Another central Bangkok temple that should be on your list is Wat Pathum Wanaram. Its complete name is a bit of mouthful, being ‘Wat Pathum Wanaram Ratcha Wora Viharn’. Despite the name, it’s a simple and beautiful green space reserved for quiet contemplation and worship. Wat Pathum Wanaram is one of the oldest, yet one of the most overlooked temples in the city.
Among the buildings at the temple is a sala (open pavilion for prayer), partially reconstructed from the crematorium of the late Princess Mother of Thailand. One of the most impressive things about it is that it displays beautiful ancient craftsmanship featuring ornate stencils and lacquered sculptures. Known as ‘phra men’, it represents Mt Meru, the ancient home of the gods.
Beautiful and colourful flags containing religious and contemplative messages hang from the branches of the trees that surround the temple. This is just one of the mysteries of this temple that reveal themselves layer by layer as you pass between the outer and inner wall to see the temple itself. A large pond (once much more beautiful) and a parking area are inside the high outer wall of the temple. Don’t mind the old pond and head inside to check out the beautiful tropical garden behind the temple. Monks live here too and are separated from the main temple by a wall.
The grounds of Wat Pathum Wanaram are where six people were shot and killed during the unrest of 2010 while taking refuge from the violence, but his hasn’t impacted the temple’s quiet and peaceful atmosphere at all.
Things to remember:
There is very little English signage inside the temple compound so be sure to take your guide to help explain it all to you.
The basic rule is for men and women to cover your shoulders and knees (ideally, cover your ankles too). Wear long shorts, capri pants, trousers or a knee-length (or longer) skirt. Wear any shirt that fully covers your shoulders. A T-shirt, blouse or polo is fine. A sari or scarf worn around the shoulders over a tank top is ok and you can even use them as a makeshift long skirt.
This temple is right in the middle of buzzing shopping district of Bangkok. Surrounded by greenery, it makes a nice retreat from the hustle of the busy city all around. Considered one of the most authentic temple visits you can make in Bangkok, you can sit in quiet contemplation, talk to monks, and enjoy the authentic surroundings.
Wat Pathum Wanaram is situated at 969 Rama I Rd, Khwaeng Pathum Wan, Khet Pathum Wan, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon.
As this wat is situated in Central Bangkok, you can also check out these other temples, shopping experiences, galleries and attractions nearby.