Wat Phra Kaew: The king of Thai temples

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Wat Phra Kaew: Symbol of Thailand, the most beautiful temple

Wat Phra Kaew is the most beautiful and elegant temple I’ve ever seen in Thailand. No doubt it is the most well known landmark and the most published pictures of Thailand. Wat Phra Kaew shares the same compound with The Grand Palace, the other must-see in your Bangkok trip.

Officially known as Wat Phrasri Rattanasasdaram, Wat Phra Kaew is named in short after the Emerald Buddha (Phra Kaew,) housed in the temple. It is the only temple without monks. Wat Phra Kaew was built in 1782 based on the architecture of Wat Phra Sri Sanphet in Ayuthaya Province and the compounds alike that of Angkor Wat in Cambodia.

While most foreign tourists are here to witness its beauty and the workmanship, Bangkok people come to Wat Phra Kaew to worship the Emerald Buddha, one of the country’s most revered treasures. Its beauty also always draws many photographers to test their cameras and skills. You may leave out other temples if your time in Bangkok is short but never leave out Wat Phra Kaew, you are forewarned.

Hours: 8:30-11:30 am, 1-3:30 pm, daily
Admission: 350 Baht including The Grand Palace

Rating 5/5

A trip to Bangkok without visiting Wat Phra Kaew is like a trip to Paris without visiting the Notre Dame Cathedral. Wat Phra Kaew is the king of all temples. Of all your temple trips in Bangkok, Wat Phra Kaew and Wat Arun are the first or the last you should see. By doing so, you’ll see how beautiful they are from the rest. Interestingly, both temples do not have monks. This is the most photographed and filmed sites of Thailand. You can see Wat Phra Kaew in promotional videos on LCD TVs like Sony, Philips, Panasonic, etc.

Comparing to many other temples, Wat Phra Kaew is quite small but very rich in craftsmanship. And if you’re looking for a peaceful atmosphere, you’ve come to the wrong place because the temple is always mobbed with tourists.

Wat Phra Kaew is ideal for
-Travelers to Bangkok 5/5
-Photographers 5/5

Wat Phra Kaew is like heaven as described in the Thai literature and fairytales. Wat Phra Kaew
Wat Phra Kaew
The murals in Wat Phra Kaew were drawn by many artists. Some displayed their humor. This drawing in 1931 shows a rickshaw carrying an ape passenger! There are more humorous drawings like the no-bra female giants, a tug of war between men and apes, etc. Wat Phra Kaew murals
An artist renovating the murals. Wat Phra Kaew artist

Getting to Wat Phra Kaew
Tourist boat Pier: Maharaj