WAT PHRA KAEW - วัดพระแก้ว

 Wat Phra Sri Rattana Sasadaram (Wat-Phra-Kaew / วัดพระแก้ว), the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, and the adjoining Grand Palace together form the greatest spectacle for the visitor to Bangkok. Despite the fact that the whole compound is so full of tourists you spend half the time trying to avoid getting in people's photos, it's still a pretty amazing place to visit. It consists of over 100 brightly colored buildings, golden spires and glittering mosaics, and dates back to 1782, when Bangkok was founded. When you enter the compound, you first of all see Wat Phra Kaew and the nearby attractions, and then move on to the Grand Palace afterwards. 

wat thai
                         wat phta kaew

Wat Phra Kaew itself is the main attraction though.This is Thailand's most important
and sacred temple, so you're expected to act with due respect inside it. It houses the tiny ( between 60 and 75 cm ) Emerald Buddha, which is located high above the heads of the worshippers and tourists. Not much is known for certain about the statue, except that it isn't actually made of emerald but rather of green jade or jasper. Getting a good look at it is difficult as photography is forbidden inside the temple, and it's perched so high up inside it's glass box that it's difficult to really see.


 Tiny Watphakaew

Also in the compound is:

* A miniature model of the famous Cambodian temple complex Angkor Wat, made during 
* Two libraries, built to protect copies of important Buddhist literature. The Phra Mondop library is impressive, but almost always closed to the public. If not, it's well worth looking at. 
* The impressive golden Phra Si Rattana Chedi, which it's claimed (somewhat improbably) houses ashes of the Buddha. 
* The Royal Pantheon, with full size statues of the first seven kings of the reigning Chakri the reign of King Mongkut (Rama IV) when the Thai territory extended over Cambodia. dynasty (Rama I - Rama VII). Only open on April 6th, the anniversary of the founding of this dynasty. Surrounding this are large statues of mythical guardians (pictured right), such as the kinaree, half human-half bird and the Hindu garuda bird. It contains the scared Buddhist scriptures, the Tripitaka.