Buddhism is the core religion in Thailand, it has a huge impact on Thai society for many centuries till today, with over 94% of Thais devoted to Buddhist. As a travel photographer. There are plenty of pictures opportunity i wish to share during my first solo travel trip. Hope it will give inspiration to my fellow peers.
One of the prominent feature temple on the travel map pick up from any hotel in Bangkok is The Golden Mount Temple. Also know as Wat Saket.
A little bit of history if you keen to know more.
Wat Saket itself (the temple complex at the bottom of the hill) dates back to the Ayutthaya era, when it was called Wat Sakae. The wat was restored under Rama I (1782-1809).
Wat Saket was used for cremation ceremonies, which were not permitted inside the walled city. During a plague in the reign of King Rama II (1809-24), 30,000 bodies were brought here.
The Golden Mount is an artificial hill constructed under King Rama III (1824-51). When the king tried to build a chedi here before the hill existed, it collapsed because of the soft soil beneath. He therefore made a strong pile of mud and bricks to support it.
It was Rama IV (1804-68) who crowned the new hill with the intended chedi. He also shored up the hill with 1,000 teak logs because it was already sinking into the swampy ground.
Rama V (1853-1910) added the chedi that stands today, enshrining within it a relic of the Buddha, said to be from India or Nepal, given to him by the British. The concrete walls were added during World War II to prevent the hill from eroding and the structure collapsing.
I realized Wat Saket is different from most temples in thailand, it is build on a hill top. Visitor requires to climb up 314 steps up. Fear not, the wide stairway spirals up and around the sides of the mount. climbing up is like walking on a gentle upslope, is relatively easy for most healthy ages.
Look how wide it is
Don’t worry about the numbers of steps, the stunning view of Bangkok will give you plenty of good energy to climb for.
View of Bangkok
Once on top, you can roam freely around the temple, there is no admission charge require. I came across a site saying requires to pay 10 Baht to enter the building and gain access to the rooftop terrace. So untrue.
Interior of the temple is clean and well maintain by the working personnel. You can walk round the 4 corners of the temple in a swift. There are many golden statues of Buddhas are displayed for devotees, one can light up the incense stick provided by the temple, kneel down for a little prayer. Is good to give some donation, no obligations.
In the back right corner of the room as you enter is a narrow stairway up to the roof. The first thing you will see upon emerging onto the roof is the huge chedi covered with thousands of gold mosaic tiles. From the rooftop terrace one received a stunning 360 degree view of Bangkok. I was traveling there in mid November. Wat Saket was hosting Bangkok’s most important temple fair, when the Golden Mount is wrapped with red cloth. At the bottom of Wat Saket, carnival erupts around it, with food and drinks stalls. That explains why i never saw any carnival previously as the place was really peaceful.
Is really great to shoot something different that only happens once a year. Extremely lucky to bump into the festive. Of course i would urge photographers or tourists to do their research before heading out.
Once finish touring or picture taking. Exit by the back entrance of the temple you come out onto a street lined with wood shops. The sights, sounds and smells can be worth a stroll.
Interested to purchase or viewing of more pictures click on Capture Asia website.
Wat Saket is located between Ratchadamnoen Klang and Boripihat road. The temple complex is open from 9:00A.M. – 5:00P.M.