The oldest and largest temple in Bangkok, Wat Pho is, quite possibly, one of the most famous temples in all of Thailand. This temple is oftentimes referred to as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha because of the 46-meter long, 15-meter high Buddha that sits at this temple’s core. It is located just south of the Royal Grand Palace, and you can spend an entire day exploring this ancient historical area. In addition to the giant Buddha, the temple grounds are decorated with beautiful treasures that are well worth exploring. And you can even reboot with one of the healing Thai massages offered on sight, which are both high-quality and fairly inexpensive. There is a ฿100 entrance fee (about $3).
Wat Arun, or Temple of the Dawn, consists of five prangs, or towers, overlooking the Mae Nam Chao Praya. The reclining Buddha, which can now be seen at Wat Pho, resided first in Wat Arun. It is said that King Taksin and his royal fleet came upon this temple at dawn. He then designated the temple as a royal one. It is possible for visitors to climb a little ways up the main prang, which is decorated with ceramic tiles and colorful pieces of porcelain. There is a ฿50 entrance fee (about $1.50).
Wat Saket, or Temple of the Golden Mount, sits atop an artificial hill, from which the large city of Bangkok looks almost tranquil. Inside the ordination hall of Wat Saket you will find a number of Buddhist paintings. This temple is most famous for the Golden Mount that rises high above the rest of the temple grounds. You can climb the Golden Mount, but be aware that it is a rather long way up in Bangkok’s inevitable heat. There is also a chapel and library open to visitors on these historic grounds. Admission is free.
Many identify Wat Suthat with the giant red swing that sits just across the road. The Giant Swing, or Sao Ching-Cha, dates back to 1784, but it was replaced in 2004. In addition to this swing, the temple itself has some striking wall murals and eye-catching architecture.
Located in Chinatown is Wat Traimit. Inside, you will find a six-ton, solid gold Buddha statue, which is what makes this temple a must-see on any visit to Bangkok. It is the biggest golden statue in the world, measuring 3 meters in height. It is said that the current value of this statue is more than $250 million. There is a ฿40 entrance fee.
Wat Ratchanatdaram was built for Rama III back in the 1840s. Its architecture and design are said to have roots in the metal temples of India and Sri Lanka. The 36-meter-tall structure that sits in the middle of the temple grounds is said to signify the 37 virtues toward enlightenment in Buddhism, a religion practiced by 95 percent of the country. The roof is made of bronze tiles, and the temple is one of only a few in the world with this type of roof. Admission is free.