Top Temples in Bangkok

The Easy Guide to Must-Visit Bangkok Cultural Sites

Thailand boasts over 40,000 temples, so knowing which are the best temples to visit in Bangkok is a bit tricky. Navigate the temple scene efficiently with this guide, seeing the famous Bangkok temples without too much walking around in the heat.

Erawan Museum: Three-Headed-Elephant

Located at Chang Erawan with easy BTS Skytrain access, this temple is a marvel.

Explore the colossal three-headed elephant, Airavata, from Hindu mythology. Journey through the universe's layers inside the elephant, blending Buddhism, Hinduism, Mahayana Buddhism, and Christianity. The museum, built by eccentric millionaire Lek Viriyaphant, houses authentic antiques and offers serene gardens for a peaceful visit.

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Longtail Boat Temple Tour: Temple Hopping by River

Embark on a 1 to 2-hour longtail boat tour from Saphan Taksin pier for a unique temple experience. Cruise through the small ancient Bangkok canals, spotting at least twenty temples along the way. Customize your Chao Phraya River tour by asking the boat driver to stop at any temple you want to explore. Enjoy the tradition of buying a drink from a passing boat vendor - a whole coconut, or a beer, depending on your mood.

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Wat Arun, Wat Pho, & the Reclining Buddha 

Start your day with a visit to Wat Arun - the Temple of the Dawn - for its artistic details and spectacular river scenery before taking a shuttle boat across the Chao Phraya River to Wat Phra Chetuphon Wimon Mangkhalaram Rajwaramahawihanthe - More conveniently known as Wat Pho. 


Optimal timing starting around 2:30pm allows for an hour each at Wat Arun and Wat Pho before indulging in a riverside drink or dinner with a stunning sunset view at one of the many nearby riverside restaurants like Eagle’s Nest, The Roof, Eat Sight Story Deck, or Sala Rattanakosin.

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Grand Palace, and The Emerald Buddha

We don’t suggest trying to do too many temples in one day, give the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew - the temple of the Emerald Buddha - their own day so as to prevent temple fatigue. These spots can be hectic. After visiting the royal residence and seeing the stunning Emerald Buddha - Which is actually made of jasper - you will be about 1 km from Khao San Road where you can pretend to be a backpacker for the night and sit at any one of dozens of outdoor bars with a cold beverage. 

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The Ancient City Bangkok

This massive park is shaped like a map of Thailand, and was constructed by the same visionary behind the Erawan Museum. Sometimes called The Ancient Siam, you can explore 120 points of interest, including 50 replicas of cultural sites and 19 original artifacts. Cruise around the park in a golf cart, making it accessible for all visitors and perfect for us lazy explorers. 

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Cultural Tip

Respect Buddhist temple etiquette by dressing appropriately - long pants or skirts and covered shoulders are mandatory. Most temples provide wraps for a small rental fee, but carrying a scarf and sarong ensures a smooth visit. When in these sacred places, behave modestly and with a level of reverence you would show in an art gallery or library.

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