There are thousands of Buddhist temples in Thailand. They have become one of the country’s main attractions. Like most Southeast Asia, Buddhism is the leading religious practice; approximately 95% of Thais are Buddhists.
Thai architecture is as elegant as beautiful and pragmatic, and that’s why thousands of people travel there year after year to get a glimpse of those majestic constructions. Today, you’ll be lucky enough to witness them without leaving your home, as we’ll present you with the top 10 most stunning temples in Thailand.
10. Wat Tham Pha Plong
The Wat Tham Pha Plong temple located on top of a limestone hill – North of the town of Chian Dao – When you ascend the 500 steps, you will find signs with encouraging and uplifting words posted on the trees. The monks allow visitors to take meditation classes with a splendid view over the forest.
9. Wat Pho
Wat Pho – known as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha – is one of the most remarkable temple sites. It is also one of the largest and oldest. What makes it so picturesque is that inside is the largest reclining Buddha statue in Thailand – with 150 inches long and 15 inches high. It is covered in gold leaf. Its feet are inlaid with mother-of-pearl representing the 108 lives before Buddha.
8. Wat Suthat
The Wat Suthat temple is considered the first real temple in Thailand. Two things stand out from this temple: a giant swing and the murals. The swing – of which only the structure remains on the outside – was used by the monks during the annual Brahmanical ceremony. However, its use was forbidden because it was dangerous. As for the murals, they depict scenes from the history of the city and the so-called Jataka Tales which recount the previous lives of the Buddha. In addition, it contains the ashes of Rama VIII (brother and predecessor of the current king of Thailand).
6. Wat Rong Khun
The Wat Rong Khun was built by the famous Thai artist Charlemchai Hositipat. It is located 12 kilometers from Chiang Rai, and is covered with crystals that make it glow in the sunlight and symbolize the purity of Buddha. On the outside, there are hundreds of sculpted hands rising towards the sky just below a bridge that allows access to the main temple. Inside, we can see surrealist paintings depicting the struggle between Eastern and Western values.
6. Wat Phra Singh
Wat Phra Singh is located in Chiang Mai – the largest city in northern Thailand – It is a much-visited place; since about 700 monks live there. Besides, many important religious ceremonies take place here, especially during the Songkran Festival – Thailand’s New Year festival – when the image of the Buddha is carried through the streets and sprinkled with water by the citizens.
5. Wat Phra That
The Wat Phra That temple is located within the Doi Suthep-Pui National Park, near Chiang Mai at 1000 feet high. To enter this temple, you have to overcome a staircase of more than 300 steps. Inside are kept some relics of Buddha by order of King Kuena.
4. Wat Mahathat
Wat Mahathat – or Great Relic monastery – is an ancient Buddhist temple located in the heart of Ayutthaya, in the Sukhothai Historical Park, a World Heritage Site, a must-see. It is known for the photogenic Buddha’s head embedded in the trunk of a fig tree covered by the roots of the tree.
3. Shrine Of Truth
The Shrine of Truth is located near the coast of Pattaya, in the province of Chonburi. It is a temple of recent creation, made entirely of wood, without a piece of metal in the entire construction. The entire temple is covered with hand-carved sculptures based on Buddhist and Hindu motifs.
2. Wat Tham Seua
In the south of Thailand, the Wat Tham Seua or Tiger Cave temple is located near the city OF Krabi. It is impressive for its fantastic views. According to the story, a tiger used to live here. But, rather than a tiger, what you can find are cheeky monkeys. The chedi is accessed by a staircase of 1,234 steps, there is a temple with a huge golden Buddha sitting on a lotus flower and a stupa.
1. The Grand Royal Palace
The Grand Royal Palace – known as Phra Borom Maha Ratcha Wang – is the most sacred temple in Thailand. For some, it’s the most amazing place in the country. This architectural ensemble was built in 1782 to commemorate the founding of the capital. It’s located on the banks of the Chao Phraya River and consists of several buildings that served as the official residence of the king of Thailand from the eighteenth century to the mid-twentieth century.