Visiting temples in Thailand is an absolute MUST. I can’t think of a better way to experience the culture than by visiting one of these spiritual places draped with orange cloth, incense smoke, and the sounds of monks chanting. One thing you’ll quickly notice is how much reverence people have for their religion here, even if they’re not Buddhist themselves. So if you want to take your temple experience up a notch, this list of the 15 best temples in Thailand is the best for you.
1. White Temple, Chiang Rai
Wat Rong Khun, or the “White Temple,” is a beautiful temple in Thailand that’s unlike any other I’ve seen. It’s not only strikingly white, but it’s also covered in intricate and surreal artwork. The temple is still under construction, but it’s already one of the most popular temples in Thailand.
The spectacular architecture is inspired by the Indian-Hindu style, though it does not reflect any authentic cultural heritage. The temple blends fantasy elements into its design that give it an eclectic look.
One of the most notable features of this place is its hand-painted porcelain pieces that adorn every inch of the structure’s exterior walls. But the White Temple isn’t just about the outside. Inside, you’ll find an amazing display of Buddhist artwork and traditional murals.
One of the highlights is the bridge leading up to the temple, which is built over a pond. The pond is decorated with various Buddhist images and structures sitting under the water. This is one of the unique temples I’ve ever seen, and it’s well worth a visit if you’re in Chiang Mai.
2. Wat Phra Sri Sanphet, Ayutthaya
If you’re looking for one of the best temples in Thailand, look no further than Wat Phra Sri Sanphet. This place is absolutely massive and houses some of the most impressive architecture in all of Thailand. The temple was once the main palace of the Ayutthaya Kingdom, and it’s easy to see why it was chosen for such a prestigious role.
Today, Wat Phra Sri Sanphet is best known for its large, bell-shaped pagodas surrounded by small ruins. The complex is quite large and home to some beautiful murals and sculptures that depict scenes from Buddhist mythology.
The best part about this place is its historical significance. If you’re a history lover, or even if you aren’t, this will be an amazing addition to your once-in-a-lifetime trip through Thailand.
3. Wat Pho, Bangkok
Wat Pho is one of the most famous and popular temples in Thailand, and it’s easy to see why. It is home to the world’s largest reclining Buddha statue, which is 46 meters long and 15 meters high. The temple is also renowned for its traditional Thai massage school, which is the oldest and largest in the country.
Apart from the giant reclining Buddha statue, Wat Pho is also home to a number of other impressive temples and pavilions. There are 108 bronze bowls that line one of the walkways leading up to the temple, each with a different inscription about Buddhism. And you’ll find an array of beautifully intricate stupas and shrines throughout the complex.
But Wat Pho is more than just a temple. It’s also a major center for traditional Thai medicine and massage. In fact, it’s considered the birthplace of modern Thai massage. If you’re looking to experience some authentic Thai culture, this is a great place to visit.
4. Wat Arun, Bangkok
Also known as the “Temple of Dawn,” Wat Arun is another beautiful temple in Thailand that’s a must-see for tourists. The temple is named after the Hindu god Arun, who symbolizes the morning sun.
Wat Arun is located on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok and is one of the most iconic temples in Thailand. The temple was originally built in the 17th century, but it has been restored and renovated several times over the years.
Today, it’s one of the most popular tourist destinations in Bangkok, distinguished by its 70-meter tall spire. The spire is covered in tiny pieces of colored glass that give it a dazzling appearance when sunlight hits it.
The highlight here is the view from the top. You can climb up the steep stairs and find yourself on higher ground, where you’ll get a great glimpse of the Chao Phraya River and beyond (the scenery is particularly impressive during sunset).
5. Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, Chiang Mai
The Wat Phra That Doi Suthep is a very popular and famous temple in Thailand that has been listed as one of the best temples in Thailand. This place makes an excellent day trip from Chiang Mai, which is why it’s such a popular tourist destination.
The temple is also home to some beautiful Buddhist art and architecture. The top of the temple is decorated with a gold-plated spire, which is surrounded by murals and shrines. The best part about visiting this place is taking the funicular to the top, where you’ll be rewarded with spectacular views of the city and surrounding landscape.
