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Wat Phra Kaew & Thailand Temples

The most visited temple in Bangkok kingdom of Thailand.

Updated: 2018-03-08T07:09:08.649-08:00


Wat Saket and The Golden Mount in Bangkok


(image) Wat Saket is one of the oldest temples in Bangkok, was built by King Rama I in the late 18th century. The first Golden Mount was built by King Rama III but the soft soil led to its collapse. The Golden Mount which is seen today, created by King Chulalongkorn (Rama V).

Wat Saket is major feature is the Golden Mount, dating from the 1800s, which overlooks Ratchadamnoen Avenue. The golden chedi houses relics of Lord Buddha and offers a panoramic view of historic Bangkok.

Admission to Wat Saket is free except for the final approach to the Golden Mountain summit; which costs 10 Baht.

Wat Luang Ta Bua - The Tiger Temple in Thailand


Wat Luang Ta Bua, well known as Tiger Temple is located about 40 km from Kanchanaburi. The temple is a rescue center for animals especially wild animals and a home of wild tigers, deers, wild pigs, apes etc..

(image) The tiger are taken out from cage during 1530hrs. - 1700hrs. that you can see them closely and able to touch the tigers!! Wat Pa Luangta Bua Yannasampanno Forest Monastery was established by the Abbot-Phra Acharn Phusit (Chan) Kanthitharo in 1994.

Since its opening Wat Pa Luangta Bua gained a reputation as a wildlife sanctuary. It started with an injured wild fowl given to the monk by the villagers, then peacocks came attracted by the calls of by then rather large colony of wild fowl. An injured wild boar stumbled in to the monastery and the monks cared for him until he could be released back into the forest. The next day he came back followed by his family group of about 10 animals. By now a countless number of boar find shelter in the monastery. Villagers also started to bring in unwanted pets: four species of deer moved in, followed by buffalo, cow, horses, wild goat and gibbons. All these animals are roaming the grounds of the monastery freely.

Wat Rajabopit Sathitmahasimaram Rajaworavihara - Special Temple in Bangkok


(image) Wat Rajabopit Sathitmaha Simaram Rajaworavihara (Wat Rajabopit) is situated between Fuang Nakhon Road and Usadang Road ( Khlong Ku Muang Derm Road ) near the Ministry of Interior in Bangkok. King Rama V ordered its construction in 1969.

The phra ubosot, phra chedi and phra vihara have curving walls that are covered with beautiful glazed colored tiles. The doors to the phra ubosot and phra vihara are inlaid with mother of pearl, the work of master craftsmen.

In the temple there are eight stone pillars each surmounted with a covering of the Buddhist Wheel of Law (Dhammachak), one of each of the eight directions, hence the name "Mahasimaram" (Great Boundary Pillars). On the gate shutters of the Thailand temple are carved soldier of the Corps of Royal Pages attired in European - style uniforms instead of traditional dresses. On the entering of temple compound of the front entrance the phra ubosot, phra chedi and phra vihara can be seen raised above ground level on a platform.

The exterior of the phra ubosot is constructed in the Thai style. Inside the design is partly European and partly Thai. It was decorated by M.C. Prawit Chumsai. On the gable there is carving of a seven - headed elephant holding up a tray containing a royal seal. The doors are inlaid with mother of pearl design depicting the various royal decorations, the craftsmenship of Prince Thiwakornwongprawat.

With in temple ground on the Usdang Road side there is a royal cemetery which was ordered constructed by King Rama V to make merit for his mother, wives, sons and daughters. It consists of several repositories for royal remains in the form of chedi, prang, and European - style building. These are set in a small garden, which is open to the public.

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Wat Sothon Wararam Worawihan - Population Temple of Thailand


(image) Wat Sothon Wararam Worawihan is located on the west bank of the Bang Pakong River in Amphoe Muang approximately two kilometers south of Sala Mang (the City Hall). This monastery houses Phra Phutthasothon or as commonly called by the local folk "Luang Pho Sothon".

