7 Captivating Thai Monasteries That Bring You Closer to Nirvana

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For those of you tired of the commotion and activity of urban life and in search of spiritual enlightenment, Thailand is the ideal destination! A journey to Thailand offers a wonderful opportunity to explore temples and deepen your understanding of Buddhism. The country is a center of Buddhism and therefore boasts numerous stunning and peaceful temples and monasteries. Today, we have compiled a list of the 7 finest monasteries in Thailand that are truly worth visiting during your Thai vacation.

7 Illuminating Monasteries In Thailand

Here is a catalogue of 7 immaculate monasteries that are not only architecturally splendid, but also facilitate a closer connection with the various spiritual beliefs of Buddhism. Make sure to pay a visit to these monasteries in Thailand on your next trip to the country.

Wat Marp Jan.jpg

1. Wat Sriboonruang

Engage in discussions on the fundamental principles of Buddhism, learn Vipassana, or simply explore the Wat Sriboonruang International temple, which was constructed with the intent of bridging the gap between traditional Buddhist teachings and visitors. This monastery was once an abandoned temple believed to have been built between B.E 2100-2120. It is a moderate-sized sanctuary located in the heart of a community known locally as Ban Longganisa. An inscription on the base of one of the Buddha statues suggests that the temple is at least 500 years old and was previously known as Wat Phra Kaew. The monastery offers multi-week programs that encompass temple stays, meditation, and seminars. Plan a sojourn at the Chiang Mai temple and reconnect with your inner self!

Location: Sansai, Fang, Chiang Mai 50110, ThailandTimings: 5.30 am–8:30 pmEntry Fee: Free

Wat Suan Mokkh

2. Wat Marp Jan

Established nearly three decades ago by the present Abbot, Wat Marp Jan is a Thai forest monastery located in the heart of the National Forest in Rayong. This is an excellent place to explore the life of a monk from an outsider’s perspective, without having to become one yourself. This Buddhist monument is constructed based on both Mahayana and Theravada architecture, serving as a symbol of harmony between the various branches of the religion. This distinctive monastery is the 73rd branch of Wat Nong Pah Pong and hosts numerous festivals and events throughout the year.

Place: 8/1 Moo 7, แกลง, เมือง, Rayong 21160, ThailandSchedule: 6 am–12 pm; 3 pm–6 pmAdmission Fee: Free

Wat Pah Nanachat

3. Wat Suan Mokkh

The Wat Suan Mokkh International Dharma Hermitage is another Buddhist monastery in Thailand that offers 10-day meditation retreats to discerning visitors from around the world. The retreat emphasizes the ideas of breath and mindfulness. Wat Suan Mokkh conducts classes to teach its guests the fundamental principles of the Honorable Eightfold Path. The retreat also provides complimentary overnight accommodations for any early-arriving visitors to the temple.

Place: 68/1 Asia Lamet Tambon Lamet, Amphoe Chaiya, Chang Wat Surat Thani 84150, ThailandSchedule: 8 am – 5 pmAdmission Fee: Free

4. Wat Pah Nanachat

Wat Mahathat

Wat Pah Nanachat is a Buddhist monastery situated in the thick forests of Theravada. This forest monastery Thailand was founded in 1975 by Ven.Ajahn Chah. It follows the teachings of the Dhamma-Vinaya (a simple and peaceful lifestyle) and also offers interested visitors who are unfamiliar with the fundamentals of Buddhism – a taste of monastic training. Be prepared to awaken at 3 am during your stay at Wat Pah Nanachat.

Place: Bung Wai, Warin Chamrap District, Ubon Ratchathani 34310, ThailandSchedule: 5.30 am–6 pmAdmission Fee: Free

5. Wat Mahathat

Wat Arun

Wat Mahathat also known as the ‘Temple of Relics’ is one of the numerous famous monasteries in Thailand in Ayutthaya. This ancient temple is believed to be established long ago in the 13th century, even before Bangkok was established. It was constructed to house a relic of Lord Buddha. The primary Chedi of the temple is built over the Sukhothai character, and has the form of a lotus bud and is presumed to have once contained the relics of Lord Buddha. As soon as you enter the temple, you will be welcomed by two grand sculptures of Buddha. There are 8 smaller chedis that hold 28 images of Buddha. This Thai temple in Ayutthaya, offers a variety of Vipassana meditation programs in both Thai and English. You can also have your fortune told inside this magnificent temple. If you visit the Wat on a Sunday be sure to allocate some time to explore the Sunday amulet market where you can purchase talismans, charms, and even traditional medicine!

Location: Tha Wa Su Kri, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya 13000, ThailandHours: 8 am to 6 pmAdmission Fee: There is a charge of 50 Baht (1.30 USD) to enter the grounds of Wat Mahathat. The temple is open from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm every day.

6. Wat Arun

Wat Chiang Man

Wat Arun is one of the oldest monasteries in Thailand. Also referred to as the Temple of Dawn, Wat Arun towers over the stunning skyline and stretches along the River Chao Phraya. Several hundred tourists visit this magnificent monastery. If time allows, pay Wat Arun a visit during night to see it all illuminated at its magnificent finest. The monastery a true spectacle owing to its location by the river. The monastery has an imposing spire that stands over 70 meters high and is adorned with tiny fragments of Chinese porcelain, and colored glass. This monastery is not just an architectural beauty, but also is a place of worship. So, pay attention to what you wear when you head out to this Buddhist temple sanctuary in Thailand.

Locale: 158 Wang Doem Road, Wat Arun District, Bangkok Yai District, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10600, ThailandOperating Hours: 8:30 in the morning to 5:30 in the afternoonAdmission Fee: The entrance fee for the temple is 100 Baht.

7. Wat Chiang Man

Undoubtedly, Thailand boasts numerous beautiful monasteries. However, a trip to Thailand would be incomplete without a visit to Wat Chiang Man. This temple previously served as the residence of King Mengrai, the founder of the city in the 13th century. The monastery offers a visual treat from every perspective. Its ancient deteriorating pagoda provides tourists with an understanding of the deep-rooted history and culture of Wat Chiang Man. Conversely, the newer temple hall is an exceptional representation of traditional Lanna architecture. The monastery is conveniently accessible from any part of the city, and the 700-year-old Chedi, surrounded by elephants, is truly mesmerizing. To the south of this magnificent Chedi lies the temple’s library, featuring a red balcony with an elevated white base built for the protection of Buddhist manuscripts.

Locale: 171 Ratchaphakhinai Road, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai Province 50200, ThailandOperating Hours: 8 in the morning to 5 in the eveningAdmission Fee: No charge

Further Reading: 10 Leading Activities To Engage In Ayutthaya For Discovering The Lesser Known Side Of Thailand

Even a brief stay at a Buddhist monastery in Thailand is a refreshing and enlightening encounter. Hence, be sure to enroll for a brief retreat at one of the monasteries that teach the teachings that Buddha conveyed nearly 2000 years ago during your upcoming vacation in Thailand.


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