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Temples

Wat Phra KaewBangkok's temples are a unique part of the capital's heart and soul. A visit here would not be complete without seeing at least two of them. The architecture is awe-inspiring and the glittering decoration like no other. Imagine thousands of pieces of coloured glass and pottery adorned with intricate structures gilded in glaring gold - you're indeed in a City of Angels!

The best time to visit most temples is in the early morning. It's cooler and generally less crowded. The temples ('wats') are not just tourist attractions but also play an important part in Buddhist traditions. Monks live in the temple complexes, wake up around 04:00, attend to prayers and duties and then collect food and necessities from ordinary people on the streets. If you are up very early in Bangkok you will see monks walking around, dressed in saffron coloured robes. This daily alms ritual (called 'tak baht') takes place all over Thailand and is part of the Buddhist philosophy of giving and making merit to attain a better life beyond this one.

It's daunting to visit all the temples, so we've listed in the following sections those in the 'must- visit' category, according to their beauty, cultural significance and high regard in Buddhism. Please not that most temples are not open after 18:00. Thai temples are sacred places so you must dress appropriately. No shorts or revealing tops, otherwise you won't be allowed in. This applies particularly to Wat Phra Kaew (inside the Grand Palace).

Wat Phra Kaew

Wat Phra Kaew

Wat Phra Kaew or the Temple of the Emerald Buddha (officially known as Wat Phra Sri Rattana Satsadaram) is regarded as the most important... read more...

Wat Arun

Wat Arun

Wat Arun, locally known as Wat Chaeng, is situated on the west (Thonburi) bank of the Chao Phraya River. It is believed that after fighting... read more...

Wat Mahathat

Wat Mahathat

The headquarter of Thailand's largest monastic order and Vipassana Meditation centre, Wat Mahathat is an important centre for the study... read more...

Wat Saket, Gold Mount Temple

Wat Saket, Gold Mount Temple

  Wat Saket, popularly known as the Golden Mount or ‘Phu Khao Thong’, is a low hill crowned with a gleaming gold... read more...

Wat Prayoon

Wat Prayoon

Wat Prayoon, or Wat Rua Lek, sits on the western side of the Chao Praya river bank. Built during King Rama III’s reign, the temple’s... read more...

Wat Pho

Wat Pho

Wat Pho (the Temple of the Reclining Buddha), or Wat Phra Chetuphon, is located behind the splendid Temple of the Emerald Buddha. It's... read more...

Wat Rong Khun

Wat Rong Khun

  Wat Rong Khun is also known as the White Temple. Whereas most temples visited by tourists have a history going back many centuries,... read more...