Going on holiday to Thailand? You'll want to visit atleast one of the main Buddhist temples to get a taste for the culture.
The vast majority of people in Thailand are Buddhists for whom the temple plays an important role in the spiritual wellbeing of individuals and the community. Wherever you happen to find yourself in Thailand you’ll never be too far from a temple where you can go to offer your prayers and “make merit” even if you aren’t Buddhist. Although all Buddhist temples share similar beautiful characteristics, there are some that are architecturally more magnificent and historically significant. Below we’ve mentioned just a few of the best temples to visit while on holiday in Thailand.
Phra Kaeo Temple in Thailand
Phra Kaeo temple is situated in the capital city of Bangkok and is more commonly known as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha because it houses a small two foot jade statue of Buddha which rests upon a huge golden alter. The temple is very elaborately decorated with a rich array of colours that are sure to astonish and dazzle all visitors. This Buddhist temple is also significant in that it is the official royal chapel where the revered Thai royal family goes to perform their religious ceremonies. Phra Kaeo temple is situates inside the grounds of the Royal Palace and aside from the decorations of the actual building is home to some fascinating paintings and sculptures.
Erawan Temple in Thailand
The Erawan temple is also situated in Bangkok very near the town centre and can be reached on foot from the Lom BTS station. Often called the Temple of Dawn, the most striking characteristic of this temple is its 260ft tower designed in the Khmer architectural style which can be climbed through a narrow and steep staircase. While climbing the tower may not be for everyone, those who do brave the steps are rewarded with an excellent view of Bangkok below from where the river and Royal Palace can be seen below.
Mahathat Temple in Thailand
Mahathat temple is situated in the city of Nakon Si Thammarat which is on the Southern Peninsula. This temple serves as a spiritual centre for Thai Buddhists who live in the Muslim dominated south of Thailand, and devotees travel from far and wide to visit it. The Mahathat temple has a tremendous amount of history being built in the 14th century. Among the highlights of a visit to the Mahathat Temple in Thailand are the relics of a Sri Lankan Buddha statue thought to have been brought over to Thailand more than 1000 years ago.
Yai Chai Mongkon Temple in Thailand
This Buddhist temple is located in the town of Phitsamulak and is one of the most revered temples in all of Thailand drawing in devotees from all corners of Thailand who make pilgrimage here to gain merit. The artifact of most note that is housed here is an image of Phra Buddha Chinarit which dates back to the era of the Sukhothai Kingdom which is believed to be the first unified Thai Kingdom in History.