Stand before Wat Yannawa’s main shrine hall and you will end up tilting your head and raising an eyebrow. Why is it shaped like a Chinese junk boat? It’s neither Thai nor a historically holy symbol. As it turns out, the backstory actually is nice one of tribute to culture.
Established during the Ayutthaya period, the temple started out as an ordinary one. The temple continued expanding through the age of booming trade between Siam and China. During Rama III’s reign, modern ships were beginning to replace Chinese junk boats. As a tribute to its memory, he ordered the construction of the main shrine hall in its shape. And it has since remained, adding personality to the temple and eternally teaching a lesson in history.
The temple undergone modern renovations and little of it today actually shows its long history. For a slice of that, search for a hall so old it requires a second roof to protect it. Then head into one of its buildings that houses the relics of Buddha and many important holy figures.