|Wat Saket Temple in Bangkok - Thailand|
So, what’s the interesting story behind Wat Saket?
During the Ayutthaya period, Wat Saket is known as Wat Sakae. The Thai words, sa and ket refer to shower and hair, so Wat Saket got its name due the king-to-be-cleansing himself here, both physically and spiritually. The temple once covered a vast area that included the city’s central charnel grounds. For your information, I heard that the surrounding neighbourhood is still known as Ghost Gate, well thanks to the countless corpses that were cremated here!
What’s the famous red staircase in Wat Saket?
The red staircase is pretty famous in Wat Saket. It leads you to house relics of the Buddha. Waterfalls, flower gardens and prayer bells are placed along the 320 stairs that wind to the top. I know, it sounds very exhausting! But the stairs aren’t very steep and a coffee shop and several other stop-offs make it manageable and be sure, don’t forget to bang the massive gong after making a wish!
What’s up there after we take the staircase?
So after taking a coffee break during a little walk with the famous staircase, there’s a place name The Golden Mount. A surreal city scape from atop Wat Saket, an open-air platform centred around the main chedi at the very top of the structure. One of the most memorable features of Wat Saket is the 360 degree view that you have when you reach to the top of the hill. Here, a small crowd of locals are usually found offering flowers, candles, incense, and prayers as a few tourists soak in the atmosphere. On the hottest of days a refreshing breeze gently chimes tiny gold leaf bells, each representing a donation from the lay community.
How to get there?
Wat Saket is open from 9AM to 5PM every day and the cost to enter the Wat Saket is 10 Baht. Getting to Wat Saket can be a bit difficult because it is not located near any tourist friendly transportation like the BTS Skytrain or MRT but the closest BTS Skytrain Stations would be the National Stadium Station on the Sukhumvit Line. Or you can stop a taxi from there. Well, If you are in Bangkok and near the Democracy Monument, you can just walk straight east on Ratchadamnoen Rd and take an immediate right after crossing Phan Fah canal bridge. Then, bear immediately right over another canal bridge and onto Boripat Rd. From there, it is a quick stroll to the back entrance to the Golden Mount, which is marked by a sign. You can also access Wat Saket from the main eastern entrance off Chakkaphatdi Phong Rd (basically an extension of the better known as Worachak Rd).