As one of the most iconic parts of Southeast Asia, none is more sought out or respected than The Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew). Set in the heart of the Bangkok, Thailand, the Emerald Buddha resides in a diverse complex of buildings at The Grand Palace. Despite the allure of the numerous buildings, halls, pavilions and gardens that make up the Palace, The Emerald Buddha calls out to anyone nearby.
Nearly 250 years old, two of the most striking aspects of the Palace are the architecture and color. Its asymmetry and eclectic styles are due to its organic development and consistent renovations. If the impressive details are not enough to entice your visit, the vibrant colors will. The lush green foliage, dazzling gold coating the towers, and deep reds of the complex will captivate your heart from the sheer beauty of its details. The Grand Palace is partially open to the public; however few are aware that it remains a working palace, with several royal offices and ceremonies still conducted inside.
But the highlight of visiting this breathtaking chapel is The Temple of the Emerald Buddha. Regarded as the most sacred Buddhist temple in Thailand, it is held in the highest respect. The Emerald Buddha is therefore deeply revered and venerated as the protector of the country. Countless patrons travel here to pay their respect and pray for prosperity and peace.
Once inside the main building you’ll walk into a dazzling room that houses The Emerald Buddha. This 500-year-old holy statue is a rich, dark green perched high on a golden alter, covered in a cloak that is changed three times a year. At just 26 inches in height, he is carved in a meditation pose commonly seen in images in Thailand and Southeast Asia. The statue appears divine and composed, with the eyes cast downward.
A description of this idol is all that can be provided. Due to its heavy significance, the Emerald Buddha is too scared an object to allow to be photographed by patrons. Regardless, pictures of this sacred icon could never do it proper justice. From the vibrant colors to the awe inspiring Buddha himself, visiting The Grand Palace is a must on any traveler’s wish list.Travcoa's Southeast Asia Experience personally-guided, Private Journey.