The Ultimate Guide to Wat Phra Kaew. Thailand has a ton of temples to see so it can be hard to decide which ones to see. It’s naïve to think you’ll be able to see them all. While I can’t attest for all of the temples, I’ll share my favorite. Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha) is considered by many to be the most important temple in Thailand. Located right in the middle of the historic area of Bangkok the temple is easily accessible. This makes Wat Phra Kaew one of the easiest temples to visit.
Ultimate Guide to Wat Phra Kaew
The whole complex houses a ton of temples, each more beautiful than the next. The closer I got to a building the more I could appreciate the intricate details that surrounded it. Outside of the Temple that houses the Emerald Buddha, there is a basin with water lilies. Here you and a friend can bless each other.
Once you are ready to visit the temple you must remove your shoes and you can enter.
At first, I was disappointed that no pictures were allowed inside the temple. However, after experiencing it for myself, I’m glad. When you walk in, everyone is kneeling before the Buddha bowing and praying. I sat down and felt hesitant to bow because I didn’t know how to do the prayer and didn’t want to offend anyone. Luckily we were sitting next to a couple who taught us how to perform the prayer and we followed their lead. I’m not sure how much time went by but I do know we were there for a while. At some point, I looked over at my friend and I realized we were both crying.
I felt a sudden and overwhelming feeling of happiness.
Often times we take so much for granted and think we are unlucky. But the truth is, even though I have experienced a lot of sadness and heartache, I so blessed. I have been to hundreds of temples, churches, mosques and I have never had a spiritual experience like I had at this temple. I’m not sure what did it for me but, I left feeling blessed and like I had cried out all the negative feelings I had been carrying. It was an experience I will never forget. While you may not experience the same spiritual connection I did, I guarantee you’ll appreciate the beautiful temple and its surroundings.
Guide to Visiting Wat Phra Kaew
Where to Stay
There are a ton of hotels and hostels within the area and they can range from prices. We use Agoda when booking hostels or hotels . The great thing about Bangkok is that because it is on the backpacker circuit there are a ton of budget places. You get a ton more bang for your buck in Bangkok. Most recently we stayed at Lub d Siam Hostel. We got a private room and it was the perfect launching place to explore Bangkok.
I was with a tour so transportation was taken care of. The Grand Palace is located on Na Phra Lan Road, Old City. Standard buses (red, white/blue) 44, 47 and 91 stop on Thaiwang road between Wat Pho and Wat Phra Kaew, and buses 1, 25, 44, 47, 82 and 91 stop on Maharat road, on the west of Wat Phra Kaew. You can also hire a taxi or tuk-tuk.
The temples are in open air so bring sunscreen you will need it. This is a religious site no short pants or short skirts, no shoulders showing. Sarongs are available for rent at the entrance. There is an on going scam where taxi drivers or people outside will tell you the compound is closed. They hope to lure you to another attraction, don’t fall for it, the compound is open always check online.
Tickets & Admission
Wat Phra Kaew is open from 8.30 am to 3.30 pm. Entrance fee of 500 Baht/15 USD. We paid $40 for a tour guide and transportation and I would highly recommend our tour if you would like a guided experience.