Temples are nothing new for Thailand. They are part and parcel of the country’s culture. If you have a passion for Buddhist culture or civilisation in Thailand, Wat Mahathat is an ideal place to visit. It is a centre of learning where you can study both Buddhism and meditation.
Built in the 14th century AD, during the early Ayutthaya period, this temple used to be the residence of Thai Buddhist monk leader. You can still the remains of that period within the temple premises. Wat Mahathat was initially established to house the Buddha’s relics. In fact, this temple has a long history. Vipassana meditation and Buddhist studies aside, there are other interesting items such as fortune-telling also available in the temple.
If you happen to visit the temple on a Sunday, you will get a chance to witness the city’s biggest amulet market. Amulets are worn to ward off evil spirits in you. So if you believe that you have an evil spirit living inside you, here is a chance to get rid of it! But you need to know the art of buying the amulets too. Thais would buy amulets for various purposes such as increasing wealth, to make an unworkable love relationship successful and good health. Amulets are a bit expensive based on the purpose they serve. But you can always try them on.
Most westerners have visited Thailand, studied the Thai language and taken robes to become Buddhist monks, although there is no hard and fast rule of course, that you have to do the same. Most Buddhist classes are held in English. You can follow a course of meditation in English. If you are interested classes are held on a daily basis from 7 am to 10 am in the morning, from 1 pm to 4 pm in the afternoon and from 6 pm to 8 pm in the evening.
The duration will depend on your requirement as well as the availability of monks who speak English. The temple focuses on vipassana meditation. If want to pamper yourself a little bit, though, during your holiday in Thailand, consider staying at a 5-star hotel in Bangkok or luxury apartment such as Emporium Suites by Chatrium or other similar accommodation, which you can use as a base to travel to places of interest such as Wat Mahathat.
Auburn Silver is a travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.