Wat Phra Kaew

#38 - Bangkok, Thailand
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You can't help but feel at peace in the most sacred Buddhist temple in Thailand.
It's also known as "Temple of the Emerald Buddha." Adjoining the Grand Palace, the temple is the greatest spectacle of Bangkok. There are over 100 brightly-colored buildings, all unique unto themselves. With golden spirals and intricate mosaics, our #38 destination is a glistening oasis of religion, history and art in the middle of Thailand. Built in 1782 during Rama I's reign, the Emerald Buddha, which gives it its name, is traced to India, centuries after Lord Buddha attained Nirvana and then had it enshrined in Bangkok.
Slide 1
Army Protecting the Emerald Buddha
#1 Wat Phra Kaew Photo - Brad Harbach
Slide 2
Looking over the Temple
#2 Wat Phra Kaew Photo - Brad Harbach
Slide 3
Beautiful Statue
#3 Wat Phra Kaew Photo - Brad Harbach
Slide 4
The Royal Guards
#4 Wat Phra Kaew Photo - Brad Harbach
Slide 5
Temple of the Emerald Buddha
#5 Wat Phra Kaew Photo - Zhao Naidoo
Slide 6
Kaleidoscope Buddha
#6 Wat Phra Kaew Photo - Brad Harbach
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Quick Facts & History

  • Wat Phra Kaew is a Buddhist temple in Thailand that was built to house the famous Emerald Buddha, a figure of much controversy and rumor. The Emerald Buddha is kept in the Chapel of the Emerald Buddha within the temple.
  • The Emerald Buddha is actually made of green jade, not emerald! It is clothed in gold and only about 45 cm. tall, a rather small figure to have an entire temple built just to house it! However small, the Emerald Buddha is revered as the most important representation of the Buddha in all of Thai Buddhism.
  • There is a lot of controversy over the true ownership rights over the Emerald Buddha; it was returned to Thailand after Thailands capture of Vientiane in 1778.
  • It is considered blasphemy to point your feet towards the Emerald Buddha! Doing so could get you ejected!
  • There are several other monuments, including a model of Angkor Wat (Absolute Visit #7!), a sacred Cambodian shrine. This model was built as a reminder that the neighboring state of Cambodia was under the jurisdiction of Thailand.
  • Another popular site at Wat Phra Kaew are the elephant statues scattered throughout the complex, representing influence and power. It is common for parents to walk their children around the perimeter of an elephant three times for good luck.

Where is Wat Phra Kaew?


Photos from Wat Phra Kaew

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Army Protecting the Emerald Buddha
Ranked #1 by Brad Harbach
Looking over the Temple
Ranked #2 by Brad Harbach
Beautiful Statue
Ranked #3 by Brad Harbach
The Royal Guards
Ranked #4 by Brad Harbach
Temple of the Emerald Buddha
Ranked #5 by Zhao Naidoo
Kaleidoscope Buddha
Ranked #6 by Brad Harbach


AbsoluteVisit 2013 Visit - Original Video

Top Blog Posts

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At 8:30am we were let in to the Grand Palace with all of the other smart tourists trying to avoid the afternoon heat. The cost to enter was expensive 350 Baht ($10) but well worth it. Your admission includes access to the full grounds of the Grand Palace and the surrounding temples. We started our walk through the grounds by visiting the most famous of the temples the Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew). The Temple of the Emerald Buddha is commonly found on lists of the top 100 places to visit in the world. The massive size of the temple and the amazing detailed finishes found...  read more
Submitted By: Brad Harbach
Submitted On: Apr 30, 2012

Places That Are Nearby

Wat Phra Kaew
Angkor Temples
Shwedagon Stupa
AbsoluteVisit 2013 Visit - Original Video
# 1

Army Protecting the Emerald Buddha

# 2

Looking over the Temple

# 3

Beautiful Statue

# 4

The Royal Guards

# 5

Temple of the Emerald Buddha

# 6

Kaleidoscope Buddha


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