The temples of Bangkok are not only exceptional but also chiefly a part of the capital's heart & soul. Thailand has a 95% Buddhist population, thereby there is a rich number of Buddhist temples in Bangkok. They are famously known as "wats" in Thai. As per the estimates, there are more than 400 wats or temples as you know them. They are disseminated all around Bangkok. The architecture of these temples is breathtaking. Moreover, there are sparkling beautifications that have no comparison. Just try to envision a thousand fragments of the colored glass as well as the pottery that is ornamented with elaborate structures. They are all gold-plated and look like a glaring gold. You feel as if you are actually in a City of Angels!
For any visit, the trip would be incomplete if you don't get to see the two significant temple in Bangkok. Though, most of the people visit three temples on priority i.e. Wat Pra Kaew, Wat Arun as well as Wat Pho. But as a matter of fact, there are several places that are recommended as the must-see ones, here is a detailed list for your exploration:
Top must-see Bangkok temple
These are the 10 Must-see temples while you are in Bangkok, luckily most of them are in the proximity of the Grand Palace:
Top 1: The Grand Palace
If you want to see one of the holiest monuments of Bangkok, then you surely must visit “The Grand Palace”. This temple has stood tall for 200 years. It is a momentous wonder and undeniably it is the divine center of the Thai Kingdom. It's a splendid piece of architecture. As a visitor, you will be naturally drawn to the elaborate designs as they leave everyone in an admiration. This place is actually a living testimony to the wisdom as well as the imagination of the Thai artisan. Though this place is no longer employed for any governmental activities the palace complex still hosts numerous official as well as spiritual ceremonials around the year.
Top 2: Wat Phra Kaew (the Temple of the Emerald Buddha)
This Grand Palace is an enormous complex, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew) is also located here, which is certainly the kingdom's imperative temple. This place also has an image of Buddha which is perfectly chiseled out from a solid block of radiant Jade. Fascinatingly the king himself changes the robe of Emerald Buddha. This happens thrice a year. See more about Wat Phra Kaew.
Opening Hours: The opening hours for both the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew are Daily from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm
Entrance Fee: The entry fee is 500 THB which is nearly 15 USD
Recommended Visit Duration: You shall pay the visit for 60 to 90 minutes
Top 3: Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha)
Wat Pho's golden attraction is the gigantic and tremendous reclining Buddha. It is estimated to be 15 meters tall and 46 meters across. This is dazzlingly shielded purely in gold. It unquestionably holds a big magnetism for all the traveler in Bangkok. It is definitely a spectacle to be witnessed. The demonstratively titled “Temple of the Reclining Buddha” comprises the biggest assemblage of the “Buddha images” present in Thailand. Moreover, it is a substantial complex itself.
As a visitor, you need to spare enough time to relish a customary Thai massage offered here! Wat Pho is believed to be the leading school for massage in Thailand. There is a certainty that your experience will be mind-blowing. See more about Wat Pho.
Opening Hours: Daily from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm
Entrance Fee: To make an entry, you shall pay 100 THB which is 3 USD.
Recommended Visit Duration: almost 45 to 60 mins
Top 4: Wat Arun
It is widely held that Wat Arun is a totally significant temple of Bangkok. It is located on the Thonburi side of Bangkok which is almost on the opposite side of the Grand Palace and Wat Pho. It was constructed during the seventeenth century on the banks of the famous Chao Phraya River. The distinguishing shape of Wat Arun comprises of a central 'Prang' (a Khmer style tower). It is enclosed by the four smaller towers which are enveloped with faience, plates, and ceramics. If you choose to take the staircase to go to the balcony, you'll need to be cautious since they are quite vertical. Commonly it is more stress-free to ascent up the stairs but far more tough to walk down. However, the view from the top of the balcony is mesmerizing. Opposite to its name, the Temple of Dawn actually looks astounding at the sunset. See more about Wat Arun.