This is a very sacred Buddha image and is most revered by the people. The image in the attitude of meditation having a lap width of 165 centimeters and 198 centimeters in height.

Wat Khao Phra Baht is the Best Famous Temple in Pattaya


(image) Khao (Mountain) Phra Bat is the hill to the south of Pattaya, the famous beach town in Thailand. I have to admit that I had a very negative feeling about even driving to Pattaya, after all the bad things I had heard. So, visiting this temple on the first attempt was so full with negative energy, that I just had to come back in the following week. After all, this was a temple with a replica of Buddha's footprint! It's not a big temple but it still has many beautiful statues, a mondop building and some great views over the bay of Pattaya.

Wat Khaow Phra Baht on bank of PhraTumnak mountain. It's Temple without Buddhist Monks. It 's just Shrine for people in Pattaya City to pray and worship. At Wat Phrabaht position the Foot Mark of Buddha, it's age about 200 years.

Moreover there is an acient Buddha Image of Au-thong art style which were invited respectfully from Suphanburi. There are many Buddha Images You can find here. As Wat Phrabaht is located on top of Mountain you can have view of Pattaya Bay from here,IT is not far from south Pattaya just couple minutes to reach here.

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Wat Chalong Special Temple in Phuket


(image) This Buddhist temple located on the southern outskirts of Phuket Town, is greatly respected by the local Buddhist community. Considered the most beautiful on the island, it contains a gilt statue of Luang Por Cham, the monk who became a hero when he helped quell the Chinese Coolie rebellion of 1876, during the reign of King Rama V. The wat also has a statuette of the famous abbot Luang Por Gluam.

Wat Chalong is Phuket’s most important Buddhist temple and is the biggest and most ornate of Phuket’s 29 Buddhist monasteries. The architecture is typical of wats found throughout Thailand. Wat Chalong is associated with the revered monks, Luang Pho Chaem and Luang Pho Chuang, both of whom were famous for there work in herbal medicine and tending to the injured. During the tin miners’ rebellion of 1876 they mobilized aid for the injured on both sides. They also mediated in the rebellion, bringing the warring parties together to resolve their dispute. Statues honoring them stand in the sermon hall (viharn). Many Thais come here to be blessed by the monks and receive a good luck charm in the form of a string tied around the wrist, which they believe protects them from injury and illness.

Wat Chalong, Phuket
Address; Bypass Road, off Vichit Songkram Road, Chalong, Phuket, Thailand

Wat Jedee Luang (Wat Chedi Luang) at Chiang Mai


(image) Wat Jedee Luang on Prapokklao Road is the side of a formerly massive pagoda that was unfortunately destroyed in the great earthquake of 1545. The Jedee Luang temple was originally constructed in 1401 by the orders of King Saeng Muang Ma (Thailand). In 1454, reigning King Tilo-Garaj enlarged the jedee to a height of 86 meters.

After the earthquake, the jedee lay in ruin until 1991, when it was reconstructed at a cost of several million Baht. The reconstructed jedee was finished in 1992, and it is every as impressive as it was when it was first built.

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Ancient Temple is Wat Dusidaram Woravihara in Bangkok


(image) Wat Dusidaram Woravihara ( Wat Dusid ) was founded in the Ayutthaya period and The Thai temple is located on the bank of the Chao Phraya River, near the mouth of the Bangkok Noi Canal and the approach to the Pin Klao Bridge on the Thoburi side. It was an ancient temple called originally Wat Sao Prakhon. Somdej Phra Chao Boromawongther Kromluang Srisunthornthep, a son of King Rama I, had the temple reestablished. Krom Phrarajawang Boworn Mahasenanurak renovated the temple in 1913 and rename it Wat Dusidaram . A small, neighboring temple which was abandoned, called Wat Phumarin Rajapaksi, was also incorporated into Wat Dusidaram.

