One of the most interesting Buddhist temples in Bangkok is the Golden Mount Temple. This ancient temple, also called Wat Saket is located in the historical district of the Thai capital and has a number of significant differences from many other temples of Bangkok. On this page you will find information about the location of the Golden Mount temple in Bangkok, how to get to this temple from various parts of Bangkok and the main features of Wat Saket, which may make visiting this temple very interesting. You will also find photos of the Golden Mount Temple in Bangkok, a short video about my visit to this place and some tips before visiting.
The main feature of the Golden Mount temple in Bangkok
The first temple at the site of the current temple Wat Saket was built during the heyday of the Ayutthaya kingdom, and the current name was given during the reign of King Rama I. And the temple was given its current appearance during the reign of Rama III, when a high artificial hill was built in Bangkok with a temple and golden chedi on top. It was in the first half of the 19th century that Wat Saket got its second name – the Temple of the Golden Mountain. Bangkok is located in the floodplain of the Chao Phraya River with a very flat terrain. Therefore, the artificial hill on which the golden chedi is located is still unique for the city. A temple of Wat Saket for a long time was the tallest building in the Thai capital (before the construction of the temple of Wat Arun).
How to get to the Temple of the Golden Mountain in Bangkok
Since Golden Mount Temple is located in the eastern part of the historical district of Bangkok, you cannot use the ground or underground place of the capital to quickly get directly to the entrance to the territory of this temple. Therefore, you will have to choose one of several combined options, which are described below.
1). BTS SkyTrain + passenger boat on the Golden Mount line
In this case, you must use Bangkok’s BTS SkyTrain to get to National Stadium Station (Silom Line) or to Ratchathewi Station (on Sukhumvit Line). After that, you need to go about 300 meters to the north or south, respectively, and use the passenger boat, which moves in a westerly direction from the pier of Hua Chang (Sapan Hua Chang). To go by boat you need 4 stops. A good landmark is the temple of Wat Saket itself (whose golden peak will be visible on the left while moving). The interval of the movement of boats is about 20 minutes.
Boats move very quickly, so you will not lose much time to overcome the distance of 3 kilometers. In this case, you will have to pay 10 THB per 1 passenger fare (approximately 0.3 USD). Tickets are purchased directly from the conductor on the boat, to which you must inform the destination point (you can just say Wat Saket or Golden Mount Temple). In no case do not be afraid of such an original way of getting around the city: everything is perfectly organized and time tested. Every day only about 60 thousand passengers use this channel. You can also use a similar boat in the opposite direction.
2) Walking distance from the Royal Palace or Wat Pho temple in Bangkok
This is the path I used during video recording. The distance from the main entrance to the temple of Wat Pho to the entrance to the Golden Mount Temple is about 2.5 km, i.e. you can walk about half an hour without any problems. The main thing is not to do it in the hottest time of the day, or, in extreme cases, to carry a small supply of drinking water. By the way, the best route lies through another attraction of Bangkok – Giant swings. In my video, they were under reconstruction and closed with a net, but at the moment the restoration work has been completed, and you have the opportunity to see this swing in all its glory. Similarly, you can walk from the National Stadium Metro Station to Wat Saket Temple (I was returning from the temple in this way and spent about half an hour on the road).
3) Walking distance from Khao San Rd in Bangkok
If you chose the famous Khao San Road as your place to live in Bangkok, it will be even easier to get to the Golden Mount. The distance to this temple to the beginning of Khao San street is about 1 km (or 1.5 km if the hotel is farthest part of Ksaosan Rd from the temple). This means that you can easily get to Wat Saket in about 15-20 minutes on foot. Of course, it is better to use the navigator, since getting lost in Bangkok is not difficult.
4) How to get to Wat Saket by taxi in Bangkok
Of course, you can get to Wat Saket from Bangkok by taxi from any area of this city. Just remember that Bangkok is a huge Asian metropolis and traffic jams are not uncommon, but a regular phenomenon, especially in the morning, lunch and evening on weekdays). In general, taxi service in Bangkok are cheap, and in some cases using this type of transport is even cheaper than the subway lines, especially if you are not one passenger. But due to the fact that you will pay not only kilometers, but also idle time in traffic jams, the cost may increase several times.Therefore, if you do not want to overpay a lot during rush hour, it is better to get to the nearest BTS or MRT stations and only the last part of the way is to overcome by taxi or motorcycle taxi.
5) How to get to Golden Mount Temple by tuk-tuk
This option may be cheaper than a taxi, but because of possible attempts to deceive by the owners of this transport, I would not recommend using this transport. By tradition, tuk-tuk drivers are either called an unrealistically high price for their services, or the cost will be small, but you will be asked to visit at a store (or even a few) so that the tuk-tuk driver will receive a bonus from the owners of such stores. You are not obliged to buy anything in these stores, but you will lose a lot of time, which for me personally during the rest is the main value.
