Wat Saket Ratcha Wora Maha Wihan, to give it its full name, is located not far from the Democracy Monument, in Pom Prap Sattru Phai district.
I have been to visit this temple with a friend a few years back but I decided I wanted to climb the steps again to see some of Bangkok from above the rooftops. And, let me tell you, the views are quite fabulous.
After paying the 20 baht entrance fee and receiving my ticket from a friendly monk, I began the climb upwards of some 300 steps, passing a couple of water features and rows of bells on the way. It’s not only the views that are fantastic, even the walk up to the top of the mount is beautiful, with gorgeous plants and flowers decorating the way; it really is a little oasis in the middle of all the concrete and chaos of the city below.
Previously known as Wat Sakae, the temple was renamed by King Rama I when Bangkok became the capital of Thailand after Ayutthaya. King Rama III built a chedi inside the temple but it collapsed because the soil could not support the weight. Over the years the collapsed structure got covered in weeds and created, what looked like, a natural hill; which was called Phu Khao Thong- Golden Mountain.
At the top there is a room with Buddha statues representing the days of the week and a central gold-leafed statue.
But it was the rooftop that I was aiming for, so up a few more stairs I went. The golden chedi, which houses a Buddha relic from Sri Lanka, and looking so small from ground level, looms over you majestically. At the four corners, guardian statues stand proudly.
From each side you can enjoy the panoramic views of the city; take in the Democracy Monument and Grand Palace to the west; Rama VIII Bridge to the north; Yaowarat to the south, and Sukhumvit to the east.
It’s worth the trip to Wat Saket, if only for the views.
Opening Hours: 09:00 – 17:00
Location: Between Boriphat Road and Lan Luang Road, off Ratchadamnoen Klang Road