Categories > Guides and Tips

Guide to DIY Bangkok Temple Tours

Guide to DIY Bangkok Temple Tours

Ready to explore the enchanting temples of Bangkok on your own terms? With a DIY temple tour, you can immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage, discover iconic sites like Wat Arun and Wat Pho, and experience the spiritual ambiance at your own pace. 

To help you uncover the hidden gems of Bangkok’s temples, we’ve crafted a guide with insider tips, suggested itineraries, and practical advice on transportation options. Let’s start temple-hopping!

Wat Arun

Wat Arun
Image source: iStock

Address: 158 Thanon Wang Doem, Wat Arun, Bangkok Yai, Bangkok 10600, Thailand
Operating Hours: Daily 8 AM to 6 PM
Entrance Fee: 100 THB
Time to spend: 1 to 2 hours

Wat Arun, also known as the Temple of Dawn, is an amazing landmark with mind-blowing architecture. 

The main attraction is this massive tower, or prang, that’s over 70 metres tall. It’s covered in all sorts of beautiful designs and colourful ceramic–super Instagram-worthy, trust me!

And get this, the temple is right by the Chao Phraya River, which means killer views, especially during sunset. You gotta see it when it’s all lit up at night too.

Now, Wat Arun has a pretty interesting history too. It goes way back to the Ayutthaya period and was even a royal temple. It’s named after the Hindu god Aruna, who’s all about the rising sun. Pretty fitting, right?

How to Get to Wat Arun

  • River Ferry: One of the most popular ways to reach Wat Arun is by taking a river ferry across the Chao Phraya River. If you are on the eastern side of the river, you can catch a ferry from several piers such as Tha Tien Pier or Maharaj Pier. 

These piers are easily accessible and can be reached by walking or taking a short taxi or tuk-tuk ride. Once you reach the western side of the river, you will see Wat Arun towering above the riverbank.

  • Taxi or Tuk-tuk: If you prefer to take a taxi or tuk-tuk, you can simply give the driver the name “Wat Arun”. It’s a well-known landmark, so most drivers should be familiar with it. 

However, keep in mind that Bangkok’s traffic can be congested, especially during peak hours, so plan accordingly.

  • Public Transportation: Bangkok has an extensive public transportation system. You can take the BTS Skytrain or the MRT subway to a station near the river, such as Saphan Taksin BTS Station or Hua Lamphong MRT Station. 

From there, you can either walk or take a short taxi or tuk-tuk ride to one of the piers mentioned earlier and continue by ferry.

Local tip:  Try to arrive early in the morning to beat the crowds. The temple can get quite busy with tourists, especially during peak hours.

Wat Pho

Wat Pho
Image source: iStock

Address: 2 SanamChai Road, Phra Borom Maha Ratchawang, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200, Thailand
Operating Hours: Daily 8 AM to 6:30 PM
Entrance Fee: 200 THB
Time to spend: 1 hour

Wat Pho is a renowned temple that holds significant cultural and historical importance. There are a few things you should know about this captivating place. 

Firstly, it houses the famous Reclining Buddha, a massive golden statue measuring 46 metres in length. It’s truly a sight to behold! 

As you explore Wat Pho, keep in mind that it is considered a place of worship, so it’s essential to dress respectfully and maintain a peaceful demeanour. 

Additionally, Wat Pho is known as Thailand’s first public university and is recognized for its traditional Thai massage school. Visitors can indulge in an authentic Thai massage within the temple grounds. 

How to Get to Wat Pho

  • Taxi or Tuk-tuk: Taking a taxi or tuk-tuk is a convenient way to reach Wat Pho.
  • BTS Skytrain: Take the BTS Skytrain to Saphan Taksin Station (S6) on the Silom Line. From there, you can take a Chao Phraya Express Boat to Tha Tien Pier. Wat Pho is just a short walk from the pier.
  • MRT Subway: Take the MRT Subway to Hua Lamphong Station (M1) on the Blue Line. From there, you can either take a taxi or a tuk-tuk to Wat Pho. Alternatively, you can walk for about 15-20 minutes to reach Wat Pho.
  • Boat/Ferry: If you are staying or visiting areas along the Chao Phraya River, you can take a boat or ferry to Tha Tien Pier. From there, it’s a short walk to Wat Pho.
  • Walking: Depending on your location, Wat Pho may be within walking distance. If you are staying in the old town or near the Grand Palace, you can easily walk to Wat Pho.

Local tip:  .The temple is conveniently located near the Grand Palace, so you can consider visiting both attractions on the same day.

Plus, Wat Pho is quite extensive, with many areas to explore, including beautiful gardens and courtyards. You’ll be doing a lot of walking, so it’s important to have comfortable footwear to make the most of your visit without discomfort or fatigue. 

Also, keep in mind that you’ll need to remove your shoes before entering certain areas, so wearing slip-on shoes or ones that are easy to take off and put back on will save you some time and hassle. 

The Grand Palace

The Grand Palace
Image source: iStock

Address: Phra Borom Maha Ratchawang, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200, Thailand
Operating Hours: Daily 8 :30 AM to 3:30 PM
Entrance Fees: 500 THB
Time to spend: 1 to 2 hours

The Grand Palace in Bangkok is an impressive place with a ton of history. It used to be where the kings lived, and it’s still a big deal in Thai culture. 

Inside, you’ll find the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, which houses this super important statue of the Emerald Buddha. The whole place is jaw-dropping, with stunning architecture and intricate details that’ll blow your mind.

