Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew)
Deep within the Grand Palace grounds you’ll find Thailand’s most sacred sight - the Emerald Buddha (Phra Kaew Morakot) contained within the Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew). This temple is regarded as the most sacred Buddhist temple in the country and is an essential palladium of Thai society.
Within its walls is the highly revered Buddha sculpture, carved from a single block of jade and dates from the 14th century AD. Believed to have been crafted in Sri Lanka, the Emerald Buddha was transported and revered throughout Southeast Asia before being brought back to Thailand from Laos in 1552. It has sat in its present shrine within the Grand Palace walls since 1784 and remains an important symbol of the Thai nation.
So revered is this Buddha image that no one but the King himself is allowed to touch it. Three times a year, to correspond with the changing of the Thai seasons, the King changes the Buddha's robes in an important ritual to ensure good fortune in the months ahead.
The Emerald Buddha is just over 2 ft (0.6 m) tall and sits in a magnificent shrine within the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. The temple itself contains some of the finest examples of Buddhist sculpture, architecture and decorative craft in Thailand.
Visitors must not point their feet towards the Buddha and if you cannot comfortably sit on the floor without doing so you must remain standing. Those who fail to recognize this important observance face being ejected from the temple.
The Temple of the Emerald Buddha is in the Grand Palace complex in the Banglamphu area of Bangkok – also known as the Old City.
All visitors must adhere to a strict dress code upon entering the Grand Palace complex. Skin, including arms, lower legs and toes, should not be exposed and inappropriately dressed visitors will be ushered into a building near the front gate to rent suitable clothing.
As with most temples, shoes must be shed and pilgrims offering prayers should avoid proffering the soles of their feet in the direction of holy imagery while sitting.
Tours & Tickets
Ask anyone who has been to Bangkok what their 'must see' list of the city entails, and without fail they'll include The Grand Palace. This half-day ... Read more
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)
Enjoy the best highlights of Bangkok on this Grand Palace and River of Kings Canal small group tour. Escape the Bangkok traffic and board a longtail boat for a ... Read more
Duration: 4 hours (approx.)
On this sightseeing tour of Bangkok's canals (or khlongs, as they are known locally) you will travel by a motorized boat on the Chao Phraya River to see the ... Read more
Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes (approx.)
After your cruise ship docks in the port of Bangkok, embark on a private shore excursion to the magnificent Grand Palace and visit four spectacular Buddhist ... Read more
Duration: 8-10 hours