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How to visit Wat Sam Phran Dragon Temple from Bangkok

After seeing this fascinating dragon temple all over social media, we decided to rent a scooter in Bangkok and finally visit it. In this travel guide to Wat Samphran, we highlight all the best travel tips you need for visiting the famous dragon temple of Thailand, including how to get to the temple, and more.
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Arijana & Matej

Croatian-Slovenian full-time travel duo, photographers, bloggers and travel journalists for over 4 years. We write in-depth travel guides about destinations we have personally visited, providing practical travel tips and recommendations.

How to visit Wat Sam Phran Dragon Temple from Bangkok - Thailand Dragon Temple - How to get to Wat Sam Phran temple from Bangkok

While traveling through Thailand for over six months, we saw many temples, but the Dragon Temple in Bangkok was definitely one of the most interesting ones.

After visiting a large number of temples in Thailand, especially in Bangkok, we compiled a list of the Best Temples to Visit in Bangkok. It’s worth checking out to find some hidden gems that are not yet overcrowded, like this dragon temple.

Dragon Temple and golden buddha, Wat Sam Phran - Bangkok, Thailand
View of Wat Sam Phran from the drone

Did you know? We spent 6 months in Thailand and wrote over 45 Thailand travel guides to help you plan your trip! ❤️ And we keep adding new ones!

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About Wat Sam Phran (Dragon Temple)

Wat Sam Phran, commonly known as the Dragon Temple, is a captivating Buddhist temple located just outside Bangkok. This extraordinary 17-story pink tower is encircled by a massive dragon sculpture that winds its way from the ground to the roof, creating a striking and unforgettable sight. 

Dragon circling the Wat Sam Phran temple, Bangkok, Thailand

The temple grounds are serene and filled with intriguing statues and lush greenery, offering a peaceful retreat. Wat Sam Phran provides a unique visual spectacle and a spiritual haven for those seeking tranquility.

Its blend of architectural wonder and spiritual ambiance makes it a must-visit destination for anyone exploring Thailand’s cultural treasures, especially off-the-beaten-path attractions – which the Dragon Temple still kind of is.

Temple grounds at Wat Sam Phran dragon temple, Bangkok, Thailand

Wat Sam Phran was established in 1985, which makes it a recent addition compared to some of Bangkok’s relatively older temples. The iconic winding green dragon was added to protect the temple from evil spirits, and the temple itself was built 80 meters high, symbolizing Buddha’s death at age 80.

Aside from the 17-story high rose pink tower, there are meditation areas, living quarters, and food stalls located in the temple complex.

View from the inside of the pink tower at Wat Sam Phran, Bangkok, Thailand
View from the inside of the tower at Wat Sam Phran

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Where is Wat Sam Phran located?

Wat Sam Phran (Dragon Temple) is about 40km west of Bangkok City in the province of Nakhon Pathom. So, while it made our list of the best things to visit in Bangkok, it’s technically outside Bangkok, in another province.

But since most tourists won’t visit this place from anywhere else than Bangkok, it’s often considered the “Bangkok Dragon Temple.”

Drone aerial view of Wat Sam Phran dragon temple, Bangkok

How to get to Wat Sam Phran, the Dragon Temple?

There are minimal public transport options to Wat Sam Phran, which is probably why there aren’t as many tourists who come to visit it. Depending on where you’re starting in Bangkok, it can mean taking the metro, then the bus, maybe a taxi, and then back to the bus before finally getting a taxi to the temple, which can take up to two hours in total travel time.

By car or scooter

The best way to get to Wat Sam Phran is by renting a car in Bangkok. Another option, which is personally our favorite, is renting a motorbike for the whole day, which costs about $7.

Having a car or scooter in Bangkok gives you the freedom of time and the opportunity to explore attractions outside of the city, like the floating markets of Bangkok (Damnoen Saduak & more), and maybe even take a trip down to Maeklong Railway Market.

