Wat Saket is easily recognized by its golden chedi atop a fortress-like hill near busy Ratchadamnoen Road and Banglampoo. King Rama I restored the wat, and 30,000 bodies were brought here during a plague in the reign of Rama II. The hill, which is almost 80m (262 ft.) high, is an artificial construction begun during the reign of Rama III. Rama IV brought in 1,000 teak logs to shore it up because it was sinking into the swampy ground. Rama V built the golden chedi to house a relic of Buddha, given to him by the British. The concrete walls were added during World War II to keep the structure from collapsing.
The Golden Mount is interesting for its vistas of Rattanakosin Island and the rooftops of Bangkok and is beautifully lit at night. Every late October to mid-November (for 9 days around the full moon) Wat Sakhet hosts Bangkok's most important temple fair, when the Golden Mount is wrapped with red cloth and a carnival erupts around it, with food and trinket stalls or theatrical performances.
- © Frommer's 2013
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