The Golden Mount and Wat Saket in Bangkok, Thailand

The Golden Mount Temple and Wat Saket in Bangkok, ThailandThe Golden Mount and Wat Saket in Bangkok, Thailand is one of the most beautiful sacred sites in the city.  Sitting on top of a small hill, the temple is crowned with an impressive 58-meter golden stupa (the monument at the top which points at the sky) which contains a relic from the Buddha. With 360 degree views of Bangkok encompassing both the old city along with the modern skyscrapers, the Golden Mount is one of the most impressive places to watch Bangkok’s famous sunsets.

The Golden Mount Temple and Wat Saket in Bangkok, Thailand334 steps lead you to the top of The Golden Mount.  Originally built before Bangkok was the capital city, the original structure collapsed and eventually became covered in weeds, creating an artificial hill.  When the capital was moved from Ayutthaya to Bangkok, King Rama I began renovations of the grounds.  The temple was continuously added to by his grandson Rama III and more by his son Rama IV.  In the 20th century the sides of the hill were covered in concrete to prevent erosion.

The Golden Mount Temple and Wat Saket in Bangkok, ThailandAs you head up the steps there are many rows of hanging bells and several large gongs.  There are also speakers along the way where monks are continuously chanting, creating a very strong and calming energy as you head up the steps.

The Golden Mount Temple and Wat Saket in Bangkok, ThailandIt’s amazing to see the contrast between the traditionally built temples and the modern skyline of Bangkok, Thailand.

The Golden Mount Temple and Wat Saket in Bangkok, ThailandThe most popular time to visit the Golden Mount is during Loy Krathong, one of Thailand’s biggest holidays occurring every November during the full moon.  People release “krathong” offerings — little boats made from banana leaves, flowers, candles, and incense — on the canals and lakes all over the country. The festival originated as a way to honor the river goddess, but it also has Buddhist meaning. “The candle venerates the Buddha with light, while the krathong’s floating symbolizes letting go of all one’s hatred, anger, and defilements.” (Wikipedia) Some people put their fingernail clippings or hair in the boats to “get rid of the bad parts” of themselves.

The Golden Mount Temple and Wat Saket in Bangkok, Thailand

The Golden Mount Temple and Wat Saket in Bangkok, ThailandThe Golden Mount and Wat Saket entrance fee is only 20 Baht and it is open from 9am to 7pm.  If you are staying near Khao San Road you can walk to the temple, or if staying in another part of the city we recommend the canal boat.  You can check out our article about navigating Bangkok’s many transportation options for more information.  You can see the temple’s stupa from all over the old city, so don’t worry about getting lost!

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The Loy Krathong Festival in Bangkok

The Loy Krathong festival occurs in Thailand every year during November’s full moon.  It was also a perfect time to take my first trip to one of the Bangkok’s most impressive temples!  The Golden Mount, or Wat Saket, is Bangkok’s highest temple and sits at the top of 344 winding steps! Check out the video below which takes you all the way to the top!  It was a spiritual experience to be on top at sunset watching the faithful make their offerings and say their prayers.

Loy Krathong
Vendors selling krathongs by the Phranfa Bridge
The Golden Mount
Buddha at the entrance to Wat Saket
Loy Krathong Wat Saket
Sunset at Wat Saket (The Golden Mount)
The Golden Mount
Looking up at The Golden Mount

Below the temple at the Phranfa Bridge, I got to participate in the Loy Krathong festival.  People release “krathong” offerings — little boats made from banana leaves, flowers, candles, and incense — on the canals and lakes all over the country. The festival originated as a way to honor the river goddess, but it also has Buddhist meaning. “The candle venerates the Buddha with light, while the krathong’s floating symbolizes letting go of all one’s hatred, anger, and defilements.” (Wikipedia) Some people put their fingernail clippings or hair in the boats to “get rid of the bad parts” of themselves.

Loy Krathong Bangkok
My krathong

Thai people are incredibly welcoming to foreigners even when it comes to their holy ceremonies and everyone at the canal urged me to join in on the tradition.  Not one to miss out, I bought my krathong, stuffed a little broken piece of a dreadlock in it, and prayed to release my anger and my doubt, two things I had been struggling with recently. I watched the krathong float away and felt peace.  What an amazing evening!

Loy Krathong Bangkok
Krathongs float away

Enjoy this post about Bangkok’s Loy Krathong Festival? Check out our archives and don’t forget to follow us on Instagram @laaventuraproject to keep up with the adventure!

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