Standing nearly 90 feet tall, the Giant Swing is located in front of Wat Suthat in the heart of Bangkok. The teak archway, originally used in religious ceremonies, was constructed toward the end of the 18th century, during the reign of King Rama I. It has since undergone several renovations.
Originally built in 1784, the Giant Swing was an important site during Brahmin festivals; participants uses the swing to attempt to reach a bag of gold suspended from a bamboo pole. The ceremony honored the Hindu god Shiva and was thought to bring a good harvest. The festival ended in 1935 after several participants were injured or fell to their deaths.
Visit the Giant Swing while getting an overview of the city on a hop-on hop-off tuk tuk or bus or on a walking or biking tour. An evening tour of the city will show you the swing, and numerous temples, all lit up at night.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Giant Swing is free to view, but Wat Suthat, which sits behind it, requires a small entrance fee.
- In most temples in Thailand, covering your shoulders and knees is mandatory.
- You can see how the swing was used in a black-and-white photograph of religious ceremony, which is located at the Wat Suthat ticket counter.
- The Giant Swing is just a short walk from the Grand Palace, where you can see the Temple of the Emerald Buddha.
How to Get There
You can visit the swing on a convenient hop-on hop-off bus or tuk tuk tour; the routes include many temples and other highlights around the city. Buses 3, 12, 42, and 508 all include stops either in front of or up the street from the Giant Swing.
When to Get There
It’s best to visit the Giant Swing and other landmarks in the early morning or evening; the middle of the day can be extremely hot in Bangkok. Thailand’s wet season runs May–October, and peak tourist season can be quite hectic. The shoulder months (April–May and September–October) are the easiest times to visit if you want to avoid both crowds and rains.
Visit Wat Suthat
More than 200 structures in Thailand have been granted Royal Temple status, and they are divided into structures of first-, second-, and third-class importance. Wat Suthat—one of the oldest and most elaborate temples in Bangkok—is on the city’s very short list of Royal Temples that are given first-class importance. Once you’ve seen the Giant Swing, head inside to see the grand chapel, intricate murals, hand-carved teakwood, and towering golden Buddha.