The temple of the Golden mount in Bangkok (Wat Saket)
The temple of the Golden mount or Wat Saket (Wat Saket and the Golden Mount) originally called Wat Saket Ratcha Thief Maha Wihan (Wat Saket Ratcha Wora Maha Wihan). The temple mount was originally built back in the days when the capital of the Kingdom was the city of Ayutthaya. Later, from the 18th century, the temple was enlarged and improved by the kings of Thailand, has not yet acquired its present appearance. When the capital of Thailand moved to Bangkok in the 18th century, the temple was used as a city crematorium. They say that in the temple (at the base of the mountain) buried the remains of more than 60 thousand people from among the poor of Bangkok. Now, of course, the Church as the crematorium is no longer in use.
Overall this is a very interesting and famous temple in Bangkok and definitely worth a visit, if you have to get acquainted with the main Trinity of the attractions of Bangkok: Grand Palace, temple of the Reclining Buddha and Temple of Dawn. The most interesting feature for tourists in this temple is that on its territory there is an artificial hill, which is one of the buildings of the temple and a gold-plated Chedi (pagoda). The height of the hill along with Chedi is 76 meters. Until such time as the city began to build skyscrapers, the pagoda of Temple of the Golden mount was the highest point of Bangkok on the East coast of the river chaopraya (above was the only Temple of Dawn, with a height of 88 metres on the West coast). Upstairs, you can see a panoramic view of the area of the island Ratanakosin Bangkok (see Bangkok) from the height of bird flight. To climb up, will have to overcome more than 300 steps (say, what exactly 318). During the ascent you will pass the bells, that can call, no you will not say anything (just don't overdo it, they are very loud). It is believed that if to ring the bell, you will have good luck and health. Like it or not, you can check for yourself. When will we rise up and get into the room at the base of the pagoda inside it will need to find another staircase which will lead you to the observation deck which houses the Chedi and views of the city.
But not only this famous temple. This place is very revered and visited by Thais, as here, on the mountain top, in a special vault in the center of the structure is stored in a piece of Buddha's ashes brought from India, but what exactly, not telling anyone. The very piece of dust you can not see, but a Golden sarcophagus, in which it is stored can be seen. Is the sarcophagus in the center of the room at the base of the pagoda, and it leads to narrow corridors, where you can go, but only according to the indicated arrow directions. Every November the temple is a Grand Buddhist festival, during which huge procession up the hill.
The temple itself consists not only of mountains and a pagoda, as do many tourists. In fact, the temple grounds are quite extensive, and the main structure of the temple is located near the mountains. Perhaps nothing remarkable, it does not stand out among hundreds of other temples in Bangkok, but if it gets here, it is worth to visit it.
Entrance fee: visit to the temple is free, but when you climb a mountain, at the entrance to the room at the base of the pagoda should be in the form of donations to mail 10 or more baht (currency of Thailand), gently remind the signature and a transparent donation box at the entrance.
Hours: daily from 07:30 to 17:30
How to get there: the Temple of the Golden mount is located in the heart of Ratanakosin island of Bangkok (the temple on the map). From Khao San to get to the temple will not be easy walk. Of the remaining districts will be reached by taxi or bus, as the metro station close to the temple not (to the nearest station 2 km).
Near the temple stop of the city bus lines 8, 37 and 47 (the fare depending on the distance the bus is from 6 to 23 baht). To find out whether a particular bus route in the area of your hotel can use the service on the official website of the city bus BTMA or just ask at the hotel reception.
From the districts of Pratunam and Siam to the temple of the Golden Mountain can be reached by river taxi. Boat river taxi along the route Golden Line, sail to the Pratunam area from under the bridge at the intersection of Phetchaburi and Ratchadamri and follow through Siam almost to the Temple of the Golden mount. You can sit down at any stop along the route, and sail to the final stop of the Phan Fa Lilat. The fare is 13 baht.