Temple of the Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho)

Attraction 2 Sanamchai Road, Grand Palace Subdistrict, Pranakorn District, Bangkok 10200, Thailand Published on: 29-04-2016

2 hours 30 mins
08:00 AM - 05:00 PM
08:00 AM
10:00 AM
First-time visit
Attraction
Cultural
Family
Historic
Must see
Architecture
Temple & Monument
Art
2.80 USD

Temple of the Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho) is good for

Good for family with kids Family with kids Good
Good for senior Senior Good
Good for couple Couple Good
Good for solo Solo Good
Good for group Group Good
  • Highly recommended by fellow travellers.
The image of reclining Buddha is 15 m high and 43 m long with his right arm supporting the head with tight curls on two box-pillows of blue, richly encrusted with glass mosaics.

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Why Temple of the Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho) is special ?

What is so special about Wat Pho The highlight of Wat Pho is the gold reclining Buddha – 43 metres long and one of the largest in the world. It takes a whole building to hold it, resting in a peaceful pose. The feet of the Buddha have a whole lot of images on the soles inlaid with mother-of-pearl. What to explore at Wat Pho Along the side of the Buddha are 108 metal bowls in the corridor indicating the 108 auspicious characters of Buddha which people can walk alongside and drop 108 coins into. (Don’t worry – you can buy all the coins you need for about 20 baht, about 60 cents.) People drop coins in these bowls as it is believed to bring good fortune, and to help the monks maintain the wat. The 3 m high and 4.5 m long foot of Buddha displays are inlaid with mother-of-pearl. They are divided into 108 arranged panels, displaying the auspicious symbols by which Buddha can be identified like flowers, dancers, white elephants, tigers and altar accessories. Over the statue is a seven tiered umbrella representing the authority of Thailand. The fun thing about the Wat Pho complex is that you can really feel like you are exploring it for yourself. It’s not only large but has so many nooks and crannies.

What to explore at Temple of the Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho)?

This story is written by blogger Getsetandgo

The gold leaf covered idol is 15 m high and 45 m long where the right arm supports the head on two box-shaped pillows encrusted with glass mosaics. The feet of the idol are inlaid with mother-of-pearl and divided into 108 arranged panels showing the auspicious symbols by which Buddha can be identified (like flowers, dancers, animals and altar accessories). This idol shows Buddha passing into nirvana and the gold leaf work gives it a serene glow thereby attracting you to it in a mysterious manner. There is something about this idol that kind of draws you to it and I ended up taking 50 pics of it from every nook and corner.

In the narrow corridor of the temple, there are 108 bronze bowls kept that indicate the 108 auspicious characters of Buddha. The tradition here is that you should drop coins in these bowls as it is believed to bring you good fortune, and to help the monks maintain the wat. In case you do not have change, they have counters outside that can provide it. Also when you drop coins in these bowls, I don’t know how, but the sound is not a cacophony of noises but very mesmeric and hypnotic music.

After a long stay in the temple we decided to explore the other parts of the temple complex. This complex consists of two walled compounds (divided by Soi Chetuphon running east–west) where one compound has the reclining Buddha and massage school and the other compound is a working Buddhist monastery with monks in residence and a school. The grounds contain 91 stupas or mounds, four halls and a central shrine. These stupas have a distinct shape that remind you of temple bells and porcelain / glass work on it – which I was told is the signature of the Ratanokosin style. The smaller stupas contain the ashes of the royal family, and the large ones contain the ashes of Buddha. The four halls are dedicated to the four Chakri kings. These are beautiful both in shapes, sizes and the color of work on it. If you like photography than you can spend hours taking pictures from different angles, to capture all kinds of looks. And believe me that no 2 pics will be alike.

The temple has sixteen gates around the complex guarded by Chinese giants carved out of rocks.The exterior walls have around 152 bas-releifs with depictions of the epic, Ramakien. In between these stupas there are small rock gardens with topiaries, all kinds of landscapes and sculptures. Some of these sculptures are pretty funny too.

Near the exit of the temple complex, there is a Thai massage school, and a massage here is a must. Please be warned that this massage is not a spa experience, it’s really very different. It is more like stretches during an aerobics and many times during the massage you feel that you have paid to be tortured. But after the massage you feel so amazing and refreshed, that its worth it.

How to get to Temple of the Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho)?

