Chachoengsao Province, Page 30, Wat Saman Rattanaram on the Bang pakong river, Chachoengsao.
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Wat Saman Rattanaram on the Bang pakong river, Chachoengsao.

Chachoengsao Province, Page 31, Wat Saman Rattanaram on the Bang pakong river, Chachoengsao.

Chachoengsao, Paet Rio, has an old history dating back to the reign of King Borommatrailokkanat in the Ayutthaya period. Most of the people have settled near  the Bang Pakong River and along canals. Luangpho Phuttha Sothon and  is a centre of faith of the people of Paet Rio. In the past, Chachoengsao was a fourth class city under the Ministry of Defence. During the reign of King Rama I, it was attached to the Ministry of Interior.

Until the reign of King Rama V who changed the administration system, Chachoengsao became a city in the Prachin Buri Circle. In 1916, its status was changed from a city to a province. Chacheongsao is a Khmer word which means a deep canal. The name Paet Rio comes from the story that the city once teemed with giant snake head fish; up to 8 cuts were required on the sides in the making of sun dried fish.

Bang Pakong River originates from the Korat plateau, passes Prachin Buri, Amphoe Bang Nam Priao and Bang Khla of Chachoengsao, and flows out into the  Thai Bay at Amphoe Bang Pakong covering a  distance of 230 kilometres on it’s journey. The route of the river passes many interesting places such as Khrommakhun Maruphong Siriwats Residence, ancient fortress and a previous City Hall, old rafts and many Wats, and arrives at Wat Pho Bang Khla to the spectacular sights of the local bat community nesting here. Tourists can hire boats at the pier of Wat Sothon Wararam Worawihan or in the town. The long tailed boat can accommodate 8 to 10 people and 40 people on the larger boats.

Wat Saman Rattanaram where you can see a giant Reclining Ganesha. This temple is situated on the bank of Bang Pakong river. There are two Ganesha Temples. This one with the pink Ganesha, is some distance north of the city.  Wat Saman Rattanaram is located in Bang Kaeo,  a sub district of Chachoengsao. The temple is situated near the Bang Pakong Dam, north of Chachoengsao. The temple features a giant reclining image of Ganesha, the Elephant God, said to be the largest of Thailand. The statue of the Hindu deity measures 16 metres high and 22 metres long and made from pink stucco texture in 2009, it took four months to build this.

There is a museum containing sacred objects in the basement of the statue. Around the base are 32 different postures of Ganesh statues enshrined with 5 servants rats in front. Only in Thailand  would you find a religious site which combines shrines to Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism all on display in one temple. Near the premises is a market selling a variety of food and products. I have to say it was one of the best and most interesting markets I had visited. The temple was packed with visitors the day I was there due to it being a Sunday and many Thai people had a day off work.