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Discover Famous Temples Near Bangkok

Plan a day trip out of the city to discover famous temples near Bangkok and step back in time to learn more about Thai spirituality. The central and eastern regions of Thailand contain 16 of the country’s most spiritual places, with many also boasting historical significance stretching as far back as the 14th century Ayutthaya Kingdom! Pay your respects to Vishnu at San Phra Kan alongside Lopbuir’s notorious monkeys (who are believed to be descendants of Hanuman) or head beachside to check out the intricate hardwood carvings of The Sanctuary of Truth in Chonburi.

If you are staying in Bangkok, it is easy to take a day trip to either region for some spiritual uplifting. Trains, buses, commuter vans, and private transportation are all convenient ways to explore the sights outside of the capital. While many tourists will explore the popular destinations of Ayutthaya, Kanchanaburi, and Chonburi, you can expand your itineraries by following Palotai’s “Connecting to Spiritual Thailand” guide, available to download for free!

Famous Temples Near Bangkok Central Thailand Lopburi Spiritual Thailand

Famous Temples Near Bangkok: Central Thailand

Wondering where to go in central Thailand? Spanning a wide range of historical sites and sacred locations, there are plenty of places to discover. Whether this is your first trip to Thailand or you are on a journey to seek out the unseen, central Thailand is sure to delight.

Read on to discover famous temples near Bangkok in Central Thailand!

 Famous Temples Near Bangkok Central Thailand Ayutthaya Wat Niwet Thammaprawat Spiritual Thailand

Wat Niwet Tammaprawat

Most tourists are familiar with Ayutthaya as the second Siamese capital after Sukhothai. Ayutthaya’s historical splendor is felt today through the remains of its grand ancient temples, which have been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Surrounded by rivers, canals and moats, Ayutthaya became an important center point between the East and the West, as signified by the later constructed Wat Niwet Tammaprawat. Constructed in a fusion of Thai, Chinese and European styles, this is one of the most unique religious sites in the country, not to mention it is only accessible by a cable car operated by the local monks!

Located within a short drive from Bangkok (approximately 2 hours), Ayutthaya is a must-visit destination to learn more about Thailand’s ancient history. Walking around the vast grounds is a very humbling experience, just be sure to bring your sun hat or umbrella!

 Famous Temples Near Bangkok Central Thailand San Phra Kan Lopburi Spiritual Thailand

San Phra Kan

Around 2 hours north of Ayutthaya is Lopburi, another ancient city that is said to have even been visited by Marco Polo and may even date back to prehistoric times! Remaining a stronghold during the Ayutthaya Kingdom, Lopburi later became the Kingdom’s capital under the reign of King Narai during the 17th century. Most tourists will visit Phra Prang Sam Yot, a must-see Khmer-style temple from the Dvaravati period that is represented on both the city’s flag and seal. However, if you are seeking the true “guardian spirit” of Lopburi, look no further than San Phra Kan shrine, interestingly located in the middle of a roundabout!

Lopburi is known for its overwhelming population of monkeys who roam the city streets. The city authorities feed large groups of monkeys at a location outside of the main city twice each day in an attempt to quell their curiosity for visitor’s pockets and purses. When exploring Lopburi, do be cautious of this unique part of the city’s demographic.

 Famous Temples Near Bangkok Central Thailand Wat Thap Sila Kanchanaburi Spiritual Thailand

Wat Thap Sila

Heading west from Bangkok toward the shared border with Myanmar is the well-known province of Kanchanaburi, which became world famous through the movie “The Bridge on the River Kwai”. Prior to its occupation during World War II, Kanchanaburi stood as an important outpost throughout various historical periods. Some famous destinations in the province include Erawan National Park and the stunning 7-tier Erawan waterfall, the Thai-Burma Railway (on which you can ride the short distance across the Bridge Over the River Kwai), the Kanchanaburi War Cemetery, and the JEATH War Museum. While these destinations are typically included in a day-trip package from Bangkok, deciding instead to make the journey on your own will open up many exciting opportunities.

Book an overnight stay in one of Kanchanaburi’s amazing riverside accommodations, many of which are actually on the water! Extending your visit can mean including a trip to one of the province’s seven national parks, two wildlife sanctuaries, and even one of Thailand’s most spiritual places – Wat Thap Sila. The iconic grouping of nine rocks at the entrance to the temple are said to symbolize King Naresuan’s war elephants who aided in the 1593 victory that liberated Siam. After paying homage, be sure to take in the stunning views of Kanchanaburi’s mountains and valleys that surround the temple.

