The Wats of Bangkok


Find pockets of peace amidst the chaos of the city inside some of Bangkok’s most revered shrines. Frequented by locals, tourists, and devout worshippers, there’s plenty to appreciate in these sacred structures and the grounds that surround them. From their striking architecture to the impeccable detailing; their historical value, and local religious significance, these majestic temples will inspire you to learn more about Thailand and its rich culture. Keep in mind that most of these relics require a dress code, so observe proper attire.

Updated a year ago

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Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha)


Bangkok, Thailand • Recommendation • 20 July 2018

Wander into Wat Phra Kaew and marvel at its main attraction: the Emerald Buddha. Carved from a single block of jade, the statue was discovered in 1464 when a bolt of lightning hit a decorative stucco coating in a temple to reveal the jade underneath it. Local legends note that Hindu demigods Vishnu and Indra created the statuette under the prediction that Buddha would provide five lands with religion. Nestled in the historic center of the city, the temple is viewed with great respect and reverence, as it remains to be one of Thailand’s most sacred temples.

2 Na Phra Lan Road, Khwaeng Phra Borom Maha Ratchawang, Khet Phra Nakhon, Bangkok, Thailand

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Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha)


Bangkok, Thailand • Recommendation • 20 July 2018

Your trip to Bangkok won’t feel complete without visiting Wat Pho’s famed Reclining Buddha. One of the oldest temples in the city, it houses a 46-meter-long statue of Buddha in a resting position covered in gold leaf. Another attraction that Wat Pho holds is its significance as the birthplace of Thai-style massage, which is still taught and practiced within the temple. While here, take a quick break with a traditional Thai massage to relax and de-stress!


2 Sanamchai Road, Grand Palace, Pranakorn District, Bangkok, Thailand

๒ ถนนสนามไชย แขวงพระบรมมหาราชวัง เขตพระนคร กรุงเทพฯ ๑๐๒๐๐

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Wat Suthat Thepphawararam


Bangkok, Thailand • Recommendation • 20 July 2018

Built during the early 19th century, Wat Suthat is noted for being one of 10 first-class temples in all of Bangkok. Take the time to explore and admire the details, which include hand-carved wooden gates and images of Buddha on its walls. Luckily, it’s easy to spot the temple thanks to the bright red 21-meter tall swing found near the area. A popular tourist attraction in Bangkok, the red swing is part of a ceremonial Hindu activity that involves young men swinging up to 75 meters high to get their hands on a sack of gold.


146 Bamrung Muang Road, Khwaeng Wat Ratchabophit, Khet Phra Nakhon, Bangkok, Thailand

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Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn)

วัดอรุณราชวราราม ราชวรมหาวิหาร

Bangkok, Thailand • Recommendation • 20 July 2018

Wat Arun, also known as the Temple of Dawn, is one of the largest and most beautiful temples in Bangkok. It is particularly significant to Buddhist worshippers as it pays homage to Mount Meru—the central world-mountain mentioned in Buddhist cosmology. Wat Arun’s architecture is impeccably delicate, its main feature being the porcelain-coated prang (Khmer tower). Whip out your camera and take photos or stay to watch the sun slowly rise behind the temple where the morning light sparkles off its golden spires.


158 Thanon Wang Doem, Khwaeng Wat Arun, Khet Bangkok Yai, Bangkok, Thailand

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Wat Saket (Temple of the Golden Mount)


Bangkok, Thailand • Recommendation • 20 July 2018

Hike up to Wat Saket and witness the Golden Mount, a burial site rumored to contain some of Buddha’s remains. The temple is built on an 80-meter high man-made hill, which was once the highest point in all of Bangkok. Walk up 300 steps to reach the peak where the vast and panoramic views of the city await you. The foot of the temple below is another historically significant spot—former plague victims were dumped and buried here during one of Bangkok’s darker period. Be warned—rumors abound that the area may be haunted!

344 Ban Bat, Pom Prap Sattru Phai, Bangkok, Thailand

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Wat Traimit (Temple of the Golden Buddha)


Bangkok, Thailand • Recommendation • 20 July 2018

Drop by the Temple of the Golden Buddha and bask in the marvelous sight of the world’s largest gold Buddha image. It used to be covered entirely with plaster to conceal its real value from Burmese invaders, but the statue was accidentally discovered when it was dropped, which revealed the solid gold underneath its casing. Take a stroll through Bangkok’s Chinatown to find the iconic white-and-gold edifice, which is home to the 15-feet-tall statue made out of 83% pure gold.

661 Trai Mit Road, Khwaeng Talat Noi, Khet Samphanthawong, Bangkok, Thailand

661 ถนนเจริญกรุง แขวงตลาดน้อย เขตสัมพันธวงศ์ กรุงเทพมหานคร 10100

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Wat Benchamabophit Dusitvanaram (The Marble Temple)


Bangkok, Thailand • Recommendation • 20 July 2018

Squeeze your way through the hordes of tourists that gather at Wat Benchamabophit’s marble structure. Here, you’ll find the sacred Bodhi Tree brought directly from India, which is believed to be the same tree where Buddha attained enlightenment. Worshippers go to the grounds in the morning to receive donations such as incense, curry, rice, and other essentials; while tourists appreciate the temple’s stunning design. Discover more of Bangkok’s stunning architecture in Wat Benchamabophit, which features layered roofs, golden carvings, and curved roof corners.


69 Nakhon Pathom Road, Khwaeng Dusit, Khet Dusit, Bangkok, Thailand

69 ถ. นครปฐม แขวงดุสิต เขตดุสิต กรุงเทพมหานคร 10300

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Wat Ratchabophit


Bangkok, Thailand • Recommendation • 20 July 2018

Take a break from the packed temples and saunter off to the secluded Wat Ratchabophit. Thai Buddhist temples usually have two main parts: the monks’ living quarters and an area dedicated to Buddha. Wat Ratchabophit includes a third section where you'll find a royal cemetery. As Thai Kings built temples to mark their reign, the cemetery houses the remains of King Chulalongkorn’s immediate family. The temple’s interiors stand out for its unique European design, with doors that feature pearls and Gothic-style masonry.


Fuang Nakhon Road, Khwaeng Wat Ratchabophit, Khet Phra Nakhon, Bangkok, Thailand

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Wat Bowonniwet Vihara


Bangkok, Thailand • Recommendation • 20 July 2018

Wat Bowonniwet is frequented by followers of the Thammayut sect, which is a version of Thai Buddhism. Colloquially called “Wat Bowon,” this is where kings and princes used to study and serve as monks. Admire the spectacular mural art in the temple’s ordination hall, designed to combine the best of Eastern and Western designs.

248 Phra Sumen Road, Khwaeng Wat Bowon Niwet, Bangkok, Thailand

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Assumption Cathedral


Bangkok, Thailand • Recommendation • 20 July 2018

The Assumption Cathedral is known for its relevance among Thailand’s Catholic groups. The main church of Bangkok’s Archdiocese, it is viewed as a testament to France’s legacy in Bangkok as it was constructed by French missionaries. Both exteriors and interiors are worthy of admiration, so take in the Cathedral’s red-brick facade, unique rectangular structure, and stained glass windows imported from France and Italy.


Oriental Avenue, Khwaeng Bang Rak, Khet Bang Rak, Bangkok, Thailand

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