Na Phra That Rd. , Bangkok, Thailand
Wat Mahathat Bangkok Reviews
Wat Mahathat and Surrounding Areas Sep 26, 2007
Founded in the 18th century, Wat Mahathat is one of Bangkok's most important temples. It houses the Mahanikai monastic sect and the Vipassana Meditation centre. The temple grounds is large and full of schools and you have to make your way through some buildings and parked vehicles before you reach the inner courtyard. You'll know you're in the inner courtyard when you see buddha images lined up.
This wat is in a way different from other temples because people come here for the interaction and participation rather than any special architectural feature. The first time I went to this temple, I encountered some friendly monks who are so eager to practice their English. My second visit was a different experience altogether, (see my blog entry "Hey Lady... Shady Lady"). Be careful of people approaching you, they might try to scam you. If you sense any situation leading to this, just say "NO" politely and walk away... far ... far... away.
Next to the wat is the city's largest amulet market, where you can buy traditional medicine, charms and talisman for various purposes. The amulets are spread on the ground so buyers can inspect them. Although there are always hawkers lined-up, the best time to visit the market is on Sundays. There are also palm-readers and astrologers in the area.
Across Wat Mahathat is Sanam Luang Park. This is where thais go for picnics and some kite flying. There's pretty much nothing to do here, unless you want to feed and chase pigeons.
Part of the Forever Thailand travel blog
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