The temple dates back to the Ayutthaya era, when it was known as Wat Sakae. When Bangkok became the capital, King Rama I renovated the temple and gave it its present name.
Phu Khao Thong (Golden mountain, ภูเขาทอง) is a steep artificial hill inside the Wat Saket compound. Rama I's grandson, King Rama III (1787–1851), decided to build a chedi of huge dimensions inside Wat Saket. Unfortunately, the chedi collapsed during construction because the soft soil of Bangkok could not support the weight. Over the next few decades, the abandoned mud-and-brick structure acquired the shape of a natural hill and was overgrown with weeds. The locals called it the "phu khao" (ภูเขา), as if it were a natural feature.
During the reign of King Rama IV, construction began of a small chedi on the hill. It was completed early in the reign of his son, King Rama V (1853–1910). A relic of the Buddha was brought from Sri Lanka and placed in the chedi.The surrounding concrete walls were added in the 1940s to stop the hill from eroding. The modern Wat Saket was built in the early 20th century of Carrara marble.
|The Golden Mount|
Each day on our way to work at the Service Center we walk over a bridge with a water canal underneath. The canal serves as a water route for boat taxis that go up and down the river. We took the taxi going north to the Golden Mount.
|Waiting for our water taxi. L-t-R: Sister Moleff, Sister Meeker, Elder Meeker, Elder Smith, Sister Smith, Sister Ure, Elder Ure.|
|Our water taxi coming in|
|At the Golden Mount|
|On the roof with Thai flags waving in a stiff breeze.|
|I couldn't get it rotated into the right position. There are 2-Buddha's. One in front of the worshipers, the other behind the glass window|
|Where we ate a Thai lunch of 1800 Baht for 6-people. The food was excellent as was the restaurant, the service, and live singing|
|Our Water Taxi back to Asoke. The roof lowers for passing under low bridges. To enter or exit we grab the rope that runs the length of the taxi and swing in or out. Or when seats are full, we stand holding on to one of the ropes attached to the roof.|