Wat Mongkolratanaram - Gastro Obscura

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Gastro Obscura

Wat Mongkolratanaram

Every Sunday for the last 30 years, this Buddhist temple has hosted a market with food and Thai goods. 

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Wat Mongkolratanaram is a Thai Buddhist temple built in 1981 on the banks of the Palm River. The stunning Ayudhaya-style temple, peaceful gardens, and authentic Thai food draw some 10,000 visitors every week.

With roughly 700 residents of Thai origin, Tampa is home to the largest Thai community in Florida, so it’s fitting to find a Buddhist temple here. The resident monks perform sacred rituals and worship at the temple, and its grounds are open to the public daily.

Though Wat Tampa is a faith-based location that anyone can visit, some pretty influential people have graced its halls. In 2007, the king of Thailand visited the temple for a ceremonial Thot Kathin, a presentation of a simple orange robe to a high-deserving monk. According to temple sources at the time, it was the first honor of its kind in the United States.

On Sundays, a popular food market draws crowds to the temple grounds for authentic Thai dishes, like curries with rice, crab rangoon, noodle soups, and summer rolls.

Know Before You Go

Wat Tampa is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday. The grounds are open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday market runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. or until food runs out. Picnic tables are available on site. Accessible parking is available near the  monks’ quarters.

In partnership with KAYAK

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