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“oasis in the middle of Khao San hustle and bustle”

Wat Bowonniwet Vihara
Ranked #26 of 587 things to do in Bangkok
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed January 9, 2013

This is one of the most important temples in the whole of Thailand, as many kings, including the present spent some time here for study and ordination.
In its main Bot there are two beautiful buddha statues.If you wander around into the back area of the temple grounds, you're soon alone.

2  Thank jobst56
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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115 - 119 of 304 reviews

Reviewed November 29, 2012

Wat Bowonniwet (or Boworniwet, as the locals spell it) is fascinating for a variety of reasons, well beyond its presence as a cool respite in an interesting neighborhood. Many site that it was where the current King Bhumibol received his training and ordination into the monk hood, or that the Supreme Patriarch lives here...fine. Others site the very nice Sukothai Buddha image inside from Phitsanulok…it is beautiful and soothing to behold, certainly. Others love the modern clean lines of the large chedi out back, and if you like modern chedis, fine. Still others point out the odd juxtaposition of the Chinese style broken-pottery roof top over one of its structures, and that’s interesting too, I suppose. These are reason enough to go.

I found three attractions to the place on top of those. First, it was the first time I saw, examined and touched one of the machines for which King Bhumibol holds a patent: the propane-powered canal/pond aerating machine. (His other patent concerns a cloud-seeding process.) There, in the small Koy channel that runs around one of the temple structures, is a small steel aerating machine, ingenious in its simplicity and apparent effectiveness. Wat Boworniwet is one of the few places where such channels are sufficiently oxygenated for the Koy to thrive. Second, there is hand-carved plaster of such strength and thickness that it is actually part of the support structure for a colonnade/walkway outside the Wiharn building. I was able to watch the carving process (done entirely with mallets, chisels and Surform-style formers for a twelve-foot section of supporting plaster!) and able to see it lifted into place the next day. It is molded offsite, and all carving is done onsite. Amazing filigree in a true support structure! Third, was the active life in this Wat. Much like an active Catholic Parish church from the 1960s, Wat Boworniwet has a strong local following that makes it uplifting at all times of day. Donations are taken up as necessary from locals via the placement of long steel wires to which are affixed Baht bills, into blocks of Styrofoam in large vases out front. No one steals the money, and in the end, the vases appear to be filled with Baht-bill flowers! You will feel part of a community there, even if you are not interested in architectural design or engineering. Go!

11  Thank DavidWGrant
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 22, 2012

This temple has royal patronage and is in fact the temple where the current king, King Bhumipol (Rama IX) spent time as a monk. There is also a small university primarily for monks but by far and away the most impressive part of this particular wat was the chedi situated behind the main temple itself. Surrounded by some beautiful statues, this chedi catches the sun making the tiny golden tiles that cover its surface gleam and shimmer. This was a very interesting temple to visit and given the links to the current king, a very pertinent one to visit as well. Close by, further along Th. Phra Sumen towards the river (just around the corner as the road bends) is a great little restaurant called Roti Mataba (see reviews here as well) and it is well worth the short walk to this place for an authentic southern Thai treat for lunch after visiting Wat Bowonniwet.

Thank R0hanL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 31, 2012

Wat Borwornniwet Vihara is situated near the Banglampoo Market and not far from Khao San Road. In January this year , the temple was celebrated for 175 years and was opened for people to visit and pay respect to many important Image of Buddhas. Wat Borvornnivate is the residence of members of the royal family who enter the monkhood. It has been the residence of many the supreme patriarchs of the Buddhist Church in Thailand. There is also the Mahamakut Rajavittayalai, Thailand's first Buddhist educational institution,too. The splendid mixed styles of Chinese, Thai and Europe arts was seen in various constructions in the temple. There are nine auspicious points which sacred Buddha Images were placed such as in the Phra Ubosot, Phra Vihara etc. (please see the photos). There is also the beautiful mural painting with is one of the masterpiece of Thai well-known artists in Phra Ubosot. There is the Buddha's footprint here. Don't miss to visit this magnificent and important temple.

2  Thank Sutasikar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 12, 2012

Wat Bowonniwet Voramahaviharn is the residence of the Supreme Patriarch of all the Buddhist monks of Thailand. The temple itself is very beautiful and rich of the historical significance. One of the beautiful Buddha image of Thailand, cast after 1362, which was transferred from Phisanuloke province is now kept in this temple. If one has a little more time in Bangkok, go visit the temple.

Thank Chakkritt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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