In the reign of King Rama VI, Somdet Krom Phraya Vachirayanvarorod ordered Wat Bhumin rajpaksi, which had only one monk , to merge with Wat dusidaram. In World War II, Wat Dusidaram and wat Noithongyu were damaged in an air raid, so there temples were also merged.

Wat Mangkon Kamalawat - Known in Chinese as Wat Leng Nui Yee, Bangkok


(image) At the heart of Bangkok's Chinatown is the Chinese-Buddhist temple of Wat Mangkon Kamalawat, known in Chinese as Wat Leng Nui Yee. The temple is the center of festivities during important festivals such as Chinese new years and the vegetarian festival.

You enter the temple through a passageway off Charoen Krung Road. The temple is a low rambling structure with the requisite dragons playing with a pearl on the roof. Inside you'll find a labyrinth of courtyards and passages connecting various alters to Buddha as well as Taoist deities. All the while, the smoke of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of sticks of incense fills and swirls about the courtyards.

If you make your way back far enough, you'll find one courtyard with cases full of standing gilded Buddha images on either side.

Outside of the temple building is a small chedi, as well as a place to burn paper offerings for ancestors. Unfortunately, the temple's forecourt is often filled with parked cars.

Getting There

A visit to the temple should be park of a general walking tour of Chinatown. The district is easily accessible by boat. Take the Chaophraya Express Boat to Ratchawong pier. From the pier, walk up Ratchawong road to Charoen Krung, turn right and Wat Mangkol Kamalawat will be on your left a little more than one block down.

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Makha Bucha Day - The Full Moon Day of The 3rd Lunar Month


It was 9 full months after the Buddha got the Enlightenment, on the full moon day of 6th lunar month, 45 years before the Buddhist era. On the full moon day of the 3rd lunar month, Makha, of the year, 4 special events happened:

(image) 1. There were 1,250 Sangha followers, that came to see the Buddha that evening without any schedule.

2. All of them were "Arhantas', the Enlightened One, and all of them were ordained by the Buddha himself.

3. The Buddha gave those Arhantas the principles of the Buddhism, called "The Ovadhapatimokha". Those principles are: - To cease from all evil, - To do what is good, - To cleanse one's mind;

4. It was the full moon day.

At this time in the evolution of Buddhism and Buddhist principles in Thailand, it is important to understand how the majority of Thai people view Buddha and the Buddhist philosophy.

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How to Visit a Temple in Thailand


Take special care in learning the proper ritual for visiting a temple in Thailand.


Step 1: Buy incense or a flower from a stand outside the temple.
Step 2: Approach the temple door and remove your shoes.
Step 3: Enter the temple without speaking.
Step 4: Be careful not to touch any of the statues or the symbols once inside.
Step 5: Place your offering, either incense or flower, at the base of the Buddha statue.
Step 6: Remain silent.

Tips and Warnings

-The Thai word for temple is "wat."
-The Thai people consider sleeveless shirts, shorts and short skirts inappropriate. Always cover up before entering the temple.

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Wat Suthat Thepwararam Bangkok, Thailand


(image) Its a bit off the tourist trail these days, but Wat Suthat is still a very important temple to the Thais. This is the home of the Brahmin priest who oversee royal rituals such as the ploughing ceremony held at the traditional beginning of the growing season.

In front of the temple is the huge chinese-red frame of the giant swing. The swing was the center of an annual ceremony where teams of young men would try to swing high enough to retrieve a sack of gold tied to a pole about 75 feet (25 meters) in the air. So many men died in the attempt that the ceremony was banned in the 1930s.

Wat Suthat was built in the early 19th century to house the huge 25-foot tall Phra Sri Sakyamuni Buddha statue, which was bought all the way from Sukhothai by boat. The Wiharn housing the Buddha image sits in a large cloister. The outer wall of the cloister is lined with more than 150 Buddha images. The statues are in various states of repair, since each is "adopted" by a patron to make merit for a departed loved one, who may in fact be interred in the base or the wall next to the Buddha.

