Lesser-Known Temples in Thailand

Thailand’s temples are well-known the world over for their historic beauty and religious significance. But because of their immense popularity, these temples can often be crowded beyond belief. As a traveller, I love being able to take things at my own peaceful pace, so lesser-known temples in Thailand are more down my alley. 

So if you’re looking for a peaceful time with some of the most breathtaking but lesser-known temples in Thailand, here are our picks.

1. Wat Pa Phu Kon (วัดป่าภูก้อน) in Udon Thani – majestic hilltop temple with a reclining Buddha

Image credit: Fly AirAsia via Facebook

This hilltop temple in Udon Thani is known for its huge reclining Buddha. Unlike its more famous counterpart in Wat Pho, this one is marble, which fits with the colour theme the temple has. Wat Pa Phu Khon is a curious combination of white, blue, and gold. 

The fact that it sits atop a hill cannot be understated. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to see the temple tower above the clouds. Or if the weather is chilly enough, a fog might roll in which will give the temple a unique mystique vibe. 

Image credit: @bordin1234 via Instagram

This temple is lesser-known for a reason though. It’ll take around 2 hours from the Udon Thani city centre by car to reach. 

Address: Moo 6, 99 Ban Kong, Na Yung District, Udon Thani 41380
Opening hours: 8am-5.30pm, Daily
Contact: +66 8 2835 0668 | Google Maps

2. Wat Hong Thong (วัดหงษ์ทอง) in Chachoengsao – temple atop the gulf

Image credit: @gumphol_aimjai via Instagram

There’s something interesting about the small temples in Thailand that sit on an island in the middle of a river or a lake. Unfortunately, many of those are quite a long ways away from any of the major hubs. 

Not Wat Hong Thong in Chachoengsao though. The temple is a relatively short drive away from Bangkok and will fit perfectly into a daytrip into Chacheongsao. If you can, put this as one of the last spots on your daytrip, so you can see the sunset from the temple. We promise it won’t disappoint. 

Image credit: @pongsaksudseangsang via Instagram

The temple, of course, sits atop the water in a bay that extends into the Gulf of Thailand. There’s even an 11-storey building that’s part of the temple where you can get a great view of the temple as well as the surrounding view. 

Address: Sukhumvit Road, Song Khlong, Bang Pakong District, Chachoengsao
Opening hours: 6am-8pm, Daily
Contact: +66 3852 8367 | Google Maps

3. Wat Khao Chong Phran (วัดเขาช่องพราน) in Ratchaburi – the “temple of a hundred million bats”

Image credit: 77kaoded.com

Wat Khao Chong Phran is a rather unassuming temple until the late afternoon. That’s when a massive colony of bats storm out of a nearby cave. 

Image credit: @dol3th via Instagram

This is natural phenomenon is how the temple has earned its nickname “temple of a hundred million bats (ค้างคาวร้อยล้าน).” The bats will leave their cave around 6pm, so show up around an hour early to not miss it. There’s plenty of street food around, so you won’t get bored. 

Address: Tao Pun, Photharam District, Ratchaburi 70120
Opening hours: 24 Hours, Daily
Google Maps

4. Wat Pa Sawang Bun (วัดป่าสว่างบุญ) in Saraburi – 500 chedi temple & many more displays

Image credit: @patsit.rung via Instagram

Although it’s best known for its 500 chedis, Wat Pa Sawang Bun has a variety of extravagant Buddhist sculptures and displays worth checking out. 

Image credit: @punjasri via Instagram

The sheer variety makes it worth checking out for anyone with an interest in Buddhist art or if you’re looking to add some nice photos to your Instagram feed that will pique your friends’ interests. 

Address: Khlong Phai Alley, Cha Om, Kaeng Khoi District, Saraburi 18110
Opening hours: 6am-6pm, Daily
Contact: +66 8 0076 4488 | Google Maps

5. Wat Bang Kung (วัดบางกุ้ง) in Samut Songkhram – temple overgrown by sacred fig trees

Image credit: @narumol123 via Instagram

Wat Bang Kung is a historic temple built during the Ayutthaya period, and it shows. 

Some of the temple halls are overgrown with trees that have also helped preserve the building structure. Because of its history and proximity to nature, it is highly revered by locals. 

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It’s also near Amphawa Floating Market, so you can check both destinations together. 

Address: Bang Kung, Bang Khonthi District, Samut Songkhram
Opening hours: 24 Hours, Daily
Google Maps

6. Wat​ Tham Khao​ Wong (วัดถ้ำเขาวง) in Uthai Thani – temple hidden in the mountains with caves for meditation

Image credit: @mappyme via Instagram

This mountainside temple in Uthai Thani is unlike most temples you’ll find in Thai cities. Instead of being made with marble and concrete, this one is made of wood – fitting for its proximity to nature. 

The best part of Wat​ Tham Khao​ Wong is how natural it feels. While most temples exude an air of majestic worship, this one is naturally soothing, like a resort for the soul. There’s even caves that monks use for meditation. 

Address: Ban Rai, Ban Rai District, Uthai Thani 61140
Opening hours: 24 Hours, Daily
Contact: +66 8 7845 7163 | Google Maps

7. Wat Sirindhorn Wararam (วัดสิรินธรวราราม) in Ubon Ratchathani  – a glow-in-the-dark temple to visit at night

Image credit: @mooktari.ns via Instagram

This is another temple that comes to live after the sun sets. Wat Sirindhorn Wararam is unassuming during the day, but at night, its carvings and patterns begin glowing. 

Image credit: @boooom_kan via Instagram

We recommend stopping by this temple around 5:30pm to see all the beautiful parts light up for a magical view. 

Address: 99 Chong Mek, Sirindhorn District, Ubon Ratchathani 34350
Opening hours: 24 Hours, Daily
Google Maps

8. Wat Phra That Pha Sorn Kaew (วัดพระธาตุผาซ่อนแก้ว) in Phetchabun – temple with cascading Buddha

Image credit: @ampon_phoolthong via Instagram

Perhaps the most famous temple on this list, Wat Phra That Pha Sorn Kaew has an eye-catching and absolutely humongous cascading Buddha statue. 

The mountaintop temple is also noted for being quite serene and peaceful. 

Address: 95 Khaem Son, Khao Kho District, Phetchabun 67280
Opening hours: 8am-5pm, Daily
Contact: +66 6 3359 1554 | Google Maps

Enjoy peaceful, lesser-known temples in Thailand without the huge crowds

Part of the charm of visiting temples is enjoying the lively crowds. But sometimes, you just want a peaceful and serene time that’s soothing to the soul. These lesser-known temples in Thailand will sure captivate not just your IG feed but also bring serenity to your holiday trip and give you a little break from the maddening crowd.

If you’re a fan of Bangkok’s lively nightlife though, here’s good news for you: the opening hours are extended to 4am in certain areas. Otherwise, here are some second-hand markets that’ll be great for unique gifts or clothing options you won’t find elsewhere.

Cover image adapted from: @gumphol_aimjai via Instagram, Fly AirAsia via Facebook, @narumol123 via Instagram, @mappyme via Instagram

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