This post is part of the series Bangkok
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This post is part of the series Thailand
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Even if you’re done with the temple hopping in Bangkok, there is no way you can miss the Golden Mount Temple called Wat Saket! This is one of the best places for sunset and the best 360-degree breezy views over Bangkok.
Wat Saket is an ancient temple, one of the oldest in Bangkok, dating back to the Ayutthaya Period. The temple is in the quiet corner of Bangkok’s Old Town just outside the old royal city precincts, and close to the Kao San Road.
I visited Wat Saket Temple on a very sunny afternoon after spending several hours at the most insane market I’ve seen so far – the Chatuchak Market. The outside temperature was about 35° and I cannot think of a better place to calm down after this crazy experience with millions of people at Chatuchak.
Different from all Buddhist Temples we managed to visit so far in Bangkok, Wat Saket was not touristy at all! We were probably the only western tourists at that time of the day and I truly enjoyed the original atmosphere of Bangkok!
So, get away from streams of tourists in Wat Pho and The Grand Palace and visit this quiet and peaceful place on the top of a unique hill in the middle of old town Bangkok! You won’t regret it!
Wat Saket: a Brief History
Wat Saket is built based on Ayutthaya style and its origins can be traced back to the Ayutthaya period, which lasted from 1350 until 1767. The temple was originally known as Wat Sakae but during the reign of King Rama I, it was renamed to Wat Saket. During that time, Wat Saket area was outside the city walls of the newly established city of Bangkok. During the Reign of King Rama I, Wat Saket got completely renovated and during the reign of King Rama II, it served as a crematorium. Thousands of bodies are buried here, as most of them were plague victims.
The steep and 77 m tall artificial hill was built in Ayutthaya-style during the reign of King Rama III. He wanted to build a large chedi on the site to mark the entrance to the city. So, King Rama III decided to build a stupa for meditation and praying but his creation collapsed before it was completed due to the soft riverbank soil of Bangkok. Some years later, King Rama IV built a small stupa on the rests of the collapsed stupa. His son, King Rama V completed the projects as added a relic of the Buddha (some of Buddha´s teeth) inside the stupa that he got from Sri Lanka.
The present Temple Wat Saket is the result of renovation and restoration realized in the 20th century.
Wat Saket: How to Get There
The walk up to Golden Mount is beautiful, there are almost no tourists which makes the experience peaceful and more authentic! Before beginning the climb to the top, I thought that 344 steps combined with the 35° outside temperature might be a challenge. But don’t worry! The path is well-paved and the climb relatively easy. The steps are wide and long and wrapped around the mountain in a manageable slope.
Along the walk, you’ll pass a series of bells that can be rung for good luck. Oh Lord, I should be a lucky girl as I rang every single bell along the way … After about a twenty-minute walk, several resting spots, viewpoints and a couple of photos we were rewarded with a stunning 360° panorama of Bangkok! From here you can see the whole city, and on a sunny day, you can even spot the Grand Palace.
The temple was not crowded at all! We, as the only western tourists and the local Thais who were here to worship. I think that visiting Wat Saket during the evening time when the golden structure glows from sunlight would be amazing! It’s a shame that I didn’t think about this during our stay in Bangkok!
This post is part of the series BangkokOther posts in this series:Wat Arun: The Temple of Dawn in Bangkok, ThailandWat Pho: The Temple of Reclining Buddha in BangkokGrand Palace: The Golden Palace of Kings in Bagkok (Current)This post is part of the series ThailandOther posts in this series:3 Week Thailand ItineraryWat Arun: The Temple of […]
Things to Know Before You Go
Official Name: Wat Saket Ratcha Wora Maha Wihan
Adress: Khlong Maha Nak Subdistrict, Pom Prap Sattru Phai District, Bangkok.
Opening Hours: Wat Saket is open every day from Monday-Sunday – from 8:00 am till Sunset
Tickets:50 Baht (1.5 €)
Hotels Near Wat Saket: Find the best deals here!
This post is part of the series BangkokOther posts in this series:Wat Arun: The Temple of Dawn in Bangkok, ThailandWat Pho: The Temple of Reclining Buddha in Bangkok (Current)Grand Palace: The Golden Palace of Kings in BagkokThis post is part of the series ThailandOther posts in this series:3 Week Thailand ItineraryWat Arun: The Temple of […]
Have you been to any of Bangkok´s thousand temples? Do you have any favourites? Please leave a comment in the comment area below, I would love to hear from you!
Enjoy the day!
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5 Must-See Temples in Bangkok
On the second day of our Phi Phi Islands trip, we joined a full day speed boat tour to Bamboo