Temples are culturally significant in the Kingdom of Thailand. More than just places for people to worship, temples also help provide poor people with education and food. Specifically, children from families in the poverty line can get free education from temples from ages 6 to 12.
There are currently 33,902 active temples in Thailand. 20,281 of these have received recognition from the Royal Family.
With the number of temples in the 5-digit range, it is, without doubt, very difficult to pick which one you will want to visit in your next sojourn into the Kingdom. You could, however, pick a few and add them to your itinerary. What’s important is that you’re able to choose which temple you’d like to see on your next holiday.
Here are some of the temples in Thailand that are worth visiting:
Wat Phra Si Rattana Satsadaram
Located in the historical center of the Thai capital, Bangkok, this temple has both religious and state importance. It was first built in the 18th century by King Rama I, and was continually developed by succeeding kings in the Chakri dynasty.
The Wat Phra Si Rattana Satsadaram, which is also referred to as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, plays a major role in Thai national affairs. Annual events hosted or presided by the monarchy are always held in the temple, which makes it both a national and monarchial shrine.
The temple also venerates the Emerald Buddha, a 2-feet statue curiously made of jasper, and not emerald as the name suggests. The temple also houses objects donated by the kings of the Chakri Dynasty in its capacity as the royal treasury.
Phuket Big Buddha
Sometimes the beach vibe can become exhausting, even for the most avid ocean lover. If you’d like to experience some peace and relaxation in the otherwise bustling island of Phuket, you should head on over to the Phuket Big Buddha temple.
The Buddha’s size is impressive at 45 meters. Located on top of a hill in western Phuket, the place offers panoramic views of the beautiful Bay of Andaman and the lush hills and forests surrounding the temple. Because it’s oriented to the West, it’s guaranteed to provide breathtaking views of the Thai sunset.
Though its size is diminutive as compared to those two temples above, the Phraya Nakhon Buddhist temple more than makes up for it with uniqueness.
The temple is located inside the Phraya Nakhon cave. To get to the cave, you have to go to Hua Hin and visit Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park. You can take a short boat ride to Laem Sala Beach, where you’ll find the entrance to the cave after a climb of 430 meters. The physical exertion is well worth it, because, by the time you enter the cave, you’ll find a beautifully maintained Buddhist Temple situated right underneath an opening in the mountain.
Best place to visit would be in the early morning, so you can see the temple slowly illuminated by the light of the rising sun.
The beautiful thing about Thailand is that, if you have a love for temples, you could spend your entire life exploring the Kingdom without running out of temples to visit.