Wat Phet Samut Woravihan
Wat Ban Laem or Wat Phet Samut Worawihan is located in Samut Songkhram town. The former name is Wat Sri Champa. It is the most important temple of the province. According to history, in B.E. 2307 (1764) the Burmese invaded Muang Phetburi but Ayutthaya’s troops protected the city. Ban Laem people in Phetburi migrated to escape from the Burmese and settled down at Amphoe Mae Klong, further up from Wat Sri Champa, and called this village Ban Laem, the same name as their former village in Muang Phetburi.
The people all ptiched in to renovate Wat Sri Champa and gave it the new name of Wat Ban Laem. Most of the Ban Laem people were fishermen. One day, they went to catch fish as usual using a net in the Mae Klong Gulf, two Buddha images were caught in the net: one was a seated image, another was a standing image. The sitting image of the Buddha was enshrined at Wat Khao Ta Krau, Phetburi province. For the second standing image of the Buddha, the image was 1.67 metres high and holding an alms-bowl, unfortunately, the bowl could not be recovered. This Buddha image was enshrined at Wat Ban Laem and was called Luang Pho Ban Laem. This is a very sacred Buddha and many miracles have been associated with this Buddha image amking the image highly revered by all.
Wat Ban Laem which once was a small and disregarded temple, prospered and was enlarged mainly from the donations made by the people out of their faith and from their merit making and worshiping Luang Pho Ban Laem. Later, this temple was promoted to the status of royal temple of the class Worawihan and was granted the name of Wat Phet Samut Worawihan by the King. To replace the lost alms-bowl of Luang Pho Ban Laem, Prince Phanuphanwongworadej presented a blue glass-bowl which can still be seen today.
In the temple compound, there is a monk museum, exhibiting Buddha images, amulets from various periods, artifacts, antiques, and a pulpit from the Ayutthaya period.
In front of Wat Ban Laem, boat trips are available for a trip along the Mae Klong River to King Rama II Memorial Park and Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. Contact Mae Klong Travel Company (under the care of the Chairman of Samut Songkhram Chamber of Commerce) at 0-3471-3053, 0-1916-3494.