171a

Bangkok’s Golden Wats

Hundreds of glorious wats (Buddhist temples) can be found across Bangkok and form a unique part of the city’s landscape. Their towers reach into the sky, glittering with gold leaf, coloured glass and pieces of pottery. The best time to visit is early in the morning.

Wat Arun

An icon of Bangkok, thanks to its riverside location, this temple’s stunning Khmer-style central tower represents Mount Meru – the centre of the world in Buddhist cosmology.

Wat Pra Kaew

172

Located within the Grand Palace and known as ‘The Temple of the Emerald Buddha’, this wat houses a remarkable 66cm-tall Buddha carved from a block of jade. The temple has two 1 km-long galleries covered with detailed murals which depict 178 scenes of the epic story of Ramayana.

 Wat Pho

One of the oldest and largest temples in Bangkok, Wat Pho is also known as ‘The Temple of the Reclining Buddha’ thanks to the 15 m-high, 43 m-long Buddha. This wondrous Buddha is covered in gold leaf and has mother-of-pearl decorations on its feet. Wat Pho also has 1,000 images of Buddha, as well as 91 chedis (stupas), and it is home to the first Thai-massage school.

Fun Facts

173

There really is a temple called David Beckham Temple, another has been swallowed by a tree, and a third was used for executions!

172

174

173