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Wat Phra Kaew - Temple of the Emerald Buddha

Wat Phra Kaew or the Temple of the Emerald Buddha well known in Thai is Wat Phra Si Rattana Satsadaram (the official name of Wat Phra Kaew), the royal monastery situated on the northwestern corner of the Grand Palace in Bangkok. It houses the statue of Phra Phuttha Maha Mani Rattana Patimakon (Emerald Buddha) and is the place where significant religious ceremonies are conducted. The construction of the temple was completed in 1784 and there have been constant renovations during every reign from King Rama I to IX. The interior of the Ubosoth and the entire compound walls are decorated with mural paintings. Apart from these, other highlights within the temple include the eight stupas, Phra Si Ratana Chedi, the model of Angor Wat, etc.

This royal monastery in the precincts of the Grand Palace was one of Thailand’s first attractions introduced to the world when the tourism promotion began 50 years ago. In addition to the importance as the home of the Emerald Buddha, the architecture of various different eras is an enchanting characteristic. One of the majestic embellishments here is the world’s longest mural painting portraying the enthralling epic of Ramayana on the compound walls.

According to the Bangkok poll conducted by Bangkok University in 2010, the highest vote from tourists for their most favorite destination in Thailand went to Wat Phra Si Rattana Satsadaram. Both local Thais and foreigners are unanimous in their opinion. The temple truly deserves 'the best of the best' tourist attraction in Thailand.

The Royal Thai Decorations and Coins Pavilion is also located within the Grand Palace compound on the right hand side before entering the palace’s inner gate. This place displays a collection of coins and other monetary exchange units used in Thailand, as well as Royal regalia.

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