Temple hopping in Thailand

When I knew that I was going to teach English in Thailand, the first thought that popped into my mind was the image of beautiful Buddhist temples, like the ones that you see in those ‘Amazing Thailand’ commercials. Just the thought of going inside a temple that beautiful got me very excited to travel and start working as an ESL teacher in Thailand.

So when I started teaching and finally had some time off, I absolutely did not hesitate to go on a road trip to Bangkok with my co-teachers. We only planned on visiting two temples that day, but we surely made the most out of our time off and ended up visiting four instead.

First, we headed to the most sacred Buddhist temple in Thailand, the Wat Phra Kaew, more popularly known as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha; all dressed appropriately of course since sacred temples in Thailand follow a strict dress code which requires men to wear long pants, sleeved shirts and shoes while women had to wear long skirts. As we were about to enter the temple, we were told to remove our shoes as a sign of respect, so we did. Apparently, this was practiced in all the temples of Thailand. So I really regretted wearing sneakers that day, because I had to take them off and put them back again for three more times.

We went ahead and visited the Wat Benchamabophitr, also known as the Marble Temple—also known as the temple on Thailand’s five-baht coin.

After touring the home of the Temple of the Emerald Buddha—the grounds of Grand Palace—we proceeded right next door to Wat Pho, also known as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha which houses Thailand’s biggest reclining Buddha statue that stands 46 metres tall and a highly respected massage school wherein Thai masseurs have been training since 1955. Afterwards, we decided to go for a 15-minute drive to Dusit’s Chitralada Palace since we still had a lot of time on our hands. We went ahead and visited the Wat Benchamabophitr, also known as the Marble Temple—also known as the temple on Thailand’s five-baht coin. Just the mere sight of it, was too beautiful for my human eyes to endure. Made from Italian marble, the temple was created at King Chulalongkorn’s request after building a palace nearby. We didn’t really stay long since we were in a hurry to go to another Buddhist temple that is also on a Thailand coin.

Our last stop was at the Wat Arun, likewise known as the Temple of Dawn. It can be found on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River and also on a 10-baht coin. We stayed there until late in the afternoon so we could go to the other side of the river and witness the sunset, which is actually the best time to take a photo of the Wat Arun. It was an epic day for me and my friends. I fulfilled my dream of exploring Thai Buddhist temples and I was able to spend quality time together with my fellow teachers.

Teach to Travel