara Dhamma Raja. In 1662, the
Governor of Martaban (1) ordered a force of 3000 men out of his municipalities, to help
the King of Burma in defending Ava and to expel the Chinese. A large number of Mon
escaped the force and returned to Martaban.

The Governor arrested the Mon who fled back, put them in cages and threatened to
burn them to death. Five thousand Mon advanced on Martaban, burned down the town
and took the Governor in custody. The
Talaing insurgents could hold the town for a
while but realized they would not escape the wrath of the King of Ava. The Talaings
assembled their families and with more than 10.000 people started their flight to Siam in
direction of the Three Pagoda Pass. A front guard advanced to
Kanburi in order to give
an account of the occurrences to King Narai.

The King sent some thousand Mon troops to meet them and to guide the refugees to
Kanburi. [1] The Mon nobles were received for an audience at the court and
arrangements were made to harbour the families in the vicinity of Sam Khok, partly near
Khlong Khu Cham [2] (in the vicinity of the Monastery of the Mud of the Shell Harbor
[3]) and partly in the neighborhood of the Monastery of the Card Slap. A Burmese force
was sent down and reoccupied Martaban.  

The Holy Lord Omnipotent, having learned of the developments, was delighted in
His holy heart and thereupon commissioned one thousand former saming and
Raman, both masters and retainers, to go forth, meet them and come in with them
towards Kancanaburi. Thereupon, arrangements were made for them to live in the
Vicinity of Three Knolls and [the Vicinity of] the
Monastery of the Mud of Shell
, and for the Raman saming who were masters to enter for an audience and
prostrate themselves to render homage. Thereupon the King manifested His holy
compassion by being pleased to make them holy royal gifts of seal silver and
clothes in great quantities, and by allowing them to live and make their living in
their own place in happiness.

The references [2] en [3] relate to Wat Tha Hoi situated on the east bank of Khlong
Khu Cham.

The site is indicated on
Phraya Boran Rachathanin's map drafted in 1926.

The ruins of Wat Tha Hoi are located in geographical coordinates: 14° 20' 16.47" N,
100° 33' 51.76" E.


(1) Martaban, today called Mottama is located in Thaton district of the Mon State in
Myanmar. Mottama was the first Mon capital of the Hongsawadi Kingdom from 1287
to 1363 and was briefly vassal to the Sukhothai Kingdom until the early 14th century. It
was a flourishing trade town located at the mouth of the Salween (Thanlwin) River
across from Mawlamyine (Moulmain). Martaban had a good harbour for large vessels,
until the Burmese conquered the town in 1541 and sunk a number of stone-filled ships at
the mouth of the river. The small port of Martaban was famous for its glazed pottery
(earthen ware glazed with lead-oar) and known for its trade in dry fish. [4]


[1] The Royal Chronicles of Ayutthaya - Richard D. Cushman (2006) - page 256 /
Source: Phan Canthanumat - Events in Ava - War with China.
[2] Ibid - page 258 / Source: Royal Autograph.
[3] Ibid - page 257 / Source: Phan Canthanumat.
[4] Account of Pegu and the Voyage to Cambodia and Siam in 1718 - Captain
Alexander Hamilton.
Site view of the defunct temple Wat Tha Hoi
Text, maps & photographs by Tricky Vandenberg
Updated April 2016
(Site view of the defunct temple Wat Tha Hoi)
Detail of Phraya Boran Rachathanin's map - Anno 1926
(Detail of Phraya Boran Rachathanin's map - Anno
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)
Site view of the defunct temple Wat Tha Hoi
(Site view of the defunct temple Wat Tha Hoi)