People visit the market held at Wat Mongkolratanaram, a Buddhist temple, on Sunday, May 19, 2019 in Tampa. On Sundays, the temple holds a market for people of all religions and backgrounds to visit. Credit: Allie Goulding/Tampa Bay Times/ZUMA Wire/Alamy Live News

Alamy Stock Photo

Wat Mongkolratanaram


Why is there a Buddhist Thai temple in the middle of Tampa? Who cares, the noodle soup is amazing. On Sundays hundreds of people show up for the food and flower markets, lining up Busch Gardens–style for the beloved beef soup with fish balls. Visitors can also enter the temple barefoot and enjoy traditional music.

Orchids and bonsai trees are for sale, as are Thai iced teas, egg rolls and a variety of strange and wonderful desserts (go for the pumpkin cake).

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Tampa attractions

1. Ybor City Museum State Park


This dusty, old-school history museum preserves a bygone era, with cigar-worker houses (open 10am to 3pm) and wonderful photos. The museum has information…

2. Florida Aquarium

3.06 MILES

Tampa's excellent aquarium is among the state's best. Cleverly designed, the re-created swamp lets you walk among herons and ibis as they prowl the…

3. Tampa Bay History Center

3.36 MILES

This first-rate history museum presents the region's Seminole and Miccosukee people, Cracker pioneers and cattle breeders, and Tampa's Cuban community and…

4. Florida Museum of Photographic Arts

4.01 MILES

This small, intimate photography museum is housed on the 2nd and 3rd stories of the Cube, a five-story atrium in downtown Tampa. In addition to a…

5. Glazer Children's Museum

4.06 MILES

This crayon-bright, interactive museum provides a creative play space for kids under 10. The staff are delightful and the adjacent Curtis Hixon Park is…

6. Tampa Museum of Art

4.12 MILES

Architect Stanley Saitowitz's dramatically cantilevered museum building appears to float above Curtis Hixon Park overlooking the Hillsborough River…

7. Henry B Plant Museum

4.23 MILES

The silver minarets of Henry B Plant's 1891 Tampa Bay Hotel glint majestically, testimony to the vaunting ambitions of its creator who first brought the…

8. Busch Gardens

6.43 MILES

This theme park has 10 loosely named African zones, which flow together without much fuss. The entire park is walkable. Admission includes three types of…