While it’s common for Thai Buddhists to visit temples and make merit on special occasions; such as, New Year, a certain practice known as the “9-temple tour” is particularly popular. This “special kind of tour” started when religious tourism, which mainly involved visiting temples, was promoted by the tourism authorities.
Nine, pronounced “kao” in Thai, is considered an auspicious number as its sound corresponds with “kao na”, which means progress. In principle, the number of temples we go to doesn’t matter as far as Buddhism is concerned. This tour is entirely about personal preference. You could also look at it as an activity to be enjoyed with good friends or family members. In fact, it is interesting to spend a full day visiting the capital’s 9 important temples, taking pictures of exquisite religious monuments while enjoying some good food and great views along the way. And a divine blessing doesn’t hurt!
Public transportation is recommended for this programme. Please also dress appropriately to show your respect to the religious monuments of the country and the locals.
Tour of 9 temples in Bangkok for a prosperous New Year.
– Breakfast at Kope Hya Tai Kee
– Wat Suthat
– Capture photos of the Giant Swing
– The Temple of the Emerald Buddha
– Wat Pho
– Wat Arun
– Wat Kalayanamit
– Lunch break at Tonmakok
– Wat Rakhang
– Wat Chana Songkram
– Wat Bowonniwet
– Wat Saket
We recommend you start early to make sure you cover all 9 temples. And, of course, the tour shouldn’t commence on an empty stomach!
Breakfast at Kope Hya Tai Kee, the Giant Swing Original Branch
From its humble beginnings as a traditional convenience store, this much-loved café has been around for more than 60 years. The present café has many branches and features a contemporary look but still retains its old charms. It offers Thai-Chinese style dishes and various beverages.
Open daily from 7:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Tel. 02 629 0646, 091 979 1498
Siri Phong Road, Samran Rat, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok
Kope Hya Tai Kee serves an all-day breakfast and many other dishes. Its menu has an English translation, so it’s easy for non-Thais to order dishes, which include pork and fish steaks, toast, Thai roti, porridge, and “kai krata” or pan-fried eggs.
Its Thai-style coffee, both iced and hot, is famous among the locals. The beverage selections of this coffee shop are pretty extensive. Come and try for yourself but don’t think about your usual espresso or latte here!
After a hearty breakfast, we immediately start our programme. The first temple is located just across from Kope Hya Tai Kee.
Wat Suthat Thepwararam
The construction of Wat Suthat spanned the reigns of 3 kings before eventually being completed.
The principal Buddha Image of Wat Suthat, Phra Sri Sakayamuni, is Thailand’s largest bronze seated Buddha image in the gesture of subduing mara. The 8-metre-high statue was brought all the way from Wat Maha That of Sukhothai province. Unlike other temples, Wat Suthat has no conventional chedi within its grounds. Instead, and regarded as its chedi, are seven holy places, which have been historically linked to Lord Buddha. This assumed chedi is located at the temple wall on the eastern side.
Local belief: Worshippers will be blessed with vast vision and a charming personality.
Open daily from 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Tel. 02 222 6932, 02 222 9635
Bamrung Mueang Road, Wat Ratchabophit, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok
And never miss a chance to take the pictures of the iconic Giant Swing of Bangkok!
Wat Phra Si Rattana Satsadaram (Wat Phra Kaeo)
Wat Phra Kaeo or the Temple of the Emerald Buddha is a royal temple. It has no resident monks and is located within the grounds of the Grand Palace. The temple is enshrined with the Emerald Buddha, which is officially named Phra Phuttha Maha Mani Rattana Patimakon. Wat Phra Kaeo is regarded as the country’s most important temple where the Chakri Dynasty kings have performed religious ceremonies.
Local belief: Worship the Emerald Buddha with twin lotuses, a candle and joss sticks to be blessed with prosperity and wealth in abundance.
From Wat Suthat, You can go there by MRT Subway or take a bus No.12
Open daily from 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Tel. 02 623 5500 Ext. 3100, 02 224 3290
Na Phra Lan Road, Phra Borom Maha Ratchawang, Phra Nakhon Bangkok
The adjacent temple of Wat Pho is our next destination.
Wat Pho (Wat Phra Chetuphon Wimon Mangkhalaram).
Wat Pho is the official temple of King Rama I the Great, the founder of the present Chakri Dynasty. It was later thoroughly restored by King Rama III, who introduced Chinese elements into its décor and these are clearly visible from the entrances, facades and many other parts. Wat Pho is world-renowned for its traditional Thai massage.
The majestic reclining Buddha image of Wat Pho is a sight to behold. The statue is the country’s third largest reclining Buddha image.
Local belief: Visiting Wat Pho and paying homage to its Buddha images will bring you prosperity, peace and happiness.
Open daily from 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Tel. 02 226 0335, 02 226 0369
Sanam Chai Road, Phra Borom Maha Ratchawang, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok
Our next temple is easily accessible by ferry from Tha Tian Pier near Wat Pho.
Wat Arun – the Temple of Dawn
The exquisite phra prang, the Khmer-style chedi, of Wat Arun, is depicted in the emblem of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), and is one of the country’s most famous monuments. An ancient temple since the Ayutthaya era, Wat Arun was the royal temple during the Thon Buri period.
