Wat Pha Sorn Kaew (also known in English as the temple of the emerald Buddha) is located in northern Thailand and is the most unique, beautiful and detailed temple we have ever seen. If you can make the 5 hour drive from Bangkok or if you’re around northern Thailand, you won’t be disappointed. This temple has 2 complexes. One which has detailed mosaic tiles all around the temple walls and the other which has 5 giant, white sitting Buddha statues.
How to get to Wat Pha Sorn Kaew
Wat Pha Sorn Kaew is located 5 hours from Bangkok, close to the town of Phetchabun. There is not much tourism around this area so you will only be able to access this place by private car or a tour. This place is inaccessible by public transport due to it’s location high up in the mountains. At this temple you will mainly find locals as well as monks because Wat Pha Sorn Kaew isn’t yet considered a tourist attraction.
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Where to stay
There are a few accommodation options close to Wat Pha Sorn Kaew in the nearby area of Khao Kho, and slightly further away in Phetchabun. Most accommodation in the area isn’t for budget backpackers although there are some available.
↠ Check availability: Phetchabun accommodation.
Wat Pha Sorn Kaew is open everyday from 8:30am – 3:30pm. The temple is always busy with many locals admiring its beauty, as well as constant prayers throughout the day.
When we visited, there was no entrance fee. This may have changed in recent times as the temple is gaining popularity.
Wat Pha Sorn Kaew is one of the most scared Buddhist temples in Thailand. It’s very important that you dress respectfully, covering your knees as well as your shoulders. As you enter, you’ll need to take your shoes off and leave them outside. As a result, you will be walking around bare foot for majority of your visit.
What to expect at Wat Pha Sorn Kaew
Wat Pha Sorn Kaew is located high up in the mountains and is the most mesmerising and beautiful temple that we have ever visited. Wat Pha Sorn Kaew consists of two complexes. One side has 5 large, white sitting Buddhas located on the top of the building. The buddhas are incredibly unique and eye catching as they sit one behind the other, creating almost an optical illusion. Unfortunately when we visited, the buddhas were under construction although it’s now complete.
The second side of the complex is full of intricate mosaics which are spread out on every wall of the temple. In total there is over 5 million colourful mosaic tiles as well as pottery spread throughout the temple. The tiles are spectacular and complex so you can see every bit of hand crafted detail. This side of the temple is large and full of beautiful golden archways. From all sides of the temple you’ll be able to view the mountains and greenery below. There is also a beautiful garden which is located at the back of the temple.
If you are planning to head to north Thailand, be sure not to miss Wat Pha Sorn Kaew along the way! This temple is definitely one you’ll never forget.