Wat Pho, the temple of the reclining Buddha, is such an iconic landmark of Bangkok it is on everyone’s list of places to visit even on a short trip. Also known as ‘the Temple of the reclining Buddha’ it is the sanctuary of one of the world’s largest and more than a thousand Buddha images. It is also one of the oldest and largest temples in Bangkok and has received a UNESCO Memory of the World award.
Wat Pho which real name is Wat Phra Chettuphon Wimon Mangkhlaram, is where traditional Thai massage originated, and still today you can experience it at the massage school on the temple grounds, but there might be a queue so better check early.
The reclining Buddha is always the most attractive features of Wat Pho, but make sure you walk around and admire the 91 Chedis beautifully decorated with ceramics. 71 of them contain the ashes of the royal family and 20 large ones contains ashes of Buddha. Four very large chedis are dedicated to four kings. Each of the sixteen gates in the walls surrounding the temple are guarded by two stone giants brought from China.
The reclining Buddha statue itself is 15 meters high and 43 meters long. Once you finish taking your photos (everyone does) you might notice a permanent trickling noise of metal. This is a fun traditional way to make a donation. For 20 Baht you receive a tin cup full of ‘Satangs’ which is a quarter of a Baht. Drop one coin in one of each bowls representing the 108 auspicious characters of Buddha to bring you good fortune. Ideally if the last coin go right in the last bowl then you are on for extra good luck 🙂
Wat Pho is a very special place, I went there several times in the past and forgot how beautiful the place was. Just wander around the temple grounds at your own pace and take the time to admire the amazing ceramics ornamenting the Chedis, especially the four huge ones. Walk in the shade of the outer cloister where 400 golden Buddha statues stand.
Entrance fee is 100 Baht, Traditional Thai Massage costs 260 Baht for half an hour and 420 Baht for an hour, Massage with Herbs is 520 Baht, Foot Massage costs 420 Baht for an hour.