Wat Saket in Bangkok Old Town is an Ayutthaya-era shrine with a gleaming gold chedi in Bangkok. Also called the Golden Mount, it occupies an 80-meter-tall manmade hill that was built during the reign of King Rama III. The temple welcomes worshippers year-round, though it’s busiest during its annual temple fair in November, during Loy Krathong. The temple grounds have mature trees and typical Buddhist structures such as a main prayer hall, ordination hall and library.

Wat Saket in Bangkok - one of the highlights of 12 Best Things to Do Around Khao San Road and 24 Must-See Temples in Bangkok (Read all about Bangkok here)

photo by Preecha.MJ (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

The Golden Mount at Wat Saket

The Golden Mount is a sacred pilgrimage site during the week-long worshipping period in November. Getting to the top requires a climb up some 300 steps that encircle the chedi like a loosely coiled snake. The well-paved path is relatively easy to tackle, especially if you visit early in the day or during mild climate in Bangkok.

 Wat Saket was the capital's crematorium and the dumping ground for some 60,000 plague victims in the late-18th century. At the base of the Golden Mount, you’ll find an unusual cemetery covered in vines and overgrown trees. It emits a rather spooky out-of-era vibe. Once you arrive at the top of Wat Saket, you’ll be surrounded by a wall of bells and panoramas of Bangkok Old Town.  

photo by ASaber91 (CC BY 2.0) modified

Temple fair at The Golden Mount

Following an annual Buddha relic worshipping ceremony, Wat Saket hosts an enormous temple fair during Loy Krathong, usually in November. During this period, the massive stupa is draped in a bright-red cloth, with a candlelit procession to the top of the Golden Mount marking the start of the week-long festivity.

Colorful lanterns and decorative flags, as well as food vendors, fairground games and rides bring Wat Saket to life. Huge crowds pack the temple grounds from early evening to midnight for the entire week. Plan to go as early as possible to avoid a long queue to the Golden Mount.

photo by ASaber91 (CC BY 2.0) modified

Wat Saket in Bangkok

Location: 344 Chakkraphatdi Phong, Ban Bat, Pom Prap Sattru Phai, Bangkok 10100, Thailand

Open: Daily from 8am to 5pm

Willy Thuan | Compulsive Traveler