One of the things Thailand is well-known for is its strong faith in the Buddha—many people flock to this country in hopes of finding inner peace, tranquility, or at the very least, to be awe-inspired by the majestic calm that the temples and Buddha images call in each person.
Bangkok may be a cosmopolitan city, but it is not without its own awe-inspiring temples and buddhas. When you travel to this city, try to set aside some time to take a look at the city’s oldest and most beautiful temples. In the most popular temples you will see many people at the main areas where the amazing and precious Buddha images are, but look around a bit and you will find a quiet spot where you can sit in silence, in contemplation, maybe join a friendly monk or two in their day’s meditation.
Arguably the most popular temple in all of Bangkok is Wat Phra Kaew, which houses the famous Emerald Buddha. The image itself is enough to instill a sense of overwhelming quietness despite the large and noisy crowd that gathers around it. After you see the Buddha and pay your respects, take a bit of a walk to the garden behind the temple—there’s a small garden that no one goes to that is dedicated to the bodhisattva Avalokitesvara, a Mahayana Buddhist icon that is recognized by some Thais. Here, you can quietly sit in peace.
Another temple just near the Emerald Buddha is the Wat Pho, which houses one of the biggest Reclining Buddhas. This place is usually quiet, despite the large foot traffic. The immensity of the figure and the serenity of its face inspire visitors to do the same. You can give some alms to the monks by dropping coins in the 108 bowls, if you would like. There’s also a chamber with a gold Buddha just behind this chamber—some monks quietly sit there and let visitors meditate with them.
Finally, you can also drop by Wat Arun, which is known for its Khmer-style architecture that is iridescent in the light. The inside of it is the usual temple, with a revered icon of the Buddha inside. This icon is the interment place of King Rama II’s ashes of the current Thai royal lineage. Here you can also sit and admire the temple in peace, to the shuffling of the monks feet, the chirping birds—serenity.