Grand Palace

Attraction

The Emerald Buddha Temple

Bangkok’s historic Temple of the Emerald Buddha, also known as Wat Phra Kaew, is one of Thailand’s most revered and sacred Buddhist sites.

Set within the magnificent grounds of the former royal residence, the Grand Palace, the expansive temple complex is home to a stunning 15th century Buddha statue, skillfully carved from a single block of deep green jade. 

Explore one of Thailand's most iconic temples

Once inside the temple compound, explore the maze of colourful buildings with their shining golden spires and intricate sacred murals, which tell the Jataka tales of Buddha’s earlier incarnations – both animal and human.

You’ll also discover a miniature replica of iconic Cambodian temple, Angkor Wat, as well as the opulent Royal Pantheon, which houses ancient Buddhist scriptures, and the towering Phra Si Ratana Chedi, said to enshrine a piece of Buddha’s breastbone.

The chapel (or ubosot) housing the precious Emerald Buddha figurine is guarded by two enormous statues of mythical giants called yaksha or yakshis. And while you can certainly view the petite meditating Buddha, perched high on its gilded platforms, nobody but the King of Thailand is permitted to touch it. He does so three times a year during an auspicious cloak-changing ritual to herald the beginning of the summer, winter and rainy seasons, a ritual performed to usher in Thailand’s good fortune for the forthcoming season. 

Top Tips from our Experts

Clive

Content Editor

“Remember to dress respectfully – no shorts or bare shoulders. Long trousers or sarongs can be rented at the temple but you may have to queue. As with all Thai temples, as a sign of respect to Buddha, you will be expected to remove your shoes before entering.”

Steph

Direct Marketing Campaign Manager

“Wat Phra Kaew is Bangkok’s most popular tourist attraction so visit early on a weekday morning to beat the crowds.”