Wat Phra Kaew Overview

Also called the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, Wat Phra Kaew is considered as one of the most important tourist places in Chiang Rai. It houses the meticulously carved statue of the Emerald Buddha and beautifully decorated to leave every tourist enthralled to the core.

One can look forward to gathering a peaceful day by visiting Wat Phra Kaew and admire the striking craftsmanship and architecture of this beautiful temple when they are on a vacation with their loved ones in Chiang Rai.

Emerald Buddha or Wat Phra Kaew is a 15th-century Buddha statue that has been carved from green jasper(a semi-precious stone) and clothed in gold. This approximately 66 centimeters tall statue depicts Gautam Buddha sitting in the lotus position and meditating. Also known as Phra Phuttha Maha Mani Rattana Patimakon, the Emerald Buddha is considered Thailand’s sacred palladium and is housed inside the Temple of Emerald Buddha, which is located in the Grand Palace premises in Bangkok. The costumes of the Emerald Buddha are ceremonially changed thrice a year as per the seasons. Visitors to Thailand can explore this cultural and spiritual treasure as part of Thailand tour packages.

This statue was first found in 1434 CE in Chiang Rai of northern Thailand after the stucco wall of a Buddhist Stupa was cracked open by lightning. Nothing is known about its past before that, making it one of the most mystical figurines that are considered to have some spiritual power. The only information about it is gathered from the palm leaf manuscript named the Chronicle of the Emerald Buddha, found in Chiang Mai and written in the Pali language. As per this manuscript, the statue was crafted by a Sarvastivadan Buddhist Monk in 43 BCE in Patliputra, India. 

The exterior of the Temple of the Emerald Buddha is made of dark blue, orange, and green glazed roof tiles, golden carvings, glittering mosaics, and bronze bells, giving it an extraordinarily beautiful view. The emerald statue is placed on a high pedestal inside the temple with two Buddha statues on both sides, which are about three meters tall. The inner and outer walls of the temple are covered in murals about the world as per Buddhist cosmology and scenes from Ramakein (Hindu epic Ramayana’s version from Thailand) respectively. There are six pairs of Yakshas or giant demon guardians guarding the entrance of the temple and protecting it from any evil spirits.

Read More: Things To Do In Bangkok In 5 Days


• Home to the highly revered Buddha Image that has been meticulously carved from a single block of jade.
• The image of Buddha represents the meditating position in the style of Lanna School of the north that dates back to almost the 15th century.
• The seasonal clock covers the statue that is changed three times a year corresponding to the summer, winter, and rainy season.
• With beautiful interior and exterior decoration, the temple has got a great sense of peace about it.
• The temple is only decorated with holy buildings, pagodas, and statues with no living quarter unlike other Buddhist temples.
• The main building enshrining the Emerald Buddha is the most important icon for Thai People.

How To Reach

Taxi: Suvarnabhumi is the nearest airport from Wat Phra Kaew and it will take around 25 minutes to reach the temple by taxi. This is the quickest as well as the cheapest way to arrive at Wat Phra Kaew as it will cost you just 40 Baht.

Train: You can also take the Skytrain services and get down at Saphan Taksin station and opt for a taxi or bus to reach the temple.

Water taxi: This is another fun ride to the temple. Take a boat upriver to the pier at Tha Chang. Then, from the pier, the temple complex can be reached in 5 minutes by walking.

Air: Suvarnabhumi airport is linked to all international airports and offers great services to visitors from all across the world. Don Mueang International Airport is another important avenue to get to Bangkok. Both the airports offer taxi facilities to ferry you to the Wat Phra Kaew.

Check This Out: Things To Do In Thailand

Best Time To Visit

Bangkok is busy round the year. This means that you have to plan meticulously and battle the crowd no matter which season you visit the temple complex. Generally late November to early December is considered the best time to visit Bangkok when the weather remains pleasant.