How to get to Wat Sam Phran dragon temple from Bangkok, Thailand - by car, taxi, Grab, scooter or bus
Driving a car in Thailand

By private car with a driver or on a tour

Otherwise, you could also book this private car with a driver service and get yourself a customized day out from Bangkok. This way, you get a dedicated driver for a set amount of hours and explore at your own pace.

You can also join this top-rated Nakhon Pathom tour that also visits the dragon temple, among other spots. Check it out if you’re looking for a guided day trip, as it’s one of the only ones.

By taxi or Grab (Uber)

If you are not renting a car to drive there, the easiest and most convenient way to the dragon temple of Wat Sam Phran is to book a Grab taxi (Uber). The ride takes about 45 minutes to an hour and would cost you between $10 and $15 each way, depending on where you are staying in Bangkok.

Yes, it is pricey, but you’re set if you find other travelers willing to split the bill with you. Just keep in mind that you might have to wait a bit to get a driver for the ride back. If you want to avoid that, simply ask the driver if they’re willing to wait for you (for a fee, of course).

To book transport in Asia, we always use this platform, the top transport booking platform in the region for flights, trains, buses, and taxis. Their user-friendly platform makes booking a breeze.

By bus

One of the most frequently asked questions is whether you can get a bus to the dragon temple of Wat Sam Phran? The answer is yes, you can get to Wat Sam Phran by bus number 84 from Bangkok’s Wongwian Yai station. It drops you off about 5 kilometers away from the temple for 0.7 USD. From there, take a Grab or a taxi for the last part. To get back, you can repeat the process but backward. Or just get a taxi back.

Click here to check the bus line 84 stops, and click here to check the official info about the operation of the line.

But to be completely honest, we wouldn’t go through the trouble of getting there by bus, and if we were to go again, we’d rather choose a taxi or Grab ride (Uber).

How to get to Wat Sam Phran temple from Bangkok - getting to Wat Sam Phran by bus - local bus
One of the older bus models in Bangkok – which has been almost completely replaced by new ones. If you don’t ride it in the hottest part of the day, it’s not that bad. We used the old bus around Bangkok before, and it was fine.

Recommended Bangkok Experiences

Why is the Wat Sam Phran Dragon Temple special?

Wat Sam Phran (the Dragon Temple) is special for several reasons. Its unique architecture features a fusion of Thai and Chinese and the color combination of green and pink is just visually stunning even from afar. Also, elements in the temple structure, such as the dragon and the height of the tower, have religious and social significance to the locals.

Big elephant statue at Wat Sam Phran temple, Bangkok Thailand - dragon temple

The surrounding gardens, with their featured statues of elephants, turtles, and rabbits, make the entire landscape even more scenic and picturesque. If you’re not afraid of heights and enclosed space, the winding stairs inside the body of the dragon offer an interesting experience. Instead of boring stairs, you walk up the dragon’s body, essentially a concrete tunnel circling the pink tower.

Inside the concrete tunnel - inside of the dragon's body at Wat Sam Phran temple, Bangkok, Thailand
Inside the dragon’s body going up the pink tower at Wat Sam Phran
Statues at Wat Sam Phran, Bangkok, Thailand

Lastly, because it’s off the beaten path, it’s less crowded and offers a more peaceful experience than other things to do in Bangkok.

Statues at Wat Sam Phran, Bangkok, Thailand - dragon temple

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What to expect at Wat Sam Phran, the Dragon Temple

We recommend counting on spending about 2 hours at the Wat Sam Phran Buddhist temple so you can climb up in peace, take in the views, and also explore the temple grounds.

During your visit to Wat Sam Phran temple, you can see monks praying and walking around the quite large but serene temple complex, as it is still an active temple and place of worship.

Aside from the 17-story Dragon Temple, you can also find a number of large statues at the temple complex. There’s a giant turtle that you can walk inside, more dragons, large fish statues, white rabbits, a life-size elephant, and a large Golden Buddha Statue.