Famous Temples Near Bangkok Central Thailand Tham Phraya Nakhon Prachuap Khiri Khan Spiritual Thailand

Tham Phraya Nakhon

Journey south from Bangkok to the lesser-known coastal province of Prachuap Khiri Khan, which also includes the narrowest part of Thailand, just 12.38 km (7.69 miles) across! One of Thailand’s most famous national parks, Kaeng Krachan, is also located within the province and is definitely worth a visit. Located between three bays and a name that means “city in the mountains”, traveling to Prachuap Khiri Khan is a welcome introduction to Thailand’s natural beauty.

The sacred journey to Tham Phraya Nakhon includes a short boat ride and a 30-minute moderate trail hike. About halfway through the hike, visitors can take a break at a breathtaking viewpoint of the Gulf of Thailand. Upon entering the natural wonder of Tham Phraya Nakhon cave, the morning sun beams magically illuminate the ornate pavilion, precariously resting upon a small hill. This surreal scene was built to commemorate the royal visit of King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) in 1890.

Famous Temples Near Bangkok East Thailand Spiritual Thailand

Famous Temples Near Bangkok: East Thailand

Wondering where to go in east Thailand? Although the east region is one of Thailand’s smallest, its important geographic location lends both ancient history and modern holiday escapes to locals and tourists alike. While boasting only a handful of Thailand’s most spiritual locations, the east region is not to be missed as these are also some of the country’s most unique.

Read on to discover famous temples near Bangkok in East Thailand!

Famous Temples Near Bangkok East Thailand Chachoengsao Three Ganesh Spiritual Thailand

Three Ganesh Statues

A couple hours south of Khao Yai National Park and just east of Bangkok lies the relatively small agricultural hub of Chachoengsao located along the life-providing Bang Pakong River. Home to the largest bronze Ganesh statue in the world, the province’s namesake capital provides three unique opportunities for sacred sightseeing. The Three Ganesh Statues of Chachoengsao include Wat Saman Rattanaram, Klong Kheuan International Ganesh Park, and Wat Phrong Akat and are all located within a short driving distance from one another.

Famous Temples Near Bangkok East Thailand Chao Pho Khao Yai Koh Si Chang Chonburi Spiritual Thailand

Chao Pho Khao Yai Shrine

If you’re looking to combine locations along your spiritual journey to maximize good fortune, consider making the short journey south from Chachoengsao directly to Chonburi, an ideal location to extend your stay and enjoy the coastal area before heading back to Bangkok. A small island off the mainland, called Koh Si Chang, was known as an idyllic holiday location for King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) in 1892. Subsequently, this same island became home to Chao Pho Khao Yai Shrine, which was founded by Chinese sea farers. In addition to the image of the Goddess of Mercy, Chao Pho Khao Yai Shrine also boasts a highly revered statue of Heng Jia, or the Monkey King, surrounded by thousands of draping red prayer papers, making for a truly outstanding scene.

Famous Temples Near Bangkok East Thailand The Sanctuary of Truth Chonburi Pattaya Beach Spiritual Thailand

The Sanctuary of Truth

Back on the mainland, one of Thailand’s most popular and convenient beach destinations, Pattaya, can also be found within Chonburi province. At the north end of Pattaya Beach stands an incredible temple-museum built entirely of wood – The Sanctuary of Truth. Whilst still under construction, visitors are welcome inside to marvel at the hand-carved features that provide a truly otherworldly experience. Explore the four halls, each with their own particular dedications, ranging from familiar Buddhist images, astronomical themes, nature’s classical elements, the Hindu trinity, and representations of family. As such, this uniquely spiritual location aims to also acknowledge the circle of life. With its tallest spire standing at 30 meters, the modern structure makes for a truly awe-inspiring sight.

Famous Temples Near Bangkok East Thailand Khao Kitchakut Chanthaburi Spiritual Thailand

Khao Khitchakut

Venturing to the border with Cambodia, Chanthaburi province is where the indigenous Chong have lived predating the Kingdom of Ayutthaya. The Chong predominately inhabited the Khao Kitchakut district, which also lends its name to a national park, where one of Thailand’s most spiritual places can be found. An annual pilgrimage is made in the Cardamom Mountain Range to pay respect to a footprint of the Buddha, resting at an incredible altitude of 1,050 meters. While trekking the entire way may make for the most authentic journey, modern modes of transportation have been stationed within the national park for a much more accessible opportunity to honor the sacred spot. With a particularly unique appearance, especially in contrast with Thailand’s many temples and shrines, Khao Kitchakut provides a spiritual experience that is truly “off the beaten path.”

