Although most of Thailand’s famous temples are located in Bangkok and Chiang Mai, there are plenty of magnificent Buddhist temples around in the rest of the country.
Out of the six temples in Thailand that are of the highest grade of first class Royal Temples, two of them are found in areas not much visited by foreign tourists, namely the Wat Phra Phutthabat in Saraburi and the Wat Phra Pathom Chedi in Nakhon Pathom.
Some temples worth visiting in well known busy resort towns are the Big Buddha of Wat Phra Yai and the Wat Plai Laem both in Koh Samui, the Wat Chalong in Phuket and the Wat Yansangwararam in Pattaya.
In Nakhon Phanom province in North East Thailand, an area not much visited by foreign tourists, the Wat Phra That Renu Nakhon and the Wat Phra That Phanom are two temples that have impressive, very similar chedis built in Lao style. One of the tallest and most elegant pagodas in Thailand is the Phra Maha Chedi Chai Mongkol, located in a very rural and quiet area some 80 kilometers from Roi Et town in North East Thailand.
Just South East of Roi Et, the province of Ubon Ratchathani hosts a number of temple worth visiting, such as the Wat Ban Na Muang and the Wat Phra That Nong Bua, a temple that is very similar to the Mahabodhi temple in Bodhgaya in India, where the Buddha reached enlightenment.
Due to its proximity to Cambodia, the area of North East Thailand hosts a number of temples with a Khmer background, such as the Prasat Hin Khao Phanom Rung in Buriram and the Prasat Hin Phimai in Nakhon Ratchasima, both built in Angkor style.
Temples in Central Thailand (excluding Bangkok)
- Wat Yansangwararam (Pattaya)
- Viharn Sien (Pattaya)
- Big Buddha (Pattaya)
- Wat Phra Phutthabat (the Buddha footprint temple, Saraburi)
- Phra Pathom Chedi (Nakhon Pathom)
- Wat Mahathat Worawihan (Phetchaburi)
Temples in South Thailand
- Wat Chalong (Phuket)
- Laem Sor Pagoda (Koh Samui)
- Wat Plai Laem (Koh Samui)
- Wat Phra Yai (Big Buddha, Koh Samui)
- Wat Khunaram (Mummified monk, Koh Samui)