Thailand Travel

Taking the local bus to The Golden Mount

golden mount wat saket bangkok thailand

Bangkok, Thailand – It all seemed easy enough. “Just ride the bus #15,” the male receptionist at Mile Map Hostel said. Turned out, it wouldn’t be that easy taking the local bus to the Golden Mount inside Wat Saket compound. Maybe because I always get mistaken as a local and they refuse or can’t talk to me in English, or maybe because it really was the wrong bus.




With the sun already at its highest point in the day, I sat under the shade of the small bus stop along Silom road. The presence of foreigners waiting was nonexistent, except for me, who did not look like the typical foreigner. To them, I looked like a local.

Sweating and frustrated from my 2 previous wrong #15 bus rides (very brief ones at that), I was adamant to finally get on the correct bus the third time around. So I shyly asked a young lady in office attire sitting beside me if she was waiting for bus #15. Thank heavens she was. And I proceeded to tell her that I’m going to Wat Saket. I must have pronounced it wrong for it took a few tries before she finally understood me. One syllable in Thai can be pronounced in different intonations and can mean different things.

And when the bus finally came, she told me to sit with her and even told the conductor on my behalf where I wanted to go down. She even paid for my bus fare! Thank you, good Samaritan! Third time’s the charm, indeed!

golden mount entrance booth

Golden Mount at Wat Saket

After getting off the bus, I only walked a few meters to get to the entrance of the Golden Mount. A 20 baht entrance fee (2015) was required for tourists. Although previous blog posts I’ve read said that this was one of the free places to go in Bangkok.

golden mount bangkok thailand entrance stairs

At the bottom, there are information boards, and the ticket booth, with frangipani trees and undergrowth going around the base of the mount. Going up the 318 steps spiral staircase was easy enough even for me who has a bad case of jelly legs. The steps were wide and the space between them isn’t that tall enough. Watching the devotees as I go up, I notice that they rang the bells one by one and the giant gong three times after saying their prayers and wishes. You can also ring these bells for good luck.

bells stairs golden mount bangkok

Offerings and prayers are given on the different statues of Buddha present on the temple floor beneath the golden chedi. Small kiosks offering refreshments are also present. I couldn’t resist buying an ice cream and eating it while gazing at the bird’s eye view of Bangkok.

inside golden mount bangkok

view of bangkok from golden mount

At the center is the shrine holding the Buddha relic. A narrow staircase in the right corner leading up to the gilded chedi can be claustrophobic but only for a very brief time. Finally reaching the top makes it all worth it though. With the heat of the sun notwithstanding, you’ll be amazed at how tall and golden the chedi is, how the devotees do their rituals and traditions, and the 360 degrees Bangkok skyline. Plus there’s free Wi-Fi too! Odd but very cool indeed.

golden mount bangkok thailand wat saket

golden chedi golden mount bangkok

The viewpoint offers a vantage point to see tourist sites such as the Rama VIII bridge, Grand Palace, and Democracy Monument. Standing 77 meters tall, The Golden Mount was built during the reign of King Rama III to King Rama V.

I took the same bus going back to Silom Road and found out that it was free! Too bad for the traffic and crowding inside the bus though, and it reminded me of Manila. Foreigners walking past were either appalled or amazed but for Asians residing in developing countries, this is old news.

Here’s a short video of my visit to the Golden Mount at Wat Saket, Bangkok, Thailand: 

Quick Guide to Golden Mount and Wat Saket

Opening hours: 0800 H to 1800H

Address: Khlong Maha Nak Subdistrict, Pom Prap Sattru Phai District, Bangkok

Entrance Fee: 20 THB for foreigners

Dress Code: Dress modestly, meaning cover your shoulders and cover until below your knees. And act respectfully.

