I believe every Thai people (especially Bankokians) know the name of 'Phu Khao Thong' or 'Golden Mount/Chedi, and not miss numbers of foreigners who read the information of this historic architecture from Bangkok tourist guide books. But...how many of you have been there? Don't wait as we are now going to the place.
'Phu Khao Thong' does not mean the sauce brand selling in Thai markets but means 'Golden Mount/Chedi' located in Wat Saket or Saket Ratch Wara Maha Wihan temple. A lot of Thai people particularly youngsters like to go around the place to buy 'Fire crackers'!, the well-known place to find all kind of crackers whether is big or small. Every year during Loy Kratong festival, the temple hosts annual temple fair for 7 days 7 nights with a lot of shops, food stalls, shows and game stations, but besides fun side, you have to be aware of pickpocket... :(
The model at the entrance.
Phu Khao Thong was built during the throne of King Rama III. Previously, it was named 'Phra BaromBanpot' while Wat Saket itself dates back to the Ayudhaya era, when it was called 'Wat Sakae'. The temple was restored under King Rama I (1782 – 1809).
Wat Saket was used for cremation ceremonies, which were not permitted inside the walled city. During a plague in the reign of King Rama II (1809-1824), 30,000 bodies were brought here.
The Golden Mount is an artificial hill. When the king RamaIII tried to build a chedi here before the hill existed, it collapsed because of the soft soil beneath. He, therefore made a strong pile of mud and bricks to support it.
It was King Rama IV (1804-1868) who crowned the new hill with the intended chedi. He also shored up the hill with 1,000 teck logs because it was already sinking into the swampy ground.
King Rama V (1853-1910) added the chedi that stands today, enshrining within it a relic of the Buddha, said to be given in 1879 by the government of India which was found from the old Chedi in Kabila-pat in Nepal. The concrete walls were added during World War II to prevent the hill from eroding and the structure collapsing.
To the reach the top of the Golden Mount, you must ascend an exhausting 318 steps. On a clear day, the view from the top includes old Rattanakosin Island and the rooftops of Bangkok.
My journey to the temple was surprisingly comfortable. I took a taxi boat from Bangkapi district to Parnfa district and walked for a short while before reaching the entrance to the golden mount.
These are the 318 steps. For people with long legs, you can walk over 3 steps in one shot. Mine is short, so I managed to walk over 2 steps.
After walking up, there we reached the resting area with 4 benches. But I am not sure who want to sit there ( see the bright sunshine)!
During the journey, there were many foreigners. Scarcely, they were more than Thai people. :P
^.^....I almost reached the rooftop. If you want to go to the rooftop, you have to walk up further. But I needed a rest and pray. You know, there was an ice-cream stall up here! let's grab it!
Beautiful Buddha scruptures
The modelled Golden Mount for praying.
After resting, I got to accomplish my task...to the rooftop!
The rooftop area was big, the Golden Mount located at the center sunrrounding by beautiful scruptures and architectures.
I could have a full view of Bangkok within the territory of Ratthanakosin area (Thai called 'Ratthanakosin island). At least there were green sites of trees but when I look farer to my hometown, Ratchathevi and Phryathai. I saw only skyscrapers and buildings!
If you have a chance to be in Bangkok. Do not forget to go to this long historic and beautiful temple and hope to see photos from you soon!
Have a great trip!