Category: Temples

The Grand Palace and Temple of Emerald Buddha

Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha)

One of Thailand’s most famous landmarks, the Grand Palace is a must-see for every visitor. Its foundations were laid down in 1782 by King Rama I, the first member of the Chakri dynasty. Later rulers added their own contributions to the complex. The Temple of the Emerald Buddha, known to Thai people as Wat Phra Kaew, is situated within the Grand Palace compound. The palace and temple is very crowded during the day with group tours, but if you visit towards the end of the day it is easier to take photos with less people in them.

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Wat Thung Si Muang

Wat Thung Si Muang

Wat Thung Si Mueang (วัดทุ่งศรีเมือง) in Ubon Ratchathani was constructed during the reign of King Rama III (1824-1851) to house a replica of the Buddha’s footprint. On the walls are beautiful mural paintings depicting episodes from Buddhist literature and scenes of local every life. The most beautiful structure in the temple is the wooden Tripitaka Library (Ho Trai) that was designed to sit on the stilts in the middle of the pool to prevent the scriptures from being eaten by insects. The architecture is a mixture of Laos and Rattankosin styles. Next to the Tripitaka Library is the Ho Phra Buddha Bot and the Wihan (ordination hall).

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Lottery Numbers at Wat Ban Chiang Pheng

Wat Ban Chiang Pheng

Wat Ban Chiang Pheng (วัดบ้านเชียงเพ็ง) in Yasothon is very popular with people looking for lottery numbers. A 200 year old boat was found nearby and brought to the temple. But people don’t come to visit out of historical interest. They come to rub the wood to find lottery numbers. It only needs one person to win big and then everyone wants to try their luck. The temple is very crowded in the days leading up to the lottery draw on the 1st and 16th of every month.

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Wat Ban Rai

Wat Ban Rai

Wat Ban Rai is a very well-known temple in Dan Khun Thot district of Nakhon Ratchasima province. It is where Luang Phor Koon Parisuttho, a famous monk, used to live. The temples main attraction is Wihan Thep Witthayakhom which is a rotunda building on an island in the middle of a lake. It is 42 metres high and has a diameter of about 65 meters.  It is decorated with almost 20 million mosaic tiles. On the roof there is a sculpture of Airavata, a mythological elephant which carries the Hindu god Indra. It features a 520-tonne head and two huge tusks.

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Wat Phumin

Wat Phumin in Nan

A uniquely designed and the most interesting temple in Nan is Wat Phumin which has a 4-portico, single building housing both the Ubosot and Wihan. Four Buddha statues with their backs against one another are installed in the main hall facing the four directions. The doors are delicately carved in splendid designs by Lanna craftsmen. The wall paintings, in Thai Lu style, are considered highly valuable and depict legends concerning the Lord Buddha as well as local legends and the local way of life. Visit Thailand from Above for aerial photos of Wat Phumin.

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Sacred Red Cloth Ceremony

Red Cloth Ceremony

Every year, the sacred red cloth on Phra Samut Chedi is changed. It is first paraded through Samut Prakan and Phra Pradaeng and then in the afternoon it is brought to Phra Samut Chedi by boat. It is then taken around the temple three times before being wrapped around the stupa. The parade marks the start of the ten day temple fair which is said to be the longest running temple fair in Thailand. It is certainly one of the biggest as it takes place on both sides of the river.

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Merit Making at The White Temple

The White Temple

One of the most well-known tourist attractions in Northern Thailand is Wat Rong Khun (วัดร่องขุ่น). It is the highlight of any visit to Chiang Rai province. Most foreigners know it by the name of The White Temple. It’s a really beautiful building both inside and out and is definitely worth a visit.  However, on 5th May 2014 it was damaged by an earthquake. The National Disaster Warning Center announced that this was the strongest earthquake ever recorded in Thailand. First reports suggested that it was damaged beyond repair. But, after an engineer surveyed the buildings, it was declared that it could be restored to its former glory. The main damage was a spire, roof tiles and some murals inside the temple building. Renovation is expected to take two years. Tourists are allowed to visit the temple but they cannot go inside the main building. Recently, local people held a merit making ceremony at the temple partly as a way to wash away any bad luck, but also to show tourists that everything is back to normal in Chiang Rai after the earthquake.

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Wat Saeng Kao Pohtiyan

Wat Saeng Kao Pohtiyan

Wat Saeng Kao Pohtiyan (วัดพระธาตุแสงแก้วโพธิญาณ) in Mae Suai district of Chiang Rai is an important pilgrimage site for disciples of Phra Siwichai. In the temple grounds can be found the largest lifelike image of him in Thailand. It is nine meters wide and twelve meters high. Around the temple complex there are a number of other giant religious statues. Buildings at this temple have architectural features of three distinct styles, namely Thai, Burmese and Lanna.

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