Buddhism is the main religion in Thailand, so it’s no wonder that the country is simply teeming with temples. While travellers enjoy visiting for the photo ops and some great sightseeing, these structures play an important role in the everyday lives of many religious Thais.
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About five hours north of Bangkok is Wat Pha Sorn Kaew, or the Temple on a High Glass Cliff. This temple is typically not part of the shoestring itinerary many travelers follow because of its obscure location. If you have the time, however, this is one of the most striking temples in Thailand. Construction began in 2004 but it was only recently opened and still sparkles like new, with millions of colorful mosaic tiles decorating the main pagoda and surrounding buildings. The temple overlooks the surrounding mountainous area, which makes for one incredible backdrop. The five white Buddha statues sit in stark contrast against the colorful surrounding buildings.
Another temple found just an hour north of Bangkok in the city of Ayutthaya is Wat Mahathat, most famously known for the Buddha head that sits amongst an entanglement of branches. The Buddha head resembles the symbol of the Bodhi tree, where Siddartha Gautama attained enlightenment. The old capital of Siam is home to a plethora of temples, all of which are worthy of exploration. You can also visit the Ayutthaya Tourist Center, the Chao Sam Phraya National Museum and the Ayutthaya Historical Study Centre while you’re here.
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