In Thailand the complex of temples with gardens and special buildings like the bell room and prayer room are called ‘Wat’. Bangkok has 30.000 Wat complexes. A few of them are remarkable and worth visiting for tourists. The ones we have visited are Wat Phra Kaeo and Wat Pho ve Wat Arun.
Wat Phra Kaeo:
Wat Phra Kaeo is the home of the famous Emerald Buddha. This area is surrounded with 1900m walls and it was like the city itself after it was built in 1782. The Royal Family does not live here anymore, but this complex is still one of the most visited places in Bangkok.
The Royal Pantheon was built in 1855 for the Emerald Buddha by Rama IV, but since the building was too small for the Buddha the plan was changed at the end. Right now there are statues of five previous kings in the building and it is only open once a year on April 6th, which is the Chakri Dynasty day.
The Emerald Buddha has been located here since 1784. It was 45cm tall, not as huge as I thought, but it was absolutely fascinating. I cannot share any pictures of it because no one was allowed to take photos inside.
The second temple we visited was Wat Pho, which is next to the Grand Palace. This is the oldest and biggest temple in Bangkok, and well-known for the statue of “Reclining Buddha”. Before I saw the statue, I didn’t know it was that huge; 15m high and 43m long, and it was literally laying down on its side.
My favorite temple was Wat Arun because it was very simple and smaller than the other ones. It is 70m tall and covered with colorful ceramics, and known as the ‘Temple of Dawn’. We climbed up the steep stairs until the middle of the tower. The view was completely worth the climb in the middle of the day under the burning sun.
The hardest part of the temple visits was the clothing rules despite the hot weather. We needed to find shadow shelters between buildings to freshen up a little. Apart from that it was very fascinating to see those historical structures.