Given that 95% of the population of Thailand is Buddhist, it's no surprise that there are an estimated 40,000 temples in Thailand. Thai temple complexes usually include a temple or wat, feature a tall bell-shaped stupa which is a place for relics and the ashes of monks, ordination and sermon halls, a space for shrines and Buddha images and a residence for the monks.
The public is welcome at most temples. When visiting the temples, please show respect by observing the following guidelines:
Take your shoes off before entering the temple.
Make sure shoulders are covered and wear long pants (or long skirts for women).
Remove hats and sunglasses, don't chew gum or smoke and speak quietly.
entering the temple, sit on the floor with your feet under you and try
not to put yourself in a position where you are higher than any Buddha
statues or Buddhist monks.
It's ok to take photographs unless there are signs forbidding it, but don't use a flash.
With their ornate appearance, the temples are easily recognizable.
These are peaceful places, and even if not Buddhist, one may feel the urge to reflect or meditate while visiting.
interior of the temples are dominated by Buddha statues. Buddha
statues are made out of many different materials from gold plate to
stone to wood to clay. One famous statue, the Golden Buddha (not pictured below), was
thought to be made of plaster until it was being moved to a new location
in 1954. Ropes supporting the statue snapped causing the statue to fall to the floor. The fall resulted in some of the plaster chipping off
allowing the gold surface underneath to be seen. After carefully
removing the plaster it was discovered that the statue was solid gold.
It is believed that it was covered over with plaster in the 1700's to
prevent theft, although at 5.5 tons stealing it would be a daunting
Detailed murals cover the walls:
A walk through the temple grounds is a visual treat: