Wat Pho (The Temple of the Reclining Buddha) or Wat Phra Chetuphon is just behind the Temple of the Emerald Buddha; It is a must-see for any visitor visiting Bangkok for the first time. As one of the largest temple complexes in the city, it is famous for its 46-meter-long giant reclining Buddha covered in gold leaf.
It’s only a 10-minute walk between here and the Grand Palace, and we recommend coming second to Wat Pho because, while the Golden Buddha is just as popular here, many people don’t take the time to explore the rest of the complex explore, which makes the experience more relaxing. Wat Pho is an amazing place to get a traditional Thai massage. Massage school in Thailand, so you’re really in good hands here.
The Reclining Buddha at Wat Pho
The highlight for most visitors to Wat Pho is the Reclining Buddha. The figures here are impressive: 15 meters high, 46 meters long, as large that it feels like they were stuffed into the building. Buddha’s feet are 5 meters long and exquisitely adorned with mother-of-pearl illustrations of the Buddha’s auspicious laksanas (traits). The number 108 is significant and refers to the 108 positive actions and symbols that helped bring Buddha to perfection.
You must take off your shoes to enter, and if you are looking for a bit of luck, we recommend you buy a bowl with coins at the hall entrance to throw in the 108 bronze bowls that the length of the hall line the walls. Dropping the little pennies makes a ringing sound, and even if your wishes don’t come true, the money will help the monks renovate and maintain Wat Pho. As this is a venerated image, all visitors must wear appropriate clothing, with no exposed shoulders or skin over the knee.
Other highlights of Wat Pho in Bangkok
The rest of the temple is worth exploring. Depending on how many people are in your company and how well you negotiate, Wat Pho also has knowledgeable English-speaking guides who will share intriguing information for about 200 or 400 baht. You can stray on your own if you’d like.
Recommended sights include four shrines with 394 golden Buddha images and long rows of golden statues from different parts of Thailand sitting in the lotus position. Though the intricately detailed murals that line the pathways surrounding Wat Pho require a book or guidebook to decipher, the exquisite murals are so clear and intricate that you can appreciate the artworks even if you don’t see them all understand the images.
Finally, in the temple courtyards of Wat Pho, some funny-looking Chinese statues once served as ballast on ships and 91 chedis (stupas) decorated with ceramic flowers and colored tiles.
Good to know about Wat Pho
The first public university in Thailand, Wat Pho, had departments for literature, science, and religion. It is better known today as a center for traditional medicine and massage. Nothing beats relaxation after a stroll through the temple. Foot or head and shoulder massage. If you have never tried a traditional Thai massage, Wat Pho is an excellent place to experience it.
It differs significantly from other therapeutic massage techniques and is typically energizing rather than soothing. Yoga-inspired postures are incorporated to reduce tension and boost blood circulation. Since this is a very popular activity at Wat Pho temple, we advise stopping by to reserve a spot before your treatment. Otherwise, you risk having a long wait.
Wat Pho is located in the Old Town on Maharat Road, close to the river (about a mile south of the Grand Palace).