"Temple Roofs" Thailand Things to Do Tip by traveldave

Thailand Things to Do: 1,002 reviews and 1,206 photos


Temple roofs in Thailand always have multiple tiers. In fact, multiple tiers are reserved for temples, palaces, and important public buildings. Most temples have two to three tiers, but some royal temples have as many as four. The lowest tier is the largest, the middle tier is smaller, and the smallest tier is on the top. Most temple roofs are covered with colored, glazed Chinese terra-cotta tiles which are arranged in precise geometric order.

The blade-like projections at the roof's peak, called bai raka, represent either naga fins or the feathers of a garuda. (A naga is a mythical winged snake, and a garuda is a large mythical bird. Both are important creatures in Hindu and Buddhist mythology).

In Wat Pho, visitors can "buy" a tile for just a few bhat. For a small donation, visitors can make an inscription or sign their name on the tile, and it will eventually be incorporated into the roof of one of the temple buildings during routine repairs.

Directions: The entrance to Wat Pho is located on Chettuphon Road, just south of the Grand Palace Complex.

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  • Updated Aug 20, 2012
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