Wat Thai Temple—a hidden gem in the San Fernando Valley
If you’re a resident of the San Fernando Valley, chances are you’ve driven past Wat Thai Temple hundreds of times but have never stopped to check it out. Nestled in a quiet residential neighborhood in North Hollywood, Wat Thai is easy to miss if you’re not looking for it. But this hidden gem is well worth a visit, whether you’re Buddhist or not. Here’s what you can expect to find at Wat Thai Temple.
A Brief History of Wat Thai
Wat Thai Temple was founded in 1962 by a group of Thai immigrants who wanted to create a community space where they could worship and share their culture with others. In the nearly 60 years since its founding, Wat Thai has become one of the most popular Buddhist temples in Los Angeles, attracting worshippers from all over Southern California.
What to Expect When You Visit Wat Thai Temple
Wat Thai Temple is open to the public seven days a week, and there is no entrance fee. Visitors are welcome to wander around the temple grounds and take in the peaceful atmosphere. If you’d like to learn more about Buddhism and Wat Thai’s history, there are docents who give tours in English every Sunday at 11am. And, of course, if you’re looking for a place to meditate or say a prayer, you’ll find plenty of quiet spaces to do so.
One of the highlights of Wat Thai Temple is the beautiful garden, which features two traditional Thai stupas as well as a statue of Bodhidharma, the founder of Zen Buddhism. The temple also has an on-site cafe where you can enjoy traditional Thai cuisine—vegetarian options are available—and coffee or tea. There’s even a small gift shop where you can buy souvenirs and Buddhist-themed items.
Whether you’re Buddhist or not, Wat Thai Temple is definitely worth a visit if you find yourself in the San Fernando Valley. With its beautiful gardens, on-site cafe, and tranquil atmosphere, it’s the perfect place to spend an hour or two exploring and learning about Buddhism and Thai culture—and it’s right in our own backyard.