Many people claim that Bangkok is the “City of Angels” on the East, but it still has something that the “City of Angels” on the West doesn’t – the magnificent Buddhist temples. In fact, going to Bangkok without visiting at least some of these centuries-old shrines is literally like going to Paris without visiting the Eiffel Tower – a huge nonsense. However, this could be a very tricky thing since there are over 400 temples in Bangkok which means that either you have to stay one year in order to explore each one of them or you have to be very selective and decide which ones deserve to be in your priorities. In order to save you from headaches, here is a selection of 10 must visit temples in Bangkok:
1. Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn)
Wat Arun or the “Temple of Dawn” is considered to be the most spectacular temple in Bangkok since it has a quite unique architecture – a huge central tower (known as ‘Prang’) surrounded by 4 smaller towers. Built in the 17th century, Wat Arun is located on the riverside of Chao Phraya river, at the opposite side of the Grand Palace and Wat Pho. Therefore, if you are not lazy and decide to conquer the numerous stairs which lead to the balcony of the main tower – you would have the chance to admire a million dollar view which in no way you could ever forget!
Where: 158 Wang Doem Road | Wat Arun, Bang Kok Yai, Bangkok 10600, Thailand
Contact: +66 2 891 2185
2. Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of Emerald Buddha)
Wat Arun might be the most spectacular temple in Bangkok, but Wat Phra Kaew is the most important temple and the most popular temple in the entire country because it is located in the heart of the Grand Palace. The most iconic thing that you would have the chance to see there is the statue of the Emerald Buddha, which is carved into a 66 cm tall block of Jade which was first discovered back in 1464. Oh and another great thing is that in this temple you will have the chance to walk through 2 km long gallery and see paintings featuring even 178 scenes of the epic tale of Ramayana!
When: Na Phra Lan Road | Phra Borom Maha Rajawang, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200, Thailand
Where: 8:30 am – 3:30 pm
Contact: +66 2 224 3290
3. Wat Benchamabophit (The Marble Temple)
The Marble Temple is a relatively young temple in Bangkok, but yet it is nothing less meaningful as it is one of the most popular temples between the Thai and the visitors who come every day in Bangkok.
It was built in 1900 and it was designed by Prince Naris who, besides being the son of King Rama IV, was also an amazing architect. Inside this temple, there is the sacred Phra Buddha Chinnarat image which is considered to be one of the most beautiful images of Buddha.
Where: 69 Nakornpathom Rd | Dusit, Bangkok 10300, Thailand
When: 6 am – 6 pm daily
Contact: +66 2 281 2501
4. Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha)
Wat Pho or also known as the “Temple of the Reclining Buddha” is Bangkok’s oldest and largest temple. The most attractive thing about this temple is the 15 meters high and 43 meters long image of Buddha which is completely covered with gold leaf and extravagant nacre (mother-of-pearl) decorations. The temple is also a home to 1000 other images of Buddha, 91 chedis and the first Thai massage school.
Where: 2 Sanamchai Road. | Grand Palace, Pranakorn, Bangkok 10200, Thailand
When: 8 am – 6:30 pm daily
Contact: +66 2 226 0335
5. Wat Prayoon
Wat Prayoon is a little bit different from the rest of the temples because of its bright red, 1.5m tall iron fence and Buddha’s relics – the bell-shaped chedi on 80 meters long base, surrounded by a porch and 18 satellite chedis.
However, another amazing feature of this temple is also the “Turtle Mountain” ,which is a mound of melted candle wax, and a location where are placed the spirit houses dedicated to those who have died.
The location of this temple will also give you the opportunity to see the wildlife and feed the turtles from the lake.
Where: Prajadhipok Rd, แขวง วัดกัลยาณ์ Khet Thon Buri, กรุงเทพมหานคร 10600, Thailand
Contact: +66 2 466 1693
6. Wat Saket (The Golden Mount)
This temple is located on the top of a high hill in the old city of Bangkok. It was first built by King Rama III, but it soon collapsed because of the soft construction. So later it was rebuilt by King Rama IV and Rama V. Besides the interesting history,
this temple also has to offer relic of Buddha brought from India which is located to the top terrace offering a breathtaking view that you will never forget.
Where: 344 Chakkraphat Diphong Road | Bang Bat, Pom Prap Sattru Phai, Bangkok 10100, Thailand
When: 9 am – 5 pm daily
Contact: +66 2 621 0576
7. Wat Intharawihan
The most amazing thing about this temple is 32 the meters tall and 11 meters long image of Buddha.
However, what makes this image so unique is the fact that its construction started in 1867 and was finished in 1972 during the reigns of King Rama IV and King Rama VII.
The topknots (covered with gold along with the forehead) of the image also has relics of Lord Buddha.
Where: 114, Wisut Kasat Road | Bang Khun Phrom, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200, Thailand
When: 6 am – 10 pm daily
Contact: +66 2 282 3173
8. Wat Bowonniwet Vihara
Shortly known as Wat Bowon is a temple located on the northeast side of Bangkok’s Rattanakosin island and as well as the rest of the temples, it has a long and interesting history. It is assumed that it was built back in 1782 and was originally named Wat Rai Phrik.
Its main attraction is the beautiful standing picture of Buddha which is enormous and remarkable.
Where: Phra Sumen Road | Phra Borom Maha Ratchawang, Phra Nakho, Bangkok, Thailand
Contact: +66 2281 2831-3
9. Wat Thepthidaram
Unlike the other temples, this temple was built for only 3 years by King Rama II in 1839 and dedicated to his daughter.
Wat Thepthidaram actually means “Temple of the Angel” and is most popular for its influence by Chinese Arts.
Wat Thepthidaram was also former residence of one of the greatest poets in Thai history-Sunthorn Phu.
Where: 70, Maha Chai Road | Samran Rat, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200, Thailand
Contact: +66 2 621 1178
10. Wat Traimit (Temple of the Golden Buddha)
Last, but not least – Wat Traimit, the white and gold temple located in the heart of Chinatown. What sets apart Wat Traimit from the rest of temples is the magnificent statue of Buddha made of solid gold seated inside the temple – the largest statue of Buddha of this kind in the entire world! What is the most mysterious is that the fact that this statue, made of solid gold, was discovered in 1955 when it accidentally dropped when people tried to move it – it was then when pieces of the plaster cover fell down and revealed the true material of the statue! It is believed that its creators covered the statue in plaster in order to protect it from the invading armies in the past since the statue is 5 meters high and even impressive 5,5 tons (of pure gold) heavy!
Where: 661 Chaoren Krung Road | Talad Noi, Samphanthawong
When: 8 am – 5 pm daily
Contact: +66 2 225 9775