• Wat Phra Kaew (Bangkok): With its flamboyant colors and rich details, this temple is a magnificent setting for Thailand's most revered image, the Emerald Buddha. Inside the main temple building, a profusion of offerings surround the pedestal that supports the tiny image.


    • Wat Po (Bangkok): With schoolchildren racing around, masseuses practicing in sheltered salas and monks going about their business, this is a great example of a working temple, which functions as the hub of the community. The main attraction for tourists is the 43m (141-ft.) reclining Buddha image.


    • Wat Arun (Bangkok): The Temple of Dawn shimmers in the sunrise across the Chao Phraya River from Bangkok, but viewing it at sunset is better still. As you climb its steep central Khmer-style prang, you'll get a close view of the porcelain pieces that make up its floral design.


    • Wat Yai (Phitsanulok): One of the holiest temples in Thailand, Wat Yai is home to the Phra Buddha Chinarat image, cast in bronze. A classic example of a Sukhothai image, the Buddha here is the prototype for many replicas throughout the country. Outside, the temple complex hums with activity, as many Thais make the pilgrimage here.


    • Wat Phra Singh (Chiang Mai): While most Thais head here to see the revered Phra Sihing image, it's the delightful Lanna murals in the Viharn Lai Kham that surround the image that catch most people's eyes. Dating to around 1870, these faded illustrations include images of elephants, armies, and even fanciful impressions of early Western travelers.


  • Wat Phra That Lampang Luang (Lampang): This temple is one of the oldest in North Thailand, and is considered one of the best examples of Lanna temple architecture. The eaves of its temple buildings swoop almost to the ground, and the interior panels are decorated with fading murals. The temple also houses a small but precious image called the Phra Kaew Don Tao, which is kept safely under lock and key.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.