Ancient Town of Kanchanaburi
Located in Tambon Lat Ya between Km. 2 – 3 on Highway 3199 off Highway 323. It used to be a border outpost confronting Burmese armies arriving through the Three Pagodas Pass since the Ayutthaya through Rattanakosin Periods (ca. 1548 – 1784). Mounds of the rectangular earthen wall measuring 167 x 355 sq.m. and four corner fortresses still remain to be seen. Ancient monuments within its vicinity include:
Wat Pa Lelai, known locally as Wat Pha Ok and built in the Ayutthaya Period. The Mondop – a square building – once enshrined a seated Buddha image in the gesture of subduing Mara, which was drilled through the chest – ‘Pha Ok’ in Thai. An image of the Buddha receiving offerings from a monkey and an elephant known as ‘Palilayaka’ - Pa Lelai - was later constructed to replace the former one. Remains of architecture within the temple include Mondop, Wihan and round brick Chedi with clay mortar and cement coating.
Wat Khun Phaen, from the side entrance of Wat Pa Lelai toward the training camp of the Faculty of Engineering, Chulalongkorn University, this is an abandoned temple built in the Ayutthaya Period. The complex included Phra Prang, which was the principal building of the temple, remains of which are still to be seen, Phra Ubosot, directional and satellite Chedis, and Wihan.
Wat Mae Mai, built in the Ayutthaya Period and located some 300 metres to the east of Wat Khun Phaen. There are 2 groups of architectural remains. The remains in the north include a large round Chedi situated on a plinth and rectangular west-facing Wihan. The remains in the south include a medium-scale east-facing Wihan, satellite Chedis and rectangular boundary wall, with a so-called ‘Sa Lang Kraduk’ or ‘bone-washing’ pond in between.
Ruins of Wat Nang Phim or Wat Kanchanaburi Kao are located nearby.