Wat Phra Kaew is located in the center of downtown Bangkok at the Royal Palace in the Phra Nakhon district. This small Wat (“temple” in Thai) houses the holy Emerald Buddha. The temple is highly decorative and shows off very distinct Thai art. It’s a small temple, but it’s absolutely gorgeous. Once you get there, you can take an audio tour that walks you from point to point telling you historical facts about each stucture. It also has a miniature model of Angkor Wat in Cambodia.

Three things to know before visiting Wat Phra Kaew/Temple of the Emerald Buddha:

1. Scammers: Lurking around Wat Phra Kaew are well-dressed, fluent English speaking CON ARTISTS. While walking around the perimeter of the temple, these scammers tell tourists that the temple is temporarily closed [for a Royal ceremony] and convinces them to go to a wholesale jewelry show. Rubies for 75% off! hmmm… My mom recently went to the temple and was completely tricked even AFTER being reading about this scam the night before. LOL. No worries, she didn’t buy anything!

2. Wear appropriate clothing: Because this is a sacred place and not Disneyland, you must cover your legs and shoulders. Wear a long skirt/pants and a sleeved shirt. Otherwise, the temple will lend you proper attire. Let’s just say, when I went, it was a really hot and humid afternoon and I received my loaner clothes already nice and musty. I’m sure after I returned my clothes, the next person appreciated the Ode de Angelina all over it.

3. Be quiet and respectful when you enter the shrine room with the Emerald Buddha: Many people will actually be praying in here. Be respectful of other people praying! You’ll find that this is a great place to collect your thoughts, enjoy the space, and COOL DOWN from the humidity.

The day we went, I swear it must’ve been the hottest day IN THE WORLD. And i say in the world because if it got any hotter I would’ve melted into a pool of lard and you could’ve deep fried a chicken on me. It really wasn’t helping that I was wearing an extra layer of clothing (see #2) and that I wanted to stick my head into a tub of Thai ice tea. All and all, it was a beautiful temple with tons of little stories painted on the walls. If you happen to go on a hot humid day like I did, do what the Thai kids do after and go to one of their 20,394,820,398,430,294 malls in the city. You’ll be happy to find an AC on full Arctic blast. What probably saved me was those moist towelettes that are frequently found in the market.

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