Visit to Wat Mahathat Yuwaratrangsarit, Bangkok – no crowds and free entrance!
In less than 2 weeks time we head from New Zealand,one of the least crowded countries that we have travelled to, to one of the most crowded ones – Thailand! Getting super excited about all the delicious food we will have again, the paradise beaches of Koh Samed and time with our friends there 🙂
Even though our travels usually tend to be around the greater outdoors and national parks, when we are in a city, we love trying new food and enjoy cultural aspects of city travel. In Bangkok, you don’t have to get too far to get your fill of beautiful architecture, stunning temples, history and…more temples (wats) !
I was remembering our time in Thailand just three months ago, it seems so far away now! Last time we got to visit a few wats, enjoy a beach holiday in Koh Samed, and mostly spent our time with our friends and their new baby. Whilst all four of us loved visiting Wat Pho at the right time, we coudn’t handle the super crowded Grand Palace and after standing in the intense heat for a while waiting in line for tickets, we bolted and ended up visiting Wat Mahathat Yuwaratrangsarit -less known, far less crowded, free entrance and just a very peaceful environment to enjoy another one of the beautiful Wats (temples) that Thailand is famous for.
Located just five minutes from the Grand Palace, see directions here, we quickly found ourselves in a deserted and peaceful environment so different from the one we left behind just minutes ago!
Not very large and can easily be covered in less than an hour, we found more than enough things to see and admire to keep us all interested for the length of time we were there – this was the case for our 9 and 7 year old as well. We are strong believers that you don’t have to visit only ‘kid friendly’ places when you travel – which usually includes noisy entertainment places, amusements parks, malls with play areas and kid shows. We never did even when the kids were little. We did stop at play areas when the kids were younger, enjoyed city parks, went to certain zoos and aquariums. But all our city visits included museums, castles, churches, other sightseeing attractions deemed enjoyable for only adults. 10 years of travels around Europe, it would have been a crime to skip cultural and historical monuments! See our other travels on how the kids enjoyed amphitheatres in Croatia, castles and museums in England and other parts of Europe. Obviously in Thailand we were not do it any different and we visited several temple visits combined with pool time, beach time, ice cream treats and parks.
Useful facts to know about visiting Wat Mahathat Yuwaratrangsarit:
Opening Closing Time
7:00 am – 5:00 pm, Tuesday – Sunday (ticket office closes at 3:30 pm)
Also Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University, Thailand’s oldest higher education institute for Buddhist monks, is located within the temple. You can take free meditation classes here, very highly rated on trip adviser!
How to get here:
We took the ferry, great way to see the city sights and all the many interesting temples, buildings and other historic monuments. Pier: Chao Phraya Express Boat: Tha Chang Pier. Ferry: Phrachan Nua Pier
The problem with writing a travel post on a place you visited three months ago – I cannot remember exactly what we saw in each of these images below…I do remember learning about Buddhism, talking to the kids about it a lot, admiring the beautiful decorated and ornamented doors and buildings. Mostly what I remember is Shama asking if Buddhism is about letting go of personal attachments and worldly possessions(not exact terms she used, but what she meant) – then why was there so much glitz and gold everywhere? Surely Buddha didn’t want that? We tried explaining about royalty and power manipulating religion…not sure if got the point accross. Does anyone have a nice answer to that for a 7 year old?
After all the sightseeing and learning about Buddhism, it is always great to follow up with ice cream treats on such a hot day! Lovely little icecream shop next to the university building, we saw several monks here enjoying soft drinks and ice cream. One monk approach us and it turned out he was from Bangladesh on a study scholarship. We chatted with him for the longest time, quite an interesting character!
Time and time again we discover how the lesser known attractions minus the crowds are always the best places to really enjoy travelling and having positive experiences. We would highly recommend visiting this quiet and unobstrusive wat if need a break from the more popular ones. It provided another enriching cultural experience for our family during our travels in Thailand.
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