Be sure to have a look at the doors to the cloister in the middle of each of the four walls. They are painted and gilded with quite colorful scenes from the Ramakien.

(image) The courtyard between the Buddha gallery and the wiharn is full of chinese statues reported to have been shipped from China as ballast in rice boats during the reign of Bangkok's first king.

The wiharn is one of Bangkok's tallest due to the need to house the huge Buddha statue. The walls are painted with murals depicting the last 24 lives of Buddha. The columns are also painted with murals showing the early life of Bangkok. Check out the column nearest the door on the right. It depicts scenes of the early westerners who came to Siam.

On a large median in the road running next to Wat Suthat is a small Vishnu shrine.

Wat Suthat is not far from the Golden Mount and Loha Prasat in Wat Ratchanada. See our walking tour which takes in all of these temples and the sights around them.

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Wat Saket (Temple of the Golden Mount), Bangkok


(image) The grubby yellow hill crowned with a gleaming gold chedi is also known as the Golden Mount, or 'Phu Khao Thong'. It rises within the compound of Wat Saket, an unusual temple that houses Buddha relics within its 58-metre-high chedi surmounted by a golden cupola. Built by King Rama I just outside the new city walls, the late-18th century temple served as the capital's crematorium. During the following 100 years, the temple became the dumping ground for some 60,000 plague victims.

The Golden Mount was added to the compound in the early 19th century, when King Rama III built a huge chedi which collapsed into a hill of rubble. Buddhist belief holds that religious buildings cannot be destroyed, and many years later King Rama V topped the debris with another chedi in which he placed relics, believed by some to be the Buddha's teeth.

Visit the temple and then climb the 318 steps to the cupola. Watch religious visitors place flowers near the date of the month they find auspicious and light candles. As you climb to the top, enjoy magnificent panoramic views of Bangkok. The cupola is covered with small golden squares reflecting in the sun and giving the place the name of Golden Mount.

Wat Saket hosts an enormous annual temple fair in the first week of November, when the mount is illuminated with coloured lanterns and the compound turns into a massive fun fair. Admission to the chedi costs 10 baht.

Open: Daily 8:00 - 21:00
Location: Between Boriphat Road and Lan Luang Road

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Tamboon Sai Baat in New Year Day


Tamboen Sai Baat

(image) Thai. To perform a good deed or to make merit (tamboon) by giving an offering into (sai) the alms bowl (baat) of a Buddhist monk. Sometimes in temples several alms bowls are arranged in a long row in which small coins, usually 25 satang (fig.) are offered. This form of tamboon may occur in combination with Buddha images as in the phra prajamwan system (fig.). See also sai baat.


Thais. Het brengen van offers of het verrichten van goede daden voor religieuze doeleinden, waardoor men verdiensten wil verwerven, hetzij voor zichzelf of voor derden. Dit kunnen offerandes zijn in tempels (fig.), het voeden van bedelmonniken (sai baat), tijdelijk verblijf in een tempel, een gebed (fig.), enz. Soms ook -als in het Engels- tamboon getranscribeerd.

Sai Baat

Thai. 'Offering into an alms bowl'. Making merit by putting food into the alms bowl of Buddhist monks. See also tamboon sai baat (fig.) and bintabaat.


(image) Thais. De bedelkom van een monnik. Bedelkommmen worden reeds gedurende meer dan 2.500 jaar gebruikt voor de bintabaat of bedelronde van monniken in de vroege ochtend, een traditie die tot op heden voortduurt. Het produktieproces van een bedelkom is erg tijdsrovend waardoor er slechts enkelen per dag kunnen worden vervaardigd. Ze worden samengesteld uit acht stukken metaal, die de acht spaken van de dhammachakka, het boeddhistische Wiel der Wet, en het Achtvoudige Pad vertegenwoordigen. Een eerste metalen strip wordt in een ronde vorm geslaan om de rand van de kom te maken. Vervolgens worden drie stukken in een bolle kruisvorm geslaan om het skelet te vormen, waarna vier driehoekige stukjes de zijkanten vervolledigen. De bedelkom wordt vervolgens in een oven aaneengesmeden en gevormd. Nadien wordt ze herhaaldelijk glad gewreven en verwarmd om het oppervlak glanzend te maken. Bedelkommen worden tegenwoordig nog steeds vervaardigd in Bangkok's Ban Baat of 'Bedelkom Dorp', in de achterstraatjes van Bamrung Meuang Road in het district Pomprap Sattruphai.

