Discover the captivating beauty of Bangkok’s temples. From the awe-inspiring Wat Phra Kaew to the ornately carved Wat Benchamabophit, each temple on this list is a story from Thailand’s heritage. Get lost in the architecture, carvings, and legends that make these religious sites true works of art. Remember to follow the dress code and show respect for these sacred places. Join us on a journey through ten spectacular temples in Bangkok.
Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha)
Prepare to be awed by the grandeur and intricacy of Wat Phra Kaew, the pride of Bangkok. Iin the confines of the Grand Palace, this sacred site is a prime example of the beauty of Thailand. Visitors flock to see the legendary Emerald Buddha. This small but exquisitely detailed statue is one of the most revered icons in the country. But the temple’s charm doesn’t end there. Be sure to explore the surrounding structures, like the Golden Chedi or the Phra Si Ratana Chedi. Admire the delicate murals and the lavish gold-leafed adornments that showcase exquisite Thai architecture. For those willing to get up early, a morning visit promises a serene, uncrowded experience worth waking up for.
Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha)
As you step into Wat Pho, you are transported to a world of serenity and spiritual peace. The temple complex boasts some of the most stunning Buddhist art and architecture anywhere. It has intricate murals, colourful mosaics, and ornate carvings adorning every inch of the temple walls. The 46-meter-long reclining Buddha statue is a sight to behold. Covered in gold leaf, it displays a peaceful expression that radiates tranquillity.
But what sets Wat Pho apart is its traditional Thai massage school. You can experience the healing power of this ancient practice in the serene surroundings of the temple. You might even catch a glimpse of the resident cats, who roam freely and add to the serene atmosphere. Despite its popularity, Wat Pho maintains a sense of calm and offers visitors a peaceful retreat from the city.
Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn)
Standing on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River, Wat Arun is a striking example of Thai architecture. Its towering prang is intricately decorated with shards of glass and porcelain. It shimmers in the sunlight and creates a visual feast for visitors. Few things beat the experience of climbing to the top of the prang for a panoramic view of the river and city. The temple is a popular spot for photographers at sunset when it glows in a warm golden light. But it’s also a tranquil oasis during the day, with gardens and hidden shrines. Don’t miss the chance to explore the nearby Thonburi district, where you’ll find local markets.
Wat Saket (Golden Mount)
In the Phra Nakhon district, Wat Saket, also known as the Golden Mount, offers a peaceful escape. The climb up the 318 steps to the top of the hill is well worth it for the panoramic views of Bangkok, but the temple complex has much to offer beyond the view. Wander through the gardens and explore the structures, including the golden chedi and the smaller chedis. The temple’s cemetery adds to its serene atmosphere. For spiritual reflection, Wat Saket is the perfect spot to find solace.
Wat Benchamabophit (Marble Temple)
Nestled in the Dusit district, Wat Benchamabophit boasts an elegant design. The temple is also known as the Marble Temple. Its intricate white Carrara marble construction was imported from Italy. The temple’s intricate carvings, adorned with gold, are a masterpiece of Thai temple architecture. With gold lacquer and glass mosaics, the four gables are the temple’s primary attraction. Inside, you will find a white jade Buddha statue, and outside, a beautifully landscaped courtyard with a reflecting pool. Stroll around the temple complex to appreciate its artistic beauty and architecture.
Wat Ratchanatdaram (Loha Prasat)
While Wat Ratchanatdaram is not as popular as some of the more well-known temples in Bangkok, it still has much to offer visitors. The Loha Prasat, a towering 36-meter metal spire with 37 individual spires, is a striking sight and a unique architectural wonder. Climbing to the top offers breathtaking views.
The temple’s garden is a peaceful oasis in the middle of the city, with a pond, flowers, and trees. It’s the perfect spot to relax and soak in the atmosphere. Compared to other temples, Wat Ratchanatdaram is quiet, providing a serene and contemplative environment. At the temple’s monthly Monk Chat event, visitors can talk with monks to learn about their way of life. The event is held on the last Saturday of every month and is a terrific opportunity to gain insight into Buddhism.
Wat Traimit (Temple of the Golden Buddha)
In Bangkok’s district, Wat Traimit. The highlight is undoubtedly the solid gold Buddha statue, which weighs over five tons and stands over three metres tall. The story of its discovery in the 1950s is just as intriguing, as the surrounding plaster was accidentally chipped away to reveal the statue’s value. The temple also houses a museum that delves into the long history of Thai–Chinese relations. Visitors can learn about the immigration of Chinese people to Thailand, their culture, and their impact on the country. It’s an opportunity to explore the cultural exchange between two countries and gain a deeper understanding of their shared history.
