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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Joanna James Joanna James
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Ancient Temples of Riverside Bangkok – Enjoy the Magic

When visiting Bangkok a sojourn to the Chao Phraya Riverside is a must. Dotted with numerous attractions the riverbank is best known for its collection of fascinating historical temples.


The Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew

The most iconic of all attractions in Bangkok the Grand Palace and Wat located within the palace grounds welcome thousands of visitors annually. The home of Thai royalty for over 150 years the palace was built in 1782. The two most fascinating aspects of this attraction are Thailand's prized possession the palace and the country's most revered Buddhist pilgrimage site, the temple. Within the elegant temple grounds is Wat Phra Kaew; home to Thailand's most treasured artefact the Emerald Buddha – Phra Kaew Moraket. This is a sacred image that's carved out of a single chunk of emerald. Taking on a guided tour is your best bet for a comprehensive browse of the palace and temple grounds.


Wat Arun

Lovingly called the 'Temple of Dawn' Wat Arun is the most famous riverside attraction on any Chao Phraya tour. The ancient temple sits beside the riverbank and is most impressive at night; when the entire structure is lit up with a million lights. Taking on a night cruise on the Chao Phraya River is, in fact, one of the most popular things to do around Bangkok. Also called Wat Chain the pagoda has unique architectural stylings; the central pagoda is visible across the river and quite an impressive sight. Just 6kms from the AVANI Riverside Bangkok Hotel the temple is best visited in the early hours in order to avoid the huge crowds that go there.


Wat Yannawa

This temple was renamed several times over the years since it was first built in the 1700's. Constructed during the Ayutthaya period there were renovations done to the temple by king Rama III about 169 years ago. The additional building was constructed in the shape of a Chinese Junk; which proved a great link to Thailand ferrying all manner of goods from China and back. The 'Junk Ship' temple as it is sometimes referred to is quite a treat to explore; there are the spired chedis that look like masts and an altar located in the wheel house just above the stern. Behind this chedi is Mekhala's pier, an area deemed a 'no kill' zone; due to this, the waters are thriving with all manner of fish.


Wat Pho – Temple of the Reclining Buddha

Home to the 46 metre reclining Buddha statue that's covered in gold leaf, Wat Pho, one of the city's largest is a must visit when touring the Chao Phraya River region. The temple is also famous for the best Thai massage school located there; promising one the best Thai massage experiences in Bangkok. The temple is open from 8 am to 5 pm and charges a small entrance fee. Located a few feet from the Grand Palace this is a comprehensive tour that many tourists take.

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