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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.


Guide to Exploring around Temple of the Emerald Buddha


Top Temple of the Emerald Buddha Flight + Hotel Deals

Best Lodging Options Near Temple of the Emerald Buddha

See all 4,249 Properties near Temple of the Emerald Buddha
Pa Prank - Hostel ¥3,167
Pa Prank - Hostel

Pa Prank - Hostel

110-112 Soi Phrang Sappasart, Soi San Chao Pho Suea, Bangkok, Bangkok
     
    2.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Bangkok City Centre, this hostel is within a 10-minute walk of Khaosan Road, Temple of the Emerald Buddha, and Bangkok Riverside. Thammasat University and Grand Palace are also within 15 minutes. MRT Wat Mangkon Station is 30 minutes by foot.

    Riva Arun Bangkok ¥4,549
    Riva Arun Bangkok

    Riva Arun Bangkok

    392/25-26 Maharaj Road, Phraborom Maharajawang, Pranakorn, Bangkok
       
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Bangkok City Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Museum of Siam and Wat Pho. Temple of the Emerald Buddha and Grand Palace are also within 1 mi (2 km).

      1905 Heritage Corner ¥12,413
      1905 Heritage Corner

      1905 Heritage Corner

      66,68 Phraeng Phuthon Road, San Chao Por Suea, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok
         
        3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Bangkok City Centre, this guesthouse is within a 10-minute walk of Giant Swing, Temple of the Emerald Buddha, and Khaosan Road. Grand Palace and Wat Pho are also within 15 minutes. MRT Wat Mangkon Station is 27 minutes by foot.

        Santo House ¥2,553
        Santo House

        Santo House

        66 Buranasat Road, Bangkok, Bangkok
           
          2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Bangkok City Centre, this guesthouse is within a 10-minute walk of Khaosan Road, Bangkok Riverside, and Sanamluang. Thammasat University and Wat Pho are also within 15 minutes. MRT Wat Mangkon Station is 30 minutes by foot.

          The Bhuthorn Bed and Breakfast ¥11,062
          The Bhuthorn Bed and Breakfast

          The Bhuthorn Bed and Breakfast

          96 – 98 Phraeng Bhuthorn Rd., San Chao Phor Seua, Phra Nakhorn, Bangkok
             
            3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Bangkok City Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Temple of the Emerald Buddha, Bangkok Riverside, and Khaosan Road. Grand Palace and Wat Pho are also within 15 minutes. MRT Wat Mangkon Station is 25 minutes by foot.

            D Hostel Bangkok
            D Hostel Bangkok

            D Hostel Bangkok

            103 Boonsiri Rd, San-Chao-Por-Suea, Phranakhon, Bangkok
               
              2.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Bangkok City Centre, this hostel is within a 10-minute walk of Khaosan Road, Temple of the Emerald Buddha, and Bangkok Riverside. Sanamluang and Democracy Monument are also within 10 minutes.

              Siri Poshtel Bangkok ¥3,446
              Siri Poshtel Bangkok

              Siri Poshtel Bangkok

              114 Prangsanphasart, Tanao Road, Phra Nakhon District, Bangkok, Bangkok
                 
                3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Bangkok City Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Khaosan Road, Temple of the Emerald Buddha, and Sanamluang. Bangkok Riverside and Thammasat University are also within 15 minutes. MRT Wat Mangkon Station is 29 minutes by foot.

                OYO 378 Bright Minitel ¥1,829
                OYO 378 Bright Minitel

                OYO 378 Bright Minitel

                55 Phraeng Sanphasat Road, Bangkok, Thailand
                   
                  2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Bangkok City Centre, this guesthouse is within a 10-minute walk of Khaosan Road, Bangkok Riverside, and Sanamluang. Thammasat University and Wat Pho are also within 15 minutes. MRT Wat Mangkon Station is 29 minutes by foot.