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Tour to must see temples in Bangkok: Wat Arun, Wat Pho, and Wat Phra Kaew

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The must-see temples are Wat Arun, Wat Pho, and Wat Phra Kaew, all of which are along the river. Four different tributaries make up this massive main waterway through the city: the Chao Phraya River. Oftentimes referred to as the River of Kings, this waterway used to act as a major trading hub and helped put the city of Bangkok on the international map. Today, the river acts as a relatively fast and incredibly affordable way to get from point A to point B.

Wat Arun, more famously known as the Temple of the Dawn, is a towering and stunning example of a beautifully crafted, Thai temple. It was given its name by King Taksin, who came across the structure at dawn with his royal fleet and decided the temple should be a royal one. The temple consists of five prangs which tower over visitors weaving in and out of the tiled structures.

Wat Pho sits on the east bank of the Chao Phraya River and is one of the oldest and largest temples in Thailand. Its most noteworthy aspect is the large, golden Buddha sitting (or rather, laying) at its core. Standing at 15 meters tall and 46 meters long, this Buddha was the deciding factor of this temple’s name: Temple of the Reclining Buddha. The temple’s grounds are extensive, made up of nine key structures. In addition to the Buddha, the large pagodas are decorated with color-glazed tiles and Chinese rockery guardians around the grounds are certainly noteworthy.

Wat Phra Kaew This temple is also known as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. The Buddhist temple was built in the 18th century, and the palace was home to royalty from 1782 until 1925. The grounds are home to some 100 buildings, all of which are stunning.

Sample Itinerary

A 6-hour temple experience in the morning:

  • Grab some delicious street food before heading on your journey with our local guide.

  • Take the BTS Skytrain to the boat pier and head down the river to Wat Arun.

  • Explore Wat Arun before taking the ferry to go to Wat Pho, the Grand Palace, and Wat Phra Kaew.

  • Stop for a bit of shopping right off the boat pier, which is filled with Thai handicrafts.

  • Grab a bite to eat on one of the many restaurants lining the Chao Phraya River.

  • End the trip after exploring the Grand Palace with your local insider.

For more information and direct booking:

Special Note

  • Exploring the temples can get hot, especially during the month of April. The earlier the journey begins, the less brutal the heat will be.

  • Be sure to wear clothing that covers your ankles, shoulders, and chest. You will be denied entrance into the Grand Palace otherwise.

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