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Temple Time

May 16, 2013
Bangkok's Best Wats & Temples

With all the fabulous dining and shopping Bangkok has to offer, travel time is precious and itineraries easily filled, but no matter your schedule it is worth making time to discover the sometimes overlooked wats and temples of the Thai capital.

With their unique architecture and elaborate decoration, these spiritual and historic places of worship are an integral part of and fascinating window into the beautiful Thai culture. Try to visit early in the morning, when the heat and hoards are still somewhat at bay.

Located within the grounds of the Grand Palace, the Temple of Emerald Buddha is the most significant shrine in the country, and home to a C.15th solid jade carving of its namesake Phra Kaew Morakot (The Emerald Buddha), along with intricately decorated statues and pagodas.

At Wat Pho, the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, bigger certainly means better, with the vast structure well-known for its 46-metre long, gold leaf-covered resident Buddha statue, plus on-site Thai massage therapists, astrologers, and palm readers. Though King Taksin-era relic Wat Arun is known as the Temple of Dawn, we think its stunning edifice is best viewed at sunset from the Amorosa Bar terrace on the opposite bank of the Chao Phraya river. The dramatically-lit 70m high spire and glass and porcelain façade both look particularly special with a glass of bubbles in hand!

Wat Phra Kaew
Na Phralan, Phra Nakorn (inside Grand Palace complex), Rattanakosin /
8.30am-3.30pm /
no short pants, skirts or sleeveless T-shirts, sarongs can be rented at the entrance

Wat Pho
Maharat Rd (about a half mile south of the Grand Palace), Rattanakosin /

Wat Arun
West bank of Chao Praya River (opposite Tha Thien Pier) /

Amorosa Bar
Arun Residence
36-38 Soi Pratoo Nok Yoong Maharat Rd, Rattanakosin Island /
+66 2 221 9158 /