Seen one temple, seen them all, right? With an estimated 40,000 Buddhist temples in Thailand, and many of them similar in appearance, a lot of tourists amusingly say they get “templed-out” when sightseeing. But not all Thai temples are the same. And you don’t have to be a passionate culture lover or a devoted spiritual follower to appreciate the skilled workmanship and design or the beauty of the surroundings. No matter how many temples you’ve visited on your Thailand adventure, with a little research and planning there are plenty of interesting, unique and even mesmerizing temples that are different to the norm.
Check out a few of Thailand’s most stunning temples:
Wat Pha Sorn Kaew
Located in Phetchabun province in north-central Thailand and sitting on an 830m high peak, the first thing you notice is the huge white statue of 5 sitting Buddhas with the stunning mountain backdrop. On closer inspection you’ll find the main pagoda adorned with more than five million colorful mosaic tiles and pottery items that glitters and amazes every visitor. Built in 2004 it is a young temple compared to many others but it boasts a bold design that few others can compete with.
The Great Buddha of Thailand
Located in the Wat Muang temple in Ang Thong Province, the statue stands 92m high and 63m wide making it the tallest statue in Thailand and the ninth tallest in the world. Completed in 2008, the enormous statue towers above the surrounding, sparsely populated farmland. The giant concrete structure is finished with gold paint and casts its shadow over not only the Wat Muang monastery and temple, but also the surrounding “Hell Garden” featuring statues depicting the fate of sinners. It is said those who touch the Big Buddha’s right hand are blessed with luck.
Wat Pa Phu Kon
Wat Pa Phu Kon is probably the most stunning temple in Isaan, the northeastern region of Thailand, and certainly the most striking with its unusual turquoise green roof. Discreetly tucked away in a hilly woodland, the temple is located in a very remote part of the Na Yung-Nam Som National Forest Reserve. Inside the temple is just as impressive as the outside. The 20m reclining Buddha displayed is made from imported Italian marble and was transported in 40 blocks each weighing 15-30 tons, then assembled and sculptured.
Wat Rong Khun
Wat Rong Khun, better known as “the White Temple” is one of the most recognizable temples in Thailand. The temple is located a short distance from Chiang Rai and attracts a large number of visitors, both Thai and foreign, making it one of Chiang Rai’s most visited attractions. It is a unique temple that stands out through the white color and the use of pieces of glass in the plaster, sparkling in the sun. The white color signifies the purity of the Buddha, while the glass symbolizes the Buddha’s wisdom.