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Temple of the Emerald Buddha

A small but extremely important Thai religious icon sits on a golden pedestal within the ornate Wat Phra Kaew structure on the grounds of the Grand Palace.

“Temple of the Emerald Buddha” is the English nickname for the striking place where you can admire the most sacred object in the Kingdom of Thailand: a small stone Buddha that sits in a meditative pose on an oversized golden throne. Thai people believe it is the oldest sculpture of Buddha, which makes it a much-worshipped object.

Wat Phra Kaew, as Thai people call the temple, is part of the Grand Palace complex. Its official name is Phra Sri Rattana Satsadaram, which means “the residence of the Holy Jewel Buddha.” The ornate temple was built in 1782 under King Rama I, who moved the Emerald Buddha from Wat Arun across the river.

Admire the temple’s mosaics and gilded features before you step inside. The Buddha statue doesn’t contain emeralds, and gets its name because it was carved from a single block of green jade stone. The statue was found hidden in stucco in a temple in Chieng Rai in the early 1400s.

In neighboring regions, you’ll find various conflicting chronicles about the creation and mystical travels of the ancient Emerald Buddha before it was rediscovered. Despite its unconfirmed age and origins, Thai culture still holds the statue in reverence. It is believed to bring legitimacy and prosperity to all who possess it.

Join the line of pilgrims who eagerly make the journey from all over the country to pay homage. At every change of season, the Thai king presides over the ceremonial changing of the Buddha’s outfit. As you make your way around the rest of the temple, don’t miss the model of Angkor Wat, the Cambodian temple complex where the statue was housed when it was under Siamese control. Step through the giant gatekeeping statues onto the temple balcony to see murals depicting the Ramayana legend.

The Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha are open daily but close by mid-afternoon, so get there early. As you enter the site, you are asked to dress respectfully, which includes covering arms, legs and feet. Ferry or taxi is the most convenient way to get there.

There's no place anywhere on the planet exactly like Temple of the Emerald Buddha. So you can make the most of your visit, we've put together a list of the most popular activities:

If you're chasing more activities, peruse our Bangkok things to do page.


Guide to Exploring around Temple of the Emerald Buddha


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Best Lodging Options Near Temple of the Emerald Buddha

See all 3,633 Properties near Temple of the Emerald Buddha
ibis Styles Bangkok Khaosan Viengtai $46
ibis Styles Bangkok Khaosan Viengtai

ibis Styles Bangkok Khaosan Viengtai

42 Rambuttri Rd., Banglampu Pranakorn, Bangkok, Bangkok
     
    3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Bangkok City Centre, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Khaosan Road and Bangkok Riverside. Thammasat University and Democracy Monument are also within 15 minutes.

    D&D Inn Khaosan $19
    D&D Inn Khaosan

    D&D Inn Khaosan

    68-70 Khaosan Road, Pranakorn, Bangkok
       
      3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Bangkok City Centre, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Khaosan Road and Bangkok Riverside. Thammasat University and Democracy Monument are also within 10 minutes.

      Casa Nithra Bangkok $57
      Casa Nithra Bangkok

      Casa Nithra Bangkok

      176 Samsen Road, Baan Panthom, Phra Nakorn, Bangkok, Bangkok
         
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Khao San, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Bangkok Riverside and Khaosan Road. Thammasat University and Temple of the Emerald Buddha are also within 1 mi (2 km).

        Nouvo City Hotel $59
        Nouvo City Hotel

        Nouvo City Hotel

        2 Samsen 2, Samsen Road, Pranakorn, Banglamphu, Bangkok, Bangkok
           
          4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Khao San, this spa hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Wat Bowonniwet Vihara, Phra Sumen Fort, and Khaosan Road. Democracy Monument and National Gallery Bangkok are also within 15 minutes.

          The Thai House
          The Thai House

          The Thai House

          MOO 8 TAMBOL BANG MAUNG,AMPUR, BANGYAI,32/4, NONTHABURI, BKK
             
            2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Bangkok City Centre, this guesthouse is within a 5-minute walk of Temple of the Emerald Buddha and Bangkok Riverside. Grand Palace and Wat Pho are also within 10 minutes. Bangkok Thonburi Station is 27 minutes by foot.

            Rambuttri Village Inn & Plaza $36
            Rambuttri Village Inn & Plaza

            Rambuttri Village Inn & Plaza

            95 Soi Ram Buttri, Chakkra Phong Road, Phra Nakorn, Bangkok, Bangkok
               
              3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Khao San, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Khaosan Road and Bangkok Riverside. Thammasat University and Sanamluang are also within 15 minutes. Bangkok Thonburi Station is 30 minutes by foot.

              iSanook Bangkok $35
              iSanook Bangkok

              iSanook Bangkok

              118, Soi Songphra, Siphraya Road, Kwang Maha Pruttaram, Khet Bangrak, Bangkok, Bangkok
                 
                3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Bangkok City Centre, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of River City Shopping Complex, Si Phraya Pier, and Patpong Night Market. Lumphini Park and MBK Center are also within 2 mi (3 km). Sam Yan Station is 12 minutes by foot and Hua Lamphong Station is 13 minutes.

                Villa de Khaosan $58
                Villa de Khaosan

                Villa de Khaosan

                20 Chakrapong Road, Talta Yot, Phra Nakorn, Bangkok
                   
                  4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Bangkok City Centre, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Khaosan Road, Grand Palace, and Wat Pho. Siam Center and Siam Paragon Mall are also within 6 mi (10 km). Bangkok Thonburi Station is 30 minutes by foot.