This Approach Guide of the Temples of Bangkok, drawn from our more comprehensive guidebook to the The Temples of Thailand, makes an ideal companion for travelers seeking a deeper understanding of Thai art and architecture in Bangkok. As context is critical, we focus on differentiating Bangkok’s temples from those of the country’s two earlier capital cities, Sukhothai (1238-1368) and Ayutthaya (1350-1767).
This Approach Guide is broken into two sections:
The first section, an overview, provides travelers with a deep understanding of the principal architectural structures in a Thai temple complex — stupa, prang, vihan, and ubosot — and the art forms used to decorate them (paintings and sculptures). To provide a complete picture, we provide floorplans, historical context, images that highlight specific features and decoration, and descriptions of the prevailing Thai aesthetic, including subject matter and stylistic development.
The second section offers detailed profiles of nine specific temple sites for seeing the best examples of Thai painting, sculpture, and architecture in Bangkok. For each site, we discuss the overall layout, the exterior appearance, and the interior decoration. The overall goal of these site profiles is provide travelers with what is most important, a framework for understanding each site and what makes it special.
And all along the way, this guide provides our personal advice for getting the most from your experience.
This Approach Guide contains:
- Nearly 100 high-resolution images — photos and floorplans — with color highlights that make visual identification of key structures easier.
- A quick reference checklist of the most distinctive features of art and architecture in Bangkok.
- A high-level map Bangkok to ease navigation and plan your itinerary.
Sites profiled include: Buddhaisawan Chapel, Wat Arun, Wat Benchamabophit, Wat Bowornivet, Wat Khrua Wan, Wat Pho, Wat Phra Kaeo (Temple of Emerald Buddha), Wat Suthat, and Wat Suwannaran.
If you are planning on visiting Sukhothai or Ayutthaya, we recommend purchasing our complete guidebook, “The Temples of Thailand”, which includes profiles of all three capital cities.