The Golden Mount Temple, also known as Wat Saket, is a historic temple in Bangkok, Thailand. Here are 10 interesting facts about this beautiful and fascinating temple:
1. Wat Saket is one of the oldest temples in Bangkok, having been built in the late 18th century during the Ayutthaya period.
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2. The temple is named after the 80-meter-tall artificial hill on which it is built. This hill, called the Golden Mount, is a significant feature of the temple and offers beautiful views of the city.
3. The Golden Mount was initially built as a chedi, a type of Buddhist monument, but it collapsed several times due to the soft soil on which it was built. It was eventually rebuilt in the 19th century and now serves as the temple’s centerpiece.
4. Wat Saket is home to several important Buddhist artifacts, including a relic of the Buddha brought from Sri Lanka.
5. The temple is also home to the Phra Sri Sakyamuni, a marble Buddha statue created in the 19th century. This statue is one of the largest and most beautiful in Bangkok.
6. Wat Saket is an important center for Buddhist festivals and events, including the annual candlelight procession known as the “Novena of Lights” or “Loy Krathong.”
7. The temple is also home to a monastery, where Buddhist monks live and practice their religion. Visitors can learn more about the daily life of these monks and the teachings of Buddhism.
8. Before you exit, find the Statues of the Vultures and Dead Bodies. In 1820, cholera spread through Bangkok, leading to over 30,000 deaths. Wat Saket became a receiving ground for the bodies and could not cremate them all, leading to vultures coming to devour them.
How to Reach Wat Saket
Take the MRT or MRT and get off at Sam Yot. From here, you take a tuk-tuk or a Grab if the heat is unbearable. If you’re up for a walk, it’s only 11 minutes from the MRT! The entrance fee to Wat Saket is 50 Baht. If you can wait longer, the sunset from here is breathtaking. Avoid mid-morning and mid-afternoon here because the temple is crowded with tour groups from different countries.
Where to Stay in Bangkok
Bangkok has places to stay for every traveler. The Khaosan area is a backpacker’s paradise for cheap hostels and accommodations. The nightlife here is insanely loud and crowded. The location of Silom offers LGBTQ hostels/hostels and other accommodations. Downtown Sukhumvit is posh, but the noise and traffic can be really discouraging. I didn’t stay in these neighborhoods because I prefer a serviced apartment with a good wifi connection. I stayed at Sitara Place Hotel and Service Apartment, which is 6 minutes walk to the MRT and surrounded by malls, street food stalls, and night markets.