Thailand Temples are emblematic of the affection of the Thai population to the religion. Over 90% of the Thai inhabitants are devoted to Theravada Buddhism. On the Thai soil there are over 40.000 Buddhist temples, of which over 30.000 are still in use today.
Thai people make use of the Buddhist Thailand Temples as a place of aggregation (not differently from the Western use of the churches), where to pray to Buddha for health or good luck, but also to ask the monks advice about the things of everyday life.
Tourists also love to visit Thailand Temples because of their magnificent and impressive structures. Nonetheless it is always worthy to keep in mind that they are first of all a place of devotion: it is required to dress properly (no vests, or short shorts are allowed) and to behave respectfully.
I had the opportunity to wander around many different Thailand temples, both recent and ancient. If you are interested in discover this religious, and social, side of the Land of the Smile, I would suggest you to visit at least 3 different cities of the country.
Thailand Temples – Bangkok
The first place to start to appreciate the culture of Thailand Temples is obviously Bangkok. the Thai capital, as you can imagine, is home to some of the biggest and most beautiful and magnificent temples of Thailand. In the only city of Bangkok, there are over 400 temples in the city of Bangkok, so it is impossible to visit them all. Bangkok Attractions gives a good insight to some of the best known temples of the city.
In my opinion, a visit to Bangkok must include a stroll in the majestic Grand Palace structure, hosting the Wat Phra Kaeo, where you can admire the Emerald Buddha, considered the holiest and most important icon of the country.
Other very famous temples in Bangkok are Wat Pho, Bangkok’s oldest temple, well known because it hosts an enormous reclining Buddha, and Wat Traimit, house of the huge Golden Buddha, the largest solid Buddha in the world.
Although, for most of the visitors, the most attractive and distinctive temple is the Temple of Dawn, Wat Arun, on the banks of the Chao Phraya River.
Temples of Thailand – Ayutthaya
Ayutthaya is only 80 km north of Bangkok. It is easy to reach it via train: it is a pleasant one hour ride from the Thai capital, so it is also easy to visit it as a one day getaway.
The whole center of Ayutthaya hosts many ruins of ancient Buddhist temples: the place is nowadays designated as World Heritage Site from the UNESCO.
My suggestion is to rent a bicycle and to wander for a full day around the temples, to have a full view of the beautiful remains Ayutthaya offers.
Temples of Thailand – Chiang Mai
From Ayutthaya you can either go back to Bangkok or catch a convenient and comfortable overnight train to another beautiful city, Chiang Mai. Chiang Mai is the second biggest city of Thailand, in the northwest part of the country. It is nowadays used by tourists mainly as a hub to explore the beautiful green surroundings: a starting point to many trekking paths.
Although the city is pretty big, the ancient historical center of Chiang Mai is relatively small, and it can easily be visited by foot. I suggest you to spend at least half a day to explore the area within the city walls: you will find a good choice of ancient temples, such as Wat Phra Sing, or Wat Chedi Luang.
So, what do you think of this quick glimpse into the beautiful temples of Thailand? Are you eager to get to know more and maybe to plan a visit? I am working on a great itinerary in the north of Thailand for December 2017! Feel free to get in contact with me via mail or leave a line in the comments below if you want to know more and are eager to explore with me!
Date of Last Visit: January 2016