Buddhism is the main religion in Thailand with 95% of the population Buddhist. There are over 40,000 Buddhist temples in Thailand with over a thousand in Bangkok alone. The Temple (Wat) is an important part of Thai culture, history and daily life. Temple architecture is mostly stunning with beautiful decoration both inside and out.
The must-visit temples in Bangkok are Wat Phra Kaew, Wat Pho, and Wat Arun. There are also many others with something unique about them that are worth visiting. Read on for our features on the most popular and interesting temples in Bangkok.
The Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew are Thailand’s most sacred places and spiritual heart of the Thai Kingdom. They are also Bangkok’s most visited tourist attraction. It’s very touristy and busy every day but don’t let that put you off. The stunning collection of beautiful, historic buildings are worth it and should be your number one must see in Bangkok.
Also, known as The Temple of Dawn, Wat Arun is one of Bangkok’s most famous landmarks. The ancient temple has a distinctive central spire unlike other Bangkok temples and looks spectacular when lit up at night. Its riverside setting is a great place to watch the sunset.
Wat Pho is another of Bangkok’s must-see temples, famous for the massive Reclining Buddha image. It’s a large complex with a lot to see. There is also a traditional massage school which is open to the public. This is one of the best places in Bangkok to get a traditional massage. It’s popular but not as crowded as its neighbor Wat Phra Kaew which is handily located next door.
The Wat Saket temple is located a short cab ride away from the Grand Palace and Wat Pho. It’s the highest temple in Bangkok with an easy gradual 344 step climb to the summit. When you get there you will be rewarded with a great 360-degree panoramic view of the surrounding area. It’s cheap to get in and even has free WIFI and a nice cafe. Be sure to explore the complex fully as there are a few hidden gems within.
Wat Benchamabophit is one of Bangkok’s most beautiful temples and is located within the Royal Dusit district. It is also known as the marble temple due to the extensive use of marble in the construction.
Wat Ratchanatdaram Worawihan was built in 1846 by King Rama III for his granddaughter. The main hall of Wat Ratchanatdaram Worawihan contains a large seated golden Buddha surrounded by several other smaller Buddha images. The hall contains beautifully painted murals on the walls.
Wat Thepthidaram Worawihan is located next to Wat Ratchanatdaram on Maha Chai road. It was built in 1836 and completed in 1839 during the reign of King Rama III. It was built as a tribute to his eldest daughter and is also known as Temple of the Heavenly Daughter.
Wat Mahathat is a Royal Class temple of the highest order in Bangkok, located near the Grand Palace opposite Sanam Luang. It was built during the Ayutthaya period when it was known as Wat Salak.
See & Read More: https://touristbangkok.com/wat-mahathat-yuwaratrangsarit/
Wat Kalayanamit is a historic second class royal temple located in Thonburi by the riverside. It’s worth visiting to see one of the biggest Buddha images in Thailand.
See & Read More: https://touristbangkok.com/wat-kalayanamit/
Wat Ratchapradit is a very small temple built during the reign of King Rama IV. Its located on the edge of Saranrom park near Wat Pho and The Grand Palace. The temples distinctive feature is the grey and white marble tiles of the ordination hall and pagoda which give them …
Wat Ratchabhopit was built in 1869 during the reign of King Rama V. It’s noted for the impressive architecture mix of Thai and Gothic styles and its beautiful Thai Bencharong porcelain art decoration. The temple grounds also house the royal cemetery containing monuments to and remains of both major and minor Thai royalty.
Wat Traimit is in Bangkok’s Chinatown district. It is also known as the Temple of the Golden Buddha. It is home to the world’s biggest gold Buddha image. The ancient Sukhothai period Buddha image is believed to be 700-800 years old. It is made from 18-karat solid gold, is 3 meters high and weighs 5.5 tonnes. The value of the raw gold alone is 250 million US$.
Wat Bowonniwet was built in 1829 and is one of Bangkok’s most important temples. There is a very ornate shrine hall featuring murals depicting early 19th century Thai and western life. Inside is a 14th-century bronze Buddha image with a second larger image behind. A bell-shaped Golden Chedi holds relics and ashes of Thai royalty.
Wat Suthat is one of the oldest temples in Bangkok. Construction began in 1807 and was completed during the reign of King Rama III in 1847. The temple is a blend of Thai and Chinese art and architecture that was popular at the time. It is in the old city Rattanakosin district next to the Giant Swing and in front of City Hall.
Wat Intharawihan is a very old temple pre-dating the founding of the city of Bangkok in 1782. It is famous for its huge standing Buddha image called Luang Pho To. The image is 32 meters tall and 10 meters wide.
Wat Yannawa is an old Ayutthaya period temple located on Charoen Krung road in the Sathorn area of Bangkok. It’s famous for the unique Chinese Junk shaped chedi and viharn.
Wat Prayoon sits on the Thonburi side of the Chao Phraya river at the foot of Memorial Bridge. It was built during the reign of King Rama III on an old coffee plantation. Wat Prayoon was the first temple of the Rattanakosin period to feature a Lanka style chedi. Its famous for the large white bell-shaped chedi and a rock garden featuring a replica mountain. The mountain comes features miniature spirit houses surrounded by a pond inhabited by turtles that you can feed.
Wat Chakrawat is famous for its family of resident crocodiles who inhabit a cave and pond in the grounds.
Wat Chana Songkram is an Ayutthaya period temple established during the reign of Somdet Phra Phutta Yod Fah Chulalok Maharaj. It was later designated as a royal temple by King Rama the first and later renovated by King Rama V. Ash containers were built for the royal members whose ashes were moved from the rear palace to the temple. It’s a stone’s throw away from Khao San Road opposite the police station. It attracts a steady flow of local worshipers who come to pray and make offerings as well as curious travelers.
See and read more: http://touristbangkok.com/wat-chana-songkram/
Wat Thip Wariwihan also known as Wat Dibayavariviharn or locally as the green dragon temple is a Buddhist Chinese temple. Its located in the old city area Ban Mo community and was built in the Thonburi era of King Taksin.
See and read more: http://touristbangkok.com/wat-thipwariwihan/
Wat Pariwat, also known as Wat Pariwas is located on the banks of the Chao Phraya river. The temple is also known as the David Beckham temple because of its golden image of the former football player. As well as Beckham there are many images of popular cultural icons from Barack Obama to cartoon and anime characters. It’s off the main tourist trail but is easily accessible and a must-see temple in Bangkok.
See and read more: https://touristbangkok.com/wat-pariwat/
Wat Bampen Chine Prote is a Chinese Buddhist temple in Bangkok’s Chinatown formerly known as Wat Yong Hok Yi. It’s one of the oldest and smallest temples in Bangkok and is worth a visit if you’re exploring Chinatown.
See and read more: https://touristbangkok.com/wat-bampen-chine-prote/
Wat Ratchathiwat Ratchaworawihan is an ancient temple on the banks of the Chao Phraya river in Dusit district of Bangkok. The temple is a royal temple second class and has been associated with Thai kings throughout the Chakri dynasty. The temple is a short bus ride from Khaosan Road.
See and read more: https://touristbangkok.com/wat-ratchathiwat-ratchaworawihan/
Wat Thewarat Kunchorn Worawihan also known as Wat Deveraj is a beautifully preserved, architecturally stunning temple. Its located on the banks of the Chao Phraya River in the Dusit district of Bangkok. It has been registered as a national monument since 1949. The temple is within walking distance of or a short bus ride from Khaosan Road and the sights of Dusit.
See and read more: https://touristbangkok.com/wat-thewarat-kunchorn-worawihan/