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Sanam Luang or Royal Field in Bangkok, Thailand


(image) Sometimes known as the Royal Park or Royal Field, Sanam Luang is right in the centre of the Rattanakosin (Old City) part of Bangkok. A large oval-shaped park, Sanam Luang has a number of royal connections and is where the King appears during his annual 5 December birthday celebrations. Royal cremations are also held here and it is also the venue for the annual Royal Ploughing Ceremony. From February to May you can see Kite Flying at the park. There are often competitions for the most ornate and most beautiful kites. It's very interesting to walk around Sanam Luang in the early evening you can see fortune tellers (Mor Doo), people selling a variety of wares, and even masseurs offering traditional massage in the open!

Details: Sanam Luang is right in the centre of Bangkok's main tourist attractions and you can see many of them from the park nearly Wat Phra Kaew and The Grand Palace. It is about 15 minutes walk to Khao San Road from the park.

How to get there: There are no BTS or MRT stations in this area. Probably the fastest way to get there is Express Boat stopping at Banglampoo Pier.

The following buses will get you there:

Bus number: 3, 15, 30, 32, 43, 44, 59, 64, 70, 80, 123, 201
Air-conditioned bus number: 6, 7, 12, 39, 44

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Wat Phra Rattanasatsadaram - Temple of the Emerald Buddha


(image) The Temple of the Emerald Buddha or Wat phra Rattanasatsadaram (Wat Phra Kaew) is the most sacred structure in the Kingdom and the repository of the spirit for all the Thai people. The history of the Emerald Buddha itself dates back more than 600 years and also represents the struggle of the Thai people to maintain their independence from foreign aggressors.

When King Rama I established Bangkok, or Rattanakosin, as his capital in 1782 he added the Temple of the Emerald Buddha in the eastern section of the Royal Grand Palace in order to install the Emerald Buddha. During its two hundred year history the Chapel had undergone several renovations, restorations, and additions. The Royal Chapel thus incorporates no less than two centuries of Rattanakosin craftsmanship which is an expression of the essential entity of the Thai people.

A visit to Bangkok is not complete without a visit to this very Important Temple(Wat). We will show you the many spectacular buildings along with a history of the Emerald Buddha itself which we hope will give you a better understanding of Thai history and its people. The related stories listed below are just some of the many spectacular building and monuments inside the grounds of the Temple of the Emerald Buddha(Wat Phra Kaew).

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Wat Phra Kaew - First Impressions in Bangkok


(image) Wat Phra Kaew Bangkok Thailand, A lot of first time visitors aren't quite sure what to expect when first arriving in the capital of exotic Thailand, and some may be disappointed by their first impressions on the way into town - endless high rise buildings, busy expressway flyovers and billboards of western companies advertising in English. Yet while Bangkok has undoubtedly embraced westernization and modernization, you only need to look a little under the surface to see that it remains undeniably a Thai place at heart. In between the skyscrapers and sophisticated shopping centers there's still the remarkable Wat Phra Kaew and the Grand Palace , the Temple of the Dawn and many more. Traditions live on too: don't be surprised, for example, to find a large dedicated spirit house built for good luck alongside almost every major building, or to see files of Buddhist monks making their early morning alms round - and it's surely one of the only major cities in the world where seeing an elephant paraded round the streets hardly even ranks as being unusual.

