Mouth-watering foods, wild nightlife bars, fancy luxurious hotels, crazy shopping malls, name it! That’s Bangkok! But beyond that, one of the most interesting to see around the city is the temples (wats). From the one that showcase the beauty of the Chao Phraya River up to the other that stands still on a hill, I guess you are now craving to see them. Now get your shoes tied up and let’s visit some of Bangkok’s most popular temples right away.
Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha)
Wat Phra Kaew is in one complex together with the Grand Palace, a Buddhist temple, historic site and the most important temple that deeply represents Buddhist religion and the monarchy of Thailand. Wat Phra Kaew houses the venerated emerald Buddha (only 66cm tall) statue in a chapel and is also a pilgrimage site for Buddhists and nationalists. Other statues like the Kinaree (half-swan, half-woman from Hindu-Buddhist mythology) and Yaksha (ogres/giants from Hindu mythology) are likewise can be seen on the site. The Grand Place (former royal residence) right on the next wall is a must to visit too.
Admission fee to the whole complex is 500 Baht ($14); opens from 8:30am-4pm.
Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha)
Wat Pho is a compound just the neighbor of Wat Phra Kaew and the Grand Palace. This Buddhist temple is the birthplace of Thai massage and herbal medicine that still in occurrence nowadays. It is also the center of public tutelage in primeval Thailand. Aside from a lots of chedi rooted on its ground everywhere, Wat Pho also enshrined the city’s largest reclining Buddha and Thailand’s largest Buddha image collections.
Entry fee for Wat Pho is 100 Baht ($2+) with free bottled water; gates open from 8:30am-06:30pm.
Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn)
The attraction on the west bank facing the Chao Phraya River, Wat Arun sparks its magical scene every moment of the day. Blanketed by broken porcelains of floral mosaic design, this Buddhist temple is one of the most visited temples in Bangkok alongside with Wat Phra Kaew and Wat Pho. Head close to the riverside for a close experience with Chao Phraya River and see to yourself what it looks like to be at the other side of Bangkok.
Wat Arun can be easily reach by boat in Tha Thien pier every couple of minutes for just 3 Baht. Admission fee to the temple is 50 Baht ($1+).
Wat Ratchanatdaram (Temple of the Royal Niece)
Located in the district of Phra Nakhon, Wat Ratchanatdaram was built for the daughter of King Rama III – Somanass Waddhanawathy. The temple is famously known for the multi-tiered structure Loha Prasat, measuring 36 meter high with 37 metal spires and the third in the world after one in India and Sri Lanka. Wat Ratchanatdaran also houses a golden sitting Buddha and is likewise open to public without a fee.
Wat Saket (Temple of the Golden Mount)
Another temple complex just in front of Wat Ratchanatdaram across the Khlong Ong Ang canal also filled with calmness and tranquility. Wat Saket itself is not much of interest but the Golden Mount is. Situated on a 77 meters tall man-made artificial hill, Golden Mount welcomes visitors by its long spiral (some 300 steps) stairways going to the top and at the most tip is a chedi gleaming in gold. The perfect 360˚ panoramic view of the Bangkok is incredibly beautiful from the top of the Golden Mount.
Open to public from 8am-6pm with an admission fee of 40 Baht ($1+)
Wat Traimit (Temple of the Golden Buddha)
Wat Traimit is a Buddhist temple located very near on both China town and Hua Lamphong train station. Inside the temple is the pure solid-golden Buddha image weighing roughly 5.5 tons with the height of 3 meters tall which have said the Buddha image sculpted exactly the same as the image discovered beneath a plaster exterior upon falling from a crane just within the temple’s compound some 40 years ago.
Access to the temple is just 40 Baht ($1+) and opens from 8am-5pm. It is also required for visitors to wear appropriate clothing likewise you will end up renting one from the locals.
_____ * _____
There are a lot of temples in every corners of Bangkok; these 6 on my list are the most common and popular to visit both locals and tourists.