Not many days in town? Make sure to leave some time to visit these must-see attractions.
Temple of the Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho)
2 Sanamchai Road, Grand Palace Subdistrict, Bangkok; 02 226 0335
The Temple of the Reclining Buddha, or Wat Pho, is undoubtedly one of the largest and oldest temples in Bangkok. It is mostly famous for the gigantic statue of a reclining Buddha that measures around 45 meters in length, and has been the main attraction in Bangkok for many years. The galleries are also worth a visit as they house images of the Buddha from the ruins of the historic capitals, Sukhothai and Ayuthaya. Wat Pho is also known for the traditional Thai massage school where customers can both enjoy massages and take courses.
Temple of Dawn (Wat Arun)
158 Wang Doem Road, Wat Arun, Bangkok (take the boat to Pier Tha Tien and then take the ferry to cross the river; 02 891 2978
Wat Arun, also known as the Temple of Dawn, is best known for the stunning tower that sends out beams of light to brighten up Bangkok’s nightscape. The monumental tower is 70 meters in height, and it features pieces of colored glass and broken Chinese porcelain. Wat Arun is somewhat like the Eiffel Tower of Thailand: it glows brightly at night, and travelers can enjoy its magnificent sight while cruising on a boat along the Chao Phraya River. Because of its vibrancy and outstanding architecture, it is voted as the most popular sight for photography.
The Grand Palace
Na Phra Lan Rd, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok; 02 623 5500
Located near Wat Pho, the Grand Palace is considered one of the most significant places in Thailand. The monument houses much of Thailand’s history. The Grand Palace is exceptionally beautiful at night, as it glows with stunning golden lights. The sight’s major attraction is the magnificent Temple of the Emerald Buddha. The Grand Palace Hall contains historic items such as old weapons and artifacts. Each year, a crowd of people gathers around the Grand Palace to get a brief view of the Queen as she makes an appearance on the occasion of her birthday.
Ancient City (Mueang Boran)
296/1, Sukhumvit Road, Bang Pu, Samutprakan; 02 709 1644
The ancient city is one of the largest outdoor museums in the world. This massive historical site is 80 hectares in size and features 109 copies of the country’s most illustrious monuments and buildings. When entering the city, people can imagine themselves living in the past in a tranquil setting that greatly differs from the city outside. This site educates the visitors about the history of Thailand and also impresses them with scale models of monuments to offer a realistic experience for visitors. The museum offers bicycle rental service to make the tour even more convenient and efficient.
Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew)
Na Phra Lan Road, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok (same location as The Grand Place), 02 224 3290
Wat Phra Kaew, or the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, is considered the most valuable temple in Thailand. It is located inside another major attraction, the Grand Palace. The sight was sanctified back in the 14th century, and it remains the spiritual center of Thai religion today. Unlike the statues of the Buddha in other temples, the Emerald Buddha is relatively small, as it is only approximately 66 centimeters tall. Despite the statue’s small size, it is one of the most visited attractions due to its historical value. The Buddha is covered in different robes every season for ceremonial purposes.