How to Get to the Grand Palace

  • Taxi or Tuk-tuk: Opting for a taxi or tuk-tuk is a convenient choice when travelling to the Grand Palace.
  • By BTS Skytrain: Ride the BTS Skytrain on the Silom Line and alight at Saphan Taksin Station (S6). From there, you can transfer to a Chao Phraya Express Boat at Tha Chang Pier. The Grand Palace is just a short stroll away from the pier.
  • MRT Subway: Take the MRT Subway to Hua Lamphong Station (M1) on the Blue Line. From there, you have the option to hire a taxi or tuk-tuk to reach the Grand Palace, or you can enjoy a 15-20 minute walk.
  • Boat: If you are located along the Chao Phraya River or visiting areas nearby, you can hop on a boat that will take you to Tha Chang Pier. From there, it’s a brief walk to the Grand Palace.

Local tip: Keep yourself hydrated by taking advantage of the water fountains available. Exploring the palace complex can be quite tiring, especially in the heat of Bangkok. 

To stay refreshed, bring along a refillable water bottle and look out for the water fountains scattered throughout the premises. 

Things to Know When Visiting Temples in Bangkok

Courtesy: Show respect to the monks and fellow worshippers. Avoid causing disturbance or loud noises. Remove your shoes when entering the worship area or any designated areas.

Dress Code: Dress modestly and appropriately by covering your shoulders, chest, and knees. Also, you could carry a shawl or sarong to cover up if needed.

Photography: Be respectful when taking photos. Avoid turning your back towards the Buddha image or posing in a disrespectful manner.

Refrain from raising yourself higher than the Buddha image while taking pictures. 

Best Time to Visit Bangkok’s Temples

Early Morning: Many travellers recommend visiting temples in the early morning, just after they open. This allows you to beat the crowds and experience a more serene and peaceful atmosphere.

Cooler Months: Bangkok’s cooler months, from November to February, are generally considered the best time to explore the temples. The weather is more pleasant with lower humidity levels, making it more comfortable for sightseeing.

Weekdays: If possible, plan your temple visits on weekdays rather than weekends. The crowds tend to be smaller, allowing you to have a more relaxed and immersive experience.

Festivals: Bangkok’s temples often hold special events and festivals throughout the year, which can provide a unique cultural experience. Research the temple’s calendar to see if any festivals coincide with your visit.

How to Create a DIY Tour Itinerary for Bangkok Temples

How to Create a DIY Tour Itinerary for Bangkok Temples

When creating a DIY tour itinerary for exploring the temples in Bangkok, there are a few key things to consider. 

First, select the temples you want to visit based on your interests and available time. Take into account the proximity of the temples and consider using public transportation for efficiency. 

Check the opening hours of each temple and plan your visit accordingly. Remember to dress modestly, covering your shoulders and knees. 

Estimate the time you want to spend at each temple and factor in breaks for meals and rest. 

Stay flexible in case of unexpected circumstances, and enjoy immersing yourself in the beauty and spirituality of Bangkok’s temples at your own pace.

Itinerary 1: Start at Wat Arun

TimeActivitiesBudget (approx.)
7:30 AMEnjoy breakfast at a local café or street food stall100 – 200 THB
8:00 AMTake a taxi or tuk-tuk to Phra Arthit pier
(nearest from Khao San)
30 – 50 THB
8:10 AMTake a ferry from Phra Arthit to Wat Arun Pier15 THB
WAT ARUN
8:45 AMStart at Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn)100 THB (Entrance fee)
Explore the temple grounds and climb to the top for panoramic views
Take a peek at the Ordination Hall
WAT PHO
10:00 AMTake the riverboat to Wat Pho4 THB
Marvel at the reclining Buddha statue and explore the temple complex200 THB  ( Entrance fee)
12:00 PMLunch break200-300 THB
1:00 PMYou have the option to either take a leisurely 10-minute walk or hop on tuk-tuk or taxi to Grand Palace30-50 THB
GRAND PALACE
1:15 PMExplore the revered Emerald Buddha at the Grand Palace500 THB (Entrance fee)
2:30 PMTake a stroll and discover the various shrines surrounding the Grand Palace
3:00 PMWander through the serene courtyard of the Royal Residence at the Grand Palace
4:30 PMAfternoon break and rest
5:30 PMTake a riverboat from Tha Chang Pier back to Khao San Road15 – 20 THB
Enjoy the scenic ride along the Chao Phraya River

Itinerary 2: Start at Grand Palace

TimeActivitiesBudget (approx.)
7:30 AMEnjoy breakfast at a local café or street food stall100 – 200 THB
8:00 AMTake a taxi or tuk-tuk to Phra Arthit pier(nearest from Khao San)30 – 50 THB
8:10 AMTake a ferry from Phra Arthit to Tha Tien Pier15 THB
8:20 AMYou have the option to either take a leisurely 10-minute walk or hop on tuk-tuk or taxi to Grand Palace30-50 THB
GRAND PALACE
8:30 AMExplore the revered Emerald Buddha at the Grand Palace500 THB (Entrance fee)
Take a stroll and discover the various shrines surrounding the Grand Palace
Wander through the serene courtyard of the Royal Residence at the Grand Palace
12:00 PMLunch break200-300 THB
WAT PHO
1:00 PMGo to Wat Pho. 

Choose between a 10-minute walk or a 4 THB ferry ride (Ta Chang to Tha Tien Pier).
4 THB
1:10 PMMarvel at the reclining Buddha statue and explorethe temple complex200 THB  ( Entrance fee)
Take a stroll and discover the various shrines surrounding the Grand Palace
WAT ARUN
3:00 PMTake a cross-river ferry from Tha Tien to Pier 9 to reach Wat Arun.4 THB
4:30 PMExplore the temple grounds and climb to the top for panoramic views
100 THB (Entrance fee)
Take a peek at the Ordination Hall
6:00 PMTake a riverboat from Tha Chang Pier back to Khao San Road

Enjoy the scenic ride along the Chao Phraya River
15 – 20 THB
Related topics