You can get to this temple by motorcycle or hired car as it’s a bit out of town. Once you reach the temple, you’ll be greeted by the best view of Chiang Mai and the surrounding areas. The best timing to visit is during sunset, as it’s most beautiful at this time of day.
6. Blue Temple, Chiang Mai
The Blue Temple is a stunning temple located in the city of Chiang Mai. It is one of the newer temples in the area (Built in 2005), which is quite unique with its unconventional architecture and surreal artwork. In addition to this, it is one of the most photographed temples in Thailand.
The Blue Temple gets its name from the blue paint that covers its walls and spires. The paint is made from special clay that’s found in the area, and it gives the temple an incredible blue hue. The temple is also decorated with intricate gold designs, which create a stunning contrast against the blue paint.
Inside the temple, you’ll find murals depicting scenes from Buddhist mythology. There are also some Buddhist statues that are on display. On a few of the walls, you can see some tiles that have been inscribed with messages of peace and love by visitors from all over the world. So if you’re visiting Chiang Mai, be sure to stop by the Blue Temple.
7. Tiger Cave Temple
Tiger Cave Temple, or Wat Tham Suea, is a beautiful and sacred temple in Thailand that sits atop a large mountain range. It’s also one of the most popular tourist attractions in the area and for a good reason. Not only is the temple beautiful, but it also offers some great hiking trails with stunning views.
At first glance, you might think you’re just looking at another hill. But upon closer inspection, you’ll realize that there’s actually an entire cave system filled with tiger print paws hidden inside. The caves feature ornate carvings and golden Buddhas, as well as paintings and murals on the walls. There are also multiple shrines within these caves that serve as Buddhist temples.
The highlight of this temple is undoubtedly the 1260 steps that get you to the top. Once you reach the top, you’ll find a massive golden Buddha waiting for you. It’s an impressive sight and makes for a great photo opportunity. You’ll also be rewarded with some amazing views of the surrounding area, making it a great place to spend some time admiring the scenery.
As you can see, this is a great place to visit if you’re looking for something a little more adventurous than your average temple. It’s definitely one of the best temples in Thailand you can’t miss.
8. Wat Chaiwatthanaram, Ayutthaya
Wat Chaiwatthanaram is one of the top temples in Thailand and a highlight for any visitor to this country. This beautiful Thai Buddhist temple is not only impressive in terms of its architecture, but also in its historical importance.
It was constructed in 1630 by Prasat Thong, who wanted to honor his mother with a grand tribute. It’s a peaceful and serene place that makes for a great stop on your trip throughout Thailand.
The temple is famous for its spectacular spire and central prang, which are both adorned with intricate carvings. And despite being slightly overshadowed by other temples in Thailand, it’s still one of the best and most visited temples in Thailand.
So, if you’re looking for something unique to see while in Thailand, be sure to check out this temple. It is the perfect place if you’re looking for a calm escape from the hustle and bustle of Bangkok. You won’t regret it.
9. Wat Phra That Lampang Luang, Lampang Luang
Wat Phra That Lampang Luang is a temple in Thailand that dates back to the 16th century. It is one of the most historic temples in Thailand and a major religious monument, acting as a place of worship for Buddhist Thais and tourists alike.
However, this amazing structure isn’t just known for its age or size. It is also famous for being incredibly beautiful and most probably one of the best temples in Thailand from an aesthetic standpoint.
After all, no matter which angle you look at it from, it’s hard not to be wowed. The main feature of this temple is its tall, golden chedi that rises 400 meters above everything else on the complex.
The grounds are very peaceful and serene, and there are walks you can take through the surrounding area that are just mesmerizing. So, if you’re looking for a quiet and relaxing temple to visit in Thailand, this place is truly stunning and well worth a visit.
10. Emerald Temple, Bangkok
The Emerald Temple, or Wat Phra Kaew, is a must-see for any visitor to Thailand. This temple is located in the heart of Bangkok and is best known for being the home of the famed Emerald Buddha. The temple was originally built in the seventeenth century, and it’s been expanded and renovated over the years.
The temple is lavishly decorated with gold leaf, marble, and intricate carvings. You’ll also find a number of impressive statues here, including the Emerald Buddha, which is housed in an elaborate structure at the back of the temple. This statue is carved from a single piece of jade and is estimated to be over two hundred years old.
