Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha), Bangkok

Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha), Bangkok (must see)

Wat Pho (the Temple of the Reclining Buddha) is located behind the splendid Temple of the Emerald Buddha. It is one of the largest and the oldest Buddhist temple in Bangkok. Built around 200 years before Bangkok became Thailand's capital, the temple is mainly famous for the huge Reclining Buddha statue and the largest number of Buddha images it houses. The Wat was almost entirely rebuilt by Rama I when the capital was moved to Bangkok.

The highly impressive gold plated reclining Buddha is 46 meters long and 15 meters high and is designed to illustrate the passing of the Buddha into nirvana. The feet and the eyes are engraved with mother-of-pearl decoration. The bottoms of the Buddha's feet are intricately decorated with 108 auspicious scenes in Chinese and Indian styles.

The Wat Pho complex consists of two walled compounds, bisected north-south by Sanamchai Road running east-west. Reclining Buddha and massage school are found in the northern walled compound. People mostly go to visit this section which includes a large temple hall enclosed by 394 bronze Buddha images. There are also 91 Chedis of varying sizes around the ground. The library, decorated impressively with figures and pagodas made of porcelain is also present nearby. The large grounds of Wat Pho contain more than 1000 Buddha images in total, most from the ruins of the former capitals Ayuthaya and Sukhothai.

Wat Pho is also famous as Thailand's first university and is known as the birthplace and a training centre of traditional Thai massage. Rich and famous people have been known to come here. Traditional Thai dance and music are taught to the students on Sundays. Astrologers and palm readers are likewise available for consultation. For a very small donation that helps to maintain the temple, you can also receive a blessing from a monk.

Wat Pho is a good place to try a traditional Thai massage. Stimulating rather than relaxing and incorporating yoga style postures to relieve stress and improve blood circulation, it is quite different than other forms of therapeutic massage. Try this massage yourself to see if you like it!

Tip:
You need to bring exact THB amount for the entry tickets because for some weird reason they won't give you change.
It takes about 2 hours to just go round and click pics but you could actually spend 4-5 hours in this huge complex.
Your admission ticket comes with a bottle of water and there are refill stations with cool clean water.
Women and men must wear long pants (covering the knees) and shirts with sleeves.
To go inside the sanctum sanctorum, you have to take your shoes off.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 8am-6:30pm

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour of Bangkok, Thailand within the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded from iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha) on Map

Sight Name: Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha)
Sight Location: Bangkok, Thailand
Sight Type: Religious
Guide(s) containing this sight: Bangkok Old City Walk  

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