What is Wat?

“The Thai term “Wat” refers to a Buddist monastery complex, sometimes called a temple.Its traditional use is to ordain and house Buddist monks. A wat located in town also serves as comminty center. A few temples are located outside of town and act primarily as meditation retreats (although visitors are welcome) or cremation sites, but never exclusively so. Thus, a wat has both a sacred and lay function.” (What’s What in a Wat?)

Wat Phra Kaew (“Temple of the Holy Jewel Image”), also spelled Wat Phra Kaeo and commonly known as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, is located on the ground of the Royal Palace in Bangkok. It is the most revered Buddhist shrine in Thailand. Apart from the amazing architecture, gilded statues and the majesty of the temple, the walls of What Phra Kaew’s cloisters feature examples of Tai moral art documenting the life and travels of the Buddha and scenes fr the Ramaikan, the Thai version of the Ramayana epic.

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