Like Notre Dame in Paris, Big Ben in London, you must visit the extraordinary temples while in Bangkok. I spent one day visiting three of the most popular one, The Grand Palace & Wat Phra Kaew, Wat Po, and Wat Arun (the temple of the dawn).
I can’t even begin to describe how enormous and opulent these holy places are. Similar to the scale of St. Peters in Rome, everything glittered with gold, glass, ceramic, and more gold.
These particular temples and palaces were home to former kings, are venues for royalty and visiting heads of state, temples for anointing kings, temples for lying in state, home of the Emerald Buddha (most revered Buddha image) as well as the reclining Buddha. The reclining Buddha is enormous in scale, in fact the picture below shoes the toes on the right side to give you some scale. Truly magnificent, these temples are not to be missed.
If you do go, make sure to wear long pants. My long capris were not sufficient. Funnily enough, they gave me a sarong to covered my sacrilegious ankles but it wasn’t made for 5’10 western women so it was actually shorter than my pants! Also, be sure to not fall for scams. I’d read about people seeming to be nice by giving you directions and then telling you the temples were closed for a couple hours, with subsequent advice to go on a river boat tour. Don’t fall for it!
I do suggest you go early, it is oppressively hot and crowded and I can’t imagine how much more so it would be in the steamier afternoon. Also, do walk along the river front between Phra Kaew and Po for stunning views of Wat Arun.