Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha)

A must-see site, but be warned: the statue is jade

Photo of , , Bangkok

What we say: 4.5 stars

Built in 1782 by King Rama I, Wat Phra Kaew, or Temple of the Emerald Buddha, is home to the most sacred image in Thailand, the Emerald Buddha – actually made of jade.

Wat Phra Kaew is the grandest temple in Bangkok and the standard against which all others are measured.

The Emerald Buddha first came to attention in Chiang Rai, from where it took a somewhat circuitous journey via Lampang, Chiang Mai and Luang Prabang to Vientiane. It was in Vientiane when the Thais sacked the city and carted it off to Bangkok.

The Buddha's costumes are changed according to Thailand's three seasons. In the hot season he wears a crown and ornaments of an Ayutthayan king, in rainy season he wears a gilded monks robe and in the cool season a full-length gold shawl is added.

When not being used by the royal family, the temple is open to the public. The temple and chapel contain architectural features from both the Ayutthaya and Rattanakosin periods and detailed murals featuring the life of Buddha and the Ramakien. 



Impressively gorgeous with many buildings, murals and statues to check out, a visit here can easily last half a day. Walking around is extremely hot so early morning is the best time for a visit.

Entry will be refused if you are not dressed appropriately, and photography, filming and recording is strictly banned indoors. Remember to remove your shoes upon entering and if seated, turn the soles of your feet away so they are not facing the Buddha.

More details
Na Phra Lan Rd
http://grandpalacebangkok.com/
Opening Hours: Daily 08:30-16:00; last admission 15:30
How to get there: Via the Chao Phraya River Express Boat, jump off at Tha Chang (N9). Buses servicing the area include ordinary buses 1, 3, 6, 25, 44, 47, 53, 82, 91, 508 and 512. Beware of touts telling you that the temple is closed.
Last updated: 16th February, 2012

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