5 Thai temples every visitor must see

Many of the visitors Thailand sees each year are travelling across the country, enjoying many different sights and experiences. It’s a country with many fascinating attractions but its Buddhist temples are amongst the most stunning, otherworldly sights. Here are five of the most attractive Buddhist temples that Thailand has to offer.

Wat Phra Kaew

Also known as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, Wat Phra Kaew sits in the capital city of Bangkok. It’s inside the Royal Palace and is one of the country’s most well-known Buddhist temples. A small statue of Buddha is seated on a massive golden altar and the temple is lavishly decorated in exotic and lustrous designs. Taking an apartment or hotel in the city centre makes this temple easily within reach for a real exploration.

Phra Kaew

Wat Phra Yai

On a small rocky island just to the north-east of Koh Samui you’ll find the affectionately named Big Buddha Temple. Clearly named for its huge, 12-metre high seated Buddha this new temple, built in 1972, remains one of the island’s most popular attractions. A popular honeymoon and wedding destination, once you’ve booked your luxury private villa, a trip to Wat Phra Yai must be added to your itinerary. The Big Buddha is one of the first landmarks visitors to the isle by air see.

Phra Yai

Wat Phra Mahathat

Situated in the city of Nakon Si Thammarat, Wat Phra Mahathat is one of the oldest Buddhist temples in the whole country. It serves as a spiritual centre for all the Buddhists of south Thailand and was built in the 14th century. It houses an ancient Sri Lankan Buddha statue which is believed to be over 2000 years old.

Phra Mahathat

Wat Chalong

Phuket is home to 29 different Buddhist temples but Wat Chalong is one of the most important. It has been dedicated to two honourable monks, Luang Pho Chuang and Luang Pho Chaem which makes it particularly well-renowned. The walls are decorated within paintings honouring and telling the tale of Buddha’s life. A trip to Phuket is not complete without visiting this temple.

Wat Chalong

Wat Arun

Another of Bangkok’s recognisable temples, Wat Arun is very close to the centre of the city. It is also known as the Temple of Dawn and is home to a famous statue of Phra Phrom, the Thai representation of the Hindu god Brahma. The temple features an imposing 260 foot tower which can be accessed via staircase and gives some of the finest views of the whole of Bangkok.

Arun

The spiritual side of Thailand is something many people really engage with and if you’re interested in Buddhism then the sheer number of Thai temples can be overwhelming. These five should be on your list if you’re visiting the whole country but if not, try and enjoy at least one.

Mark Cox is Director at Samui Island Villas.

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