We just love temples and can’t get enough of them! All of them are different and the details are so detailed. There is a serenity you won’t find elsewhere and there are so many new rituals to learn or to participate in.
In our article about 10 things to do in Bangkok, we already mentioned temples. But where to start? Bangkok has an overload of temples and you might get exhausted if you try to visit them all. Lucky for you we’ve collected the must-visit temples in Bangkok!
Don’t visit the temples in one day, but try to combine a visit to a temple with something else that’s in the neighborhood. It gets hot early in the day and you might want to escape the heat. The popular temples get a lot of visitors daily, so an early start is advisable anyways.
So, let’s take a look at the must-visit temples in Bangkok!
Things to keep in mind
Temples are sacred places and you need to dress according to the dress code. Make sure your shoulders and knees are covered. If you don’t have the right outfit you might need to rent an outfit or a sarong. The dress code is for both men and women.
Keep in mind that you need to take off your shoes in a lot of temples. If you’re uncomfortable with this, bring an extra pair of socks to wear in those areas.
Bring plenty of water while visiting temples in Bangkok. You’ll walk around a lot and it gets hot early in the day. Especially at those temples that have stairs and require some exercise, you’ll be glad to take a sip of water once in a while.
Wat Arun is one of the most famous temples in Bangkok. If you travel by water taxi you can’t miss it because it is right on the banks of the river. The name translates to Temple of Dawn and it derives its name from the Hindu god Aruṇa, often personified as the radiations of the rising sun.
Once you get off the ferry you get a glimpse of the magnificence of the temple complex. The number of decorations on all the prangs (or stupas) is unbelievable. While most people head up the stairs straight away we took some time to walk around and visit the site temples first.
There is a plaque with the history of the temples for those who are interested in that. Other than that it’s just letting your eyes wander over all the buildings and think of the people who invested their time and energy in creating these masterpieces.
Where: PFVQ+FH9, 158 Thanon Wang Doem, Wat Arun, Bangkok Yai, Bangkok 10600
Opening hours: 8.00 h – 18.00 h
Entry fee: 100 baht
Wat Hua Lamphong
If you are looking for a less touristy kind of temple, Wat Hua Lamphong might just be it. Although it’s a bit unclear when you walk in where to go, the temple grounds are free for anyone to enter. First, you’ll enter an area where people can make offerings. You need to pay for the flowers, candles, or whatever offer you choose.
The temple itself has an entrance fee and it’s hidden somewhere in the middle. Once you go up the stairs you see two similar buildings, once heavily decorated in color and gold and the other one almost entirely white.
Wat Hua Lumphong is extremely popular among the Thai people. People mainly come to donate money for coffins for those that pass away without having anyone to buy them a coffin.
Where: 728 Thanon Rama IV, Khwaeng Si Phraya, Khet Bang Rak, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10500
Opening hours: 24 hours
Entry fee: 40 baht
Wat Traimit is more known as the Temple of the Golden Buddha. It is known for housing a 5.5-tonne statue of a seated Buddha. The gold sculpture dates back to the 13th century and measures nearly 5 meters in height.
When you enter the complex it’s a bit unclear where to go and what part is free or where you need to show a ticket. But people will let you know as soon as you try to enter something you’re not supposed to. The entry fee for the temple depends on what you would like to see and if you opt for everything it’s quite expensive (400 baht).
There is a museum on the 3rd floor where you get to learn about the history of the Golden Buddha. The 2nd floor of the building is home to the Yaowarat Chinatown Heritage Center, which focuses on the history of Bangkok’s Chinatown and its residents.
Where: 661 Charoen Krung Rd, Khwaeng Talat Noi, Khet Samphanthawong, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10100
Opening hours: 8.00 h – 17.00 h
Entry fee: 100/200/400 baht
Wat Kalayanamit is a temple with a very large seated Buddha. The Buddha is 15 meters high and 12 meters wide and takes up almost the entire space. It’s the largest Buddha in Bangkok. When you walk closer you feel insignificant.
The temple was established in 1825 by Chaophraya Nikonbodin, a wealthy Thai Chinese trader. The name of the temple translates to “The True Friend” because the trader donated the temple to King Nangklao, Rama III. The ordination hall of this temple is very large and clearly visible from the river.
Where: 371 ซอย อรุณอมรินทร์ 6 เเขวง วัดกัลยาณ์ Khwaeng Wat Kanlaya, Khet Thon Buri, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10600
Opening hours: 7.00 h – 17.00 h
Entry fee: free
Wat Saket is built on an artificial hill. A stupa was built here over 200 years ago, but the ground was too soft to support this enormous structure, so it collapsed. Years later, the temple was built on these remains, which you can now visit.
Be prepared to walk some stars, because the temple is on top of this hill, which is about 344 steps. Before you reach the top you can go inside the temple with openings on four sides for a view over Bangkok.
On top of the hill is the Golden Mount or Wat Saket which is beautiful and impressive by itself. But the 360-degree views over Bangkok complete the experience. Don’t forget to make a wish near one of the many sites with bells.
Where: 344 Thanon Chakkraphatdi Phong, Khwaeng Ban Bat, Khet Pom Prap Sattru Phai, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10100
Opening hours: 7.00 h – 19.00 h
Entry fee: 100 baht
Wat Pho is best known for the large reclining Buddha which is 46m long and 15m high. It is the largest and oldest temple in Bangkok and contains more than 1000 Buddha images. The temple is seen as the origin of Thai massage. At Wat Pho, you can not only undergo a Thai massage but also learn how to perform it yourself.
The temple complex is enormous but if you follow the route you get to see everything. The reclining Buddha is very impressive. In this room, you can buy a container with coins that you then empty one by one in a whole row of larger containers. This should bring good luck and who couldn’t use a bit of good luck?
Where: 2 Thanon Sanam Chai, Khwaeng Phra Borom Maha Ratchawang, Khet Phra Nakhon, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10200
Opening hours: 8.30 h – 18.30 h
Entry fee: 200 baht
Thailand, the land of temples
If you can’t get enough of the temples, we encourage you to visit Ayutthaya to explore the ancient temples. If you don’t have a lot of time you could plan a day trip because Ayutthaya is close to Bangkok. We would advise at least two days to fully emerge in all that Ayutthaya has to offer.
Are you a fan of temples, just like us? Let us know your favorite temple in the comments, whether it’s in Bangkok or somewhere else in Thailand. We’d love to visit more temples and explore the beauty and serenity of these old buildings.
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