There are over 400 temples in Bangkok that’s worth visiting. Many of these temples are ideal for a day of fun exploration and luckily quite a number of them are sited very close to the Grand Palace by the river Chao-Phraya. When embarking on temple tours of Bangkok, remember to wear a T-shirt that covers your shoulders, long light pants, take along your camera or iPhone and also put on proper shoes because a number of the temples will not allow flip flops. In view of the fact that it can get hot out there, drink plenty water and wear a cap or hat.
Highlighted below are the popular temples of Bangkok:
Wat Pho Temple
The Wat Pho, Wat Phra Chetuphon or the Temple of the Reclining Buddha is sited at the back of the Temple of the Emerald Buddha and it is temple that new visitors or tourists to Bangkok must visit. To be precised, Wat Pho Wat Pho Temple is located at Maharat Road, near the river and it is almost half mile south of the Grand Palace, Old City (Rattanakosin).
Wat Pho in Bangkok is one of the greatest temple complexes in the city of Bangkok. It is popular because of its enormous lounging 46 meters long Buddha covered in gold leaf. Wat Pho Temple is also a great place to get the traditional message of Thailand and the Reclining Buddha is the highlight for the majority of tourists visiting Wat Pho.
The Buddha’s feet are elegantly decorated in the best pearl illustrations of auspicious characteristics of Buddha and they are 5 meters long. However, you have to pull off your shoes to gain entrance into the temple. On the other hand, it is suggested that you buy a bowl of conins at the entrance of the hall, which you have to drop in the 108 bronze bowls that line the length of the walls, if you would like a little good luck.
Dropping the small pennies makes a nice ringing sound and even if you don’t realize your dream or wishes, the money dropped goes towards helping the monks refurbish and maintain Wat Pho. All visitors to Wat Pho Temple must wear appropriate clothing that will cover their skin or shoulders above the knee in view of the fact that this temple is a revered image.
Depending on the number of people in your group as well as how you are good in negotiating, Wat Pho has good English speaking guides that will give you attention-grabbing information for a token. Suggested areas to visit at the temple are the long lines of golden statues from different parts of Thailand and four chapels that have 394 gilded Buddha images sitting in the lotus position.
Wat Phra Kaew Temple
Wat Phra Kaew is considered to be the most imperative Buddhist temple in Thailand. Situated at Na Phralan, Phra Nakorn in Grand Palace complex, the historic centre of Bangkok, it enshrines Phra Kaew Morakot, the highly respected Buddha image scrupulously carved from a single block of emerald.
The temple has ornately decorated holy buildings, pagodas and statues. The main building of the temple is the ordination hall that accommodates the Emerald Buddha. It is the most important icon for the people of Thailand, despite the fact that it is diminutive in size.
Wat Phra Kaew consists of other attractions such as a model of Angkor Wat that was constructed under the order of King Rama IV at the time when Cambodia was under the control of Siamese. To mark the first centenary of the Royal City, the model was recreated in plaster at the behest of King Rama V. In addition, don’t be left out of the Balcony, which can be measured up to the temple wall. The murals inside tell the Ramayana epic in its entirety. Every gate of the Balcony is supported by the five-meter high Gate-keeping Giants, which are characters emulated from the same epic.
However, bear in mind that you have to dress well to visit temples because they are sacred places. Therefore, no sandals, transparent tops, slippers or shorts, otherwise you won’t be allowed to enter. There is equally facility for proper trouser wear rental, if you need it. Don’t forget that the temple closes as early as 15:30 or 3.30 pm. Therefore, don’t arrive too late!
Wat Saket Temple
Wat Saket, generally acknowledged as the Golden Mount or Phu Khao Thong is located between Boriphat Road and Lan Luang Road, off Ratchadamnoen Klang Road. The temple is a low hill crowned with a gleaming gold chedi. Wat Saket Temple welcomes worshippers throughout the year and accommodates a Buddha relic within the 58-meters. In addition, the temple hosts a weeklong yearly temple fair during Loy Krathong in November.
The golden chedi is dressed in colossal bright-red cloth and a candlelit procession up to the top to mark the launching or opening of the weeklong funfair, during this period. This is an uncommon occasion to experience a large-scale fair. The venue is being brought to life by fairground games, food vendors, rides, decorative flags and colored lanterns.
