According to Thailand’s latest census, over 90% of Thai people consider themselves Buddhist, so no wonder there are Buddhists temples all over the country. Many of the most impressive temples are located in Thailand’s biggest city, Bangkok. We wanted to show you some of our favorite temples in the city area.
Wat Phra Kaew
Wat Phra Kaew is the most important and most visited Buddhist temple in Bangkok. One of the most expressive features of the temple is the Emerald Buddha, even though the statue is only 66 centimeters tall. Three times a year the King of Thailand performs a very important ritual to bring good fortune to the country and changes the golden cloak the Emerald Buddha is wearing. Wat Phra Kaew is centrally located and easy to reach as it is part of the Grand Palace complex. While visiting the temple, you should definitely take a look around in the complex as it is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Thailand with its numerous buildings, halls, pavilions, gardens and courtyards.
Wat Pho temple complex has over thousand Buddha statues but is mostly known for the reclining Buddha. The reclining Buddha statue is 15 meters tall and 46 meters long which makes it one of the largest Buddha statues in Thailand. If you have a couple of extra coins in your pocket, you can drop them into one of the 108 bowls in the chapel to bring good fortune to you. If you think you are already lucky enough, you can spend your money on a traditional Thai massage, as one of the first massage schools in Thailand is located in the temple area.
The design of Wat Arun is very different from other temples in Bangkok, which makes it compelling to many tourists. The temple is almost straight across the river from the Grand Palace and Wat Pho, so it is easy to visit all of them in one day. If you decide to do so, you might want to start with Wat Arun, so you will see the sunset on the other side of the river. Even tough Wat Arun is called the Temple of the Dawn, it looks the most impressive during sunset when all the lights go on.
Wat Mahathat is one of the oldest Buddhist temples in Bangkok. It is not as popular as many others, which makes it a perfect place to quiet down and really feel the atmosphere. It is also possible to participate in meditation classes there. On Sundays, Bangkok’s largest amulet market is held next to the temple. There you can find amulets, charms, talismans and traditional Thai medicine. Different amulets are used for different purposes, for example, they can bring you money or love, or keep your enemies away, so choose carefully!
All of the temples mentioned above are located by the river. In theory, it is possible to visit all of them in one day, but we don’t recommend that if you really want to experience the atmosphere. Please note that temples are sacred places for Buddhists so you need to be respectful. Taking pictures is not always allowed and you should wear appropriate clothing when in the temple area.
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