A Thai Buddhist temple ("WAT" - วัด) is a complex comprising several distinct religious buildings. Major Buddhist ceremonies happen in temples. Some ceremonies (wedding, death, building consecration) are done by monks outside the temple.
In Thailand, around 30,000 Buddhist temples are consecrated. Thai Temples have architectural differences in all regions. For example, in Thailand northern area, some temples are built with a Burmese influence, i.e. some Buddha statues are painted in white and monasteries are often made of teak (Lampang and Mae Hong Son cities). In Northeastern area, Thai temples are built with a Laotian influence.
A Thai temple is composed of several buildings, which are described in the following pages.
- the "WIHARN" (วิหาร)
- the "BOT" (โบสถ์)
- the pavilion ("SALA" - ศาลา)
- the gong tower ("HO RAKANG" - หอระฆัง)
- the entrance and walls
- the pagoda ("CHEDI" - เจดีย์)
- the temple compound
- the banian tree ("BO")
- the monks house ("KUTI" - กุฎิ)
- the crematorium
- the library ("HO TRAI" - หอไตร)
- the Buddhist hell garden ("NAROK" - นรก)