Right from early evening till midnight for the whole week, crowds of fair-goers, families and worshippers pack at the temple grounds to the extent that there is hardly room to walk. The queue can be very long, if you go to Wat Saket Temple after sunset. Therefore, plan to go very early.
Loha Prasat Temple
This is a wonderful heritage temple located in an old city. Loha Prasat Temple has a very unique architecture than other temples. Located at Maha Chai Road | Bowon Niwet, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok, Loha Prasat aka Metal Castle is an excellent place to visit. The temple is built in a very strange way with many concentric square levels constructed on geometrically allied pillars. A historical object of Lord Buddha is kept at the highest height of the temple. Loha Prasat is an Indian name that means a square based and a multi-storey construction with metal spires used as Monk’s quarters originally. Being sited very near Wat Saket and Khaosan, a visit to Loha Prasat temple is more or less a must if you happen to be visiting this splendid area.
Walk around the alleys twisted by the loads of pillars to see the exposition and history of this temple that was falling apart until the existing king prepared its restoration. Don’t be left out of the huge white temples of Wat Ratchanaddaram adjoining Loha Prasat itself and have a high regard for the golden seated Buddha and the beautiful murals pairings and door carvings.
The popular Buddha and amulet statues market at the back of Loha Prasat At the back of Loha Prasat is also worth visiting. Just cross the street to locate a surprising wooden house village at the back of the white wall of the antique fort.
Wat Suthat Temple
Wat Suthat Temple is located at Bamrung Muang Road, Old City (Rattanakosin), facing Bangkok City Hall and it is popular for the towering red Giant Swing standing at its entrance. This temple is one of the oldest and most impressive temples in Bangkok. It has a well-designed chapel with sweeping roof, wonderful wall murals and teakwood door panels.
The secluded courtyard, surrounding the main chapel of Wat Suthat Temple consists of 156 Buddha images by the side of the outer walls and four entrance gates carved with hand in addition to the complex details. The wall frescoes in the major chapel revealed the earlier embodiments of the Buddha, made use of the Western painting method with perspective science that is peculiar to this temple.
Wat Arun (Temple of the Dawn)
Wat Arun Temple is locally referred to as Wat Chaeng and it is located on the west side of Chao Phraya River, opposite Tha Thien Pier. Wat Arun is among the most spectacular temples in Bangkok for its different design and riverside location. This temple is incomparable to other temples you can visit in Bangkok. Wat Arun is partially made up of vibrantly bedecked spires and stands grandly above the water. You can easily locate Wat Arun because it is right opposite Wat Pho.
Wat Arun is considered by a lot of people as one of the most beautiful temples in Bangkok, talking about the fine craftsmanship and beauty of the architecture. For maximum fun and enjoyment, is suggested that you spend a minimum of just an hour visiting the temple. The temple is completely dazzling at sunset, most especially when lit up at night. Very early in the morning, before the crowds is the best time to visit Wat Arun Temple in Bangkok.
If you are so desired, you can climb the central prang when you are at the temple. Although the steps are very sheer, but railing is available to support and make you balance yourself.
Climbing the steps is as complicated as getting down! You can easily glimpse the winding Chao Phraya River and the Grand Palace with Wat Pho facing it, when you arrive at the highest point. There are statues of animals and Chinese soldiers along the base of Wat Arun Temple.
Wat Traimit Temple
Wat Traim it Temple is situated at Traimit Road (west of Hua Lampong Station), at the starting of Chinatown. This temple is home to the largest massive gold Buddha that is measuring almost five meters high and it weighs five and a half tons. The artisans crafted the Buddha in gold in the past, and camouflaged them from attacking armies by a covering of plaster and stucco.
Wat Mahathat Temple
Wat Mahathat Temple is located at Phra That Road, very close to Sanam Luang Park, between the Grand Palace and the National Museum, Old City (Rattanakosin). This temple was initially built accommodate a relic of the Buddha and one of the oldest temples in Bangkok. This temple is also an important center where you can study meditation and Buddhism. Your fortune can also be revealed in the temple.
Just next to the Wat Mahathat Temple is the biggest good luck charm market in Bangkok, where traditional medicine, talismans, charms, and religious amulets are spread on the ground every Sunday to be checked b y buyers who are searching for the one that will ward away evil or bring good luck. Different charms are used for particular purposes; to deal with unrequited love, restore health, keep your enemies away or bring money. Choose cautiously!