Category Archives: Buddhist Temples

Buddha image and gilded chedi
Wat Phra That Doi Chom Thong

Buddhism in Thailand

Thailand is a Buddhist country and has tens of thousands of Buddhist templesBuddhism is the largest religion in Thailand, which 93% of the population practices. In the constitution of Thailand, there is no official state religion. This guarantees religious freedom for all Thai citizens, though the king is required to be a Theravada Buddhist.

Buddhist temples in Thailand

Buddhism is very much alive in this country. They dominate the landscape and are the center of communities. People donate large amounts of money to temples and are involved in volunteering for the temple. Many young men spent at least a couple of months in their lives as a monk in a temple.

A temple compound

All Buddhist temples have an assembly hall (viharn of vihara) and an ordination hall (ubosot). Behind the assembly hall, there usually is a chedi called chetiya, stupa, or pagoda. This temple tower contains the ashes of the Buddha or monks. Other buildings are a library, where they keep the Buddhist scriptures and a clocktower. Some temples have a sala, a kind of multi-functional building.

Temple museums

Many Buddhist temples have a museum. The Wat Ket Museum of Wat Ket Karaam is one of the more popular museums in Chiang Mai, but there are more. There is, for instance, the museum of Wat Chedi Luang. Wat Sung Men near Phrae has the biggest museum of Buddhist palm leaf manuscripts.

Monks at Buddhist temples

Monks are living at temples. In some temples, such as Wat Mon Pu Yak in Lampang, there is only one monk. Other temples have many monks residing, such as Wat Suan Dok and Wat Phantao. Both these temples have Buddhist schools.

Chiang Saen: Wat Phrathat Pha Ngao

Chiang Saen: Wat Phrathat Pha Ngao Table of Contents Monks at the viewpoint Beautiful temple with great views There is surprisingly little information about this fascinating temple. Wat Phrathat Pha Ngao (วัดพระธาตุผาเงา) is a Buddhist temple, less than 10 km from Chiang Saen. The temple offers spectacular views over the Mekong River and Laos. It […]

Lampang: Wat Mon Puyak

Lampang: Wat Mon Puyak Table of Contents Wat Mon Puyak: introduction Wat Mon Puyak (วัดม่อนปู่ยักษ์) is another Burmese/Shan-style temple, located not far from Wat Mon Chamsin. Shan people founded this temple in 1899. Almost one hundred years later the Fine Arts Department registered this temple (1998), an acknowledgment that the temple is an “ancient monument”. […]