Why a Bangkok Temples Tour is a Must-Do
Explore a blend of History, Architecture, and Spirituality
Each temple in Bangkok has its own story, deeply rooted in Thailand’s history. By exploring Bangkok temples, you will be exploring buildings and establishments of different dynasties. These temples are also marvels of architectural design, showcasing a range of styles which allows you to see the style of building in different cultures and eras.
Beyond The temples’ physical beauty, they are living centers of Buddhist practice. They provide spaces for contemplation and meditation, allowing you to connect with a sense of peace and spirituality.
Top 3 Famous Temples to visit in Bangkok:
- Wat Phra Kaew is known as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, and is located within the Grand Palace complex, it is a symbol of both religious and royal significance. This Temple is considered as the most sacred Buddhist Temple in Thailand, and was built in 1782 during the reign of King Rama I.
- Wat Pho: is The largest temple in Bangkok and was established in the 16th century. It’s home to the famous Reclining Buddha statue. In addition to its huge size, this temple is the center for the study and practice of traditional Thai massage and medicine. Visitors can enjoy a traditional Authentic Thai massage when visiting the temple.
- Wat Arun: also known as the Temple of Dawn, and is located along the Chao Phraya river. The temple gained its name after Aruna, the Indian god of Dawn and is known for its towering Central Khmer-Style tower.
- Other temples that you can consider visiting when in Bangkok: Wat Traimit (The temple of the Golden Buddha), and Wat Suthat.
How many temples in Bangkok
Bangkok is known for its numerous and magnificent temples. However, the exact number of temples in Bangkok is not confirmed. It’s estimated that the city has around 400 temples.
Architectural Styles of Bangkok Temples
- Classic Thai Style: Characterized by multi-tiered roofs, often covered with colorful tiles. One of the Example temples under this style is Wat Pho Temple (The Temple of the Reclining Buddha)
- Ayutthaya Style: The Key characteristics of this architectural style are the Large Stupas and Chedis, the Prangs (Towers) and the temples Layout that typically includes a central prang surrounded by smaller structures reflecting the cosmological and religious beliefs of the time. Wat Arun is an example of Ayutthaya Style temples in Bangkok
- Rattanakosin Style: This style has been developed during the Rattanakosin era (since 1782), this style is combining the traditional Thai architecture with influences from other cultures, especially European. Wat Phra Kaew temple at the grand palace is the most famous temple in Bangkok featuring this architectural style (Temple of the Emerald Buddha).
- Lanna Style: This style originated from northern Thailand, but is sometimes seen in Bangkok. Lanna style includes multi-tiered roofs and richly decorated wood carvings. It’s hard to find a 100% Lanna Style temple in Bangkok, however you can see some of its elements in certain Wats in the city.
- Khmer Style: This style was influenced by the ancient Khmer empire. It features prangs similar to those in Ayutthaya style but with some minor differences in structure.
- Contemporary Thai Style: Modern temples may incorporate contemporary design elements while still respecting traditional styles. This style is often found in Newer temples in the City, using modern materials and techniques.
Understanding Temple Etiquette and Culture before going on a Bangkok temple tour
A visit to Bangkok’s temples is a journey into the heart of Thai culture and spirituality. It’s essential to understand Bangkok temple etiquette and Buddhist practices to respectfully engage with these sacred spaces. By understanding this, you will not only enhance your experience during the visits, but also ensure that you contribute positively and properly to the atmosphere of these sites.
Dress Code for Bangkok temple tour
- Dress Modestly: Most temples in Bangkok require visitors to dress modestly. This means covering your shoulders and knees. Scarves or shawls are often used to cover shoulders, and long pants or skirts are more recommended than shorts.
- Remove Shoes: It is customary to remove your shoes before entering the main temple hall or any area with a Buddha statue. This practice shows respect and is a sign of humility. Generally, in front of all the main temples attracting tourists in Bangkok, there is a coordinator sitting in front of the temples’ gates making sure that all visitors take off their shoes before entering.
Behavior Guidelines for Bangkok temple tour
- Quiet and Respectful Behavior: Temples are places of worship and meditation. When being inside any temple, not only in Bangkok but all around Thailand, you should speak in a low voice, and avoid loud noise. It’s important to move around the temple grounds with a sense of respect and awareness of others and leave respectful spaces for everyone.
- Respectful Posture: When sitting in a temple, avoid pointing your feet towards Buddha images or monks. This is considered disrespectful in Thai culture. Instead, sit with your feet tucked behind you, you will usually find local Thai people sitting this way so you can simply copy the way they do or ask your Tour guide for guidance.