It’s your first time in Bangkok and you want to explore every bit of the city. You are so excited. But, you don’t know where to start! So where should you start then, you may ask. Let’s go back to the basics first by knowing the city. Bangkok’s full name is Thai is Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Ayuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Piman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit. Nope I am not kidding. There’s even a song made using the name as its lyrics to help people memorize it. There’s a shorter version though, Krung Thep. Guess what that means, City of Angels! So this is Los Angeles’ sister city then? Hahahaha! As the name suggest this is a city of angels where the gods have converged and where you see and feel the god’s blessings. So where else best to start but with the city’s majestic Bangkok Temples!
Here are seven majestic Bangkok temples to visit on your maiden exploration of Bangkok!
Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha)
Official Name: Wat Phra Chetuphon Vimolmangklararm
Entrance Fee: ฿ 100
Located next to the Grand Palace, the Wat Pho is one of Thailand’s most famous Bangkok temples. Although it houses another temple, the complex is extremely more popular because of the reclining buddha. People come to be amazed at massive Buddha at his last state before entering the parinirvana. Aside from this, the temple complex is also adorned with beautiful spires and towers around this Bangkok temple.
Official Name: Wat Suthat Thepphawararam
Entrance Fee: ฿ 20
Situated next to the Gian Swing, the Wat Suthat is one of the 10 royal Bangkok temples. It is note worth that its main doors are actually carved with the help of King Rama II. The main feature of this Bangkok temple is its Buddha image which was moved from the Sukhothai Province. This temple is also submitted to UNESCO to become a world heritage site in the future.
Temple of Dawn
Official Name:Wat Arun Ratchawararam
Entrance Fee: ฿ 45
Originally a Hindu temple, Wat Arun sits by the banks of the Chao Praya river across the Grand Palace and Wat Pho. The temple is dominated by a Prang or Khmer style tower that was built during the Ayuthaya period. This tower is also considered as the worlds tallest Prang and is specially visited by tourists as it can be walked up to a certain level. To get to Wat Arun from Wat Pho you would need to cross the river via boat ferry for just about ฿7 each way which was actually fun!
Official Name: Wat Phra Kaew
Entrance Fee: ฿ 500
Entrance to the temple it self is actually for free. However, the temple is inside the Grand Palace hence the 500 baht entrance fee. The temple houses the Buddha made out of jade stone (I’m not sure about why it is called emerald). The Buddha is dressed according to the season. There are no cameras allowed inside though 🙁 (hence, the stock photos)
Temple of the Golden Buddha
Official Name: Wat Traimit
Entrance Fee: Free
Located in the Yaowarat area or Chinatown in Bangkok, Wat Trimitr houses a golden Buddha. This should not be taken lightly though as the golden in that title stands for the solid gold material that was used to make the Buddha. The golden Buddha was previously unknown as it appeared to be just an ordinary stone carving that no temple wants to take it in. The statue was then taken by a small chapel and there it was discovered that it was actually just covered by plaster. It is believed that this was done to prevent attacking armies from destroying or looting the Buddha from previous wars.
Official Name: Wat Saket
Entrance Fee: ฿ 500
The temple got its name when King Rama I on his return from a victorious battle stopped at the temple to wash, hence Saket meaning to wash. Built also during the Ayuthaya period on a man made hill near the historic Phanfa bridge north east of the old town center. People believe that in order to properly worship you need 9 incense sticks, 1 candle and 3 lotus flowers so that you will be healthy after. The main draw of this temple is the panoramic view of the Bangkok
Official Name: Wat Ratchanatdaram
Entrance Fee: ฿ 7/ ฿ 200 (guided)
Wat Ratchanatdaram translated to English is Royal Niece is popularly known as Loha Prasat or Iron Palace. The temple is famous for its iron spires surrounding the temple building. What used to be aged iron is now colored golden after the renovation a couple of years ago. The Thais are really proud of this majestic building that they tore down a movie house that was blocking the public from full view of the building!
Wat Chana Songkrahn
Official Name: Wat Chanasongkhram Ratchaworamahawihan
Entrance Fee: Free
The temple was built during the Ayuthaya Period (1351-1767) and was continually renovated by the kings of Thailand. The temple was later on assigned as one of the 10 royal temples in Bangkok with its new (current) name commemorating the Thai’s victory in their 3 battles with the Burmese. One of the easiest to go to if you are staying near Khaosan road as it is located just north of it. This is also the my fist ever temple in Thailand that I’ve been to. I just stumble upon the temple while walking around.