5 Must See Temples in Thailand

There are thousands of different beautiful temples in Thailand to visit and admire. They are literally everywhere! So no matter where in Thailand you are, there are plenty of chances around you to see a magnificent masterpiece of a temple.

You can find out why there are so many temples in Thailand in our other article here.

Here’s a list of our favourite temples that we got to visit during our Thailand trip! These are also some of the most photogenic places in Thailand!

Temple of Reclining Buddha – What Pho, Bangkok

1. Wat Pho in Bangkok

Not far from the famous landmark The Grand Palace  you can find the oldest and biggest temple complex in Bangkok. This is a complex of the main Wat Pho temple that holds a huge 46 metres long golden Buddha in a reclining position. This position in the history of Buddhism is very meaningful as it symbolises Buddha in its last stage of illness before passing. However other sources says that this position shows the passing of the Buddha into final Nirvana after death.

Wat Pho Temple complex, Bangkok

“This is a complex of the main Wat Pho temple that holds a huge 46 metres long golden Buddha in a reclining position.”

Wat Pho Temple complex, Bangkok

The enormous size and unusual position of reclining Buddha is a pain for photographers, as it’s quite complicated to fit it all in one photography. The Buddha is hidden behind enormous arks so it’s very exciting to walk past one by one ad discover more and more of the hidden Buddha.

Complex around Reclining Buddha building is a design masterpiece. It consists of very instagrammable water fountain with real gold-fish swimming in it. Next to that there are smaller temples and an interesting place where several golden figures are lined up in a perfect row making them look like the statues from the Oscars ceremonies.

This is truly one of my favourite spots in Bangkok!

Thailand’s White Temple – Wat Rong Khun, Chiang Rai

2. Wat Rong Khun or White Temple in Chiang Rai

White Temple might very well be named as the most beautiful temple ever. The moment when you first see it just takes your breath away. Snow white magnificent building, the bridge leading to it and all the surroundings makes you feel like you’re in paradise. And that’s exactly the point.

This temple was built 20 years ago by Thai artist Chalermchai Kositpipat as a gift to Thai nation. For the artist building the White temple meant redeeming his sins. Thousands of people come to Chang Rai city every day to admire this masterpiece, however the artist doesn’t consider the Temple finished to the perfection. It will continue to be built untill 2070.

Wat Rong Khun Temple, Chiang Rai

“What makes this temple unique is super hero figures outside the temple and Pokemons, Minions, Superman and Batman painted on the walls inside the temple.”

Wat Rong Khun Temple, Chiang Rai

The temple itself represents paradise, therefore every detail of the Temple is white. It symbolises purity in Buddhism. Meanwhile on the both sides of temple there are ditches with hundreds of arms reaching out of the ground. These are arms of people who have been bad and have gone to hell. There’s a bridge over the ditch of arms, that leads to the main entrance of the temple, where all the good people are supposed to end up.

What makes this temple unique is super hero figures outside the temple and Pokemons, Minions, Superman and Batman painted on the walls inside the temple. This combination of holy values and superheros is well worth a visit to one of the greatest temples in Thailand.

3. Wat Intharawihan temple in Bangkok

At Wat Intharawihan temple complex there’s another enormous and breathtakingly beautiful Big Buddha, that reminds every person standing in front of it, how small they are.  Building the Buddha statue was started in 1867 and it took sixty more years to complete it in 1927.  The statue is 32-meter-high covered in glass and gold mosaics. When sunlight hits the statue, it almost looks like it’s sparking in a magical glory.

Wat Intharawihan temple complex, Bangkok

You can go close to the holy statue and feel how it is to be in a hight of someones big toe. It’s pretty impressive and makes you feel nothing but reverence towards the holy statue.

Wat Chiang Man – Chiang Mai’s oldest temple

4. Wat Chiang Man in Chiang Mai

This temple is located in one corner of the old walled city or so-called “square”.

This one is the oldest and also most beautiful temple in Chiang Mai. It’s a complex of different buildings, monuments and a garden. It also houses the Crystal Buddha which is considered to be one of the greatest treasures in all of Thailand.

Wat Chiang Man Temple, Chiang Mai

“Therefore it felt somehow uplifting and magical to stand there in front of these elephant figures.”

Wat Chiang Man Temple, Chiang Mai

Make sure to look around every corner of the complex, as there are many beautiful but a bit hidden sports you shouldn’t miss. And the elephant figures at the center of the square were channeling such strength and power!

An Elephant is a very important animal in Thai culture, as it have been living side to side with people here for centuries.  An Elephant is also a national symbol of Thailand and have even been portrayed on the previous country flag. Therefore it felt somehow uplifting and magical to stand there in front of these elephant figures.

Tiger Cave Temple – Wat Tham Suea, Krabi

5. Tiger Cave Temple in Krabi

Tiger Cave Temple is located about 3 kilometres from Krabi Town. This is my favourite temple in Thailand, as getting to it is such a challenge. But when the challenge is completed, the temple, breathtaking view of Thai jungle and fresh wind breeze are the rewards.

The temple is located very high up in the jungle. To get there you have to make 1’237 steps to summit of the Tiger Cave Temple. Even if you are in good shape, the heat and humidity make this a difficult hike. But when you get to that moment of stepping on the last step and have reached the top of the cliff, exostion suddenly releases you. Unbelievable feeling of fulfillment suddenly embraces you, the kind that you usually get when overcoming something that seemed to difficult to be done and stepping out of your comfort zone.

Tiger Cave Temple, Krabi

“Even if you are in good shape, the heat and humidity make this a difficult hike. But when you get to that moment of stepping on the last step and have reached the top of the cliff, exostion suddenly releases you.”

Tiger Cave Temple, Krabi

Inside the cave there are what appear to be tiger paw prints in the stone. Also in the main temple cave you see find bizarre photos of internal organs and split cadavers, which are supposed to reinforce the temporary nature of the body and help the monks to focus on more spiritual matters.

It’s a very tough climb because the steps are very high and narrow, but that’s what makes it also fun. At the beginning of climbing stairs you’ll also meet a bunch of playful monkeys. This place is another great example of impressive natural beauty that Thailand is so rich with.