Wat Saket (Temple of the Golden Mount), Bangkok

Wat Saket (Temple of the Golden Mount), Bangkok (must see)

Wat Saket, a Buddhist temple and a famous landmark in Bangkok, dates back to the Ayutthaya era. The towering gold chedi of Wat Saket, once the highest point in Bangkok, is notable for its spectacular views and its hosting of the annual Loy Krathong festival. The small dome is covered with small golden squares that reflect in the sun. Due to these shiny squares, the place got the name of Golden Mount.

Golden Mount, a steep hill inside the Wat Saket compound, is not a natural mountain but an artificial one. It was constructed under King Rama III when he tried to build a chedi which collapsed because of the soft soil beneath. He, therefore, made a sturdy mound of mud and bricks to support it. For about half a century, it was left alone until it took the shape of a natural hill and became overgrown with weeds. From then onward, it received its name of "Phu Khao". King Rama IV built a small chedi on the hilltop and put nearly 1,000 teak logs all along the shore to give support to the sinking structure into the swampy ground. Finally, Rama V added the chedi that stands here today. A Buddha relic from India was housed in the chedi. The concrete walls were added during World War II to prevent the hill from eroding and the structure collapsing.

During the Loy Krathong festival, Wat Sakhet hosts Bangkok's most important temple fair that takes place from late October to mid-November (for 9 days around the full moon). A red cloth is wrapped around the Golden Mount during this event. A carnival starts around it and many food stalls, theatrical performances, freak shows and animal circuses mushroom up here. The festival also includes a candlelight procession up to the Golden Mount. Religious visitors place flowers and light candles near the temple.

A large number of 318 steps must be ascended to reach the peak of Golden Mount but it is worth the effort as the panoramic view of Bangkok from the top of old Rattanakosin Island is fabulous and fantastic!

Why You Should Visit:
Bangkok is a pretty flat city, so to be able to climb up the only hill for miles around and have a lovely temple on top from which to admire the view... is pretty great!

Tip:
Go early in the morning to avoid the heat and crowds.
If it's hot and sunny, be sure to have a hat or some sort of parasol, as you'll be exposed to the sun most of the way up.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 7:30am-5:30pm

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour of Bangkok, Thailand within the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded from iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Wat Saket (Temple of the Golden Mount) on Map

Sight Name: Wat Saket (Temple of the Golden Mount)
Sight Location: Bangkok, Thailand
Sight Type: Religious
Guide(s) containing this sight: Wats and Temples of Bangkok   Bangkok Old City Walk  

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