A sacred temple in the compound of the Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand. The temple was apparently one of the first built by Rama I at his newly established capital in Bangkok. Wat means temple in Thai; phra, monk or Buddha image; and kaew crystal or precious stone; the usual English translation is The Temple of the Emerald Buddha. Note, though, that the Buddha image is not actually made out of emerald, but rather jade or jasper. For reasons explained in the image's own node, this particular Buddha image is one of the most sacred for the Thai, though its current mode of display makes it very difficult to see. Nevertheless, the temple is lovely, and the whole Grand Palace complex very grand indeed, and well worth a visit.

It's interesting to note that Wat Phra Kaew is the only temple in Thailand that doesn't have resident monks; it is a ceremonial centre, and not a seat of Buddhist learning like many of the other important temples in Bangkok.

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