Choosing Which Sights & Temples in Bangkok To Visit While Taking A River Cruise
As soon as you start searching for Things To Do In Bangkok online, surely, you’ll be bombarded with pictures and tours of the Buddhist temples. They are indeed beautiful, some larger and in a better state than others. We never saw anything similar in any of the European countries we visited.
Each of these temples is dedicated to a different form of Buddha, each having a different role in Buddhism. Most of the temples in Bangkok are kept in pristine condition, and the locals’ devotion to their Buddha makes it even more special. What is mesmerising, is the fact that these are not just attractions for us tourists, but they are traditions that the Buddhists keep very close to them every day.
A visit to the capital would mean nothing if you didn’t visit at least a few of these sights. The architecture is something out of this world and the way they are decorated is awe-inspiring. We suggest visiting in the morning (check opening times) as temperatures will not be at the highest and they are probably not crowded with tourists as they usually are later on during the day.
Should I book a Tour Online Beforehand?
Pre-booking a tour around the temples in Bangkok will set you back, at least €30 per person. That’s A LOT of money in Thailand, keeping in mind that a lovely Pad Thai meal costs something between €1 and €2.
So, How Should You Visit These Majestic Sights? We Recommend The Following Three Methods:
METHOD 1: If you want to go around at your own pace, sipping a coffee or a meal in between, we suggest planning a route beforehand by looking for the temples you would want to visit in a particular day and marking them on a map. To do so, you can use the app Moovit to prepare your route using public transport. Bangkok is well equipped with public transport, hence it’s cheap and frequent too.
METHOD 3: The hop-on hop-off tourist boat. If you fancy taking a ride along the Chao Phraya river consider this method! It flows through Bangkok and keeps going into the Gulf of Thailand. It’s beautiful, and while being there, you’ll be able to see the city from a different perspective.
Is it the Cheapest Option to Enjoy the River?
Yep, that would be the Hop-On Hop-Off tourist boat, with stops right next to the major attractions close to the river. The cost is just 200baht (approx. €6) per person for a whole day, and if you’re a larger group, discounts will apply. The tickets can be bought online, or else from the Sathorn Pier.
Dress Code to Visiting Temples in Bangkok (And Anywhere Else!)
Respecting cultures and traditions of a country will make you feel part of it even more. Despite the hot and humid weather all year round, entering the temples requires you to be in knee-length pants or skirts and sleeved shirts. Otherwise, you’ll have to rent a scarf to cover your knees and shoulders at every temple, which by the way is not expensive, but hey it can be avoided. Also, we recommend you wear comfortable footwear to take off and put back on, as all temples have to be entered barefooted.
So, Which Sights & Temples in Bangkok to Visit While on the River Cruise?
Tha Din Daeng Market
Still didn’t have breakfast or time for a snack? Stop at Lhong 1919 pier and walk to the Tha Din Daeng Market. It’s a small market offering a range of fresh products and food, ready to kick start your day.
Wat Arun Ratchawararam
Stopping at the Wat Arun Pier, the first temple that must be included in every visitor’s itinerary is the Wat Arun Ratchawararam. It is known as ‘Wat Arun’ in short and represents the ‘Temple of Dawn’, covered in porcelain art, making it amazingly pretty! Get ready to climb some steep steps to get to the top!
Entrance fee: 50baht/adult (approx. €1.50)
Opening hours: Daily 08:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Wat Pho – The Temple of the Reclining Buddha
Another temple you should have a look at is the temple of the Reclining Buddha, also known as “Wat Pho”. It is the largest Buddha found in any of the temples in Bangkok, measuring over 150 feet in length. It will leave you astonished! Besides, the temple holds hundreds of Buddhas outside as well as inside the building, and if you get tired of counting them, there is a temple massage! How cool is that?!
This temple is situated exactly on the opposite side of the last stop we mentioned, the Wat Arun Pier. From there, a free shuttle boat is available that takes you to the other side, just a few steps away from the Wat Pho temple.
Entrance fee: 200baht/person (approx. €6)
Opening hours: Daily 08:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.
The Grand Palace
The Grand Palace includes an enormous 2.35 million square feet of land, being home to the King of Thailand and his Royal Government until 1925. Despite its enormously large area, it still is very busy and hence why we didn’t get to enter inside.
We left this as one of our afternoon visits, which wasn’t the smartest idea. The line was so long, we couldn’t even see the end of it. It was burning hot and we just couldn’t manage to get in. This is exactly why we encourage you to go in the morning! We still had the chance to see it from the outside, which was already fascinating.
The Grand Palace is a 15-minute walk from the Wat Pho, or else if you loved the river ride, just hop to the next stop which is the Tha Maharaj.
Entrance fee: 500baht/person (approx. €15)
Opening hours: Daily 08:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.