Wat Bowonniwet in Bangkok

The Temple Grounds

The Buddhist Temple of Wat Bowonniwet also known as Wat Bowon may not hold too much significant interest to most tourists but it does,  however, set the tone for some quiet contemplation. The nineteenth-century temple is half-hidden in tranquil tree-filled grounds away from the hordes of people who prefer to flock to the other more popular temples in the vicinity. Why not give this one a try.

There are a couple of unique entities setting this temple aside from the others. First and foremost the temple is the headquarters of the strict Thammayut sect of Thai Theravada Buddhism, but probably the other more notable differences are the western-style murals within the Bot. Please do take a look around inside.

Wat Bowonniwet temple was built between 1842 and 1832 by Rama III and was strongly influenced by Chinese style architecture which the king was particularly fond of. The grounds contain a central gilded Chedi flanked by two symmetrical temples with the one next to Phra Sumen Road being the most interesting. 

The Central Gilded Chedi

Murals on Display

The interior houses murals displaying a fair knowledge of Western domination and mastery. It's startling when compared to the typical but traditional two-dimensional Thai mural scenes. The murals were attributed to Khrua In Khong, a monk painter who was famous for introducing a Western perspective to temple murals.

Khrua In Khong was court painter to Rama IV and although exposed to Western ideas, what makes this all the more remarkable, was the fact that he had never ever travelled to the West. His images were often adapted into Thai settings. The result of which produced a series of murals that on first glance look wholly Western but portray the same Buddha allegories found in traditional Thai murals.

An example of this can be found in one of the murals where a physician is seen to be healing a blind man. This I believe can almost certainly be interpreted as the illuminating power of Buddhism. There is a mural of the main Buddha image, Phra Buddha Chinasara, and one of the best examples from the Sukhothai period.

The Temple Courtyard

Getting to the Temple 

The temple can be found on Phra Sumen Road not far from Khao San Road in the Phra Nakhon district of Bangkok. The site can easily be reached by taxi or alternatively, take the Chao Phraya River Express boat to Banglampuu Pier and then walk from there.

If walking is too much for you then look out for a Tuk Tuk and catch a ride. You may even find a motorcycle taxi driver to take you there. The temple grounds are open daily from 8:00 am until 5:00 pm and entry is free.

Map indicating the Temple's Location

If you liked Wat Bowonniwet you may also
want to view these Bangkok temples

Grand Palace

Wat Phra Kaew

Wat Pho

Wat Arun

Wat Saket

Wat Suthat

Wat Mahathat

Wat Rachanadda

Wat Benchamabophit

Wat Traimit

Return from Wat Bowonniwet to the Bangkok Temple Guide 


Please note that this post contains some affiliate links which means I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you if you should purchase after clicking through my blog. Also remember that I never promote any products or services here unless I've used and loved them myself.

Your host Grahame (Yep! that's me) from Luxury Thailand Travel says he'd really appreciate your kind support. Simply take your next tour by selecting any one of the many excursions listed on the left side of this page. Here's wishing you a safe trip and a happy and exciting holiday.


E-mail Address
First Name

Don't worry — your e-mail address is totally secure.
I promise to use it only to send you Luxury Thailand Travel.

Asian Dating

Recent Articles

  1. Krabi Beach Guide

    Nov 25, 17 02:37 AM

    This Krabi Beach Guide captures some amazing beaches for your complete relaxation as well as rock climbing and kayaking at both Ao Nang and Railay beaches.

    Read More

  2. Wood Carving in Thailand

    Nov 08, 17 07:48 AM

    It's easy to understand why ornamental Wood Carving in Thailand is such a specialised skill when you consider how much intricate detail goes into each and every item created.

    Read More

  3. Attractions in Lampang

    Oct 17, 17 08:12 AM

    One of the top Attractions in Lampang in northern Thailand has to be Wat Chalerm Phra Kiat Phrachomklao Rachanusorn, a Buddhist pilgrimage site perched on top a rocky hill in the countryside.

    Read More

Hotels and Resorts

Top Thailand Hotels



National Parks



Kids Stuff

Bangkok Markets

Bangkok Temples

Arts and Crafts




Herbs and Spices

Mythical Creatures


Go Go Bars

Touristlink Certification Badge

Free Web Submission

Build a Better Travel Blog