This time, the city dries out of monsoon and experiences a slight nip in the air. With holidays still two weeks away, the burst of crowd is yet to arrive during this time. You can expect fewer crowds at the temples and other historical sites. Try to visit the Wat Phra Kaew complex early in the morning, before 8.30am just after the temple opens for visitors. As the day progresses, the crowd starts pouring onto the temple premises

Read More: Bangkok Tour Package.

Other Essential Information

Places to Visit Near Wat Phra Kaew

1. The Grand Palace: The Grand Palace happens to be one of the spectacular landmarks of Bangkok that is just a complete city in itself with brilliant temples, royal residences, courts, and government buildings. The palace was constructed in the year 1782 and for a period of 150 years it has served as the home of the Thai King and the administrative seat of the government. 

2. Queen Sirikit Museum of Textiles: Queen Sirikit Museum of Textiles is one of the notable attractions of the Emerald Buddha Temple that has in reality helped the textile artisans from all over Thailand to continue their legacy of making textiles and a wide range of handicraft items over several decades. Heading over to this place, you will come across some of the stunning collection of traditional textile products curated together in a stylish modern museum. 

3. The Upper Terrace: The Upper Terrace happens to be a raised terrace that elevates several noteworthy structures present inside the temple including the principal ones Prasat Phra Thep Bidon, the Phra Mondop and the Phra Si Rattana Chedi. The terrace has six sets of steps leading to North (Two Sets), east (One Set), South (Two Sets), and West (One Set). 

4. Phra Si Rattana Chedi: Phra Si Ratana Chedi happens to be a wonderful golden stupa that belongs to the Emerald Buddha Temple located in the premises of the Royal Palace. The design of the structure has got influences from the Ayutthaya ruins. 

Planning A Trip To Thailand, Checkout Our Thailand Honeymoon Packages Now!

5. Wat Phra Chetuphon: Wat pra Chetuphon happens to be a Buddhist temple complex in the Phra Nakhon District, Bangkok, Thailand. It is popularly known as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha that houses one of the largest images of Buddha about 46 meters long and 15 meters high. This place is also home to the school of Thai Medicine and the birthplace of traditional Thai Massage. 

6. The Chakri Group (Phra Thinang Chakri Maha Prasat): The Chakri Group (Phra Thinang Chakri Maha Prasat) in Bangkok happens to be a large banquet hall at the very back of the Chakri Maha Prasat group. Being a part of The Grand Palace, it gets the features of the unique blend of traditional Thai architecture and 19th-century European styles.

7. Old Big Gun Museum: The Old Big Gun museum, located in the old building of the Ministry of Defense happens to be a 3 storied building that is constructed using European architecture. You will come across 40 old cannons in front of the building including Naraisangharn cannon, Phya Thanee cannon and the old cannon from France. In the outdoor museum, you will also come across some of the canyons that date back to the Ayutthaya period until the Rattanakosin period. Visiting this place during your trip to Bangkok, you can spend time exploring the old ministry buildings and capture some snaps for a good memory. 

8. Bangkok City Pillar Shrine: The Bangkok city pillar shrine houses the most revered city pillar that was erected when Siam’s capital was moved to Bangkok in the year 1782. Apart from the city pillar, it is also believed to house Chao Pho Lak Mueang which is the city spirit deity. The pillar shine was constructed as per the belief that the ancient tradition should continue and has to be held. It is made up of Acacia wood and in the initial days it was considered to be the centre of soul for the citizens

Suggested Read: Places To Visit In Thailand

9. Saranrom Palace: Saranrom Palace happens to be a former palace in Bangkok that is situated in between the Wat Ratchapradit and The Grand Palace. This place has served as the temporary residences for the princess and also as the lodging for the royal guests. At the present time, the palace is the site of the museum of the Ministry of Foregin Affairs and Saranrom Park. 

10. Temple Of Dawn (Wat Arun): Wat Arun happens to be a Buddhist temple in Yai district of Bangkok on the western banks of Chao Phraya River. The name of the temple is derived from the Hindu God Aruna which is often personified as the traditions of the rising sun. 