Opening Hours: From 8:30 am to 5:30 pm (daily)
Entrance Fee: 100 THB which is around 3 USD
Recommended Visit Duration: From 45 to 60 mins
The best time to visit
The ideal time for the visitors going to most of the temples is during the early mornings. It's far more serene and most often less busy with people. The temples or wats as you may call them are not merely to attract the sightseers but play an imperative part in the Buddhist societies. Moreover, the Monks reside within the temple complexes. Most of them wake up as early as 04:00 am, then they attend the prayers and perform the duties. They are finally seen collecting food and different supplies from the native people in the streets. If you are an early riser, you will get to witness the monks roaming around. They are usually seen wearing a saffron shaded robe. These alms collecting ritual is widely known as called 'take baht'. It generally takes place everywhere in Thailand. As a matter of fact, it is a part of the “Buddhist philosophy” which preaches giving generously to make the afterlife better.
Recommended temple itinerary
You shall always begin your visit with the stunning and outstanding Grand Palace. It's unquestionably the city's most renowned monument. You will also get to see the Wat Phra Kaew which is the temple of the Emerald Buddha.
After this, you shall carry on visiting Wat Pho. It is one of the most ancient as well as most all-encompassing temples in Bangkok. It is the houses a gigantic reclining Buddha statuette.
Once you are done with lunch, you shall take a walk to the pier. Afterward a shuttle boat to Wat Arun should be taken. It is also famously known as "The Dawn Temple". It belongs to the immense stupa.
However if as a traveler your aim is to totally relax, then the itinerary following is impeccable. You shall also try to cross the river to the Bangkok National Museum.
In order to have a far-reaching deluxe experience, the visitors should book an excursion, which is offered by different 5-star hotels in Bangkok. Moreover visiting many of the city's Buddhist temples as well as the spiritual hotspots.
Every tourist shall keep in mind carry along your camera. Furthermore, dress decently and carry your water bottles along.
More temples in Bangkok you may like
1. Wat Mahathat (Ayutthaya)
Wat Mahathat is considered as a center as well as a striking temple complex situated in the famous Sukhothai Historical Park. For the travelers, Wat Mahathat presents the very famous and frequently snapped Buddha's head which is entrenched into a tree shaft. Moreover, The Wat Mahathat is situated nearly in the center of Ayutthaya, which is to the north of the Grand Palace. People frequently chose to take a short day tour to visit there. They also visit Ayutthaya historic park which is an eminent UNESCO in Thailand. This particular park is a composite of various ancient relics, they include a number of the historic palace as well as temples. For example, as Wat Chaiwatthanaram, Wat Chaiwatthanaram, Wat Phra Si Sanphet, Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon, etc.
The Operating time: From 08.00 to 16.30
Entrance Fee: There is not as such any fee to enter the Ayutthaya Historical Park. However, the major temples charge an entrance fee of nearly 50 Thai Baht or less than that.
Recommended Visit Duration: One day from Bangkok.
2. Wat Saket
Wat Saket, or commonly known as the Temple of the Golden Mount, stands over a simulated hill, from which the enormous city of Bangkok appears to be virtually serene. You will discover several Buddhist paintings Within the ordination hall of Wat Saket. This holy place is best celebrated for its Golden Mount which is elevated directly above the rest of the temple grounds. Anyone can hike up the Golden Mount. The 300 steps take you to the highest walkway like a roughly convoluted snake and then to the chedi comprising of a relic of Buddha transported from India. Every single year, Wat Saket welcomes a massive temple fair in the course of Loy Krathong, this happens usually in the month of November. See more about Wat Saket.
Opening times: Daily from 07:30 to 17:30
Admission fee: Around 20 THB
Recommended Visit Duration: within 1 hour
3. Wat Traimit
Wat Traimit is a really sophisticated multistoried white and gold holy place which is located at the start of Yaowarat road which makes it an ideal commencing point for exploring Chinatown. The foremost fascination on the Wat Traimit is not merely its stunning structural designs, but the giant Buddha prepared out of concrete gold placed inside, the biggest of this sort in the entire world. It is believed that the present value of this statuette is way more than $250 million. See more about Wat Traimit.
