There is much for you to discover in Thailand

The Temple of The Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew)

Wat Phra Kaew, home of the much revered Emerald Buddha, is the spirtual center of Thailand. It is one of the must-see places when visiting Bangkok. This royal temple showcases a masterpiece of Thai architecture in modern era.

Wat Phra Kaew or formally known the Temple of the Emerald Buddha is regarded as the most important Buddhist temple in Thailand. Located on the bank of Chao Phraya River in the old quarter of Bangkok, the stunning temple was completed two years after King Rama I the first king of the current dynasty, founded the capital in 1784. It is a royal temple under the patronage of the king that has the highest rank of all temples in the country and is the only temple in Thailand without a resident monk.

The Temple of The Emerald Buddha, Wat Phra Kaew

The 18th century temple has numerous brightly colored buildings, golden spires, ornate chambers and galleries and glittering mosaics. It is located next to the Grand Palace, which makes it main attraction of Bangkok. The centerpiece of the temple is the gorgeous Emerald Buddha image. The petite 45 cm tall statue is indeed made of jade. Enshrined in the main chapel of the temple complex, the statue is placed on a multi-tiered pedestal and surrounded by several gold plastered Buddha statues in different postures.

The statue has a mysterious origin. The legend has it that the statue was made about 400 BC in India and sent across several countries (Sri Lanka, Burma, Cambodia, Laos) before it was found in the Thai Kingdom in the 15th century. However, some historians argue that the statue was made in the style that was similar other statues originated in the Lanna Kingdom in northern Thailand.

The statue has his cloths changed by the king three times each year at the start of each season: a diamond encrusted gold robe in summer, a solid gold robe in the cool season and a gilded monk’s robe in the rainy season.
In addition to the Emerald Buddha, there are many other Buddha images and buildings worth visiting. The inner wall surrounding the temple compound has a beautiful mural painting depicting scenes from the Ramakian, the Thai version of the famous Indian epic ‘Ramayana’. Several characters from the epic can be seen as imposing giant statues guarding the entrance of the buildings. Most of the buildings in the compound are delicately adorned with stained glasses, green and orange tiled roof, gold plastered figurines and mother of pearl inlaid door panels, showing magnificent Thai craftsmanship. The Royal Pantheon Hall exhibits copies of revered Buddhist scriptures and life size statues of eight kings of the current Dynasty.

Visitors are not allowed to wear sandals, shorts and sleeveless shirts or tops inside the compound.