Wat Saket

วัดสระเกศ

Climb the Golden Mount at 6 pm and behold an indescribable startling Bangkok sunset. But doesn't it seem a bit strange? Here is a plain…and all of a sudden a mountain appears? But it was not like this before.

A grandson of King Rama I, King Rama III, decided to build a giant chedi at Wat Saket not taking into account soft grounds of Bangkok. The chedi tumbled down during construction. The abandoned site, a mixture of mud and bricks, gradually obtained the shape of a hill that in time became covered with plants, thus resembling a natural hill. King Rama IV decided to continue the work and build a smaller chedi on the hill, but the long-lasting construction was finished already during the reign of his son Rama V. The Mount represents one of the most sacred Buddhist symbols – the Meru Mount.

A spiral of 320 steps lead to the top. As you go up you will past lakes decorated with birds, plants and Buddha statues, as well as grounds with bells. It believed that if you toll the bell luck and health will be with you. Halfway to the top, there is a café where you can catch your breath. When you finish the stairs there will be another staircase leading to the viewing point offering a good panoramic view over Bangkok.

The chedi houses a part of Buddha's ashes taken from India stored in a golden sarcophagus. Every November during the festival monks climb to the top of the Golden Mount with their candles lit, and the chedi is covered in massive bright red fabric.

One of the most ancient wats of Bangkok, it was built during the Ayutthaya period and was then named Wat Sakae. Starting from the 18th the wat was rebuilt and improved on many occasions until it got the today's look. King Rama I ordered to renew the building of the wat and renamed it to Wat Saket.

Before you start your ascent to the top of the Golden Mount, at its bottom you will see an unusual cemetery with vine covered trees. In the end of the 19th century the wat was used for cremation, mainly for the poor. It is believed remains of more than 60,000 people lie at the wat.

Address: 1344 ถนน บริพัตร Ban Bat, Pom Prap Sattru Phai
Opening hours: daily 7.30 am – 5.30 pm
How to reach: buses 8, 12, 14, 18, 26, 27, 28, 29, 34, 38, 39, 54, 59, 63, 74, 77, 92, 96, 97, 108, 112, 139, 515
Coordinates: 13.75387, 100.50812