When the name “Amphawa,” Samut Songkram is mentioned, the first thing that comes to most people’s minds may probably be the Amphawa floating market that is listed to be one of the best floating markets in Thailand. Only a few would know that Amphawa locals are also proud to call their town the home of King Rama II, and that is because Her Royal Highness the Queen of King Rama I was an Amphawa native who had an impressive story that is very much related to Wat Phumarin Kudeethong.
The history of this temple started before the rise of the Chakri Dynasty. A millionaire who was the father of “Khun Nak” asked a monk of Wat Phumarin to read the fortune of his daughter. The monk foretold that Khun Nak would become the Queen in the future which made the millionaire thrilled and promised to build him a Kudee or a monk’s dwelling made out of gold if the prediction came true. However, when Khun Nak actually became the Queen of the first Chakri King, her father realized it was impossible to build a whole parsonage using gold. So to keep his word, he built 3 parsonages out of “golden” teakwood instead adding the cognomen “Kudeethong” or “Golden Parsonage” to the original name “Wat Phumarin.”
The most fascinating feature of Wat Phumarin Kudeethong is indeed the famous golden Kudee offered to the temple by the father of the first Queen of Rattanakosin. Even though it has been relocated and renovated, the mysteriously magical vibe it gives still remains. Inside these wooden buildings is Wat Phumarin Museum and Education Park where you will get to learn about the early Rattanakosin life style from the antiques and artifacts like pottery, ceramics, brass utensils, aluminum wares, along with other interesting collectibles. On weekends, local students volunteer here to help explain the history and the importance of each object while the monks take over the duty on schooldays.
Wat Phumarin Kudeethong is only one of the many amazing attractions in the area. From here, you can take a boat tour to visit the scallop farm, feed the monkeys, or shop at a floating market. There is also a special trip that brings you onto the same route as King Rama V during his unofficial visit to Amphawa; it will make you feel just like a royalty.
From Samut Songkhram city center, follow Highway No. 35 (Thon Buri-Pak Tho) for 5 kilometers. After passing Wat Bang Kaphom, turn left and cross the Phra Si Suriyen Bridge. Continue until you reach an intersection where you turn right and you will find the destination straight ahead.