(image) Wat Phra Kaew Bangkok Thailand, Amidst all of this is what many find one of Asia's most interesting and exciting cities, but it does have it's fair share of problems also - not least of which is the heat. Due to it's location in the tropics, Bangkok's average day time temperature is rarely much below 30 degrees centigrade at any time of year and the night time temperature is not much cooler. The maximum temperature can occasionally top 40 degrees during the hot season in April / May, when it is, not surprisingly, the low season for tourism. Despite the temperature, it is not all that sunny in Bangkok and most days are grey and overcast - meaning many visitors are surprised when they first walk outside Bangkok airport and discover that what appeared to be a cold, cloudy day is actually uncomfortably hot.

The heat, combined with the humidity and pollution, makes walking a sizable distance in Bangkok almost impossible, and breaking into a sweat after only a couple of hundred meters almost inevitable. The Thai people themselves will rarely walk any significant distance and there's a very large number of cars, buses, taxis and tuk-tuks to help them get about.

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Wat Arun, the Temple of Dawn, Bangkok


(image) Wat Arun, the Temple of Dawn, is one of Bangkok's best know landmark. It stands on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River in Thon Buri. Wat Arun is best seen from the opposite bank of the river; it glistens in the sunlight during the day and stands dark and noble at dawn or dusk. A visit to the beautiful, peaceful monastery complex surrounding the familiar towers is very worth-while. These towers, the "Phra Prang," although best known, the only part of Wat Arun. It also contains narrow lanes; elegant, old white buildings; shrines, pools of turtles; and two fine giants, " Yuk Wat Jaeng," mortal enemies of the " Yuk Wat Po" across the river.

The central balcony commands an impressive view of Bangkok across the river. From here one can see the Grand palace, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha(Wat Phra Kaew) and the spacious Wat Pho.

Wat Arun figures in one of Thailand's most colorful festival, the Royal Tod Kathin. Then His Majesty the King travels down the river in a procession of Royal barges to present new robes to the monks after their three-month lent period.

LOCATION: West bank of the Chao Phraya River.
OPENING HOURS: It's open daily from 8.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m.
ADMISSION: Admission is 30 baht for foreigners and free for Thai people.

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When You go to Bangkok, Don't miss The Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew


(image) The Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew really are places you must visit while you are in Bangkok. Both have considerable historical significance and are extremely beautiful places to see.

The Grand Palace was built in 1782 by King Rama I who established Bangkok as Thailand’s new capital. The palace was to be bigger and grander than palaces built in the Sukhothai and Ayutthaya eras to underscore the significance of the change of capital. The result was a palace of jewels and gold and splendour the like never seen before in Thailand. The Grand Palace remained the Royal Family’s official residence from 1782 to 1946. The last king to live there was King Chulalongkorn.

(image) Wat Phra Kaew was built to house the Emerald Buddha which was returned to Thailand after Thailand’s the capture of Vientiane in 1778. The Emerald Buddha is the most important representation of the Buddha in Thai Buddhism. To pray before the Emerald Buddha is to make merit, and although this is an important place on any visitor’s itinerary, it is important to recognise that this is a place of worship and should be respected as such.

Details: Admission fee is 200 Baht for foreigners, but Thais are admitted free (remember – to Thais this is a place of worship, not a tourist attraction!). The fee also includes tickets to the Coin Pavillion, Vimanmek Mansion and Abhisek Dusit Throne Hall, all of which are worth seeing in their own right. The site is open 8:30-12:00 and 13:00-15:30.

How to get there: The Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew are in the Banglamphu area of Bangkok – the ‘Old City’. To get there you can take a taxi, which from the centre of Bangkok will cost about 80 Baht.

