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RECENTLY UPDATED! With nearly 200 high-resolution images, maps and detailed site profiles, this is the definitive guide to Thailand’s temples. (2015)

Travel guidebooks for the ultra curious, Approach Guides reveal a destination’s essence by exploring a compelling aspect of its cultural heritage: art, architecture, history, food, or wine.

The temples of Thailand — overflowing with golden Buddhas, soaring spires and glistening surfaces of infinite complexity — stir the spirit, inviting contemplation and wonder. This Approach Guide reveals the country’s best art and architecture from its three great historical capitals: Sukhothai (1238-1368), Ayutthaya (1350-1767), and Bangkok (1782-present). It is yours to discover.

What’s in this guidebook:

  • Art and architecture. We provide an overview of Thai art and architecture, isolating trademark features that you will see again and again while touring. To make things come alive, we have packed our review with high-resolution images.
  • Tour of the highlights. Following our tradition of being the most valuable resource for culture-focused travelers, we offer a tour of Sukhothai, Ayutthaya and Bangkok’s greatest Buddhist monuments (itinerary below). For each, we reveal its most important architectural and decorative features and offer a discussion that ties it all together.
  • Advice for getting the best cultural experience. To help you plan your visit, this guidebook supplies logistical advice, maps and links to online resources. Plus, we give our personal tips for getting the most from your experience while on location.
  • Information the way you like it. As with all of our guides, this book is optimized for intuitive, quick navigation; information is organized into bullet points to make absorption easy; and images are marked up with text that explains important features.

Tour itinerary
To help with prioritization, must-see temple sites in each city are marked with asterisks (*).

  • Sukhothai: Wat Chang Lom, Wat Chedi Si Hong, Wat Chetuphon, Wat Mahathat*, Wat Phra Phai Luang, Wat Sa Si, Wat Saphan Hin, Wat Si Sawai*, Wat Si Chum*, Wat Trapang Ngoen, Wat Trapang Thong Lang.
  • Si Satchanalai (Sukhothai daytrip): Wat Chedi Cha ng Lom*, Wat Chedi Chet Thaew*, Wat Khao Phanom Phloeng, Wat Khao Suwan Khiri, Wat Nang Phaya.
  • Ayutthaya: Wat Chai Watthanaram, Wat Mahathat*, Wat Maheyong*, Wat Na Phra Men*, Wat Phu Khao Thong, Wat Phutthaisawan, Wat Ratchaburana*, Wat Si Sanphet*, Wat Suwandararam*, Wat Yai Chai Mongkon.
  • Bangkok: Buddhaisawan chapel*, Wat Arun*, Wat Benchamabophit, Wat Bowornivet, Wat Khrua Wan*, Wat Pho aka Chetuphon*, Wat Phra Kaeo*, Wat Suthat,* Wat Suwannaram*.

One of the benefits of Approach Guides is that we can easily update content and release new editions of our guidebooks. These updates are free for existing customers. Please visit for a list of recently updated guides and instructions on downloading the new version.

Compulsive (and compulsively informed) travelers, the Raezers are the masterminds behind the downloadable Approach Guides, which are filled with a university course-worth of history and insights for 62 destinations worldwide. WHY WE LOVE IT: The Raezers share our desire for deep, well-researched information on the wonders of the world.

- Travel + Leisure

What started as one couple's travel notes aimed at filling in the gaps in guidebooks has become - a menu of downloadable travel guides that cover cultural and historical topics of interest to thoughtful travelers.  What's hot: Bite-sized travel guides that specialize in topics ranging from 29 pages on the foods of Italy to one that helps you explore the historical and architectural significance of Angkor's famous temple structures in Cambodia.

- LA Times

Approach Guides encompass the whole cultural experience of a place, whether it is Ancient Buddhist Caves in India and China, Islamic Cairo, Ancient Mediterranean Mosaics, or a Guide to the Regional Foods of Italy. Each guide delves into the subject, truly exploring it (and making you want to GO THERE NOW). Perfect for the thinking traveler, Approach Guides are one of the best travel guides I've ever found.

- Wandering Educators

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