Holidaymakers travel from far and wide to Thailand to explore its enchanting golden temples which are emblematic of the rich Buddhist culture that is enshrined within the Thai way of life. I spent a lot of my most recent visit to Bangkok on temple-crawls, going from one to the other, exploring the gilt-grandeur within them. Allow me to show you are two of Bangkok’s most notable temples, the Temple of the Golden Buddha (Wat Traimit) and the Temple of the Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho).
Temple of the Golden Buddha (Wat Traimit)
The first temple that I am going to show you is the Temple of the Golden Buddha, which is situated a stone’s throw from Bangkok’s Chinatown. What makes this temple so special is the fact that it houses a gigantic, sold gold Buddha, an impressive 5.5 tons in weight and 3 metres in height.
There’s a truly fascinating backstory behind the Golden Buddha; it was once hidden under a plaster guise that cracked during transportation, revealing the gold beneath. It is suspected that this was done to protect it when Thailand was under attack by the Burmese during either the Sukhothai or Ayuthaya period. It’s a truly fascinating relic and is well worth checking out when in Bangkok.
Temple of the Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho)
Next I am going to take you over to Wat Pho, or the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, as it is more commonly known. Located near the Grand Palace, this temple is best know for the ginormous reclining Buddha within that sprawls out 46 meters in length and 15 metres in height. There is much more to see than just the Buddha sculpture; the temple complex often gets overlooked by visitors, so it is well worth reserving some time to explore it.
Was Pho is known for being one of the earliest educational centres in the city and is the alleged home of Thai massage, that’s not to mention the fact that the temple out dates Bangkok city itself!
- Generally shoes must be removed on entering most Buddhist temples.
- Usually, no skin should be exposed above the knee and bellow the neck.
- It is usually possible to borrow a shawl to cover yourself for a small price on entry to most of temples, for those who are not dressed for the occasion. I know that I did this several times during my visit to Thailand.
- Some temples / some areas inside temples prohibit photography. Be vigilant of signs for this and of course abide by them!
Temples are places of worship for Thailand’s Buddhist majority, so bearing this in mind and being respectful of this whilst visiting is always a must!