The temples of Bangkok are an important part of the capital’s soul and heart. It would be a shame not to visit at least one of these temples during a trip to Bangkok. It is breathtakingly beautiful and has dazzling decorations like none other. Imagine thousands of pieces of colored glass and pottery decorated with complex structures in bright golden color – you are actually in the city of angels.
Most temples are best visited in the morning. It is more relaxed and less crowded. These temples are more than simply visitor attractions. The temples are home to monks who wake up at 4 am to attend to their duties and pray. They then go out and collect food and other necessities from the people living in the streets. You will find monks dressed in saffron-colored clothes walking around Bangkok if you get up early. It’s part of the Buddhist philosophy that gives and makes merit to have a better life.
Thai temples can be considered sacred, and you should dress accordingly. You won’t be permitted in if you wear shorts or reveal your skin. This is especially true for Wat Phra Kaew within the Grand Palace.
List of 10 Famous Temples in Bangkok
#1 Wat Pho
Wat Pho is named after the Indian monastery where Buddha lived. It is one of Bangkok’s oldest and most important Buddhist temples. Wat Pho is also known as “reclining Buddha temple,” 15 meters high, 43 meters long Buddha image which is home. It’s covered in gold leaf and has 4-meter-long feet decorated with mother-of-pearl or nacre.
Wat Pho is placed right next to the Grand Palace. It houses 1,000 Buddha images, 91 chedis and upas (stupas), 4 Chakri king chedis, and 4 impressive chedis. It is located in a shophouse just outside the temple. If you don’t have the time, Wat Phra Chettuphon Wimon Mangkhlaram Ratchaworamahawihan is the temple’s full title. The entry fee is 100 baht.
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#2 Wat Saket
Wat Saket, or the ‘Golden Mountain’, is where you can see the distinctive golden Chedi (or Phu Khao Thong) at the temple. This massive structure was built on the top of a hill in Bangkok’s old city. It has a complicated history.
King Rama III was the first to build the chedi. The first attempt at construction failed, and the chedi fell on the soft ground. Construction was then abandoned. The original chedi that you see today is the one that King Rama IV and Rama VI built. Follow 300 steps to reach the top terrace, where you will find a chedi with a relic from India.
#3 Loha Prasat
Bangkok is full of magnificent temples, each one more impressive and elegant than the others. But Loha Prasat stands out because of its unique architectural identity. Loha Prasat, also recognized as the ‘Metal Castle,’ is situated at Wat Ratchanatdaram. It was submitted to UNESCO to be designated a World Heritage Site in 2005, highlighting its historical significance. It’s located right next to Wat Saket, the Democracy Monument, and is a must-see for anyone who happens to be on Khao San Road.
#4 Wat Mahathat
Wat Mahathat, or more accurately Wat Mahathat Yuwarajarangsarit Rajaworamahavihara, was built during Ayutthaya. It is one of 10 temples of the royal highest class in Bangkok and it is used for royal ceremonies because of its strategic location between the Grand Palace, Royal Palace.
The oldest more extraordinary education institution for Buddhist monks in Thailand is located within the temple grounds. It is an important centre for meditation and Buddhism research. Wat Mahathat is a popular spot to learn Vipassana Meditation. Some classes are taught in English. A huge amulet marketplace is located just opposite Wat Mahathat. It goes beyond the small number of vendors along the street.
#5 Wat Benjamabhopit
Wat Benjamabophit is also known as Wat Benja. It was built by King Rama V around 1900. The temple is recognized as “The Marble Temple” because the exterior walls of its main temple are covered in marble from Italy. However, it’s most famous for the embossed temple on the back of five-baht coins. This building is established near many Govt offices and palaces. It is highly revered by high-ranking officials who often visit it.
#6 Wat Pathum Wanaram
This area was only accessible by Khlong (Canal) and was still surrounded by rice fields at its establishment. Wat Popam Vanaram, built by King Mongcut in 1857, was the closest place to worship his SA Palath Palace.
The carvings at the crematorium are rare examples of ancient craftsmanship. They feature intricate stencils and lacquered statues. After shopping in Siam Paragon and CentralWorld, Pathum Wanaram offers cultural refreshments.
#7 Wat Intharawihan
A 32-meter tall Buddha dominates wat Intharawihan. It borders WisutKasat Road, at the northern edge of Banglamphu. This statue is also known as the Luangpor Toh. It was built during King Rama IV’s reign in 1867. It took more than 60 years to finish and was decorated with glass mosaics.
This prayer room was constructed towards the end of the Ayutthaya period. It features several Buddha images, a high-quality mural on the walls, and lavishly gilded shutters. Unusually carved stones can be found outside. In an alcove is a life-size model of Luang Phaw Toh (a well-known monk). The small museum contains old Buddha images as well as various paintings.
#8 Wat Kalayanamit
Despite its dominance on the west coast of Chao Fresha River, Chao Freshamit, Chao Frahia River is often ignored by tourists, city guides, and even locals. Wat Arun, a nearby attraction that is more well-known and draws people away from other Thonburi temples and attractions, is even more popular. Wat Kalayanamit is a tranquil temple that’s less touristy and more peaceful than the others. It is famous for its huge golden-seated Buddha in its main building.
It is very easy to get to Wat Kalayanamit, Thonburi. It even has its own pier. You can take a ferry from Ratchinee Pier to get there or hop on one of the many Chao Phraya express boats that make their way up and downstream every day. Ask for “Wat KalayaNamit”.
#9 Wat Ratchapradit
The tiny but striking Wat Ratchapradit is located in Rattanakosin. It’s not far from the Grand Palace. King Rama IV built it on the site of a former coffee plantation.
The prayer room, which is richly decorated in grey and white marble tiles as well as carved wood, is the central feature. The windows and gateways are decorated with intricate stucco crowns. Doors and frames of the windows have Chinese pearls. The room’s ceiling is deep red, with golden rosettes patterns and murals depicting royal ceremonies. The altar contains the ashes and remains of King Rama IV. A replica of Phra Buddha Sihing is also found inside. Two Khmer-influenced prangs are also found, one of which is clearly reminiscent of Cambodia’s Angkor Thom temple.
#10 Wat Thepthidaram
This temple, originally called Wat Ban Phraya Krai Suanluang, was built by King Rama III between 1836-1839. It was a gift to HRH Prince Apsorn Sudathip. The temple’s architecture is typical of that period, particularly the ordination hall with strong Chinese features like a gable with glazed ceramics and a roof. There are impressive murals inside and the main Buddha image, Luang Phor Khao (or Phra Buddha Deva Vilasa).
The prayer hall displays a similar design and features images of 43 female disciples enlightened in metal. The four tall prangs, which are towers in Khmer style, represent the 4 Chinese deities.