11. Wat Ratchapradit Sathitmahasimaram Raja Woravihara: Wat Ratchapradit Sathit Mahasimaram Ratcha Wora Maha Viharn is one of the most sought after Buddhist temples in the Phra Nakhon District of Bangkok that is designated to be a first-class royal monastery in the year 1915. Located on the Rachini Road, this is one of the most significant temples in Thailand. The construction of the temple was started in the year 1864 and was completed within seven months. 

12. Tha Maharaj: The Maharaj is a bustling mall in the city of Bangkok, Thailand that is home to a handful shopping destinations. This leafy riverside complex has 7 redeveloped shophouses that are converted into top class stores and al fresco restaurants. During your visit to the city of Bangkok, you can just come over to this place and enjoy the shopping and dining experience by the river. 

13. Tha Tien Market: The Tien Market happens to be one of the most famous historical community markets located in the Phra Nakhon District, Bangkok, Thailand. It is very much popular for being the culture food market in Bangkok that deals with dried salted seafood products and many other wholesale products. The market might appear to be very ordinary but in reality it gives you an insight into how local Thai people live.

Also Read: Water Sports In Thailand 

Places to eat near Wat Phra Kaew

1. Buddha & Pals Café and Jazz bar: Buddha & Pals Café and Jazz bar is a breezy place close to the Temple of Emerald Buddha. You will just fall in love with the interior decor of this place as well as the atmosphere. You can relish local Thai cuisine and some refreshing drinks. 

2. Home Cafe Tha Tien: Located next to the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, it is one of the best places to delight your taste buds with the local Thai delicacies. The food at this place is very affordable and the staff members are very hospitable. 

3. Krisa Coffee House: Krisna Coffee House is one of the most convenient locations to have food near the Temple of Emerald Buddha. This place is known for its good and tasty food. You will also be catered to by the warmth and hospitality.

Check This Out: Adventure Sports In Thailand 

Tips to Visit Wat Phra Kaew

1. Photography inside the premises of the temple is strictly prohibited. 

2. You can hire a personal audio guide from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. 

3. The audio guide is available in a number of international languages, including, English, French, German, Japanese, Mandarin Russian, and Spanish. 

4. You need to put on a proper dress code while visiting this place as it is considered to be holy for the Buddhists. 

5. When you are offering your prayers in front of the Buddha Image, you should make sure that your feet should not face the face of the sculpture.

Recommended Read: Thailand Attractions For Adults 

Read More
Day Wise Timings
Open Today
Normal Timings:
08:30 AM to 03:30 PM
Normal Timings:
08:30 AM to 03:30 PM
Normal Timings:
08:30 AM to 03:30 PM
Normal Timings:
08:30 AM to 03:30 PM
Normal Timings:
08:30 AM to 03:30 PM
Normal Timings:
08:30 AM to 03:30 PM
Normal Timings:
08:30 AM to 03:30 PM

Tourism Board Alliances

Wat Phra Kaew FAQs

Why is Wat Phra Kaew famous?

Wat Phra Kaew houses the famous Emerald Buddha which is considered one of the most pious and holy Buddha statues in the world. This is the most important place for Thai religion and tourism. The temple complex is the proud bearer of the Thai culture, tradition and spirituality. The place is also famous for various heritage events performed by the royal family and the temple authorities.

Check This Out: Things To Do In Bangkok

Is Wat Phra Kaew inside Grand Palace?

Yes, the complex of the Grand Palace houses the Wat Phra Kaew temple.

Read More: Beaches near Bangkok

When was Wat Phra Kaew built?

Wat Phra Kaew temple was built in 1782 during the reign of Phutthayotfa Chulalok, the King Rama I who ruled till 1809. It was the beginning of the Chakri dynasty in Thailand.

Suggested Read: Places To Visit In Bangkok

How old is Phra Kaew?

The temple is around 237 years old.

Also Read: Night Markets In Bangkok

What are the best activities in Thailand that you can book via Thrillophilia?

Why Choose Thrillophilia