What visit to Bangkok would be complete without visiting one of Bangkok’s largest and most revered temples?
Wat Sutat, known officially as Wat Sutat Thepwararaam Racha-Voramaha-Vihan, is one of the oldest and largest temples in Bangkok. Built during the period between King Rama I and King Rama III, the temple complex is revered for its massive mural paintings, distinctive roofline, huge golden buddha (east facing), and giant red swing structure.
Wat Sutat also boasts the country’s largest Ubosoth, or ordination hall, and because of this it remains one of the six temples in Bangkok bestowed with the title of highest grade of the first class Royal temples, known as Racha-Voramaha-Vihan (There are only 8 temples throughout Thailand with this distinction).
A visit to Wat Sutat appeals to those who appreciate beautifully ornate frescoes, storytelling history, and evidence of religious tolerance.
If the mural paintings, which are second only to those on display at the Grand Palace, and the large reclining buddha, where the remains of King Ananda Mahidol (Rama VIII) are entombed beneath, are not enough to fill your inquisitive mind then the large red swing structure outside the front entrance of the temple will surely do the trick. The red swing (known as Sao Ching Chaa) is a towering structure that demands the eye of any passerby and without fail fosters questions as to its purpose.
The structure was carved under the direction of King Rama I and in its former glory was a giant swing, which was used during the festivities to celebrate the Bhrama New Year. During this time, teams of men would invoke Shiva’s blessing during the coming year by riding the massive swing (in arcs as high as 82 feet in the air) while attempting to grasp bags full of silver and gold held aloft by Brahman court astrologers, a practice that was discontinued in the 1932 due to several fatalities.
Customer feedback – “Walking through here and seeing all the different murals depicting the 28 incarnations of Lord Buddha was pretty neat. Saying that, there are very few captions or english explanations for much of what you will see here. Having someone who can translate and tell the story of this place is a must.”
It is best to allow for half a day to visit Wat Sutat, including transport time from central Bangkok locations. A visit to Wat Sutat can be easily complemented by nearby attractions such as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, Grand Palace, and Wat Pho.
Wat Sutat is open every day from 9am until 4pm. The main temple is open every day from 8:30am until 9pm.
Admission Price: 100 Baht (allows entry into every building) per person.
Prayer time (Monks chanting)
Monday thru Friday 12pm – 1pm & 7pm – 9pm
Saturday and Sunday 1pm – 3pm & 7pm – 9pm
Things you should be aware of when visiting Wat Sutat:
- Respectful attire is required. Wat Sutat is a functioning Thai Buddhist temple, and a such the management insists that visitors dress in a respectful manner. This means that men must wear long pants and short-sleeved or long-sleeved shirts (no tank tops or sleeveless shirts). Women must wear skirts or pants extending at least to the knee, and also should not wear a top that reveals bare shoulders.
- Visitors are allowed to take photographs in any area of the complex.
- It is recommended that you wear shoes that can be easily removed as you’ll need to take them off when entering any structure in the complex.