The temple is home to an elegant seated Buddha image in the posture of subduing mara, Phra Phuttha Thammamitsarat Lokhathatdilok, whose face is believed to have been sculpted by King Rama II.
Local belief: Paying respect to the principal Buddha image here will bring eternal prosperity.
Open daily from 8:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Tel. 02 891 2185
158 Wang Doem Road, Wat Arun, Bangkok Yai, Bangkok
Wat Kalayanamit Woramahawihan
Wat Kalayanamit is a popular choice for a 9-temple tour. It is close to Wat Arun and located in an area that was home to a community of Chinese Buddhist monks during the early Rattanakosin period. The principal Buddha image, Luangpho To, known among Chinese visitors as Sam Po Kong, is highly revered by Thais and Thais of Chinese descent.
Local belief: Worshippers would be blessed with good friends and loyal subordinates, prosperity and safe journeys.
Open daily from 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Tel. 02 466 4643, 086 709 2829
Thesaban Sai 1 Road, Wat Kalayana, Thon Buri, Bangkok
We take a lunch break at the riverside eatery Tonmakok restaurant, which is part of the Ban Wang Lang Hotel. The restaurant offers a good view of the Chao Phraya River and is also within walking distance of our next temple. You can walk or take a tuk tuk to this restaurant.
The restaurant serves both savoury dishes and desserts. Its indoor space is well-appointed with a modern Thai décor and ample sitting areas.
Its terrace is for diners who want to enjoy a lovely view of the Chao Phraya. There is no need to worry about the heat, as the river breezes bring some cool air.
The recommended dishes are the rice with crispy pork roasted in salt and chili.
the popular orders are Fried noodle Thai style with prawns.
Open daily from 12:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Tel. 080 259 6207
342 Soi Wat Rakhang, Prannok Road, Sirirat, Bangkok Noi, Bangkok
We can easily stroll to the next temple.
Wat Rakhang Kositaram Woramahawihan
An ancient temple originally built during the Ayutthaya period, the temple is admired for its white phra prang, which is said to be most elegant and built strictly in accordance with Thai architectural rules. Other phra prang erected in the later years were all modelled after that of Wat Rahkang.
Open daily from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Tel. 02 418 1079
250 Arun Amarin Road, Sirirat, Bangkok Noi, Bangkok
The temple’s principal Buddha image, Phra Prathan Yim Rap Fa is enshrined in the ubosoth, which is adorned with delicate Thai murals. Wat Rakhang was home to one of the most revered monks in Thai history, Somdej Phra Phuttha Chan To, whose statue has been erected on the riverbank in the temple grounds.
Local belief: Worshippers will be blessed with great fame. Their names will be heard just like the sound of the temple’s bell, as “Wat Rakhang” literally means the temple of the bell.
After Wat Rakhang, hop on a Chao Phraya Express Boat at Prannok Pier and get off at Phra Athit Pier for a visit to our next temple, which is located just a short walk away.
Wat Chana Songkhram Ratchaworamahawihan
Wat Chana Songkhram is a monument to victory over the Burmese army by the Siamese Kingdom during the early Rattanakosin era. Originally known as Wat Klang Na and built during the Ayutthaya period, the temple was granted to ethnic Mon monks by King Rama I the Great, who also allowed the Mon people, a major force in the army, to live nearby. It was restored by the King’s younger brother, Somdej Phra Bowonraratchao Maha Surasinghanat, who led the Siamese army in the battles. The temple was also renamed by King Rama I the Great in recognition of his brother’s decisive victory.
The principal Buddha image of the temple is named Phra Phutthanorasi Trilokachet, a stucco statue covered with tin and gold gilt, in the gesture of subduing mara.
Local belief: Pray for your victory over adversaries and obstacles at this temple of victory.
Open daily from 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Chakrapong Road, Chana Songkhram, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok
Wat Bowonniwet Vihara
Wat Bowonniwet is a short distance from Wat Chana Songkhram and boasts a beautiful golden chedi built during the reign of King Rama IV the Great and enshrines Buddha relics and the Buddha image Phra Phairi Phinat. The statute of King Rama IV the Great stands protected under a golden tower in front of the chedi.
Open daily from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (the ubosot closes 7.30 p.m.)
Tel. 02 629 5854
248 Phra Sumen Road, Bowon Niwet, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok
The ubosot of Wat Bowonniwet is enshrined with the two principal Buddha images: Phra Phuttha Shinnasi in the front relocated from Wat Phra Si Rattanamahathat, Phitsanulok province; and Phra Phuttha Suwannakhet in the back from Wat Sathaphan, Phetchaburi.
Local belief: A temple to pray for peace, happiness and safety and security.
From Wat Bowonniwet, walk or take a tuk tuk or bus (no. 15) to the last temple of the tour, Wat Saket or the Golden Mount, where you can also see a spectacular sunset and panoramic views of Bangkok from the top of its towering chedi. According to an inscription, the Buddha relics enshrined in this famous monument belonged to Lord Buddha’s Shakya clan and were unearthed in Kapilavastu, Nepal.
Local belief: Success and good fortune would be bestowed upon worshippers of this great chedi of Bangkok.
Open daily from 7:30.a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Tel. 093 529 5599
Boripat Road, Ban Bat, Pom Prap Sattru Phai, Bangkok
Published on Facebook : TAT Contact Center Companions on December 30, 2020