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“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.” – Martin Buber

Bangkok Temples (Part 1)

Being the Thailand’s capital, Bangkok gets more than its fair share of magnificent temples.  I’ve gone to a lot of temples over the years, and I believe that this city houses some of the most stunning temples and Buddha statues ever built. I honestly think that no Bangkok experience would ever be complete without visiting one, no matter how touristy they could become.

My friends and I went to three of the most popular temples in Bangkok, namely the Wat Po, Wat Arun, and Wat Phra Kaew.

Wat Pho

Entrance Fee: 100 THB

It was our first day in Bangkok when we visited this temple. It houses the Golden Reclining Buddha. I’m not even sure how the statue got inside the temple, or whether the temple was built after the statue was created. Either way, the Buddha statue was stunning.

Bangkok Temples, What to do in Bangkok

One of the most serene faces of the Buddha

Bangkok Temples, What to do in Bangkok

Altar

As I walked down the hall to see the Buddha from head to toe, I heard somebody say, “take my photo, we get this chance just once in a lifetime!” At the back of my mind, I cannot help but smile. I was here, four years ago, and now I was standing here again. I cannot describe the feeling. It dawned on me that it really isn’t impossible to make things happen — we just have to want it badly enough to make it happen.

Bangkok Temples, What to do in Bangkok

Hello everyone!

Bangkok Temples, What to do in Bangkok

An ornate wall panel in the temple

Bangkok Temples, What to do in Bangkok

Feet of the gigantic reclining Buddha

Near the foot of the statue were alms bowls, where visitors are given the opportunity to take part in the ceremony. Have your money change into coins, drop one per bowl, then drop all the remaining coins into the last bowl and make a wish!

Bangkok Temples, What to do in Bangkok

Taking part in alms giving tradition

Bangkok Temples, What to do in Bangkok

Bangkok Temples, What to do in Bangkok

Bangkok Temples, What to do in Bangkok

Royal Tombs

Bangkok Temples, What to do in Bangkok

Bangkok Temples, What to do in Bangkok

Bangkok Temples, What to do in Bangkok

Golden statues inside Wat Pho

Next, we proceeded the Thai massage school since we wanted to soothe our tired bodies. But oh boy, the wait time was an hour! There was no way we would wait that long. The ladies gave us a brochure and pointed us to another massage place, somewhat like a sister company of this school, yet we just saved it for another time, since it’s almost sundown and we wanted to go to Wat Arun.

Wat Arun

Entrance Fee: 50 THB

From Wat Po, walk to the cross-river ferry terminal (about 5 minutes), then pay for your fare. I think it was only about 3 baht per person.

The ride was very short, since you could actually see the temple without even crossing the Chao Phraya River. Anyway, the timing was perfect since the sun was already beginning to set!

Bangkok Temples, What to do in Bangkok

Crossing the Chao Phraya River

Bangkok Temples, What to do in Bangkok

Sitting pretty in the cross-river ferry

It’s one of those temples that I liked from afar, to be honest, since it has this nice architecture that becomes framed as the sun is going down. Yet, there was no way I was going to miss climbing it.

Bangkok Temples, What to do in Bangkok

Bangkok Temples, What to do in Bangkok

Bangkok Temples, What to do in Bangkok

Last photo of Wat Arun before my camera ran out of battery!

After three flights of stairs, we were on the highest point allowed for tourists. The view wasn’t exactly impressive, yet you could see the magnificent Grand Palace from here. Plus, you get to see the boats race up or down the Chao Phraya River.

Going down the  was a different story. My knees were shaking. The steps were really steep! They were only three flights of stairs, but I don’t know how many floors they were equivalent of.

I’ll continue with Bangkok temples next time! Happy travels!

Click here for Part 2 of this post.

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13 comments on “Bangkok Temples (Part 1)

  1. vastlycurious.com
    May 24, 2013

    Wonderful! Bookmarked it ! I hope I can go one day!

    • Karen
      May 24, 2013

      Thanks! Nothing is impossible. 🙂 I’ve never thought of being there before, much more to be back there. Happy travels!

  2. Les Petits Pas de Juls
    May 24, 2013

    Wat Pho was definitely my favorite too! that Buddha just turned my head upside down, I was struck speechless!

    • Karen
      May 24, 2013

      It’s so big and glittering with gold! How can one not be fascinated? 🙂

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This entry was posted on May 23, 2013 by in Bangkok, Thailand, Travel and tagged , , , , , , .
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