Bus Number: 1, 35, 44,47, 123, 201
Air-conditioned Bus Number: 2, 3, 7, 8, 12, 25, 39, 44, 82

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Wat Phra Pathom Chedi, Nakhon Pathom Thailand


(image) On coming toward the Nakhon Pathom city, the first glimpse of the towering Phra Pathom Chedi is overpowering. lt is one of the largest pagodas in the world and in Thailand, by far the most holy of all Buddhist structures. The original pagoda was constructed more than 2,000 years ago in the stupa design of an upside down bowl shape. A replica of the original pagoda stands south of the present one. ln the year 1853, King Rama lV commanded the reconstruction of a new huge pagoda covering the original one. lt has a height of 120.45 metres and a total length of 234,75 metres around the base. A nearby museum contains a wealth of priceless relics and many of the stone carvings found in and around Nakhon Pathom. At the four points of the compass in the outer courtyard are four Wiharas (halls) containing images of Buddha in various postures.

Location: Nakhon Pathom, Central Thailand.

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Glossary of Thai Temple Terms (Part 2)


A Naga is a representation of a mystical serpent that according to the holy scripts sheltered the Buddha while he was meditating. In temple architecture, it runs down the edge of the roof, or, especially in Lanna (North of Thailand) temples, flanks the staircase that ascends to the Viharn or Bot. In sculptures, it is depicted sheltering the head of the Buddha with its own. Beautiful representations of Nagas are known from Khmer art, as found in the Khmer ruins in the Northeast of Thailand.
(image) Nagas on a Viharn in Wat Chiang Mun, Chiang Mai

A Prang is an Ayuthayan or Khmer-style Chedi that is high and slim and looks like a vertical ear corn. Many of the Chedis in Wat Phra Kaew or Wat Po in Bangkok are Prangs.
(image) Prangs in Wat Mahathat, Petchaburi

A Sala is an open-sided pavillion. Some Viharns are built in this style.

A Viharn is a sermon hall. It is usually the busiest building in a Wat and open to everyone (provided the visitor behaves according to the temple etiquette!: you must be properly dressed, take off your shoes before entering a building and behave quietly) Just like the Bots, Viharns hold an altar and one or several Buddha images.

A Wat is a Thai Buddhist temple or monastery. In most cases it is not just one building, but a collection of buildings, shrines, and monuments within a courtyard that is enclosed by a wall.

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Glossary of Thai Temple Terms (Part 1)


The Bot (also called Ubosoth) is the ordination hall of a Wat. It is the place where new monks take their vows. You can recognize a building as a Bot by the six boundary stones (Bai Sema) that define the limits of its sanctuary. Bots are usually open only to the monks. Inside are always an altar and one or several Buddha images.

A Chedi (a different term would be stupa or pagoda) is a domed edifice, often quite tall, under which relics of the Buddha or revered religious teachers are buried.(image)
Burmese Style Chedi in Wat Phra That Haripunchai in Lamphun

Chofahs are the bird-like decorations on the end of the temple roofs. If you visit the Museum of the Emerald Buddha near the Grand Palace in Bangkok you can see examples of chofahs displayed in glass cases in the ground floor and have a closer look at them. Chofahs are often decorated with little bells that tinkle in the wind.(image)
A Temple Roof in Wat Chalong, Phuket Island - You can clearly see the Chofahs

Ho Trai
The Ho Trai (also transcripted as "Ho Phra") is the library of the Wat. It is usually a very small, highly decorated building. In the Central Plains it often sits on columns in a pond . The holy scripts and sacred manuscripts of the Wat are kept inside.

A Mondop (also called Mandapa) is a baldachin structure that has in some temples been erected above the library with the sacred Buddhist scripts.

Continue Part 2

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Wat Benchamabophit Bangkok (The Marble Temple)


(image) Wat Benchamabophit, also known as the Marble Temple, this temple is on Sri Ayutthaya Road near the Chitralada Palace. The temple is well-known because its main building was constructed during the reign of King Rama V, as the source of religious heritage for the future generations of Thais. It employs European ecclesiastic details, such as stained glass windows, and contains a superb cloister collection of bronze Buddha images. The main shrine was originally intended to house a highly sacred and revered Budddha image known as Phra Buddha Shinaraja, which at the time was located in the province of Phitsanulok (approximately 300 km north of Bangkok). But when construction of the Marble Temple was complete, a replicate of the Phra Buddha Shinaraja was created and enshrined in the temple instead, due to that the people of Phitsanulok and northern Thailand were unwilling to part with their Buddha image, the main source of their religious inspiration.

