10 incredible Bangkok Temples to check out and what to wear during the temple visit.
Thailand is a country filled with beautiful temples and holy shrines. Thailand being a spiritual region; there are several places where you would be tempted to visit a grand or rustic temple. Although the capital city of Thailand – Bangkok is an ultramodern city, it is home to some of the most prominent temples featured in all Thai travel itinerary. On a Bangkok trip, there are certain must visit temples that would exceed your definition of grandiose at the same time lets you witness spirituality amid creativity. Here is a selection of best temples in Bangkok you should look forward to visiting on a Thailand trip.
The ‘Temple of Dawn’ or Wat Arun is one of the most arresting sights to witness in Thailand. Located on the western riverbanks of Chao Phraya River, this iconic temple dominates the scenery majestically. Named after the Hindu God ‘Aruna’, the sunlight is a crucial element that significantly enhances the temple’s grandeur. Watch the temple during sunrise or sunset to marvel at golden rays illuminating the temple into a gleaming spectacle.
Wat Mahathat is not like other temples of Bangkok; the temple has a rustic ambiance and doesn’t have the splendour of ornate murals and golden pagodas. Nevertheless, the temple is one of the oldest Thai temples and holds a historical significance of being one of the temples used for royal ceremonies by the Thai monarchy in earlier years. Presently the temple is transformed into an institution for the Buddhist monk to undertake education and is a renowned place to learn vipassana meditation.
Wat Phra Kaew
One of the top temples in Bangkok visited by every tourist in Thailand, The Grand Palace, and Wat Phra Kaew is a beautiful fusion of history, architecture, and divinity. The Wat Phra Kaew or the Temple of Emerald Buddha houses a stunning emerald idol of Buddha clad in robes that signify the changing seasons of the year. The surrounding Palace and the temple are decorated in traditional Thai architecture dating the 17th century which is spectacularly intricate.
Also known as ‘The Temple of Reclining Buddha’, Wat Pho is one among the oldest and most visited temples of Thailand. The main highlight of the temple is the 15 meters high, 43-meter long golden sculpture of Reclining Buddha. This temple houses a massive collection of Buddhist images and sculptures and is a well-known place to learn authentic Thai massage. The temple is located to the south of the Grand Palace, a few minutes away from Wat Phra Kew.
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A spectacular, multilevel, white and gold temple, set at the entrance of China Town neighbourhood of Bangkok, Wat Traimit is home to the biggest golden statue of Buddha in the world. Made up of solid gold, the idol is five meters high and weighs five and a half tons. The visit to the temple is free of charge but there is an entry fee to explore the museum located within its premises.
Also known as ‘The Temple of the Golden Mount’, Wat Saket is located in the old city of Bangkok on top of a man-made mountain. Visitors have to climb 300 steps to reach the top to visit the temple. Designed as a simple white precinct with a golden chedi, the temple was a hard feat to achieve. Its construction started during the reign of King Rama III in the 17th century, but after many mishaps, its structure was completed during the rule of King Rama V.
Located at the in Phra Nakhon district, this 18th-century temple is popular for Loha Prasat – a multi-tiered structure standing 36 meters tall consisting of 37 metal spires. These represent the 37 virtues of enlightenment from Buddha. The temple is a sacred and serene place to enjoy some calm time and view fine artworks of Sri Lankan, Indian and Thai origin.
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Made out of white, Italian Carrara marble and adorned in golden murals, Wat Benchamabophit is undoubtedly one of the most picturesque temples of Bangkok. Also called as the ‘marble temple’ by locals, it highlights ornate styled Thai architecture of towering gables and elaborate rooftops. The view of the Ordination Hall is jaw-dropping.
Set on the Thonburi side of Khlong Bangkok Noi, this temple has royal and historic significance and was constructed in the Ayutthaya period. The temple consists of countless exceptional murals and sculptures from the Rama III- era. The temple is a less touristy spot and a favourite among avid photographers who visit the temple to capture stellar works of Thai art.
Not exactly in Bangkok, but just on the outskirts of the city in quaint Ayutthaya region lies an assortment of archaic courtyard teeming with remnants of medieval era of Thailand. Among them is the Wat Chaiwatthanaram which is one of the scenic temples of Ayutthaya. Built in the 16th century, the temple represents the beauty of Khmer-styled architecture and grand designs.
What you need to know about Bangkok temples dress code:
Most temples in Thailand expect tourists to adhere to a dress code. Among these temples, Grand Palace Bangkok dress code is quite strict as it houses two sacred shrines of Buddhism – Wat Pho and Wat Phra Kaew. The rules are similar to Wat Arun dress code and Ayutthaya dress code, but it is much lenient t these temples. The basic things to remember while visiting a temple in Bangkok are:
Clothes worn should cover shoulders and knees irrespective of gender. Footwear should be removed and left outside the temple. As Bangkok is a warm tropical city, it is better to choose loose, airy, cotton or linen clothing so that you would not feel uncomfortable even if you are fully covered. You can even opt for layered clothing so that you are particularly dressed for a temple visit and can remove the outer layers once you have finished your temple visit.
Grand Palace Bangkok Dress Code:
Knees and shoulders should be covered throughout the temple visit. Miniskirts, shorts, sportswear, tight fitted trousers, tights, leggings, sweatshirts and sweatpants, pajamas, windcheaters, and fisherman trousers are not allowed. Visitors need to wear long pants, long skirts till ankle and tops with sleeves. Women should make sure to wear appropriate clothes that are not see-through. It is mandatory to wear tops that cover up shoulders – shawls and scarves over sleeveless tops cannot be worn. Shirts sleeves should not be rolled up and it is better to wear shoes that have to be left outside the temple. If you are found not dressed according to the dress code, you will be asked to rent long-sleeved shirts and trousers from the royal temple staff at a nominal deposit fee which you will get back when you return the clothes.