Wat Ratchabophit

Places To See In Bangkok: Wat Ratchabophit
About Wat Ratchabophit

This temple provides the tourist with a quieter, less crowded way to appreciate the beauty of a Thai Buddhist temple. That is not to say that it is any less important; this temple is a royal temple of the first grade, housing many miniature cathedrals lauding deceased members of the Thai monarchy.

Beautiful and intricate, the buildings of this temple are all adorned with hand painted glazed tiles. All of the doors and windows are also framed with gold and mirrors. The temple has a unique design including a central courtyard and a gilded Chedi containing a serene, seated image of the Buddha.

The interior of the Ubosot, or main chapel, is European in style and copies the regal style of European monarchies. The chapel contains a high-ceilinged chandelier and walls that are almost entirely golden with decorative patterned panels.
Brief History Of Wat Ratchabophit

This temple is the last to have been erected by the illustrious King Rama V. King Rama VII subsequently restored the building to its present glory. It was originally commissioned by Rama V in order to commemorate his Queen and his concubines.
Tips for visitore to Wat Ratchabophit

The temple is open every day from 8 am to 5 pm and admission is free to all visitors. One of the quickest ways of getting to Wat Ratchabophit is via the Express Boat. You can take his boat at the Tha Thien Pier which is located just past Wat Pho. However, you can also take a taxi there from central Bangkok which should cost between 80 and 90 Baht or at most $2.80 USD.

You can visit Wat Pho, the bigger nearby temple first, and then continue on to Wat Ratchabophit in the same day. Both temples are located in the same vicinity, although the latter is much smaller.

One Reply to “Wat Ratchabophit”

  1. Hi, we had a great time in Bangkok, and had a seemingly serendipitous last day inclujding a visit to Wat Ratchabophit culminating at the Royal Lapidary Company. We would like to share our experiences with you as a cautionary tale.

    We went to the Grand Palace on our last day, and were met by a man in tourist police uniform who said it was closed for 2 hours due to special prayers for the king who was sick (it was true the king was sick 28 September 2009), then suggested we go to the private royal family temple (Wat Ratchabophit) which he said was not open to the public but only for today, a special day for ancestor workship. Shouldn’t have believed this as the Grand Palace is open every day, but we were taken in by the tourist policeman’s uniform! He had even told us to trust no one but the tourist police. He called us a cheap tuktuk which took us to the private royal family temple where we were met by a tall pleasant-looking man in a tie (who called himself Songchai) who said he was an architect (and ex-monk) overseeing the restoration of the temple and we were very lucky as most tourists did not know about this temple, let alone being open for the one day of the year today. In fact the whole street had been cordoned off an hour earlier for the royal family who had been there for prayers! We got a personal guided tour by him and his boss (Mr. Jessida, apparently a director of the temple and profesor of architecture). They were very nice to us and the director even unlocked the doors into the temple/wihan for us. Then said we were very lucky and blessed by Buddha and told us to go to the Royal Lapidary company which was owned by the royal family and weren’t we lucky, just for today there was a tax free and 15% off sale.
    He sent us off in a taxi and when we arrived at the shop a very helpful lady named Porn spent a lot of time with us, and was big on the sales pitch, and we finally left with about $2000AUD worth of jewellery. She sent one of her staff with us in a private car and the staff member and driver took us to a nice restaurant (probably part of the network) and waited for an hour and a half in the car while we ate.
    I said to my partner at the time, that if we wanted to be cynical, we could say it was set up, as things fell into place just so.
    Anyway, I googled Royal Lapidary Company this morning and found other tourists’ similar experiences. These are only a few examples…

    http://www99.epinions.com/review/trvl-Dest-Asia-Thailand-Bangkok/content_241594764932
    http://www.tripadvisor.in/ShowTopic-g293916-i3687-k1637153-l21891145-Jewellery_scam_Royal_Lapidary_Co_Ltd-Bangkok.html

    There were a few clues in hindsight that I brushed off and ignored. But I quite believed the genuineness of the people we met at the time.

    We still had a great trip, but will put that down to experience and I can laugh about it now! We couldn’t have been that dumb!

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