Thai Temple Tour Guide
The first morning of the new year is a significant restarting point in lives of many people worldwide, just like the Thais. Many Thais ring in the first day of the new year in an extraordinary fashion. In combination with age-old Buddhist practice to pursue prosperity for the rest of the year, thousands of Thais take the challenge to visit 9 temples in one day. Thai temple tour is becoming more popular as the temples are featured in various films and documentaries around the world.
Making merit, known as ทำบุญ (Tham Boon) and temple visits are commonly performed by Thai Buddhists to mark every special occasion, from birthday to wedding day. Although recently, temple visits have become more of a sightseeing event rather than a Buddhist ritual, there are still plenty of chances to make merit within the temple. For example, releasing fish back into river is believed to help get rid of your bad luck. Making donations is believed to bring good luck and fortune. For a more prosperous lives to come, people help clean temples and make prayers.
Making merit is intertwined with the Thai culture of giving and sharing. Hence why Thai people often donate, share and give at every occasion. Additionally, the beliefs in afterlife and in ghosts and spirits add to the many reasons why Thai people like to make merit.
Why 9 temples?
Legend has it that the more temples one visits, the more good deeds or “Boon” you’d receive. Since it’s impossible to visit every temple in a day, 9 is the settled number. According to Thai tradition, the number 9 or “kao” is auspicious and a blessed number. It sounds exactly as the Thai word for ก้าว (kao) “taking a step forward” along with the term to progress, known as ก้าวหน้า (kao na).
The play on words is as smooth as silk. It harmoniously melds with today’s tradition of temple visits and merit-making to bring the visitor prosperity, good luck, and fortune. The saying goes, “visit nine temples in a day, and your life will be blessed for the entire year.”
To make your visit to Thailand inspiring and memorable, we’ve laid out a plan for you consisting of temples that will leave you spell-bounded by their beauty, splendor, and serene vibes. You’ll probably want to start early on this trip as you will not want to visit temples at night! Note on dress code; sleeveless tops, shorts and sandals are prohibited in many temples.
Hop on Chao Praya River Boat at the Taksin Bridge Pier. This will take you through the renowned Chao Praya River where you can conveniently disembark and visit famous riverside temples. Ready, set, and go!
The temple of dawn, the iconic temple of Bangkok. The name came from when King Taksin was fighting his way out of Ayutthaya during the Burmese invasion, he arrived at this temple just when dawn was breaking. The central spire with a unique design and fine craftmanship is the photo spot of this temple.
Temple of dawn (Wat Arun) is famous for its Thai-Chinese decorations of porcelain and statues of Chinese characters.
The temple of bells. A giant bell with a beautiful sound was found inside this temple and was later moved to the Grand Palace. There is a museum of old Thai paintings hidden inside this temple and is a must-visit spot!
Experience the tranquil air within the main temple where the big golden buddha is situated. The decoration within the temple is a mixed of Chinese and Thai as this temple is also worshipped by many oversea Chinese communities.
The giant golden buddha statue at Kalayanamit temple is over 15m tall.
A UNESCO-award winning temple for the restoration of the main chedi inside the temple. Don’t forget to go inside the chedi to see the unique infrastructure and travel back in time.
The award-winning chedi of Wat Prayurawongsawas can be seen from afar with its iconic white color and lean shape.
Bangkok Old Town
Wat Phra Sri Rattana Satsadaram aka The Emerald Buddha Temple
This temple is situated within the Grand Palace. The emerald buddha is believed to be one of the most sacred in Thailand. Notice the buddha’s attire as it is changed in different seasons. This is the must-visit temple in Thailand as it’s the most famous temple, and is situated right in the Grand Palace so you’ll get to visit both places at once.
The popular view of the grand palace and the Emeral Buddha temple.
The temple of the reclining buddha. Get mesmerized by the size of this golden buddha statue and the beautiful wall paintings.
The royal temple with unique layout featuring a circular courtyard in the middle of the temple. It is the reminiscent of both traditional Thai architecture and gilded Italian architectural influences.
The circular courtyard at Ratchabophit temple is open for tourist visit all year round.
Wat Traimit, or Golden Buddha Temple
This temple holds the Guinness World Record for the largest solid gold sculpture. The buddha statue is situated within the main building and weighs over 5 tonnes.
Wat Mangkon Kamalawat, or Wat Leng Noei Yi
A Chinese Buddhist temple situated in the heart of Chinatown. Light a lantern, make some prayer and end your day with delicious street food in Yaowarat Chinatown.
There are a lot of temples in Thailand, each has its own uniqueness and history. This plan curates the exceptionally extravagant and famous temples by the river and those with auspicious meanings for making merit in the new year. Of course, temples are opened everyday so don’t worry if you can’t visit all in a day. Alternatively, let us bring Thailand to you with our authentic Thai snack box delivered to your doorstep!