Wats Up: Bangkok’s best temples
Bangkok is one of the most energetic and fascinating cities on the planet. Boasting everything from ornate temples and palaces dripping in jewels to bustling river markets and skyscrapers, this is a city which won’t fail to intrigue and enthral you. If you’re planning to indulge your inner culture vulture on your tailor-made Thailand holiday, you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to choosing which temples to visit. A city positively bursting at the seams with temples and places of worship, you could spend days visiting these iconic sights. If you haven’t got time to waste, we’ve put together some of the best options for you.
Wat Pho (also known as the temple of the reclining Buddha)
Wat Pho is one of Bangkok’s most popular tourist sights. This ornate temple is one of the largest in the city and it features a giant Buddha, which measures 15 metres in height and 43 metres in length. The Buddha, which is positioned in a reclining position, stretches the length of the inner hall of the temple and it is adorned in gold leaf and mother of pearl. Although most flock to see the giant Buddha when they arrive at Wat Pho, there are additional attractions. Notable highlights include the stupa (a spherical building used to house relics), which is devoted to Chakri kings. Outside the temple, you’ll find pretty manicured gardens and terraces embellished with coloured tiles.
Wat Phra Kaew (also known as the temple of the Emerald Buddha)
Located within the grounds of the stunning Grand Palace, Wat Phra Kaew is considered one of the country’s most important temples. The most significant element for many is the statue of the Emerald Buddha, which was carved into a column of jade. The Buddha was first discovered in Chiang Rai and it travelled to Chiang Mai and Laos before taking up permanent residence at the palace. You can easily spend hours exploring the palace complex and the temple is certainly worthy of your time. If you’re an art or history enthusiast, immerse yourself in the long gallery, which features murals depicting the story of Ramayana. The gallery, which spans approximately 2 kilometres, boasts more than 170 murals. Afterwards, make your way to the golden beacon of Phra Sri Rattana, which is one of the most photographed structures in the city.
If you’re exploring Bangkok, don’t leave without visiting these temples. The intricate detailing, the breathtaking aesthetics and the fascinating stories will make it worth your while.