This makes it to be regarded as one of the most sacred temples in Thailand because it contains the country’s most prized possession, the Emerald Buddha. This Buddha is said to bestow good luck on anyone who touches it or sees its image.
11. Silver Temple, Chiang Mai
Wat Sri Suphan, or the Silver Temple, is a beautiful Buddhist temple in Thailand that’s well worth a visit. The temple is best known for its stunning silver facade, which makes it one of the most visually striking temples in the country.
The temple was built in 1500 during the Mangrai Dynasty and is home to a large number of Buddha statues, as well as other religious artifacts. But it’s the silver facade that makes this place stand out. The highlight is its impressive roof, which is covered in intricate designs made out of silver. The walls and floors are also made out of silver or an alloy and zinc mix.
The interior of the temple is just as impressive as the exterior, with elaborate carvings and paintings on the walls. And as mentioned earlier, there are several Buddha statues on display. This is definitely one of the most beautiful temples in Thailand, and it’s well worth a visit if you’re in the area.
12. Sanctuary of Truth, Pattaya
The Sanctuary of Truth is an incredible temple that’s worth a visit if you’re in Thailand. Located in the city of Pattaya, it’s one of the largest wooden structures in the world, and it’s a true masterpiece of architecture.
What makes the Sanctuary of Truth so special is the level of detail that’s gone into every aspect of the design. From the carvings on the facade to the sculptures inside, everything has been intricately crafted by hand.
The design is based on classical Thai architecture, with added elements of Hinduism and Buddhism. And unlike most temples in Thailand, the Sanctuary of Truth isn’t just for Buddhist worship. It’s open to people of all religions and beliefs who come to learn about art, faith and philosophy, faith.
13. Wat Benchamabophit, Dusit District of Bangkok
If you’re looking for a beautiful and historically significant temple to visit in Thailand, Wat Benchamabophit is worth considering. Also known as the Marble Temple, this place was built in the 19th century and is home to stunning architecture. The temple is made from white Italian marble and features intricate carvings of Thai floral designs.
The temple’s main hall features an impressive statue of Buddha, and the walls and ceilings are also adorned with beautiful carvings and murals. Take your time as you walk around because there are more places to explore with more art and beautifully painted ceilings.
Outside, the temple is surrounded by lush gardens and ponds, which makes it a beautiful and peaceful place to relax. And best of all, this temple is not as crowded as some of the other temples in Bangkok, so you can enjoy it in peace.
14. Wat Saket, Bangkok
Wat Saket, also known as the “Golden Mount,” is a Buddhist temple in Bangkok that’s best known for its golden stupa. It is among the oldest temples in Thailand, but ironically it isn’t very popular. The best way to describe the temple is as a “cultural museum.”
There are so many pieces of history here that you could spend hours searching through all the artifacts.
The best part about this place is its huge chedi (stupa). If you climb up to its top-level, you will have a great view of Bangkok. But the real highlight is the gold-plated spire, which can be seen from all over the city.
There are also a few other temples on the grounds, so it’s best to allocate a few hours for a visit. Wat Saket is definitely one of the best temples in Thailand if you’re interested in history and culture.
15. Wat Traimit, Bangkok
The temple of Wat Traimit, or the “Temple of the Golden Buddha,” is an interesting little shrine in Thailand. It’s not quite as popular with tourists as some other temples, but it still makes my list of top temples in Thailand.
The temple was built in the 13th century and features beautiful architecture and wall paintings. However, the main of this temple is the massive gold Buddha inside. The statue is made of solid gold and weighs in at 5.5 tons, making it one of the largest gold Buddhas in the world.
Besides having a gigantic statue of Lord Buddha on display, there are plenty of traditional Buddhist murals inside the temple complex. And don’t forget to visit the museum within the complex, which has exhibits on the history of the temple and its art.
With this list of 15 best temples in Thailand, it’s easy to see why Thailand is nicknamed “the Land of the Thousand Temples.” I hope that I’ve made your search for the best temples to visit in Thailand easier. So next time you’re visiting, be sure to stop by at least one of them.