TEMPLES

The Great Buddha of Thailand, also known as The Big Buddha, The Big Buddha of Thailand, Phra Buddha Maha Nawamin, and Mahaminh Sakayamunee Visejchaicharn, is the tallest statue in Thailand, and the eighth-tallest in the world. Located in the Wat Muang Monastery in Ang Thong Province.

If you’re looking for temples in Bangkok you’re definitely not going to be disappointed, there are over 400 of them in the Thai capital. The most famous and important temple is the Grand Palace and the Royal Temple of the Emerald Buddha. One thing you need to be aware of, if you’re visiting this temple, is the strict dress code. If you’re visiting any temple in Bangkok you’re expected to dress respectfully and at the Royal Temple the dress code is always enforced.One of the main reasons for the dress code at the Royal Temple is that the Grand Palace and grounds are still in use by the Royal Family on ceremonial occasions. You should try and be prepared, but don’t worry too much if you get taken aside by one of the guards. You will be ushered to a changing area and given a more respectable local garment to hire. If you don’t want this to happen then just pay attention to the dress code.

Some of the items in the list of what isn’t allowed are what you would probably imagine, such as see-through clothing, but a few might surprise you. Here’s the rest of the list, so you can be prepared.

Short skirts and shorts or even shortened trousers (you should always wear full length). Skirts that fall below the knee are permitted.

Tight fitting trousers such as leggings.

Any clothing that has holes in, such as ripped jeans.

Vests or any top without sleeves, you can wear t-shirts.

Any top with sleeves rolled up, even if it’s warm keep your sleeves down.

Sportswear of any type.

Sweat shirts or sweat pants.

Perhaps unexpectedly you can wear sandals and flip-flops (in a suitable design) but it’s best to wear full shoes for comfort when you’re walking around.

As it’s the main temple in Bangkok, and the place where we’ve spoken about the dress code being most vigorously applied, we’ll start with the popular Grand Palace and the Royal Temple of the Emerald Buddha.Of all the temples in Bangkok this is the must see.The palace was built in 1782 and is a truly inspirational example of the creativity of the Thai nation, with its intricate and ornate architecture. Even though the Royal Family no longer resides at the palace, it still lies at the heart of the Thai people. The site also plays host to royalty on ceremonial occasions such as the changing of the robes of the Emerald Buddha.Carved from a single piece of jade, the Emerald Buddha is a small representation of the Buddha in a meditating position. The carving dates back to the 15th century and is revered in Thailand. It is housed in the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, or Wat Phra Kaew, which is on the same site as the Grand Palace. The robes of the Buddha are changed three times each year, to correspond with changing seasons. This in an important event, said to bestow good fortune on the country, and is only ever undertaken by the king.

This is another temple which houses a representation of Buddha, but this is the Reclining Buddha and he has very different proportions from the Emerald Buddha. The Reclining Buddha is 15 metres tall and 46 metres long; even his feet are 5 metres in length! Visiting the Buddha is the most popular thing to do at the site, and if you need some luck in your life you can buy some coins at the door to throw in the brass bowls within the room where the Buddha is housed. You should be aware that you’ll be expected to remove your footwear and that your shoulders should be covered, with no clothing to be worn that doesn’t fall below your knees.

In a city full of the most beautiful temples in the world which one rates the highest? It’s usually a battle between Wat Arun and Wat Pho, both worthy of a visit and both offering something a little different to the other. In many ‘what to do in Bangkok guides’ Wat Arun wins the battle! It is arguably the best temple in the city and there’s no doubt that this should be on your list of Bangkok attractions to visit.The Temple of Dawn, Wat Arun, sits on the banks of the Chao Phraya River. Named for the Hindu god, Aruna, the temple magically catches and reflects the first light of the morning sun, creating a striking sight that you’ll only be able to appreciate at dawn. Wat Arun looks quite amazing at night too, all lit up with a golden glow. The temple is best accessed by ferry across the river and be sure to climb the steep stairway up the face of the temple for the ultimate experience. If you make it to the top the views are fantastic and you’ll be able to tick that off your list of things to do in Bangkok!

This temple, situated at the end of Yaowarat Road in Chinatown, is a spectacular site with its multi-level white and gold architecture. The building itself is not the only attraction on the site, as visitors are again treated to the sight of Buddha, this time in the form of the largest gold seated re-creation in the world. It’s completely free to visit the Buddha but you will have to pay a small fee if you want to visit the museum that is also based at the temple. One of the most fascinating facts about Wat Traimit is that the fabulous golden Buddha was only actually revealed to be made of solid gold in 1955. When statues such as this one were originally made they were covered in plaster and stucco so that they wouldn’t be recognised as valuable if anyone raided the temple.

If you’re visiting temples in Bangkok then you really can’t miss this one. Bangkok has no lack of majestic temples, all more elegant and impressive than the next, but some really stand out with their unique architectural identity. Despite being quite near Khaosan Road and next to the well known Wat Saket, the superb Loha Prasat is not often talked about. Also called the ‘Metal Castle’, Loha Prasat is located in the grounds of Wat Ratchanaddaram and was even submitted to UNESCO in 2005 to become a world heritage site, highlighting the historical importance of the temple. However this title hasn’t yet been given.

Built in 1846 on request of King Nangklao (Rama III) and inspired by two other similar temples found in India and Sri Lanka, Loha Prasat is a 36 m high construction supporting 37 metal spires representing the 37 virtues toward enlightenment. The temple is erected in a very unusual way with multiples concentric square levels built on geometrically aligned pillars. A relic of lord Buddha is kept at the highest level. Loha Prasat is the Indian name dating from the time of Buddha, refering to a multi-storey and square based construction with metal spires and originally used as Monk’s quarters. Only three such constructions ever existed in the world but only the one in Bangkok is still standing.

Being located so close to Khaosan and Wat Saket, a visit to Loha Prasat is almost a must if you happen to be visiting this superb area and its Champs Elysées style avenue. A small 20 baht fee is requested to enter this beautiful maze and its spiral staircase, but as often no one is around, consider the 20 baht a donation. Walk around the alleys created by the many pillars to discover the exhibition and history of this temple which was falling apart until the current king ordered its restoration. Don’t miss the large white temples of Wat Ratchanaddaram surrounding Loha Prasat itself and admire the golden seated Buddha and the beautiful murals pairings and door carvings. At the back of Loha Prasat is also a popular amulet and buddha statues market worth a visit. Cross the street to find a surprising wooden house village behind the white wall of the ancient fort. Continue later to Wat Saket, located at walking distance (note that you will have to walk around the fort to reach the street to Wat Saket).

While you’re visiting Bangkok, look on the back of a 5 baht coin and you’ll find a engraving of Wat Benchamabophit. Although relatively modern (it was constructed in 1900) this is one of the most revered temples in Bangkok and is often the site of visits by leading Thai officials. Take a trip to the site and you’ll be captivated by the pristine imported Italian marble that covers the outer walls of the temple.