Wat Saket - Temple of the Golden Mount
Wat Saket is famed for its Golden Mount – a spire that rises some 260 feet into the air from ground level. Nestled on top of a man-made hill, the Golden Mount is a fairly dominant feature in the Rattanakosin area’s skyline. Building of the temple started in the 1800s by King Rama III and the temple was completed by King Rama IV. The temple is significant as it houses Indian relics of the Lord Buddha in a Sri Lankan-style ‘Chedi’ – to pray at Wat Saket is to make merit. The temple also offers probably the best view of this part of Bangkok. Be warned: for the privilege of a good view visitors have to conquer 318 steps - worth thinking about if you are not in condition!
Wat Saket is also home to an annual fair around the time of the 12th lunar month. For a period of nine days of full moon (the last week of October to mid-November) people visit the temple to pay respect to the Lord Buddha’s relics and to enjoy the activities on offer. During the fair a red cloth (reminiscent of a monk’s robe) is placed around the Golden Mount while the temple’s grounds play host to Thai traditional theatre, food stalls and a number of traditional shows.
Details: Walking the steps to the top of the mount is free but it costs 10 baht to go into the Chedi. The temple is open daily between 08:00 and 17.30.
How to get there: The temple is situated between Boriphat Road and Lan Luang Road, Bangkok. You can take a taxi, which from the centre of Bangkok will cost about 80 Baht.
The following buses will get you there:
Bus Number: 8, 15, 37, 47
Air-conditioned Bus Number: 8 and 42
Tel: 0-2233-4561 (office); 0-2621-0576 (Golden Mount)
It is also possible to get to the temple by boat; you need to stop at Tha Chang Express Boat pier.