Opening Hours: 09:00 - 17:00
Admission fee: 40 THB for the temple, 100 THB for the museum
Recommended Visit Duration: 45 to 60 mins
4. Erawan Shrine
Erawan Shrine in Bangkok is Brahman ad not stringently Buddhist. And so far, this prominent reliquary has attracted more tourists than many other temples of the city. The god here has four faces, and each one is believed to symbolize some type of virtuous opulence. Travelers simply love the free old-fashioned dance shows performed here. Natives stop by on their way to work to pray or pay gratitude for all the blessings. See more about Erawan Shrine.
Opening Hours: 06:00-24:00
Admission fee: Free
Recommended Visit Duration: 30 mins
5. Wat Benchamabophit (The Marble Temple)
Wat Benchamabophit is one of Bangkok's most beautifully inspiring temples. It cosists of many buddha images, sculptures, ornamental lion statues which were made back in 1920. See more about Wat Benchamabophit.
Opening Hours: 8:00 am to 5:30 pm Daily
Entrance Fee: 20 THB
Recommended Visit Duration: 30 mins
6. Wat Suthat
Wat Suthat which is notably recognized for the soaring red Giant Swing that is situated at its entrance is essentially one of the oldest and an extraordinary temple currently present in Bangkok. Factually it is listed as one of 10 first grade majestic temples in Bangkok. It is famous for its well-designed chapel with a far-reaching roof, glorious wall murals and wonderful hand engraved teakwood door panels. See more about Wat Suthat.
Opening Hours: From 08:30 to 21:00 daily
Admission fee: around 20 THB
Recommended Visit Duration: 30 mins – 45 mins
7. Wat Ratchanatdaram (Loha Prasat)
Wat Ratchanatdaram is said to be constructed for the famous Rama III back in the year 1840s. Its magnificent architecture, as well as the design, are said to have roots in the metal temples of India & Sri Lanka. The rooftop is prepared out of bronze tiles and the temple is one of its kind in the world. Especially its roof is a marvel. See more about Wat Ratchanatdaram.
Opening Hours: from 09:00 to 20:00
Admission fee: Free
Recommended Visit Duration: 30 mins – 45 mins
8. Wat Mahathat Yuwaratrangsarit
The Wat Mahathat is one of the most ancient temples of Bangkok; it was built during the time of the Ayutthaya Kingdom. Way before the city of Bangkok was established in the year 1782. The temple is extremely well-regarded. Containing the artifacts of Buddha, this temple is one of the famous six highest grade Royal temples of first royal.
The Wat Mahathat is an important temple for Buddhist studies, as it houses a well-known meditation center. It is known as the Maha Chulalongkorn Raja Vidyalaya University which was the first Buddhist educational university in Bangkok. the first Buddhist. Hundreds of monks study the teachings of the Buddha here. Classes are held in both Thai and English language.
Next to the temple, on the other side of Maharat road is a large amulet market. Every Sunday, you will find a number of stalls selling amulets from very cheap to very expensive. See more about Wat Mahathat Yuwaratrangsarit.
Opening Hours: 09:00 - 17:00
Admission: Free! A small donation is highly appreciated.
Recommended Visit Duration: 2-4 hours
9. Wat Bowonniwet Vihara
Wat Bowonniwet or Wat Bowon is situated in the Phra Nakhon district – a first-class royal temple. The Wat Bowon is the midpoint for the Dhammayuttika Nikaya, an order of Theravada Buddhism created by the famous King Mongkut.
The temple's most perceptible construction is the 50-meter high golden chedi. Since the golden stupa at the shrine preserves relics and ashes of the Thai royal family. One of the main fascinations here is the green stone Buddha from the Dvaravati period that persisted from the 6th to the 13th century.
