After Travelfeed.io's meetup at the Wanderlust bar in Thong Lo, I had the pleasure of tagging along with the awesome guys and gals to Golden Mount. It was awesome (Thanks, @Travelfeed!) but I didn't get a chance to stick around and make the hike to the top. Both because it was really crowded due to the Loi Krathong festival and my prior arrangements that I was already late for.
I very much liked the overall "feel" of this wat and felt I needed to come back and check out the summit and the rest of the complex. So I went again the next day even though the festival was still going on. It was less crowded despite being the last day of the festival and the journey to the summit was free. I didn't even know it was a ticketed venue…I just followed the crowd and went straight up. It was only after walking around later at night that I saw the signage regarding ticket prices. Getting up to the top was a fairly easy walk up the gradual stairs. The steps felt really oddly spaced apart and shorter than normal (for me) and I ended taking two steps a stride. There are places to stop and rest on the way up if needed as well as bells you can ring, lots and lots of bells differing in age, material and size.
Once at the top there are Buddha statues in the room as well as a semi enclosed circular structure/room with four major Buddha statues inside that you can offer your prayers/donations to. The walkway around this circular "room" is very narrow, barely enough room for one person to walk so it can get congested very, very quickly.
Before you continue up to the roof to see the golden stupa structure, you can to get your fortune read by shaking a bamboo tube full of sticks on which there is something written and you go and get it translated/explained. I didn't really get to see where to go as it was getting pretty crowded very quickly. Oh there are water vendors in there (not sure if its only for the festival though.
Also interestingly enough, you don't have to take off your shoes up there. Making your way up to the roof you will have to climb some narrow stairs with a low entry arch. If you're taller than 5'10, you'll hit your head if you're not paying attention.
The golden stupa is covered with red sheets on which people can write things on it. The sheets are at the base of the stupa and when it's full it, gets wrapped around the stupa. It's a nice view up top but hard to get to the edges as people stand and sit in front of it. I bet the view would be even better at sunrise or sunset. But I didn't have the luxury to stay so long nor space to set things up so down I went to check out the rest of the wat.
If you're every in Bangkok you should come visit Golden Mount and Wat Saket, even if your Google search for top wats/places to visit doesn't return Golden Mount. I feel it's well worth it! I would never have found Wat Saket and Golden Mount if I hadn't attended Travelfeed's meetup. If you're at all interested in travel, you need to check out
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