Country Profile – Thailand - Monuments

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Thailand has some of the most beautiful Buddhist temples in the world. It is also home to some the most beautiful historical monuments some of which are similar in style to the Angkor Wat of Cambodia. Here is a small sample of what Thailand has in store.


Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of Emerald Buddha)

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Wat Phra Sri Rattana Satsadaram is regarded as the most important Buddhist temple in Thailand. Located in the historic centre of Bangkok, within the grounds of the Grand Palace, it enshrines Phra Kaew Morakot (the Emerald Buddha), the highly revered Buddha image meticulously carved from a single block of jade.


Grand Palace

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This is the number one sightseeing attraction in Bangkok, and it's staggering in historical significance and craftsmanship. The grounds are a maze of royal halls, temples, and ancient relics, the most important being Wat Phra Kaeo, Temple of the Emerald Buddha.


Wat Arun (temple of the dawn)

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Wat Arun, locally known as Wat Chaeng, is situated on the west (Thonburi) bank of the Chao Phraya River.

It is easily one of the most stunning temples in Bangkok, not only because of its riverside location, but also because the design is very different to the other temples you can visit in Bangkok. Wat Arun (or temple of the dawn) is partly made up of colourfully decorated spires and stands majestically over the water.


Sukhothai Old City

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Sukhothai's Old City is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and much has been invested to restore and preserve one of Thailand's most significant historical sites. Sukhothai is famous for being the first capital city of Siam (as Thailand was known until 1932).

Its many temples showcase the unique Sukhothai style of decoration, which incorporates Khmer (Cambodian) and Sri Lankan influences. There are numerous temples in the complex, with Wat Mahathat, the spiritual focus of the city being the greatest.



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Aptly nicknamed “the city of monkeys,” Lopburi is a historically significant city located about three hours north of Bangkok. It is one of the oldest inhabited cities in Thailand, having served as the second capital of the Ayutthaya Kingdom during the sixth century A.D. Before that Lopburi was one of the westernmost cities of the Angkor Empire.

The places around Lopburi are famous for rock climbing, sunflower fields and bat caves as well.



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Founded c. 1350, Ayutthaya became the second Siamese capital after Sukhothai. It was destroyed by the Burmese in the 18th century. Its remains, characterized by the Prang (reliquary towers) and the gigantic monasteries, give an idea of its past splendour.

Ayutthaya was strategically located on an island surrounded by three rivers connecting the city to the sea. This site was chosen because it was located above the tidal bore of the Gulf of Siam as it existed at that time, thus preventing attack of the city by the sea-going warships of other nations. The location also helped to protect the city from seasonal flooding.