I love Bangkok because it’s a crazy hectic city with areas of tranquillity dotted about. As soon as you step into one of the many temples the noise and the traffic outside disappears and you’re transported into a different world.
These are my top 4 temples that you must visit in Bangkok. Each one is different and has its own merits.
No. 4 Wat Arun – Temple Of Dawn
Across the Chao Phraya River from the Grand palace and Wat Pho is Wat Arun, recognizable by its towering spires. It was having some construction work done and there was scaffolding up when we visited in Jan 17. However, this didn’t detract from its magnificence, but it meant we couldn’t climb the central spire.
Entry cost 100 THB which was more expensive than some of the other temples. We couldn’t go inside Wat Arun but we walked around the spires. The steps were very steep and even I struggled – so be prepared. It was still busy when we visited at 4pm but not too crowded that people got in the way.
It’s worth visiting Wat Arun just to see the amazing delicate decorations made of coloured glass and porcelain.
No.3 Wat Saket – Golden Mount
Wat Saket was within walking distance of where I was staying in China Town. I could see its golden crown beaming high above the buildings. It was only 20 THB and well worth the money.
It had 344 steps to the top but I found it an easy climb with lots to see on the way up. It wasn’t as busy as Wat Arun and felt more peaceful. A dress code wasn’t enforced like at some of the other temples so shorts and strap tops didn’t seem to be a problem.
Near the top you could go inside and see the Buddha statues where people were worshiping. They also sold ice cream and drinks here.
There were a few more steps to the top. I was greeted with a giant bell and 360 degree views of Bangkok.
While there isn’t anything special inside this temple, the view from the top is worth the visit, and it’s not crowded so you can walk up at your own pace.
No.2 Wat Pho – Temple of Reclining Buddha
Round the corner from the Grand Palace is the most popular and busiest temple – Wat Pho. It’s famous for its reclining Buddha measuring 46 metres long and completely covered in gold leaf. The size of the Buddha really was amazing.
It cost 100 THB for entrance and a free bottle of water. It had a strict dress code so no shorts, skirts or vest tops; otherwise you have to wear a poncho to cover up and these don’t look good in photos.
And remember no Buddha tattoos!
The main part consists of walking through the temple along the length of the reclining Buddha. Outside this building there are other attractions, including a massage school and a beautiful garden with decorated spires.
While this is a very busy temple full of tourists, the reclining Buddha must be seen to be believed.
No.1 Wat Suthat – Giant Swing
This is by far my favourite temple. It’s located opposite the Giant Swing and is one of the oldest temples in Bangkok. The inside is beautiful with a high roof, colourful wall murals and authentic wood-carvings. Its focal point is a huge golden Buddha with people worshiping in front of it. It was quiet, peaceful and felt like a place of worship rather than somewhere for tourists to visit.
Entrance is only 20 THB and after visiting the Buddha inside, the exterior of the building is also impressive and to nice walk around.
And look out for these cats that hangout at Wat Suthat!