Temple in Thailand

My Thailand Diary: Temple’d Out!

As my study abroad experience in Southeast Asia came to a close, I turned in my final papers and said goodbye to the incredible people I connected with on my journey. Although the semester ended December 6th, I didn’t book my flight home until December 13th. Before I left the other side of the world and returned to the states, there was one more place I wanted to explore: Thailand. 

What stood out to me the most during my limited experience in the country was the plethora of temples. Throughout my other travel blogs I’ve described numerous religious places, but in Thailand, the temples really stood out. This article will demonstrate the ornate, beautiful temples, in all themes and colors, that I had the privilege of seeing in person. 

Bangkok 

Bangkok is home to some of the most famous temples in all of Asia, one being Wat Arun. The English translation is “Temple of Dawn,” and I like to think this is because the sunrises over the main prang (spike or Khmer-style tower) must be spectacular.  Temple in ThailandThe center peak is the focal point of this traditional Buddhist place of worship. Encrusted in porcelain and surrounded by Buddha statues, I was amazed by the ornate detail of the place. 

Temple in ThailandBangkok also houses Wat Pho, the famous and massive Reclining Buddha statue. 

Temple in Thailand

Chiang Mai 

After an 11-hour sleeper train north, I arrived in Chiang Mai, Thailand. This is the second biggest city in the country, but I only spent about one day there. During that time, I saw the silver temple. And I literally mean silver. 

Temple in ThailandAccording to an old belief of the Lanna Empire, if a lady enters this place of Buddha relics, it could deteriorate the relics and the lady herself. Therefore, women are not allowed inside. I could only observe from the outside. 

Temples in Thailand

Chiang Rai

After a mere day in Chiang Mai, I took a 4-hour bus ride to Chiang Rai. Here, I saw more multicolored temples. One was blue. 

Temple in Thailand

One was white. 

Temple in ThailandThe White Temple was my absolute favorite of everything I saw in Thailand. It was so fascinating and the strangest, most bizarre religious building I have ever encountered. The outside entrance was surrounded by sculpted arms reaching out, as if from hell. 

Temple in ThailandThe inside of the temple was even more fascinating. Photos were restricted, so you will just have to take my word for it. The back of the temple had paintings of hollywood movies, celebrities, monsters and even tragedies. As I walked towards the front of the temple, where the Buddha statue sat on its altar, the paintings became more and more peaceful. I interpreted this as portraying the Buddhist principle of detachment; as we got further away from worldly events and entertainment, and closer to the Buddha, the paintings became more peaceful. 

Overall, I had quite the spiritual experience to say the least. My time in Thailand was full of temples and treasures, and I will never forget the exquisiteness of the country.