Bangkok’s best temples to visit during October
Bangkok’s most famous landmark, the Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, are closed for the Royal Cremation this month. Local resident expert Andrew J Wood suggests alternative temples to visit
Bangkok: October is the start of Thailand’s high season most people visiting Thailand will make a few days stop in Bangkok.
Vsitors should be aware that during October the country will pay homage to the late King Bhumiphol Adulyadej. The state funeral will take place 24-29 October 2017 with the actual cremation on the 26 October.
This is an immensely important and sad occasion for all Thais and Bangkok is expecting 250,000 visitors to view the cremation rites during this period.
In preparation the Grand Palace will be closed for most of October from 1st to 29th. So what alternative temples are there to see besides the Grand Palace in Thailand’s capital?
Located just next door to the Grand Palace is the wonderful Wat Pho. Home of Thai traditional massage. The grounds are extensive and beautiful, quite magnificent. Wat Pho is such an interesting and photogenic place to visit.
It’s also home to Thailand’s largest reclining Buddha.
In the temple grounds there is the famous and highly respected massage school, where Thai masseurs have been training since 1955. It’s open to the public and for a fee visitors can have the best Thai massage.
I visited recently and it was wonderful.
It’s easy and inexpensive and the massage centre is geared up for visitors. When you enter there is a changing area and you will be given pyjamas to wear which makes for a comfortable experience.
Wat Pho is located on Sanam Chai Road and Maharaj Road. +66 (0)2 225 9595. Open hours: 08.00-17.00 daily
Afterwards stop by the Riva Arun hotel for coffee/lunch/dinner, just minutes walk from Wat Pho. The hotel’s roof top Above Riva Restaurant-Café is open all day long and has the best river views in town. It’s located directly opposite Wat Arun.
Visiting Wat Arun is easy take the ferry across the river to the famed Temple of Dawn (as it is also known). It’s now Bangkok’s premier icon. It is visible from miles around, especially from the river.
34 Arun Amarin Road, Kwang Wat Arun, Khet Bangkok Yai. To get there by boat, take a cross-river ferry at Tha Tien Pier.
Open daily, 08.00-17.00 daily
Thailand is 95 percent Buddhist, there are hundreds of Bangkok temples. Here are a few of my favourites, if you get time…visit them all!
Wat Benchamabophitr – The Marble Temple
Wat Saket – Golden Mount
Wat Traimit – solid Gold Buddha
Remember to dress appropriately. It’s best to cover legs and shoulders or you may not be allowed in. Also in some temples open-toe footwear is not allowed. All footwear must be removed inside the temple halls.
Your travel provider will be able to give you full details of daily tours to all of Thailand’s attractions and temples and if necessary arrange transport and guides.