Opening Hours: 06:00 - 18:00
10. Phra Pathom Chedi
Phra Pathom Chedi, which means the 'First Stupa', is not only the largest stupa in the world but also an unbelievable building with a captivating story in the background. A remarkable 127 meters tall, this whimsical structure stands on the site where Buddhism was first familiarized in Thailand around two thousand years ago.
The temple is situated in Nakhon Pathom town, 50 km west of Bangkok. It is a picture-perfect day trip for travelers. The ones who have already seen most of Bangkok and wish to experience a more accurate angle of what Thai life.
Opening Hours: 07.00 - 20.00, Museum open Wed-Sun 09:00-12:00, 13:00-17:00
11. Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat
Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat is a Royal temple manufactured back in the 14th century. Natives often denote the temple as the Wat Yai or Wat Phra Si, which means Big Temple”. Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat is a well-known and most visited temple by Buddhists. They occasionally come on a pilgrimage to the Buddha Chinnarat, which is one of the most respected in Thailand. It is the perfect example of Sukhothai style. The wihaan that holds an integral part of an enclosure, here the square corridors hold rows of Buddhas.
Opening Hours: 6.30am - 6pm. The museum opens 5 days a week (closed on Monday, Tuesday and public holidays).
Admission: 40 Thai Baht per person.
12. Wat Intharawihan
Wat Intharawihan was called Wat Rai Phrik originally. It dates back from the early Ayutthaya period. This Bangkok temple is less known and often overlooked by guidebooks. It welcomes the only large standing Buddha in the Thai capital city. The statuette slanting against a cement tower is roughly 32 meters high and 10 meters wide. It is Called Luang Pho or Phra Si Ariyamettrai. Moreover, it is decorated with a glass and 24K gold mosaics. It contains a Buddha relic transported from Sri Lanka.
At the back of the big Buddha, there is a small cemetery with burial urns and boxes and in front of the Buddha Image. Also, there is a square bounded by a covered pathway. Nonetheless, the attention of Intharawihan is absolutely its large statue.
Opening Hours: 8:30 am- 8 pm, daily
13. Wat Yannawa
Along the banks of the Chao Phraya River, factually in Sathorn district is the Wat Yannawa, a temple. It is not really prominent and thereby slightly in known to foreign visitors.
The Wat Yannawa which is also known as “the boat temple” is actually a 3rd class Royal Temple. Clearly, the most distinguishing feature of this large complex is said to be the viharn which is constructed in the shape of a Chinese junk vessel which is a 19th-century cruising ship. It is held that the King had these boat-like structure built to serve as memorials to these Chinese junk vessels. They were used intensively for the trade with China which had fetched wealth for the Kingdom. Throughout the reign of the famous King Nangklao, the Chinese sailing vessels were being substituted by the steamships.
The duplication of a Chinese junk vessel is more than 40 meters long and made out of concrete. At the place where the masts should be, there are two white chedis or pagodas. In the back where the wheelhouse should be, there is a room comprising of a number of Buddha images, so the visitors can pay veneration to the Buddha. At the topmost stairs that are leading to the boat, a statuette of King Nangklao is placed.
Opening Hours: 8 am - 6 pm
14. Wat Ratchabophit
This momentous temple was constructed by King Rama V in the year 1869, as per the royal customs each monarch must own a temple of his reign. Wat Ratchabophit features a synchronization of customary Thai architecture as well as the Western-style interior. It is perhaps the only of its kind in Thailand. The shrine is also the home to the famous Royal Cemetery that holds the ashes of high-level members of the Thai royal family. The ones most closely associated with King Rama V.
Opening Hours: Daily 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
15. Wat Pathum Wanaram
Wat Pathum Wanaram is a temple positioned amid the two shopping centers. While you stroll in the temple, you get to see the Siam Paragon on your left-hand side and the Central World on your right side.
Within the tall outer wall of the temple, there is a huge pond as well as a parking area that works as a bulwark in the middle of the street and the temple, serving to create the unobtrusive tranquility of this temple.
