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Temple of the Emerald Buddha

A small but extremely important Thai religious icon sits on a golden pedestal within the ornate Wat Phra Kaew structure on the grounds of the Grand Palace.

“Temple of the Emerald Buddha” is the English nickname for the striking place where you can admire the most sacred object in the Kingdom of Thailand: a small stone Buddha that sits in a meditative pose on an oversized golden throne. Thai people believe it is the oldest sculpture of Buddha, which makes it a much-worshipped object.

Wat Phra Kaew, as Thai people call the temple, is part of the Grand Palace complex. Its official name is Phra Sri Rattana Satsadaram, which means “the residence of the Holy Jewel Buddha.” The ornate temple was built in 1782 under King Rama I, who moved the Emerald Buddha from Wat Arun across the river.

Admire the temple’s mosaics and gilded features before you step inside. The Buddha statue doesn’t contain emeralds, and gets its name because it was carved from a single block of green jade stone. The statue was found hidden in stucco in a temple in Chieng Rai in the early 1400s.

In neighboring regions, you’ll find various conflicting chronicles about the creation and mystical travels of the ancient Emerald Buddha before it was rediscovered. Despite its unconfirmed age and origins, Thai culture still holds the statue in reverence. It is believed to bring legitimacy and prosperity to all who possess it.

Join the line of pilgrims who eagerly make the journey from all over the country to pay homage. At every change of season, the Thai king presides over the ceremonial changing of the Buddha’s outfit. As you make your way around the rest of the temple, don’t miss the model of Angkor Wat, the Cambodian temple complex where the statue was housed when it was under Siamese control. Step through the giant gatekeeping statues onto the temple balcony to see murals depicting the Ramayana legend.

The Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha are open daily but close by mid-afternoon, so get there early. As you enter the site, you are asked to dress respectfully, which includes covering arms, legs and feet. Ferry or taxi is the most convenient way to get there.


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ibis Styles Bangkok Khaosan Viengtai RM105
ibis Styles Bangkok Khaosan Viengtai

ibis Styles Bangkok Khaosan Viengtai

42 Rambuttri Rd., Banglampu Pranakorn, Bangkok, Bangkok
     
    3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Bangkok City Centre, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Khaosan Road and Bangkok Riverside. Thammasat University and Democracy Monument are also within 15 minutes.

    1905 Heritage Corner RM821
    1905 Heritage Corner

    1905 Heritage Corner

       
      3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Bangkok City Centre, this guesthouse is within a 10-minute walk of Giant Swing, Temple of the Emerald Buddha and Khaosan Road. Grand Palace and Wat Pho are also within 15 minutes. MRT Wat Mangkon Station is 27 minutes by foot.

      Santo House RM105
      Santo House

      Santo House

         
        2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Bangkok City Centre, this guesthouse is within a 10-minute walk of Khaosan Road, Bangkok Riverside and Sanamluang. Thammasat University and Wat Pho are also within 15 minutes. MRT Wat Mangkon Station is 30 minutes by foot.

        Pa Prank - Hostel
        Pa Prank - Hostel

        Pa Prank - Hostel

           
          2.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Bangkok City Centre, this hostel is within a 10-minute walk of Khaosan Road, Temple of the Emerald Buddha and Bangkok Riverside. Thammasat University and Grand Palace are also within 15 minutes. MRT Wat Mangkon Station is 30 minutes by foot.

          D Hostel Bangkok
          D Hostel Bangkok

          D Hostel Bangkok

             
            2.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Bangkok City Centre, this hostel is within a 10-minute walk of Khaosan Road, Temple of the Emerald Buddha and Bangkok Riverside. Sanamluang and Democracy Monument are also within 10 minutes.

            The Bhuthorn Bed and Breakfast RM457
            The Bhuthorn Bed and Breakfast

            The Bhuthorn Bed and Breakfast

               
              3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Bangkok City Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Temple of the Emerald Buddha, Bangkok Riverside and Khaosan Road. Grand Palace and Wat Pho are also within 15 minutes. MRT Wat Mangkon Station is 25 minutes by foot.

              Siri Poshtel Bangkok RM59
              Siri Poshtel Bangkok

              Siri Poshtel Bangkok

                 
                3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Bangkok City Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Khaosan Road, Temple of the Emerald Buddha and Sanamluang. Bangkok Riverside and Thammasat University are also within 15 minutes. MRT Wat Mangkon Station is 29 minutes by foot.

                OYO 378 Bright Minitel
                OYO 378 Bright Minitel

                OYO 378 Bright Minitel

                   
                  2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Bangkok City Centre, this guesthouse is within a 10-minute walk of Khaosan Road, Bangkok Riverside and Sanamluang. Thammasat University and Wat Pho are also within 15 minutes. MRT Wat Mangkon Station is 29 minutes by foot.