Thailand

Three Temples You Can’t Miss in Bangkok

Thai temples don’t hold back. Stunning mosaics, impressive gold statues, no detail overlooked. These temples to visit in Bangkok are absolutely breathtaking.

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During my three weeks in Thailand, I saw incredible temples all over the country. My favourites were in Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai, but the ones I saw in Bangkok sure didn’t disappoint.

Bangkok being one of the most vibrant cities in the world, you better believe the temples are incredible.

There are thousands of temples across Bangkok- even Google doesn’t know exactly how many there are. No need to try and see them all though- some are more impressive, in design and symbolism, and easier to reach, than others.

These three only scratch the surface. If you’re short on time in Bangkok, or visiting for the first time, don’t miss these temples to visit in Bangkok.

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Three Temples To Visit in Bangkok

The Grand Temple

If you only visit one temple in Bangkok, make it this one. But, start early- early as in there before it opens so you’re one of the first few dozen people inside.

It gets insanely busy- it’s an absolute madhouse an hour after opening. Trust me, I know- I visited mid-day and it was terrible, thousands of people pushing, shoving and screaming in every crevice of the complex.

Still, the temple is so magnificent, it’s worth the hassle.

Until 1925, the Grand Palace was the residence of the King, but now it’s a ceremonial place used for state functions and open to the public.

Wandering the complex in and of itself is reason enough to visit- you’ll see just about every type of Buddhist structure- temples, stupas and pagodas. The detail is next level everywhere you look.

Within the complex, Wat Phra Kaew houses the temple of the Emerald Buddha. The Emerald Buddha is considered to be the most sacred temple in Thailand. The buddha itself is smaller than I was expecting, but holds high significance and it feels special to watch so many people regard it with wonder.

Entrance fee: 500 baht (the most expensive temple I visited in Thailand)

Getting there: Taxi/Grab from your hotel is the easiest way. But you could also arrive by boat if you’re taking one of the river ferries

One more thing to note, while you should dress modestly for all of the temples, as a sign of respect, rules are stricter at the Grand Palace.

Scarfs over a tank top do not cut it. You must wear something with sleeves (a t-shirt is fine), and have on pants or a skirt that hits below the knee, for men and women. Otherwise, you’ll be forced to buy elephant pants or an ‘I love Thailand’ t-shirt inside.

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Wat Pho (Reclining Buddha) 

For years, ever since working on social content for Tourism Authority of Thailand, I dreamt of visiting Wat Pho.

Named after a monastery in India where Buddha was believed to have lived, it’s one of the oldest temples in Bangkok.

A short walk from the Grand Temple (10 minutes), it’s much quieter and less visited than the Grand Temple.

The primary reason to visit is to see the huge reclining buddha, measuring over 45 metres of pure gold leaf. It’s quite a sight to behold.

Entrance fee: 200 baht

Getting there: Walk over from the Grand Temple

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Wat Arun (Temple of the Dawn)

Some people argue this temple is the most iconic in Bangkok, more so than Wat Pho.

It was built during the 17th century on the bank of the Chao Phraya river.

The main spire of the temple can be seen from miles away. When you get close enough, you can see the beautiful white exterior of the temple is covered in layers of gorgeous mosaics. I could have spend hours taking all of the details in- it’s exquisite.

And although it’s called Temple of the Dawn, many visitors enjoy seeing it during sunset, when it’s lit up and reflecting off the river.

An evening river cruise is high on my list of ‘return to Bangkok’ activities so I can see this sight for myself.

Entrance fee: 50 baht

Getting there: I took a taxi, but you could also take the Chayro Ferry Express

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Although I’ve spent about 3-4 days in Bangkok between layovers in SE Asia, there’s still so much I want to do and see.

These temples to visit in Bangkok are easy enough to see in only a day or two in the city- perfect for a layover or quick stopover.

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If you’ve been to Bangkok and visited temples, which ones were your favourite? 

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