The most beautiful temples in Bangkok

Wat Phra Kaew, photo by Jorje Lascar

Bangkok is a backpacker’s paradise and since backpackers are a penny-pinching sort, they will often seek out the type of attractions that don’t requre any entry fees. In very popular travel destinations you’ll have a hard time looking for sights that are free, but large cities are a good bet if you want to have a nice sightseeing trip without spending much money. The diversity of Bangkok is a goldmine for the budget-conscious traveler, because there will always be interesting things that you can take a look at without being charged. And the temples are perhaps the best examples – event if there’s a modest entry charge – you get to see some of the most representative aspects of Thai culture, and marvel at the architecture and the decorations. Here are some of the most beautiful temples in Bangkok that you might want to visit.

Wat Phra Kaew, Temple of the Emerald Buddha

The Temple of the Emerald Buddha is the most sacred temple in the country, and even if you have no truck with Buddhism you can’t help but be somewhat impressed by its sheer magnificence. Located at the heart of the Grand Palace, the temple is a genuine symbol of Thai society, and as such it enjoys a great deal of reverence. The centerpiece of the temple is the Emerald Buddha, which contrary to its name is made of green jadeite, and the statue is over 2000 years old.

Wat Arun, Temple of the Dawn

Wat Arun, photo by edwin.11

This beautiful temple dedicated to Aruna, the god of dawn, is one of the most striking and well known landmarks of Thailand. The best time of the day to see the temple is at dawn, interestingly enough, when the pinkish rays of the rising sun are reflected on the temple’s carved surfaces. One of the most interesting features of the temple is its central tower, encrusted with colorful faience.

Wat Mahathat Yuwaratrangsarit

Wat Mahathat Yuwaratrangsarit is not only one of the most beautiful temples in Bangkok, but also a very important one to boot – it is one of the 10 royal temples of the highest class. Since the temple was built midway between the Grand Palace and Front Palace, it was the site of many royal ceremonies and funerals. But that’s not all: the temple also houses the most famous and oldest university for Buddhist monks in Thailand.

Wat Suthat

Wat Traimit, photo by MShehan on Flickr

Wat Suthat is another one of the 10 royal temples in Bangkok, and one of the most elegant structures in the city. Its 28 Chinese pagodas are laden with exquisite details, and its Buddha statue (called ‘Sisakayamunee’, imported from Sukhothai) is a sight to be seen. Although Wat Suthat might have a shorter history and a less resplendent appearance than some of the other temples in Bangkok, it has a quiet beauty that can’t be ignored.

Wat Traimit

Wat Traimit looks stunning on the outside, like many of the temples in Bangkok, but it is the temple’s interior that manages to capture the imagination of visitors in an instant. Wat Traimit houses the largest solid gold Buddha statue in the world, 3 meters tall and weighting 5.5 tons. The statue has been disguised in plaster for 200 years, and its true composition was rediscovered only in 1955.

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