Thailand is one of the countries in Asia that teem with temples, and this is because Buddhism is the main religion in the country. Travellers from all over the world enjoy visiting these temples because of the great photo opportunities as well as the architectural excellence. Thais hold these temples in great regard because they play an important part in the locals’ daily lives. If you are looking to explore the country during your long term stay, here are some of the top temples in Thailand you should visit.
Tourists with a love of history will enjoy a trip to the Wat Pho temple. Wat Pho, also known as ‘Temple of the Reclining Buddha’ is said to be the oldest and largest temple in the City of Angels. The temple houses a reclining Buddha in its compound. It is an amazing feature that is 15 meters high and sits at 46 meters long. Visitors get wonderstruck by the enormous Buddha and also get to enjoy the stupas which are glistened with colour. After a day of exploring, visitors can have a relaxing moment at a traditional Thai massage school which offers spa treatments.
Wat Phra Sri Sanphet
This temple is a monastery and is known to be of the most important temples in Thailand. It is located in Ayutthaya within the royal palace grounds. The most striking features of the temple are the large bell-shaped pagodas. These features sit at the heart of the temple ruins on a rectangular platform. The three pagodas are believed to have existed during the Ayutthaya period and were the base of royal houses. In 1991, the city of Ayutthaya was named as UNESCO World Heritage Site since it is the home of the most spectacular temples in Thailand.
Wat Pha Sorn Kaew
This temple is located north of Bangkok. It is also known as the ‘Temple on a high glass cliff’. Due to the obscure location of the temple, it is an ideal destination for travellers with a sense of adventure. It is considered to be the most striking temple in Thailand and thousands of visitors explore the site every year. What makes the temple stand out is the hundreds of thousands of colourful mosaic tiles that decorate the surrounding buildings and the main pagoda. There is a striking mountain area which makes a perfect backdrop for the temple. There are five white Buddhas that create a contrast against the colourful surrounding buildings.
Wat Rong Khun
Also known as the ‘White temple’, Wat Rong Khun is a dazzling white temple which sits the northern city of Chiang Rai. The white exterior of the temple creates a starkly contrast against the green foliage in the surrounding areas. The white walls on the temple signify the purity of the Buddha while the windows symbolize Buddha’s wisdom. Admission at the temple is free which attracts quite a large number of tourists every year. This is an ideal location for travellers who have an appreciation for fine architecture.
Wat Arun temple overlooks the Mae Nam Chao Phraya. It is also known as the ‘Temple of the Dawn. The temple has five towers which are known as prangs. Visitors are allowed to climb on one of the towers to get a better view of the surrounding area. The prangs are decorated with ceramic tiles and bright porcelain pieces. This temple is a favourite tourist destination because it sits right on the waterfront. There are several amazing restaurants nearby where one can sit and enjoy Thai delicacies as they admire the magnificent view of the temple. Visitors can also enjoy meditating on the temple’s ground.
Wat Phra Kaew
The temple of Wat Phra Kaew was constructed in 1785. The architecture of the temple is simply amazing and the colours used fuse together to create a serene environment. This makes it an ideal place for people looking to sit back and meditate. The temple is held sacred and visitors are advised to follow a fairly strict dress code. One should not wear revealing clothes, no sandals and no shorts. Failure to follow these rules will deny you access onto the grounds entirely. Each year, Wat Phra Kaew attracts hundreds of thousands of travellers and religious scholars from all over the world.
Looking for more “Living in Thailand” information for expats? Check out our other articles that will help you make the most of your time in the Land of Smile as an expat!