Wat Ratchanadda: Bangkok’s Most Elegant Temple

The little-known temple of Wat Ratchanadda is the most elegant and understated temple in Bangkok. If you were to visit the city with enough time to only visit one temple then Wat Ratchanadda is the one I would recommend.

Wat Rajanadda, Bangkok Wat Rajanadda, Bangkok Wat Rajanadda, Bangkok Wat Rajanadda, Bangkok

Why Wat Ratchanadda?

To start with…

The location of Wat Ratchanadda is very attractive; it is close to the river and is within walking distance of Khao San Road, the famous backpacker district of Bangkok.

View Larger Map


It is not very well-known so you can avoid the crowds of tourists that can be found at the Grand Palace, Wat Arun and Wat Pho. In fact, when I visited Wat Ratchanadda with a friend, it was just us and the monks. Our photos were completely undisturbed by other camera-wielding tourists and we were not bothered by anyone.

Wat Ratchanadda

Wat Ratchanadda

This is not a temple that you are going to find in the guidebooks, which means that it will only be visited by those in the know, or like us, those who stumble upon it by accident…

When we had arrived in Bangkok a few days before, in the early morning, we had jumped off the train before it pulled into the station and had attempted to walk to our accommodation. We got rather lost and that is when we stumbled upon Wat Ratchanadda and when, even in our exhausted and dehydrated state we admired its beauty and decided that if we ever found it again we must pay it a visit.

Anyway, we clearly did find it again, but that early morning train story, which is also the story behind where I got my Vietnamese hat, is one for another day. Remind me and I’ll tell you about it.

Wat Rajanadda, Bangkok

Me at Wat Ratchanadda

And finally…

It’s absolutely beautiful. Don’t get me wrong; there are plenty of beautiful, well-kept and unique temples in Bangkok, but Wat Ratchanadda really did it for me. Its 37 metal spires, representing the 37 virtues towards enlightenment, sit like a crown on the temple and reach high up to the sky.

The gaudy decoration that is so popular in Thailand is somewhat toned down here, giving the whole complex a very elegant air. don’t get me wrong, there is still enough sparkle to remind you that you are in Thailand.

Wat Rajanadda, Bangkok Wat Rajanadda, Bangkok Wat Rajanadda, Bangkok Wat Rajanadda, Bangkok

Visiting Wat Ratchanadda

There was no charge to go inside when we went and there were no hawkers or “guides” wanting to show us around for a fee.

We were greeted by monks and then left to ourselves to explore the many interior maze-like corridors, external grounds and to finally find the staircases that would take us right up to the top of the temple, where the views of Bangkok’s modern/traditional contrasts were more apparent than ever.

Wat Rajanadda, Bangkok

Bangkok from the top of Wat Ratchanadda

The beautiful exterior whitewashed walls were clean to the point of dazzling and the interior was spotless. We had to take our shoes off on entering, of course, and the highly polished floor was a pleasure to walk on.

Wat Ratchanadda History

There is not much history to this modern Buddhist temple as it was only started in 1846 and was completed only recently, due to its complex structure.

The main building in the complex, the Loha Prasat, is modelled on a structure of the same name in Sri Lanka.

In 2005 the temple was submitted to UNESCO for consideration as a future World Heritage Site.

There is currently a very popular market held within the temple grounds selling Buddhist amulets.

My Photos of Wat Ratchanadda

Some of my favourite photos that I took in Bangkok were taken at Wat Ratchanadda. Take a look at the slideshow below.

Wondering what else to do in Bangkok? Here are my top five not to be missed experiences in Bangkok.

Filed Under: asiabangkokfeaturedthailand


About the Author: Based in Mallorca, obsessed with the world and have a lot to say about both... Step into my shoes and join me on a journey...

RSSComments (4)

Leave a Reply | Trackback URL

  1. susan sykes says:

    Love the slideshow really enjoyed your post and if I am ever fortunate to go to Bangkok I will certainly seek out this temple

    • Lisa says:

      Thanks, I’m glad that you liked the pics as these are some of my favourite photos of the whole trip. I hope you get to visit Wat Ratchandda some time 🙂

  2. Paramveer Singh says:

    Nicely said. It was indeed a pleasant place to, Love the corridors and staircase and the white washed walls. No doubt my less tiring and pleasant wat. 🙂

Leave a Reply

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a Gravatar.