Wat Suthat Thepwararam (Wat Suthat for short) is another of Bangkok’s oldest temples.
Wat Suthat Thepwararam (Wat Suthat for short) is another of Bangkok’s oldest temples. Its construction started under the rule of Rama I in 1782, and finally completed in 1847 under the reign of Rama III, nearly seven decades later.
History: Wat Suthet’s temple complex is also one of the largest in the capital, covering over 10 acres. Originally commissioned to house a 13th-century bronze Buddha image from Sukhothai, its most famous feature is the Giant Swing – a 20-meter high swing made out of teak wood used for religious ceremonies.
See: Besides the iconic swing, you can also view the 8-meter tall bronze Buddha image in the main viharn (monastery). Other must-sees include the beautiful murals on the walls depicting incarnations of Buddha, the Chinese stone sculptures and eight-tier hexagonal pagodas (said to have been shipped from China in rice boats during the reign of Rama I), the intricately hand-carved gates, and galleries with numerous images of Buddha.
Trivia: The temple was previously home to several Brahmin priests who used to facilitate royal rituals such as the thanksgiving ceremony after the main rice harvest. In this ceremony, young men would be suspended approximately 24 meters above the ground. As they would swing through the air, they would have to try to grab a bag of coins with their teeth. However, after several injuries and deaths, the ritual was discontinued by the 1930s.
- Operating hours: The temple is open from 8:30am to 9:00pm daily.
- Entrance fee: To enter the temple, you will have to pay a minimal THB 100 fee.
- What to bring: Don’t forget to bring your camera to take snapshots of the magnificent murals, the towering teak swing, stone sculptures, and more. It’s also best to bring cover-ups if not dressed in temple attire.
- Etiquette: While there is no official dress code for Wat Suthat, keep in mind that it is a religious site first and foremost, and must be treated with respect. Generally Thai temple dress code specifies clothes that cover the shoulders and knees.
- Nearby attractions: Wat Suthat is situated in the old city area, making it ideal to combine a visit to Wat Suthat with several stops at the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, the Grand Palace, and Wat Pho.
How to get there
- One of the easiest ways to get to the temple is via a metered taxi or GrabCar. The temple is approximately 10 kilometers from the city center, near the Grand Palace.
- You can also take the BTS SkyTrain from Asok station to Saphan Taksin station. From there, get on a Chao Phraya Express Boat to Ta Chang (Pier N9), and get a taxi or tuk-tuk to the temple.
Address: 146 Bamrung Mueang Rd, Khwaeng Wat Ratchabophit, Khet Phra Nakhon, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10200, Thailand
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