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Discover Famous Temples Near Bangkok

Plan a day trip out of the city to discover famous temples near Bangkok and step back in time to learn more about Thai spirituality. The central and eastern regions of Thailand contain 16 of the country’s most spiritual places, with many also boasting historical significance stretching as far back as the 14th century Ayutthaya Kingdom! Pay your respects to Vishnu at San Phra Kan alongside Lopbuir’s notorious monkeys (who are believed to be descendants of Hanuman) or head beachside to check out the intricate hardwood carvings of The Sanctuary of Truth in Chonburi.

If you are staying in Bangkok, it is easy to take a day trip to either region for some spiritual uplifting. Trains, buses, commuter vans, and private transportation are all convenient ways to explore the sights outside of the capital. While many tourists will explore the popular destinations of Ayutthaya, Kanchanaburi, and Chonburi, you can expand your itineraries by following Palotai’s “Connecting to Spiritual Thailand” guide, available to download for free!

Famous Temples Near Bangkok Central Thailand Lopburi Spiritual Thailand

Famous Temples Near Bangkok: Central Thailand

Wondering where to go in central Thailand? Spanning a wide range of historical sites and sacred locations, there are plenty of places to discover. Whether this is your first trip to Thailand or you are on a journey to seek out the unseen, central Thailand is sure to delight.

Read on to discover famous temples near Bangkok in Central Thailand!

 Famous Temples Near Bangkok Central Thailand Ayutthaya Wat Niwet Thammaprawat Spiritual Thailand

Wat Niwet Tammaprawat

Most tourists are familiar with Ayutthaya as the second Siamese capital after Sukhothai. Ayutthaya’s historical splendor is felt today through the remains of its grand ancient temples, which have been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Surrounded by rivers, canals and moats, Ayutthaya became an important center point between the East and the West, as signified by the later constructed Wat Niwet Tammaprawat. Constructed in a fusion of Thai, Chinese and European styles, this is one of the most unique religious sites in the country, not to mention it is only accessible by a cable car operated by the local monks!

Located within a short drive from Bangkok (approximately 2 hours), Ayutthaya is a must-visit destination to learn more about Thailand’s ancient history. Walking around the vast grounds is a very humbling experience, just be sure to bring your sun hat or umbrella!

 Famous Temples Near Bangkok Central Thailand San Phra Kan Lopburi Spiritual Thailand

San Phra Kan

Around 2 hours north of Ayutthaya is Lopburi, another ancient city that is said to have even been visited by Marco Polo and may even date back to prehistoric times! Remaining a stronghold during the Ayutthaya Kingdom, Lopburi later became the Kingdom’s capital under the reign of King Narai during the 17th century. Most tourists will visit Phra Prang Sam Yot, a must-see Khmer-style temple from the Dvaravati period that is represented on both the city’s flag and seal. However, if you are seeking the true “guardian spirit” of Lopburi, look no further than San Phra Kan shrine, interestingly located in the middle of a roundabout!

Lopburi is known for its overwhelming population of monkeys who roam the city streets. The city authorities feed large groups of monkeys at a location outside of the main city twice each day in an attempt to quell their curiosity for visitor’s pockets and purses. When exploring Lopburi, do be cautious of this unique part of the city’s demographic.

 Famous Temples Near Bangkok Central Thailand Wat Thap Sila Kanchanaburi Spiritual Thailand

Wat Thap Sila

Heading west from Bangkok toward the shared border with Myanmar is the well-known province of Kanchanaburi, which became world famous through the movie “The Bridge on the River Kwai”. Prior to its occupation during World War II, Kanchanaburi stood as an important outpost throughout various historical periods. Some famous destinations in the province include Erawan National Park and the stunning 7-tier Erawan waterfall, the Thai-Burma Railway (on which you can ride the short distance across the Bridge Over the River Kwai), the Kanchanaburi War Cemetery, and the JEATH War Museum. While these destinations are typically included in a day-trip package from Bangkok, deciding instead to make the journey on your own will open up many exciting opportunities.

Book an overnight stay in one of Kanchanaburi’s amazing riverside accommodations, many of which are actually on the water! Extending your visit can mean including a trip to one of the province’s seven national parks, two wildlife sanctuaries, and even one of Thailand’s most spiritual places – Wat Thap Sila. The iconic grouping of nine rocks at the entrance to the temple are said to symbolize King Naresuan’s war elephants who aided in the 1593 victory that liberated Siam. After paying homage, be sure to take in the stunning views of Kanchanaburi’s mountains and valleys that surround the temple.

