"My passion is to show how fascinating Bangkok looks off the tourist tracks and how Thais manage their daily lives."
- Holger Bauer
Wat [Temple] Bowon Niwet Vihara Rajavaravihara, a Buddhist temple off most tourists' radars, is located on Thanon Bowon Niwet and Thanon Phra Sumen, close to the backpacker's [paradise] of Khao San Road.
This stunning temple, [with] small canals (khlongs) and plenty of trees and flowers, provides visitors with a rare piece of calm in otherwise buzzing Bangkok.
But beautiful as the grounds are, be sure to visit the monks' retreat, which is made up of tiny, beautiful kutis with terraces surrounded by flowers. Visitors are allowed in, so you can sit with the monks as they study and have a talk, or just watch them go about their daily lives.
Many events take place at Wat Bowon Niwet, including Buddhist holidays, funerals and -- a highlight -- the inauguration of the new novice monks.
Also within the huge Wat Bowon Niwet compound is the Buddhist Thammayut Nikaya University, where the dean is more than happy to let visitors follow a lesson in one of the classes. Entrance is free... More