Wat Sovannkiri Buddhist Temple
3864 52nd St
San Diego, CA 92105
Dog-Friendly: Outside, yes Kid-Friendly: Yes
“Wat Savannkiri is a Cambodian and Laotion temple in City Heights, held by Prom Khian Attagutto. Prom is the head monks among both temples.
There had been only one temple that was part of Wat Savannkiri because the second temple was a Christian church before. Around 2005 they they decided to turn the church into another temple. The second temple is mostly used for celebrating holidays as the big space is needed for those who come to celebrate along with the temple.
These huge monuments have a distinct structure to them. Surrounding the temples with protection such as angels, guardians, warriors, lions, and dragons keeps away the evil. The colors and the sizes of the temple attract many curious eyes. Anyone is welcome to visit the popular temples and have a better understanding of the Buddhist religion by having a conversation with one of the monks if you like.”
Personal Experience: First off, there are two temples located across from each other. I only went inside one, but did photograph the outside of both. Make sure to check out both as they are both breathtakingly beautiful and filled with great detail.
I was unsure how the people would react to me coming there with my camera for the main purpose of documenting their temple. I was completely taken back with just how welcoming they were and the fact that they encouraged me to take photos inside the temple and anywhere else I wanted. I felt like I would give off a rude impression walking around with my camera and not actually being part of the temple, but thankfully I had the exact opposite experience.
There were ladies selling food that they had made and fruit from their gardens. I bought some delicious guavas and jicama, chai tea and they insisted I sample their fried bananas (which were incredibly tasty)! Once inside the temple, there was a kind monk who let me look around and take a photo of him. Once again, he was over-the-top kind and humble. This was a great experience and what a beautiful temple! Definitely photo-worthy.
If you stop by, make sure you make a donation and buy some of their great food if they’re out there selling. I went on a Sunday afternoon and cannot speak for what it’s like the rest of the week.
They have their market on Sunday mornings:
The second temple is located across the street. Appreciate from the street as I believe this is their residency: