Category Archives: Buddhist Temples

Buddha image and gilded chedi
Wat Phra That Doi Chom Thong in Chiang Rai

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.

Wat Sri Suphan, the Silver Temple

Golden Buddha on a silver plaque

Table of Contents Chiang Mai’s Silver Temple: Wat Sri Suphan Old handicrafts of Chiang Mai Wat Sri Suphan (วัดศรีสุพรรณ), Chiang Mai’s “Silver Temple,” is one of the most exciting and active temples, located outside the old walled city. It is just north of the Chiang Mai gate, the northern entrance to the old city. The […]

Wat Ket Karaam and the Wat Ket Museum

Buddhist temple Wat Ket Karaam

Wat Ket Karaam: introduction Wat Ket Karaam (วัดเกตการาม) is a temple on the east side of the Ping River in the Wat Ket neighborhood. The temple is also known as Wat Sa Ket. The name of the temple is often spelled as Wat Gate Karaam or Wat Ket Karam. According to information at the temple, […]

The Buddhist Temples of Phrae

Staircase to temple Burmese heritage lampang shan people

The Buddhist Temples of Phrae Table of Contents Introduction to the Buddhist Temples of Phrae I have divided the Buddhist Temples of Phrae in two sections: temples within the old city wall and temples outside. There is so much to enjoy for visitors. You don’t have to be a Buddhist or a religion freak to […]

Chiang Saen: Wat Phra That Pha Ngao

View over river and green country

Table of Contents Monks at the viewpoint Beautiful temple with great views There is surprisingly little information about this fascinating temple. Wat Phra That 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 is a community center as […]