Travel Photo Thursday — October 16, 2013 — Must see Asian Temples

Posted by on Oct 17, 2013 in Bangkok, Destinations, Korea, Myanmar, Thailand, Thailand - Chiang Mai, Travel Photo Thursday | 25 comments

Welcome to another week of  Travel Photo Thursday. Anyone traveling in Asia knows that there are a lot of temples here. I think it’s impossible to come to this part of the world and not spend time wondering around temple grounds and inside the buildings. I’m one of those people who almost never tire of exploring any temple that crosses my path. Here are few of my favorites from my travels in the past few years.


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Wat Rong Khun, “The White Temple”, Chiang Rai, Thailand

This temple is the work and vision of Thai artist Chalermchai Kositpipat. He has dedicated his life to building this temple. However, it will not be completed in his lifetime To describe this temple and the vision behind it is no easy task.

In the words of the artist….

“Money and possessions are insignificant. They are not mine, but are only make-beliefs. Merits belong to me; therefore, money is of no value to me. Money is valuable only as a way to make merit for further journey of the soul.”


Wat Rong Khun "The White Temple", Chiang Rai, Thailand



Temple of the Emerald Buddha at Bangkok’s Grand Palace

Probably the biggest and busiest tourist attraction in Bangkok, and not to be missed. Be sure to go early, and dress properly. If your arms and legs aren’t covered, you be given a sarong to cover yourself. Ignore the crowds, take your time, and enjoy the beauty.


Temple of the Emerald Buddha


Myanmar is a temple wonderland, and there are some beauties here.

Bagan’s Shwezigon Temple was one of my favorites. Love all that gold and the awesome architecture. What better place to view this than from a hot air balloon. I could never have gotten a shot like this from ground level.

Shwezigon Zedi, Bagan, Myanmar


Of course, there is also Yangon’s Shwedagon Temple. The amount of glittering gold is almost blinding. Shwedagon is a UNESCO site, and I was told by a guide that UNESCO has warned Myanmar to stop the constant renovations and improvements or the temple will loose its heritage designation!


Shwedagon Temple, Yangon


To read more about these temples follow the links. 




Korea also has its share of  lovely temples. 

Donghaksa is just a short bus ride from Daejeon. The temple is at the foot of Gyeryongsan Mountain, popular with hikers. A beautiful location to view the spring cherry blossoms and magnolia. Very crowded on the weekends, so best to visit during the week. If you do go on the weekend, get there early!

Donghaksa Temple

Read more about Donghaksa here.


Two of my favorite Chiang Mai temples…with over 300 temples in the city it’s easy to have a favorite or two.

Wat Sri Suphan — Silver Ubosot

Not to be missed! Only men can enter, ladies not permitted.


Wat Sri Suphan Silver Ubosot, Chiang Mai


Wat Sri Suphan

Wat Chedi Luang…

The ancient chedi at the back of the temple grounds offers some great photo ops. Best to go early in the morning, or at dusk. This shot was taken early morning.

Wat Chedi Luang, Chiang Mai, Thailand


Wat Chedi Luang

Travelers Tip

With the exception of the Temple of the Emerald Budha in Bangkok (admission 400Baht), all temples are free to enter. Temples are open from early morning to evening. Best to visit early in the morning or early evening if you want to avoid the crowds and in some cases the heat. Lots going on around the full moon, and various Buddhist holidays. Think great photo opportunities!


This is the 147th post for Travel Photo Thursday. You can browse the archives here.


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  1. I love seeing all these Asian temples. I have not seen any of these and would love to one of these days. It\’s wonderful that most of them are free to enter and really a great way to learn about the culture. My favorite picture is that White Temple in Thailand followed closely by the Myanmar temples.

    • Hi Mary, It is nice that many of them are free. Thinking back, I think in addition to the one in BKK charging, the Yangon temple in Myanmar also charges. I can’t quite remember…good memory it is just short! 🙂

  2. Oh my! These are beautiful!

  3. Can I have more than one favourite? I love the White Temple – who couldn’t and the shot of the Korean temple with the mountains behind is fantastic – and the one in Bagan. One day I’d like to make it to Mynamar. I’ve been to a few temples in Nepal and Vietnam but none were as beautiful as those in your photos.

    • HaHa, Leight. I know impossible to choose just one. I had a hard time limiting this post to just seven shots, but I had to get to work 🙂

  4. You’ve seen an awesome array of temples and made me want to get back to Asia asap! There’s such mystery and opulence and grandeur attached to them, perfect for a writer’s imagination. I love the quote about merits being more important than money.

    • Hi Johanna, I think that’s a great quote too. Looking at these makes me want to get on the next flight back to somewhere in SEA!

  5. Beautiful shots again Nancie – makes me want to continue further east when we reach Australia. Still in the land of slow and expensive internet so will resume my visits to my fellow blogger’s links after reaching land!

  6. Beautiful places and beautiful photos!
    Thank you for the tips, great opportunities for photography, indeed. (^_^)

  7. I have been away for 6 weeks touring, and am glad to be back catching up with other bloggers. Temples and churches and other religious places really take you to the heart of the people. I love the look of Donghaksa and can understand why it is popular. Like any of these places get there early.
    Thanks for the opportunity to share in Travel Photo Thursday.

    • Welcome Back! I hope you had a great trip, and thanks for your lovely comment!

  8. I love the reflection in the first shot! Beautiful pictures!

    • Hi Jessica…agree, lovely reflection. That temple complex was so photogenic!

  9. These temples are simply amazing. Great shots of each of them, Nancie. The White Temple looks as though the intricate detail work would be so fragile. Beautiful!

  10. The first and last photos are my favorite. The reflection in the water in the first adds so much depth, and the golden glow of Wat Chedi Luang is magnificent. I wish Chiang Mai had not been smothered in haze when I was there. I’d love to visit Bagan some day but am too scared to go up in a balloon. (Although, it’s not so much the going up that I mind. It’s the threat of an unexpected going down.)

    • Hi Michele, too bad about Chiang Mai being hazy. I have never been there during the haze. I know I wouldn’t be happy. I was nervous about the balloon ride, but turned out to be very safe. The had lots of contingency plans just in case we went down where we weren’t supposed to!

  11. I couldn’t believe the White Temple when we went there – our guide told us we would be visiting a temple unlike any other in Thailand and, boy, was she right! I saw it in the distance and knew I had to go there. What an amazining place. We are really hoping to get to Burma, so hopefully will get to see those temples in real life too – they look amazing.

  12. Wow, Nancie, these are stunning! My favorite is the white temple. It’s the one thing I’d look forward to see in Asia. They really know how to do temples there.

  13. I would love to see this kind of architecture! Can’t wait to finally get to Asia!

  14. These are really quite remarkable. I love seeing all the different temples and styles. I’m a huge architecture nerd, or maybe wannabe architecture nerd.

  15. Thai and Burmese temples are just so exotic looking, but I do like the special curve of a Korean temple roof. Lovely series, then…


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