An Overview of the Temples and Palaces of Bangkok
Bangkok is known worldwide for its exciting and sexually charged nightlife, relaxing massage parlours, and unique floating markets. It also manages to blend modern society with ancient culture as skyscrapers stand alongside stunning temples, shrines, and palaces.
Bangkok, which is mostly Buddhist, offers hundreds of temples you can explore and where you can learn about the religion and Thai culture. Best of all, most are located 20 minutes or less from the finest Bangkok Hotels.
The Grand Palace is one of the main highlights of Bangkok. Built in the 18th century, it is the official residence of the king. It is a complex of buildings that includes the Temple of the Emerald Buddha.
The palace offers stunning gardens, courtyards, and halls to be explored, but note that a strict dress code is enforced.
Suan Pakkad Palace
More of a museum than a palace, Suan Pakkad offers a glimpse into the past where you can explore fascinating Thai artifacts and historic architecture.
Witness 4,000-year-old pottery, Thai teak houses, masks, fossils, musical instruments, and more. You will also find beautiful gardens and ponds on the grounds.
This temple is one of the most recognized Bangkok temples and is found on Thailand’s 10-baht coin. Located on the banks of the Chao Phraya River, it offers stunning photo opportunities any time of day even though it’s known as the Temple of the Dawn.
A temple where you can not only see Thailand’s largest reclining Buddha, at 40-plus meters long, but also get a famous Thai massage, as the temple is home to a massage school. It is the temple of 1,000 Buddha images and nearly 100 stupas.
Wat Suthat is one of Bangkok’s oldest, most impressive, and largest temple complexes. It is home to the giant red swing where men once tried to outswing their competitors in order to grab a bag of gold with their teeth until it was shown to cause fatalities.
Wat Phra Kaew
Also known as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha for the jade-carved Buddha it contains, Wat Phra Kaew is found on the grounds of the Grand Palace. Be amazed at the beautiful murals or the golden Buddhist Stupa of Phra Sri Rattana.
Erawan is a Hindu Shrine which honours the Hindu God of creation Lord Brahma or Phra Phrom as the god is known by in Thailand. Residents and tourists worldwide pay their respects to the shrine, offering gifts in exchange for good luck or hopefully having their wishes granted.
It is important to remember to show the utmost respect for the religion and culture when visiting temples in Bangkok. One must remember they are not simply tourist attractions, rather places of worship that are sacred to locals.
Turn off cell phones, remove shoes, and remember to wear appropriate clothing that covers your legs and shoulders at the very least. Wearing a sarong may also be requested upon entering.
Avoid touching Buddha statues or pointing at objects, and make sure photography is allowed before snapping away. Also, learn the etiquette when it comes to interacting with monks.
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