How to get to Golden Mount and Wat Saket: SkyTrain to Ratchathewi Station (N1) (Sukhumvit Line). Take Exit 1 and upon exiting turn around and walk straight ahead 200 m. to Khlong Saen Seab. Catch a long tail boat from pier directly to Phan Fha Pier at Wat Saket. Or from the Grand Palace or Wat Suthat, take public transport to the corner of Maha Chai and Ratchadamnern Klang Rd. (Source: Travel Information and Travel Facilities, the Tourism Authority of Thailand)


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16 Comments

  • Reply
    Rianne
    October 9, 2017 at 4:36 pm

    That looks lovely, I always love visiting places where you get a view as well! And it’s so nice of the lady to help you with the bus, I know public transport can be so confusing in other countries

  • Reply
    Carola
    October 8, 2017 at 7:52 pm

    I’ve spent a few weeks in Bangkok this year and always stayed in walking distance to the Golden Mount. I love going past and listening to the hundreds of small bells jungle in the wind. But I’ve yet to go up (I hear it’s great for sunrise…).

    Happy continued travels!

  • Reply
    suzie
    October 8, 2017 at 9:43 am

    Gorgeous! Looks amazing and I can’t wait to go! I’m headed there after the New Year, yay!

    • Reply
      Darlene
      October 8, 2017 at 2:22 pm

      Yay! I’m sure you’ll like Thailand too 🙂

  • Reply
    ann
    October 7, 2017 at 9:20 pm

    I’ve seen a lot of temples already in Bangkok, like Wat Pho and Wat Arun. But I never know this amazing golden mount wat saket. Thanks for sharing another place to explore in Bangkok. Are you an expat in Bangkok? ^^ I’m an Expat in Pattaya.

    • Reply
      Darlene
      October 8, 2017 at 2:23 pm

      I’m an expat in Doha, Qatar. 🙂 And yup, there are lots of temples (Wat) in Bangkok and Thailand to visit. 🙂

  • Reply
    Noemi
    October 7, 2017 at 7:08 pm

    Free wifi! That’s indeed very odd but hey, I won’t complain about that. When I was living in Dubai, people always thought that I’m from every Southeast Asian countries except for the Philippines. They’ll always take a guess and mention every single country except for the Philippines. :p

    Love that the local girl was so helpful and paid for your bus fare too. You should’ve taken a selfie with her. :p

    • Reply
      Darlene
      October 7, 2017 at 7:58 pm

      Ahahaha yeah! All of the SEA countries I go to usually think I’m either Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, or even Korean and Japanese. Cracks me up! Yeah, I realized that I should have taken a pic with her but it was too late already. I was too frazzled with the whole experience!

  • Reply
    Kristine Li
    October 7, 2017 at 6:11 pm

    The lady is so nice! Third time lucky indeed. You’re very determined to get to this Wat, glad you finally got there! =)

    • Reply
      Darlene
      October 8, 2017 at 2:23 pm

      Yasss! Thank goodness for Good Samaritans. 🙂 Kindness is not dead!

  • Reply
    Kavita Favelle
    October 7, 2017 at 4:09 pm

    OK, note to self, work out a way of not getting on the wrong bus! Looks like the temple and views were worth the effort though!

    • Reply
      Darlene
      October 8, 2017 at 2:24 pm

      Taking the local bus usually is an adventure in itself. Hehe. Hope you enjoyed Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai like I did!

  • Reply
    Anu
    October 7, 2017 at 3:03 pm

    I have been to Bangkok so many times, but I seem to have missed Wat Saket every time. Bookmarking it for the next time I am in Thailand.

    • Reply
      Darlene
      October 7, 2017 at 3:09 pm

      Yay! There’s always the next time. 😉

  • Reply
    Jherson Jaya
    October 2, 2017 at 3:02 am

    the last time i was in Bangkok, a good samaritan talked to the bus conductor instructing him where I was going. I firmly believe that humans, are good in general 😉

    • Reply
      Darlene
      October 4, 2017 at 2:31 pm

      Yes, there’s always good samaritans everywhere!

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