Opening hours and cost of visiting Golden Mount in Bangkok
When planning to visit Wat Saket, you must remember that the temple’s operating time is limited and you can see this interesting temple from 08:00 am to 19:00 pm (previously worked from 07:30 to 17:30 and you can still find outdated information in the Internet). At the same time, it does not make sense to come immediately before closing, because at that time it is already dark in Bangkok. Entrance to the temple territory is free, but at the same time you must purchase an entrance ticket to climb to the top, where the most interesting is located. The entrance ticket costs 20 THB, and the ticket office is located at the beginning of the steps to the hill.
What is interesting in the Temple of the Golden Mount Temple in Bangkok
Getting into the territory of the temple complex, you should move to the right along the buildings and cafes. There are signs with arrows to Golden Mount Temple, so getting lost is difficult. If you don’t know the right way, just go where the Thais go. Below there are machines for the sale of drinking water, and to the right under shady canopies along the road are benches. In this place you can relax, because cool create special devices that spray cold water vapor. After a couple of minutes, you will see a ticket office on the left, where you can buy an entrance ticket, and right behind the cashier office – red steps up.
To go upstairs, you must overcome 318 steps, but this path cannot be called difficult. The steps are very low and wide, so even children can go upstairs without any problems. Immediately I warn you that the descent from the mountain is made by another staircase, so if you want to take photos as a keepsake, do it right away while climbing up. Along the way, you are waiting for artificial waterfalls, many interesting sculptures of people and animals, ancient shady trees with branches hanging above the stairs. In the first part of the climb, you will also pass through the areas where artificial fog was created. As you climb up the monotonous prayers of Buddhist monks grow louder.
A little further there will be Golden Mount cafe, then a large platform with a seating area with a lot of bells around the perimeter, which you can ring one by one (according to rumors, this will bring you good luck and health). During the ascent you can also find a free toilet. In the final stage of climbing stairs you can already admire the panorama of Bangkok, as well as temple buildings located at the foot of the hill. At the top is the entrance to the inside of the temple. At the same time there are information signs near the entrance that warn you that you should not take off your shoes. The inscriptions are made graphically, in Thai, in English and in Chinese. But some people still leave their shoes at the entrance and wander around the temple barefoot.
Inside there are many altars with statues, among which is a lying golden Buddha and several emerald Buddha statues. A lot of gold jewelry and fresh flowers. You can also make a donation and buy a bronze sheet or buy a card for memory. Somewhat surprisingly, but inside the temple stands a range of freezers with a large selection of ice cream. Prices are higher than 7Eleven, but this is understandable, taking into account the location and manual delivery to the top. The main shrine of the Temple of the Golden Mountain is a piece of Buddha’s ashes, which was brought from India. It is located in a golden sarcophagus in the central part of the temple. I could not go there because there was a queue of Thais. To climb to the shrine, you must overcome a few steps and enter the niche. This should be done barefoot and observing all the rules of decency adopted in Buddhism.
Along the perimeter of the entire temple there are wooden windows through which a magnificent panoramic view of the city opens. In front of some windows there are wooden benches where you can sit and admire Bangkok. The idyll is somewhat spoiled by the draft and the cool wind, because the temple is located very high above the ground level. In addition, the room has several powerful air conditioners. It is the wind and drafts that create an almost non-stop and melodic ringing of bells in the form of leaves that are fixed above the windows.
The temple has a flat roof, on which a giant golden chedi was erected (a bell-shaped stupa with a stepped base and a high sharp spire). The exit to the top is carried out along the steps from the inside of the temple through a narrow passage in one of the walls, which I did not immediately notice and wanted to go down, but I remembered in time that I still not saw the golden chedi. Above there is a better view of Bangkok, and you can see the giant swings, the Grand Royal Palace, and many skyscrapers in various parts of this Asian metropolis. The golden chedi is surrounded by a gold chain, for which it is forbidden to enter. During some holidays in Thailand, the stupa may be decorated with a red cloth, but at the time of my visit it was golden, only in the lower part there was a wide strip of yellow fabric.
To leave the observation deck with a golden stupa, you must descend down a narrow staircase (at the opposite end of the platform) and exit the temple on the mountain through the same entrance through which you entered. The stairs down will be different (to the right of the exit from the temple). On the way down you will see other statues and sculptures. In my opinion, the way down is not as picturesque as the steps up, but there are several interesting objects. By the way, at the bottom (near the ticket office) there is a Golden Mount layout, during the inspection of which you can understand, why the separate stairs up to the mountain and down do not overlap.
Video from my visit to the Temple of the Golden Mountain in Bangkok
(video starts from the entrance to the territory of Golden Mount)
For me personally, it took 40 minutes to visit the temple, but I didn’t linger much anywhere, because I was going to return there again. Therefore, I advice plan for about 1 hour in order to slowly watch all interesting objects, take a photos in beautiful places on the way up and on the top viewpoint, slowly eat ice cream, etc. If you want to visit the temple in the evening, it is better to come after 17-00 to meet the sunset on the top of the Temple of the Golden Mountain and see how this temple looks with artificial light. Have a good time at Wat Saket – Golden Mount Temple in Bangkok.
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