advertisement

Wat Benchamabophit, called the Marble Temple because of the white Carrara marble of which it is built, is an early-20th-century temple designed during the rule of Rama V. It is the most modern and one of the most beautiful of Bangkok's royal wats. Unlike the older complexes, there's no truly monumental viharn or chedi dominating the grounds. Many smaller buildings reflect a melding of European materials and designs with traditional Thai religious architecture. Even the courtyards are paved with polished white marble. Walk inside the compound, beyond the main bot, to view the many Buddha images that adopt a wide variety of postures. During early mornings, monks chant in the main chapel, sometimes so intensely that it seems as if the temple is going to lift off.