Among the many temples that you can visit in central Bangkok, Wat Saket is the one you cannot miss. The temple of Wat Saket dates back to Ayutthaya era and its complete name is Wat Saket Ratcha Wora Maha Wihan, but everybody calls it Wat Saket in short. The name was given by King Rama I after he renovated the temple and made Bangkok the capital of Thailand. This temple is lesser known among travelers than other popular temples like Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn) or Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha) and it gives you an opportunity to admire the Thai culture quietly away from the chaos of the Thai capital. Take full advantage of this opportunity by hiring a car at Bangkok Airport and enjoy an up close visit to Wat Saket and other numerous visit-worthy city attractions.
Climbing the Golden Mountain
Wat Saket is situated on a steep artificial hill called Phu Khao Thong or simply known as the Golden Mountain or Monte Dorado in Thai. You have to climb 318 steps which are dotted with beautiful flowers, statues and pagodas. It is better to go early than climbing the stairs under the scorching sun. When you reach the top, you can see the famous golden chedi, a 58 meters bell-shaped tower which was installed in the reign of King Rama III. Inside the golden chedi, a Buddha relic is housed and it is open 365 days for worshippers. From the top, you can also enjoy the panoramic view of the entire city.
Wat Saket is located at 1344 Chakkraphat Diphong Road Ban Bat, Pom Prap Sattru Phai, Bangkok. You can visit any day between 9 am and 5 pm. During the first week of November, a major festival is organized at Wat Saket when the whole temple is decorated with colored lanterns and candles. It is a good time to visit Wat Saket, but you will encounter a huge crowd.