Thailand is a Buddhist country and Bangkok is the centre of Thai Buddhist culture as many ancient and important temples, relics, icons and scriptures can be found here. Ninety-five percent of all Bangkok Thais are Buddhist and therefore it is, like all other cities in Thailand, very accommodating and accepting of other religions. Other religions make up the other five percent and comprise mainly of Muslims, Christians, Hindus and Sikhs.
It is a good place to learn about Buddhism and many of the monks in the working temples will be happy to share their knowledge with you. It is a very tolerant religion which does not impose its beliefs on anyone and stresses the importance of family, merit making and love.
The main temples within the city are Wat Po, next to the Grand Palace in Phra Nakorn; Wat Arun, (locally known as Wat Chaeng) on the Thonburi bank of the Chao Phraya River, Wat Mahathat, (the headquarters of Thailand’s largest monastic order and home to the Vipassana Meditation Centre) on Phra That Road (between the Grand Palace and the National Museum) and Wat Traimit, at the end of Yaowarat Road (Chinatown) close to Hualampong station.
There are over 60 churches throughout Bangkok, each of which holds Sunday and weekday services. Not all services are in English, although the ones which are held in Thai do have translation services available through the use of headphones. The most popular churches with the largest congregations include:
- Assumption Cathedral – 23 Oriental Lane. Phone: +662 234-8556
- Holy Redeemer Church – 123/19 Soi Ruam Rudee (off Wireless Road, behind US Embassy). Phone: +662 253-0305
- Saint John – Hayaek Ladprao, Vibhavadi Rangsit Road. Phone: +662 513-4286
- Christ Church – 11 Convent Road. Phone: +66 2 234-3634 (An international church with a congregation made up of many different nationals and church backgrounds)
- Evangelical Church of Bangkok – Soi 10, Sukhumvit Road. Phone: +662 653-0521
The main Hindu temple in Bangkok is Vishnu Temple, located in Soi Wat Prok, Thung Wat Don. It is where most Hindus meet to worship and celebrate and is also home to a meditation and yoga centre. It is very spiritual and open to practicing Hindus and visitors of all religions.
Muslims account for four per cent of all religious groups in Bangkok and there are a number of mosques found here. They include:
- Mutsayit Darunmuttaken – 73, Moo. 6, Soi Satthatham. Phone: +662 322-1064
- Musayid Alkoireeya – 143/7, Soi Nualchit, Ekamai. Phone: +662 381-7002
- Musyid Suanplu – 226, Rimthangrotfai, Bang Yi Rua. Phone: +66 472-7720
- Musayid Ulhuda Foundation – 31, Moo. 9, Mitrmaitree, Nong Chok. Phone: +662 543-2896
- Niahmatus Isalam Masayid – 660/114, Soi Churarat, New Phetburi Road. Phone: +662 651-6854
There are three synagogues in the city:
- Ashkenazic – Sukhumvit Soi 22. Phone: +662 663 0244
- Even Chen – Chao Phya Office Tower, 4th Floor (Attached to the Shangri-La Hotel)
- Chabad House – 96 Ram Butri, Bangalampoo. Phone: +662 282-6388
Religious Social Groups
As well as places of worship, there are also a number of religious social groups. Below is a list of the main groups as well as their website addresses or phone numbers for those who want more information.
- Hope of Bangkok: (An international fellowship), Sukhumvit Soi 5. Phone: +6681 735-0073.
- Jewish Association of Thailand: (an organisation for all Jews living in Thailand), Sukhumvit Soi 22. Phone: +662 258-2195, website: http://www.jewishthailand.com
- Christ Church: (Have many organisations within the church for children, ladies, adults and newcomers). http://www.christchurchbangkok.org/ChildrenYouth.html
- International Christian Assembly: Sukhumvit Soi 63. Phone: +662 711-6963