By , June 23, 2013 11:04 am

Wat Saket & Phu Khao Thong (The Golden Mountain)

A Buddhist temple in Bangkok, dating back to the Ayutthaya era.

Phu Khao Thong (also called the Golden Mountain) is built on top of a man-made hill within the Wat Saket grounds.  The hill is the result of a collapsed chedi that King Rama III (1787 - 1851) had constructed.  It collapsed during construction because the soft soil couldn't support its weight.  It was left there, and over time, formed the shape of a natural hill. King Rama IV began to build a small chedi on top of that hill, which was finished during the reign of his son, King Rama V.  A Buddhist relic was brought from India and placed inside.  Concrete surrounding walls were added in the 1940s to stop erosion of the hill.  Finally, in the early 20th century, the modern Wat was built of marble. Climbing to the top of the Golden Mountain offers a nice panorama of surrounding Bangkok.  There is no entrance fee.

Path leading up to the top

So many bells

Lighting incense

Striking the gong

More bells

The Golden Mount

Donations

You can buy small squares of gold foil to cover the Buddha images

View from the Golden Mount

Panorama from the top of the Golden Mountain

Khaosan Road

Khaosan Road is an iconic part of Bangkok tourism.  It's crowded, noisy, and full of food, clothing, and souvenir vendors.  If you're going, keep an eye on your wallet (always a good idea in a crowd), practice up on your negotiating skills, and enjoy some cheap eats (the street vendors are some of the cheapest around). If you are more into restaurant meals than street food, I suggest avoiding the eateries on and near Khaosan. The surrounding restaurants seem to be over-priced and mediocre at best.  Better, walk Khaosan, then dodge off a couple of blocks until you find the authentic food vendors and restaurants. That's where the Thais will be eating.  The food will be cheaper and much tastier.

Khaosan Road

Khaosan pad thai

Random Sights

There's so much to see and do in Bangkok.  Here's a few more of our favourite pictures from our time there:

Hua Lamphong train station

Hua Lamphong train station

Fish in the aquarium in our hotel lobby

Delicious and cheap - an authentic Thai lunch

Sunset walk

Sunset walk

Sunset walk

Sunset Walk

My best Korean tourist impression

One Response to “Explore Bangkok, Part 4: Wat Saket (The Golden Mount), Khaosan Road, and Some Other Random Stuff”

  1. […] Wat Saket (or the one with the Golden Dome) contains a chedi made of marble and is situated on a steep artificial hill. It actually has its origins from the Ayutthaya era, although it has been rebuilt since then. In November of each year, a Buddhist candlelight procession is held here, up the hill to the chedi. Entrance to Wat Saket compound is free, although nowadays they charge a small amount (10Baht or so) to see the chedi itself. […]

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