(image) The Marble Temple, built entirely out of white marble as its name suggests, manifests the devotion that Thai people have for Buddhism. The architectural and engineering detail put in to the construction of the Wat Benchamabophit is rare by modern standards.

The best time to visit this temple is early in the morning when Buddhist monks are chanting inside the chapel. The interior of the main building is magnificently decorated with cross beams of lacquer and gold. A large collection of Bronze Buddha lines the walls of the spacious inner courtyard. Once the visitor enters the temple grounds, he or she will experience a sensation of tranquility and peace.

Location: Wat Benchamabophit is on the corner of Si Ayutthaya Road and Rama V Road.
Getting There: Bus Nos. 2 (air-con)
Opening Hours: Open to visitors until 5:00 P.M. every day
Admission: 30 baht
Telephone: 02 - 2812501

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Wat Pho - Temple of the Reclining Buddha in Bangkok


(image) Wat Pho or with it's full name Wat Phrachetuphon Wimon Mangkhalaram Raja Wora Mahavihara is Bangkok's largest temple. A giant reclining Buddha, 45 meters long represents the moment in which Buddha enters Nirvana. The size of this Buddha can only be experienced by walking around it. The feet of the statue feature 108 small images of representing Buddhist impressions. It is the enormous head of the Buddha which I like most.

Wat Pho is also famous as Thailand's first university, and is center for traditional Thai masage - the rich, famous and powerful have all been known to come here. Inscribed on stone in the walls of Wat Pho are all that was known about Thai massage dating from the reign of King Rama III (most previous texts were lost when the Burmese destroyed Ayuthaya)

Wat Pho is an important Bangkok's landmark in the Rattanakosin Area. Visitors can enjoy the beautiful Buddhist fine arts and the existing Thai intellect which has descended from ancient times, taken as an immortal carrier's of knowledge. The monastery is opened daily from 08:00 to 17:00, with the admission fee of 20 baht.

Important Wat of Thailand


(image) Thailand has many Wat, a temple in the Thai language. Wat is much more than just a place of worship. Thai temple is much more than just a monastery. It influences life, culture and education and the Wat is very much a community center.

Temples in Bangkok and Thonburi - Temples are not typically the first thing which comes to mind when talking about a trip to Bangkok. Within this huge city there are over 430 temples though, which are very worthwhile to be visited. Wat Phra Kaew, the Royal Temple within the Palace, is the most important and most impressive one. It is also the one with the most tourists and, at least outside the temple, also the one with the most dubious characters who want to sell you things and who want to drive you onto a never-return shopping trip.

Temples in Central Thailand
- Central Thailand is a huge area, which is often ignored by travelers. One of the reasons might be that it is not covered in many of the guide books, except for the major sights, of course. This might be a blessing on one side because the area has not changed too much by tourism or the (negative) influence of the west.

(image) Temples in Northern Thailand - Thailand's North was our first trip with our own car. Thus independent from any public transportation and therefore without much interference with other tourists. Equipped with a huge variety of maps in Thai and English as well as information from the web we went mainly on small roads and highways and stopped at every place, which looked interesting.

Temples in Southern Thailand - There are more than 100 Buddhist temples in the Deep South but only a few monks, as many quit the monk hood due to fears for their safety. Militants now target their attacks on Buddhist monks and temples to deepen the religious divide in the region.

Temples in North Eastern Thailand - Isan is a special place. Something we never understood, as we consider temples as a place for Buddhists to gather and pray. Instead the Buddha images were locked away behind closed doors.

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