This particular temple has the ashes of the “Thai Royal family” from the household of Prince Mahidol Adulyadej. Amongst the numerous structures at the temple, tourists can come crossways at a sala that was somewhat renovated from the crematorium of the late Princess Mother of Thailand. The impressive thing about this crematorium is that it exhibits the antique workmanship known in Thai as “Phra men”. It epitomizes Mount Meru, which is the lodging of Thai gods.
Admission fee: Free
Opening Hours: Every day from 09:00 to 17:00
16. Wat Prayoon (Thonburi)
Wat Prayoon, or Wat Rua Lek, is seated upon the bank of the western side of the Chao Praya's River. This was built during the glorious reign of King Rama III. The temple’s amazing features comprises of a huge upturned bell-shaped chedi also known as a pagoda.
Wat Prayoon is distinctive since it is a home to the unique constructions such as a Buddhist temple, the meditation hall, the ordination hall, the assembly hall and a vast library. Most importantly the visitor’s eye will never miss the rising white of a Chedi visitor’s in the Bangkok sky.
While roaming around the grounds, there is a famous place named “Turtle Mountain”. The structure exhibits a pile of liquefied candles. The extraordinary area encompasses numerous spirit houses. At the foundation of the turtle mountain, an attention-grabbing pond can be seen and it is a home to the turtles. It is possible for the visitors to feed these turtles.
Admission fee: Free
Opening Hours: Every day from 09:00 to 18:00
17. Wat Rakhang
Right next to the Chao Phraya River, there is an ancient temple located in Thonburi Wat Rakhang. It was originally constructed in the famous Ayutthaya period. The meaning of this word is “temple bell”. The story of this name has a linkage with the reign of King Rama I, it happened when a bell was found in the temple compound. Afterward, King Rama II commanded to move it to Wat Phra Kaew which is the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. Moreover, the five new ones were sent in its place. Captivatingly, these are to be found in the pretty Hor Rakhang which is also known as a bell tower. This is constructed in a unique four-gable method of Ayutthaya as well as the early Rattanakosin periods. This is situated right in the corner of the temple’s compound.
Admission fee: The entry is totally free
Opening Hours: 05:00 - 21:00
Tips for Visiting the Temples in Bangkok
To stay hydrated in the extremely hot weather, you shall keep your water bottles along.
In order to bargain with the tuk-tuk drivers, or for embarking on the ferry and in order to pay for the entrance fees, you shall always keep small bills with you.
If you decide to take a taxi that charges through its meter, or if in case you book a private car, these are the ideal means to reach these temples. Most of them are quite far from the BTS stations. However it will charge you a little more, but the experience would be worth the money.
In order to read and plan your trip more efficiently, you shall check out this website: trendy neighborhoods in Bangkok
There is General Thailand Travel Tip: Visiting Thailand is really convenient for Americans, but there are some countries that will require a Visa. As a visitor, you shall make sure you check your respective country's visa requirements. It's also possible to find a guide online that escort you and also guide you in getting a visa for traveling to Thailand.
Since there are two airports, the matter of Airport transportation can be slightly challenging. Here's an overview of airports in Thailand.
If a visitor is planning to visit Chiang Mai, they like this to go through Chiang Mai travel guides which will include lots of great history and temples.
All the visitors shall wear comfy shoes. As you will be required to take them off many times during the course of the day. Every temple you go to you a temple, you will be required to enter it without shoes. So, your footwear shall be planned accordingly.
As a visitor, you need to ensure that your clothes are suitable and modest. The clothes should not be revealing. The visitors have to make sure that their knees and elbows are totally covered. It's ideal to carry along a light jacket or skirt. If in case you need to cover yourself more.
Firstly, all the visitors need to dress appropriately but if in case your dress up is not up to the mark, there is an option to get the clothes for around 200 baht. This amount will be reimbursed, once you return the clothes.