Wat Leng Noei Yi or Wat Mangkon Kamalawat is the most important and sacred Chinese Buddhist temple in Bangkok, which is located in the Bangkok’s Chinatown or Yaowarat.
This temple was built in a Chinese architectural style. Like other Chinese temples, Red is the main color. Since 2008, we started calling this temple that ‘Wat Leng Noei Yi 1’ because we have another new Chinese temple that we call ‘Wat Leng Noei Yi 2’ which is located in Nonthaburi province. Wat Leng Noei Yi 2 is newer and larger than Wat Leng Noei Yi 1 and you can go there as a day trip from Bangkok.
Wat Leng Noei Yi 1 is not huge, but many local people go visiting this temple all year long especially during Chinese New Year and Chinese vegetarian festival.
There is a shop at entrance gate (and also many stalls in front of the temple) selling stuffs such as joss sticks, candles, paper money, fruits, and so on that are used to pray.
I myself have been to this temple several times since I was young. And nowadays I go to this temple at least once a year. What I do every time I go there is ‘Sieng Seam See’, which is one of the fortune-telling without a teller.
At this temple, you will have chance to see the Buddha image in the Chinese style. The signs were written in Chinese language and some of them were translated into Thai language. I and many Thai could not read Chinese language, so I always wonder how Thai know the procedure to pray. For me, I just do what my mother told me and follow the signs in Thai language (and my mother also cannot read Chinese language!).
If you are going to visit Bangkok and want to visit a Chinese temple, I recommend you to visit this temple. You can put this place in your itinerary on the day that you visit Chinatown. My walking trip in Chinatown could give you an idea; check it out!
Update: April, 2015
Location & How to get there: the temple is located on Charoenkrung Road between Soi 19 and 21, Pompab Sattru Pai District, Bangkok. You can walk to this temple from Yaowarat Road. If you come from the Odeon Circle, keep walking on Charoenkrung Road for around 900 meters. Then, you will see the temple.
Opening Hours: Everyday from 06.00-18.00
Admission Fee: Free
Dress Code: There is no dress code checking at this temple, but you should dress appropriately.
Have you ever been to Wat Leng Noei Yi 1 or Wat Mangkon Kamalawat? Do you like it there? Share your experience with me in the comment!