Wat Saket, which is also known as The Golden Mountain, is a historical temple in the heart of Bangkok.
It is one of those attractions that I put off visiting for years, knowing that I could visit at anytime, so there was no rush. One day, I happened to be running around Bangkok (video) and since I was passing right by Wat Saket, I decided to finally visit.
Coming from the Sukhumvit side of town, one of the easiest ways to get there is by taking the convenient Khlong Saen Saeb public speed boat service.
Not only do you skip the traffic, which can be horrendous in central Bangkok at times, but the boat drops you off just a 5 minute walk from the entrance.
Around the circumference at the base of Wat Saket there are a series of animals that correspond to the Chinese Zodiac years. Born in 1986, I’m the year of the Tiger.
Before beginning the climb to the top, I thought it might be a challenge.
However, the hike up 318 steps proved to be quite easy (the kind you could take 2 -3 steps at a time if you wanted) – the steps were wide and long and wrapped around the mountain in a manageable incline.
It takes just 10 to 15 minutes to reach the top.
Along the walk you’ll pass a series of bells that can be rung for good luck, some benches to relax and catch your breath on, and a little cafe just in case you feel the need for some refreshment halfway up.
At the top of the Golden Mountain is a Buddhist shrine and temple, but the real highlight for myself were the panoramic views of Bangkok in all directions.
The main reason why I consider visiting Wat Saket as one of the top things to do in Bangkok is due to the marvelous unblocked views of the city.
While ancient landmarks like the Grand Palace and Wat Arun can be seen in one direction, skyscrapers and the modern Silom financial district can be seen in the other direction.
For the great views and free entrance, I would recommend visiting the Golden Mountain when you come to Bangkok. I think I even remember seeing a vendor selling ice cream in a bun at the bottom, just in case you need to replenish your energy after or before climbing the temple!
Hours: 8 am – 5 pm daily
How to get to the Golden Mountain:
If you’re coming from the Khao San Road area, simply walk towards Democracy Monument, go straight past the roundabout followng Thanon Ratchadamnoen Klang, cross over the canal and make a right on Thanon Boriphat and you’ll be there.
If coming from Sukhumvit or Siam, walk down Phaya Thai Road until you reach Saphan Hua Chang Pier on the Saen Saeb Canal. Wait for the speed boat and ride it all the way to the end Panfa Pier station. Get off the boat, make your first left down Thanon Boripaht, and you’ll be there in 5 minutes.
For lots more of my Bangkok tips, check out my Bangkok travel guide.