Famous Temples Near Bangkok Central Thailand Tham Phraya Nakhon Prachuap Khiri Khan Spiritual Thailand

Tham Phraya Nakhon

Journey south from Bangkok to the lesser-known coastal province of Prachuap Khiri Khan, which also includes the narrowest part of Thailand, just 12.38 km (7.69 miles) across! One of Thailand’s most famous national parks, Kaeng Krachan, is also located within the province and is definitely worth a visit. Located between three bays and a name that means “city in the mountains”, traveling to Prachuap Khiri Khan is a welcome introduction to Thailand’s natural beauty.

The sacred journey to Tham Phraya Nakhon includes a short boat ride and a 30-minute moderate trail hike. About halfway through the hike, visitors can take a break at a breathtaking viewpoint of the Gulf of Thailand. Upon entering the natural wonder of Tham Phraya Nakhon cave, the morning sun beams magically illuminate the ornate pavilion, precariously resting upon a small hill. This surreal scene was built to commemorate the royal visit of King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) in 1890.

Famous Temples Near Bangkok East Thailand Spiritual Thailand

Famous Temples Near Bangkok: East Thailand

Wondering where to go in east Thailand? Although the east region is one of Thailand’s smallest, its important geographic location lends both ancient history and modern holiday escapes to locals and tourists alike. While boasting only a handful of Thailand’s most spiritual locations, the east region is not to be missed as these are also some of the country’s most unique.

Read on to discover famous temples near Bangkok in East Thailand!

Famous Temples Near Bangkok East Thailand Chachoengsao Three Ganesh Spiritual Thailand

Three Ganesh Statues

A couple hours south of Khao Yai National Park and just east of Bangkok lies the relatively small agricultural hub of Chachoengsao located along the life-providing Bang Pakong River. Home to the largest bronze Ganesh statue in the world, the province’s namesake capital provides three unique opportunities for sacred sightseeing. The Three Ganesh Statues of Chachoengsao include Wat Saman Rattanaram, Klong Kheuan International Ganesh Park, and Wat Phrong Akat and are all located within a short driving distance from one another.

Famous Temples Near Bangkok East Thailand Chao Pho Khao Yai Koh Si Chang Chonburi Spiritual Thailand

Chao Pho Khao Yai Shrine

If you’re looking to combine locations along your spiritual journey to maximize good fortune, consider making the short journey south from Chachoengsao directly to Chonburi, an ideal location to extend your stay and enjoy the coastal area before heading back to Bangkok. A small island off the mainland, called Koh Si Chang, was known as an idyllic holiday location for King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) in 1892. Subsequently, this same island became home to Chao Pho Khao Yai Shrine, which was founded by Chinese sea farers. In addition to the image of the Goddess of Mercy, Chao Pho Khao Yai Shrine also boasts a highly revered statue of Heng Jia, or the Monkey King, surrounded by thousands of draping red prayer papers, making for a truly outstanding scene.

Famous Temples Near Bangkok East Thailand The Sanctuary of Truth Chonburi Pattaya Beach Spiritual Thailand

The Sanctuary of Truth

Back on the mainland, one of Thailand’s most popular and convenient beach destinations, Pattaya, can also be found within Chonburi province. At the north end of Pattaya Beach stands an incredible temple-museum built entirely of wood – The Sanctuary of Truth. Whilst still under construction, visitors are welcome inside to marvel at the hand-carved features that provide a truly otherworldly experience. Explore the four halls, each with their own particular dedications, ranging from familiar Buddhist images, astronomical themes, nature’s classical elements, the Hindu trinity, and representations of family. As such, this uniquely spiritual location aims to also acknowledge the circle of life. With its tallest spire standing at 30 meters, the modern structure makes for a truly awe-inspiring sight.

Famous Temples Near Bangkok East Thailand Khao Kitchakut Chanthaburi Spiritual Thailand

Khao Khitchakut

Venturing to the border with Cambodia, Chanthaburi province is where the indigenous Chong have lived predating the Kingdom of Ayutthaya. The Chong predominately inhabited the Khao Kitchakut district, which also lends its name to a national park, where one of Thailand’s most spiritual places can be found. An annual pilgrimage is made in the Cardamom Mountain Range to pay respect to a footprint of the Buddha, resting at an incredible altitude of 1,050 meters. While trekking the entire way may make for the most authentic journey, modern modes of transportation have been stationed within the national park for a much more accessible opportunity to honor the sacred spot. With a particularly unique appearance, especially in contrast with Thailand’s many temples and shrines, Khao Kitchakut provides a spiritual experience that is truly “off the beaten path.”

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