Large elephant statues at Wat Sam Phran dragon temple, Bangkok, Thailand

While the dragon temple has no entrance fee, donation boxes are scattered around the complex where you can contribute. You can also find stalls selling flower garlands for offering and burning incense. Plus, you can buy red ribbons, which you can sign and tie to a railing at the top of the tower. But it seems a bit of a waste of money plus environmentally unfriendly.

Red ribbons with names tied to railing at Wat Sam Phran - Bangkok Dragon Temple, Thailand

Walking up the dragon’s body at Wat Sam Phran is a must-do thing, but it can be a bit claustrophobic. So, if you’re not comfortable in spaces like these, there are fans that constantly provide ventilation – so there is no risk of suffocation! These fans are also perfect spots to refresh yourself by standing in front of them for a minute or two. We were hot and sweaty on the way up, so it was a very nice thing to have!

Walking up the body of the dragon temple at Wat Sam Phran, Bangkok

Things to see at Wat Sam Phran

  • A giant turtle head – found right after passing the entrance
  • The gardens – lots of smaller statues, scriptures, signs, and a bridge over a small stream
  • Hands and footprints on the garden pathway – located around the garden grounds
  • The giant elephant – you’ll have to walk underneath its belly to get to the other side of the gardens
  • The large Golden Buddha Statue – found in a small pavilion 3-storeys up a white building that’s relatively hidden 
  • The Dragon Tower – great to observe from below and from above

Golden buddha statues at Wat Sam Phran dragon temple in Bangkok

We’re not sure why there were so many flags at Wat Sam Phran, but it was a nice surprise to find both of our flags, Arijana’s Croatian flag and Matej’s Slovenian flag! We often see Croatia’s flag and the signature Croatian checkerboard on sports t-shirts, but Slovenian, not so much!

Rent a car in Thailand

The easiest way to get around Thailand?

Rent a car! Thailand is very easy to navigate by car, which allows you to explore at your own pace.

We recommend using DiscoverCars, where you can easily compare prices from top car rental companies and book your dream car with just a few clicks. Say goodbye to long queues and hidden fees and hello to hassle-free car rentals.

Travel tips for visiting Wat Sam Phran, the Dragon Temple

  • There is no entrance fee at Wat Sam Phran, but donations are highly appreciated, so bring some Thai Baht notes.
  • You must remove your shoes when entering the main pink tower. We recommend bringing socks that you don’t mind getting dirty.
  • The dress code is simple: as a way of respect, keep your outfit decent and ready for a temple visit.
  • Be mindful of taking photos of monks and devotees unless there’s explicit permission.
  • Wat Sam Phran (Dragon Temple) is open from 6 AM to 6 PM every day. However, sometimes during the week, it opens a bit later, around 8 to 9 AM.
  • The best time to visit Wat Sam Phran is early morning, before the heat.
  • Grab some snacks and refreshments at one of the stalls.

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Is Wat Sam Phran a hidden gem in Bangkok, and is it really worth visiting?

We heard of many so-called hidden gems in Bangkok, which proved to be not so hidden. But Wat Sam Phran really is a hidden gem, mostly because it’s quite out of the standard tourist route, especially because the public transport options to get there aren’t the most convenient.

How to visit Wat Sam Phran dragon temple in Bangkok, Thailand

We enjoyed our visit to this pink dragon temple and can highly recommend it if you don’t want to visit another overcrowded temple like the Grand Palace, Wat Arun, or Wat Pho (those are absolutely worth visiting, though!). For more travel inspiration, make sure to check our complete list of the best Bangkok temples.

Golden buddha statues at Wat Sam Phran dragon temple, Bangkok

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Arijana & Matej

Full-time travelers, photographers, bloggers and travel journalists.

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We're Arijana and Matej, a couple and travel blogging duo from Croatia and Slovenia who thrive while slow-traveling. And we have been doing it for over 4 years.

During and after our travels, we love publishing in-depth, researched and above-all, useful travel guides, full of personal first-hand information on the places we personally visited.

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