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Top 5 Temples to Visit in Thailand

Stock photo via Pixabay

Thailand surely doesn’t fall short of featuring some of the most beautiful temples in the world. As Buddhism is the main religion practised by Thais, visiting temples is part of the culture. But, you don’t have to be a Buddhist to appreciate the stunning architecture and innate details adorning the temples. Travellers also find the temples to be a great photo opportunity and a serene experience.

Temples, or wats in Thai language, can definitely be found all over the country but, be careful upon entering the temples as there are certain customs to follow in order to respectfully admire the landmarks of culture in Thailand.

5 Best Temples to Visit in Thailand

Best of Thailand’s temples, listed below.

1. Wat Pha Sorn Kaew

This temple can be found about 5 hours north of Bangkok, and is known as the “Temple on a high glass cliff.” Despite its secret location, those who are travelling off the beaten path may wish to visit one of Thailand’s most strikingly beautiful temples. The temple was only recently opened to the public, as its construction began back in 2004. Clearly its colourful mosaic tiles make it sparkle like new as it overlooks stunning mountains.

The temple’s creators definitely didn’t leave a stone unturned when thinking of the magical vibes it could produce. 5 white Buddha statues stand in sharp contrast to the explosion of coloured mosaic tiles, making it eye candy for visitors.

Address: Wat Pha Sorn Kaew, 95 moo. 7 Khaem Son, Khao Kho District, Phetchabun 67280.

File:Wat Pha Sorn Kaew 13.jpg - Wikimedia Commons
Wat Pha Sorn Kaew

2. Wat Phra Sri Sanphet

A must-do day trip from Bangkok, is that of visiting Ayutthaya. As the city was once the second capital of Thailand, it was made a Unesco World Heritage Site in 1991. Additionally, the wats are some of the most iconic in the country. However, if you are only able to see a few, Wat Phra Sri Sanphet should be on your list. Located in the royal palace grounds, it’s bell-shaped pagodas definitely serve as a striking landmark.

Nonetheless, the small ruins surrounding the pagodas have their own place in history. The crumbled remnants are thought to be those of the old royal housing. The placement of the temples in Ayutthaya was strategic as the city became a hub for global diplomacy and commerce back in the 14th to 18th centuries. Additionally, it was located above the tidal bore of the Gulf of Siam (Thailand was known as Siam previously), to prevent the attacks of warships and other nations. Its history and beauty is definitely a sight to see for those touring the nation’s temples.

Address: Ayutthaya – Wat Phra Sri Sanphet, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya.

Wat Phra Si Sanphet | Las tres estupas del recinto de Wat Ph… | Flickr
Wat Phra Si Sanphet

3. Wat Pho

Wat Pho, or the ‘Temple of the reclining Buddha’, is the biggest and most ancient in the City of Angels, otherwise known as Bangkok. As it is famous for its 47 metre long, 15 metre high reclining Buddha in its main sanctuary. Thus, stopping here on your temple journey is surely an exciting photo op. And, if you are needing some rest and relaxation, the temple features a traditional Thai massage school on its grounds.

The entrance fee is 100 baht, however, the price doesn’t indicate the quality of sightseeing you will experience. Most who see Wat Pho, will remember it for a lifetime. Additionally, stopping at Wat Pho is quite convenient for those who are touring the capital of Thailand as it is located near other exciting attractions.

Address: Bangkok – 2 Thanon Sanam Chai, Khwaeng Phra Borom Maha Ratchawang, Khet Phra Nakhon Krung Thep Maha Nakhon, 10200.

Amazing view of Wat Pho, BAngkok | Pablo Andrés Rivero | Flickr
Wat Pho

4. Wat Arun

Wat Arun is clearly one of the most beautiful temples in which to visit. As it overlooks the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok, the Temple of Dawn doesn’t disappoint. Previously, it housed the reclining Buddha that is now calling Wat Pho its home. Wat Arun now features 5 towers, with 1 being climbable to tourists. Thus, the view at the top is indescribable as one can see the entire skyline of Bangkok.

As it is situated on the river, one can take a boat ride to get to the temple, taking in the sights along the way. Many restaurants are located on the river and can be an end of the day treat after enjoying the bright porcelain and ceramic tiles in which Wat Arun is constructed. The admission fee is only 50 baht, making the trip well worth it.

Address: Bangkok – 158 Thanon Wang Doem, Khwaeng Wat Arun, Khet Bangkok Yai Krung Thep Maha Nakhon, 10600.

Wat Arun Sunset | Camara / Camera: Nikon D750 + Manfroto Bef… | Flickr
Wat Arun

5. Wat Phra Kaew

Known as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, Wat Phra Kaew is on the same grounds as Bangkok’s Grand Palace. Therefore, one can knock 2 sights off the list in a short period of time. The temple was constructed in 1785, when King Rama I moved the nation’s capital from Thonburi to Bangkok. Thus, Wat Phra Kaew is one of the most important temples in Thailand.

In addition to its historical importance, the temple also features a model of Cambodia’s Angkor Wat, the largest religious structure by land in the world. The entrance fee is a bit higher than most temples, at 400 baht per person, but it is surely well worth the price. Also, keep in mind the temple enforces the typical dress code for visitors a bit more than other temples, due its historical significance.

Address: Bangkok – Wat Phra Kaew, Na Phra Lan Rd, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok, 10200.

File:Temple of the Emerald of buddha or Wat Phra Kaew (cropped).jpg - Wikimedia Commons
Wat Phra Kaew

Thailand’s temples are undeniably some of the most elaborate in the world, and paying them a visit can serve as an unique experience in your travels. Featuring ancient remnants of the past and the nation’s colourful history, entering the temples serves as window to the country’s fascinating culture. Tourists who exit from viewing these architectural delights, nonetheless, experience something that pictures alone can’t capture.

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Ann Carter

Ann Carter is an award-winning journalist from the United States with over 12 years experience in print and broadcast news. Her work has been featured in America, China and Thailand as she has worked internationally at major news stations as a writer and producer. Carter graduated from the Walter Williams Missouri School of Journalism in the USA.


  1. Ever been to Wat Pha Sorn Kaew?

    It’s not in a “secret location” or “off the beaten path” but is very much on the tourist trail.

    Personally I’d rate the White Temple in Chiang Rai far more highly, but each to his own.

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