Tucked away in Bangkok’s Chinatown district, Wat Traimit is a fascinating temple to explore. The temple’s solid gold Buddha statue, weighing over five tons and standing at an impressive three metres, is breathtaking. Its discovery was just as fascinating. Workers accidentally chipped away the surrounding plaster in the 1950s, revealing the statue’s long-forgotten value.
In the temple, visitors can also explore the museum, which offers a unique glimpse into Thai–Chinese relations. Learn about the impact of Chinese culture on Thailand and gain a deeper understanding of the shared history between the two countries. This is a fascinating opportunity to explore a lesser-known aspect of Thai history and culture.
Wat Suthat (The Giant Swing)
In Bangkok’s historic district, Wat Suthat, also known as The Giant Swing, boasts architecture featuring intricate murals depicting the life of Buddha. The highlight is undoubtedly the towering Giant Swing, a 21-metre-high structure steeped in history and used in ancient Brahmin ceremonies. Visitors can climb the steep staircase to the top of the temple to take in breathtaking panoramic views of the city.
In addition to the Giant Swing, Wat Suthat houses a four-metre-tall bronze Buddha statue and Thai-style pavilions. The temple’s peaceful ambience provides a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, making it an ideal destination for those seeking a serene experience. Outside, visitors can check out the street vendors selling a wide array of traditional Thai sweets and souvenirs.
Wat Bowonniwet Vihara (The Royal Temple of the First Grade)
Nestled in the Phra Nakhon district, Wat Bowonniwet Vihara is a marvellous example of Rattanakosin-style architecture dating back to the early 19th century. The temple holds deep significance, serving as a place of worship for Thai royalty, with several members ordained monks.
Visitors are immediately struck by the Phra Phutthachinnarat, a magnificent Buddha image crafted from gold and bronze. The temple’s ordination hall boasts intricate wood carvings depicting the life of the Buddha in vivid detail. The museum is a treasure trove of ancient Buddhist artefacts, including ornate statues and intricate tapestries.
As you go through the temple’s grounds, you’ll discover a serene garden filled with fragrant flowers and lush greenery. Just a short walk away, the charming alleyways of the Phra Athit area are packed with local eateries, artisan shops, and cafes.
As you enter the gates of Wat Intharawihan, the towering Luang Pho Toh standing tall and proud is a sight to behold. The grandeur of the Buddha statue, with its glistening gold exterior, is an impressive feat of craftsmanship. But the temple is not just a place to admire art; it is a living, breathing testament to the Buddhist faith. The serene surroundings and solemn atmosphere make it an ideal destination for those seeking spiritual solace.
Standing before the Luang Pho Toh, you feel a sense of insignificance in the presence of such a massive religious symbol. The statue’s sheer size and intricate details will leave you in awe as if you are in the presence of a divine being. But what sets Wat Intharawihan apart is its cultural significance, as it is one of the few temples in Bangkok that follows the Tai Yai tradition, a unique blend of Burmese and Thai cultures. This mix of cultural influences creates a remarkable experience for visitors.
Wat Intharawihan is not just a tourist attraction, but a place of deep cultural and spiritual significance that will leave a lasting impact on anyone who visits.
Exploring Bangkok’s temples is a journey through time and culture that reveals the city’s fascinating history and architecture. In the Old City, Wat Phra Kaew‘s emerald Buddha, Wat Pho‘s intricate murals, and Wat Arun‘s views of the Chao Phraya River are must-sees. But there’s more to discover beyond the beaten path. In the Thonburi neighbourhood, Wat Arun’s neighbouring temples, Wat Paknam and Wat Kalayanamitr, boast hidden gems such as beautifully restored murals and intricate woodwork. In Dusit, Wat Benchamabophit‘s fusion of Thai and European architectural styles and the Vimanmek Mansion‘s impressive teakwood structure offer a glimpse into Thailand’s royal past.
To make the most of your temple visits, arrive early to beat the crowd, and find hidden spots for contemplation. Take your time to appreciate the intricate details of each temple, and don’t forget to try the local delicacies sold by street vendors. Whether you’re interested in architecture, spirituality, or history, Bangkok’s temples offer a unique and unforgettable experience that will leave you with a deep appreciation for Thai culture and artistry.