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The Wat Saket (The Golden Mountain / Mount) is a temple that really is located in a spotlight… This because of its striking appearance on a hill in the middle of Bangkok. Very special because Bangkok has no hills at all. The hill on which Wat Saket stands is therefore artificially constructed for practical reasons. The hill was built because a Chedi had already collapsed during the construction works due to the weak and soft soil. To prevent this, they first started to create a hill of mud and bricks. After about fifty years a natural looking hill arose on this spot. Then in the time of Rama IV a smaller golden Chedi was built than originally intended (still around 100 meters high). In the 40’s another wall was built around the Chedi to prevent possible erosion.
Towards the top of the Wat Saket
At the foot of the Wat Saket you will find a number of seats, a small temple and various statues. After you’ve bought your ticket, as a bonus, in the Thai heat, you can climb the more than 300 steps to the top. The stairs spiral around the temple, the first part of which is laid out as a tropical garden complete with small waterfalls. Sounds pretty nice right? Then we have to spoil the atmosphere a little bit for you because actually this place is a well camouflaged mass grave from the 18th century. In those days a lot of Thai died of the plague and tens of thousands bodies were cremated on this spot. Here and there black and white pictures have been placed between the rocks to commemorate this miserable period. Along the entire staircase of The Golden Mount are systematically placed boxes through which a Thai man’s voice can be heard constantly, which we ourselves think is probably a prayer. In any case, it gave us a mysterious feeling when we walked up the stairs.
The middle hall of the Wat Saket
Further on the tropical planting stops and you walk past several bells and a gong that you can all ring yourself if you like, all this for good luck. Even before you reach the top there is a middle room where sacrifices can be made to Buddha. When entering this room you may keep your shoes on, this is also clearly indicated. Because this is totally in line with what everyone is used to, you will see that many people still take off their shoes. By the way, there are also drinks, snacks and ice creams for sale here. Because of this, some people might think that this is also the highest point of the Wat Saket. This is not the case. So after that refreshing ice cream or drink walk on or else you will miss the most beautiful view of your visit!
The top of the Wat Saket
Through inconspicuous doorways who are a little hidden in the corners of the middle hall, you reach the steps that take you to the highest point. From here you have an unobstructed view over Bangkok on all sides. Wat Saket might be Bangkok’s very first sky bar. On a clear day you can see the Grand Palace, Wat Phra Kaew and Wat Arun on the Chao Phraya River. Don’t forget to look directly down if you want to see the rooms of the monks.
Information What Saket
Alternative name: The Golden Mountain, The Golden Mount or Wat Saket Ratcha Wora Maha Wihan
Open: Daily from 08:00 – 17:00
Entrance: Free but for the visit to the Chedi and The Golden Mountain you pay 50 baht.
Address: Chakkaphatdi Phong Road in Bangkok
District: Banglamphu (Old Town)
Route by Chao Phraya Express: Phan Fha Pier + 3 minutes walk from the pier