LOCATION:Between Boriphat Road and Lan Luang Road, Old City (Rattanakosin)
OPEN: Daily 8:00 - 21:00
The grubby yellow hill crowned with a gleaming gold chedi is also known as the Golden Mount, or 'Phu Khao Thong'. It rises within the compound of Wat Saket, an unusual temple that houses Buddha relics within its 58-metre-high chedi surmounted by a golden cupola.
Built by King Rama I just outside the new city walls, the late-18th century temple served as the capital's crematorium. During the following 100 years, the temple became the dumping ground for some 60,000 plague victims.
The Golden Mount was added to the compound in the early 19th century, when King Rama III built a huge chedi which collapsed into a hill of rubble. Buddhist belief holds that religious buildings cannot be destroyed, and many years later King Rama V topped the debris with another chedi in which he placed relics, believed by some to be the Buddha's teeth.
Visit the temple and then climb the 318 steps to the cupola. Watch religious visitors place flowers near the date of the month they find auspicious and light candles. As you climb to the top, enjoy magnificent panoramic views of Bangkok. The cupola is covered with small golden squares reflecting in the sun and giving the place the name of Golden Mount.
Wat Saket hosts an enormous annual temple fair in the first week of November, when the mount is illuminated with coloured lanterns and the compound turns into a massive fun fair.