Wat or Temples are open to all visitors. Of all the temples in Bangkok, only Wat Phra Kaeo, Wat Pho, Wat Benchamabophit and Wat Arun charge admision fees to cover restoration costs. The Addmission to the rest is free.
Wat Phra Kaeo
The Temple of The Emerald Buddha
Wat Phra Kaeo adjoin the Grand Palace on the same ground. These two accompanying attractions serve to be the first place on any visitor’s itinerary. The temple is regarded as the most significant of all Thai temples.
The Temple of the Reclining Buddha
This worldwide famous temple is located right next to the Grand Palace to the south. It is one of Bangkok’s oldest and largest temples. Wat Pho houses the gigantic gold plated Reclining Buddha image. This unique image is 49 meters long and 12 metres high with beautifully inlaid mother-of-pearl soles. Wat Pho is also regarded as the first centre of public edu- cation and is sometimes called “Thailand’s First University”
The Temple of Dawn
Located on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River, Wat Arun can be reached either by Arun Amarin Road or by crossing the river by boat from Tha Tien Pier, near Wat Pho. The most attractive structure of this temple is the 79-metre-high pagoda or “Phra Prang” Wat Arun was renovated during the brief Thonburi period to be the Royal Chapel of King Taksin. Despite the meaning of its name that is “The Temple of Dawn” the most beautiful view of it is from the Bangkok side of the river at sunset.
Temple of the Golden Buddha
At the end of Yaowarat Road, near Bangkok Railway Station, there is a temple situated on Traimit Road. This temple is known for its famous Golden Buddha constructed during the Sukhothai period. The image of solid gold is three meters high and weighs five and a half tons.
The building holding this image is open to the public everyday from 9.00 am to 5.00 pm.
The Marble Temple
The Marble Temple is situated on Si Ayutthaya Road near Chitralada Palace. The temple is well-known because its main building was made of marble during the reign of King Rama V. The best time to visit the temple is the early hours in the morning when Buddhist monks are chanting inside the chapel. The interior of the main building is magnificently decorated with exposed wooden beams of lacquer and gold plate. A large collection of Bronze Buddhas is lined up against the walls of the spacious inner courtyard.
The main building is open to vistors until 5.00 pm.
It is a royal temple which was built in the reign of King Rama III in 1846 and is now located on Maha Chai Road. Loha Prasat (Metal Palace), one of its tourist attractions with 37 surrounding spires and a total height of 36 metres, is the only one of its kind existing in the world. Situated in the nearby area are a royal pavilion for a guest reception and the memorial statue of King Rama III.
The temple, located on Phra Sumen Road in Bang Lamphu area, was built in 1826. Wat Bowonniwet is one of the most important temples in Bangkok of which once before ascending the throne the chief abbot was King Rama IV. His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX) and His Royal Highness Crawn Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, as well as several other males in the royal family, have temporarily ordained as monks here. Bangkok’s second Buddhist university is also housed at this temple. Across the street from the main entrance to the wat are an English-language Buddhist book shop and a Thai herbal clinic.
Wat Maha That
Founded in the 1700s, Wat Maha That is a national centre for the Maha Nikai monastic sect and houses one of Bangkok’s two Buddhist universities, Maha That Ratchawitthayalai. On weekends, a large produce mark is held on the grounds.
Opposite the main entrance on the other side of Maha Rat road is a large religious market selling amulets, or magic charms.
The temple is open to visitors from 9.00 am to 5.00 pm everyday. Also in the temple grounds is a daily open-air market that features traditional Thai herbal medicine.
The monastery’s International Buddhist Meditation centre offers meditation instruction in English on the second Saturday of every month from 2.00 pm to 6.00 pm. Those interested in more intensive instruction should contact the monks in section 5 of the temple compound.
Wat Suthat & The Giant Swing
Wat Suthat is featured as Bangkok’s tallest Wiharn and houses a 14th century Buddha statue from the Sukhothai period, surrounded by rather surreal depictions of the Buddha’s last 24 lives. The courtyard is filled with odded statues of scholars and sailors, brought as ballast in rice boats returning from China, while the doors of the Wat have been carved by King Rama II.
In front of the Temple is the famous Giant Swing. In an annual ceremony to celebrate the rice harvest that was still observed just before World War II, men used to ride on the Giant Swing and try to grab a bag of siver coins attached to a pole; only the teak arch remains.
Many shop surrounding Wat Suthat stock a very comprehensive rage of Buddhist ecclesiastic supplies.
The Golden Mount
Wat Saket is an undistinguished temple except for the Golden Mountain or Phu Khao Thong, on the west side of the grounds. The steep climb tip to the Golden Mountain puts everything back in perspective and offers views over Rattanakosin Island that are simply stunning. The artificial hill was created when a large Chedi under construction by King Rama III collapsed because the soft soil beneath would not support it. The resulting mud-and-brick hill was left to sprout weeds until King Rama IV built a small Chedi on its crest. King Rama V later added to the structure and housed a Buddha relic from India in the Chedi. The concrete walls were added during World War II to prevent the hill from eroding.
Every November a large festival, held on the ground of Wat Saket, includes a candle light procession up the Golden Mountain.