Take a BTS Skytrain to Saphan Taksin. Walk out of the station and you will see the Chao Phraya Boat station – Central Pier (Sathorn). From here take a ferry to Chang Pier and then walk straight onto Na Phra Lan Road to Wat Pho. If you are staying at Khao San road, then you can walk up to the Phra Athit (N13) Pier and take a ferry from there to Chang pier.

Selling points

  • Architectural marvel!
  • Impressive site, stood out from other temples
  • One of the best buddhas
  • Worth the hassle
  • A Gigantic statue
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Duration
5.0 days
Estimated
180.11 USD
Total travel distance
km
Number of places
18 places

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Location

Address

2 Sanamchai Road, Grand Palace Subdistrict, Pranakorn District, Bangkok 10200, Thailand

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Tips for you

  • At the Central Pier, take a local ferry and not the tourist ferry. The local ferry is as good and nearly 1/5th the price of the tourist ferry.
    Transportation
  • Don't miss the wall/courtyard of approximately 50 Buddhas with one hand up (kind of signaling stop - or talk to the hand). Then there is another larger Buddha behind glass that has much history.
    What to see
  • Beware of touts in this area as you will find one at every 5 steps. They will all tell you that the temple is closed but do not believe them and walk towards the temple.
    Experience
  • It has the massage school here where you can have a tradition Thai massage form the place where it originated really enjoyed it
    Experience
  • Reach bright and early to avoid the crowd and queues. Thereby tourist free photos too
    Timming
  • People are not supposed to enter with their shoes/slippers on as this place is considered to be holy and pious.
    Costume
  • The ticket to the temple is only 100 THB and you do not need to pay for anything else except the massage.
    Ticket and Pricing

Reviews

FourSquare View more

During his visit to Bangkok, President Obama and Secretary Clinton viewed the Vihan of the Reclining Buddha while touring the Wat Pho Royal Monastery.

FourSquare View more

Wat Pho, which features the largest reclining Buddha image in Thailand, and the Chedi of the kings, is Bangkok's oldest and largest temple.

FourSquare View more

Wat Pho is the birthplace of traditional Thai massage.Wat Pho is the largest and oldest wat in Bangkok and is home to more than 1,000 Buddha images, more than any other temple in the country.

FourSquare View more

One of the oldest and largest temples in Bangkok, it was built by King Rama 1,200 years ago as a site for public education. Courses in traditional Thai massage are conducted here.

FourSquare View more

ยักษ์จีนนนนน

TripAdvisor View more

Much less traveled that the other Bangkok temples with Buddhas, this attraction was simply perfect. There was so much to see and it was very laid back and not as commercial as the others. Some say to see the Reclining Buddha first, some say last. I went twice on both ends of my visit.There is a map of sorts, it was fun to walk around, don't miss the little water feature near the center area near the entrance, very cool. And don't miss the wall/courtyard of approximately 50 Buddhas with one hand up (kind of signaling stop - or talk to the hand). Then there is another larger Buddha behind glass that has much history.I went at the end of the day when it was not so hot and when there was less of a crowd, with quality late afternoon light.The Reclining Buddha is not to be missed, it is huge. I brought a polarizing lens for my camera which made the gold in the Buddha even pop more. Stunning.The feet of the Reclining Buddha were very cool too with inlaid mother of pearl among other gems. Still very well preserved.The photos on line dont really do this justice as the Buddha is so massive. Still, not to be missed and to me, is a must see in Bangkok..

TripAdvisor View more

For the average tourist family, this is the only wat that I would recommend visiting. The Reclining Buddha is pretty impressive.However, note the scam that goes on with tourists headed to Wat Pho and the Grand Palace:A few blocks before we got there, we stopped to check the map. A “helpful” Thai man approached to give us directions. He also mentioned that the Grand Palace and Wat Pho (temple) were not open to foreign tourists until 1 p.m., as it was Sunday and only Thais were allowed in to worship. Despite having checked the hours online, I believed him. Big mistake.Since we now had three hours to kill, he suggested visiting some of the other wats and Buddhas in the area, plus a Thai silk and gem showroom. He said that admission was free today and that the tuk-tuk ride would only be 20 Baht (less than a $1) because it was subsidized by the government on Sundays to encourage tourism. As I write this, it sounds absolutely absurd; it seemed a lot more plausible in broken English. Unfortunately, we bit.We spent the next three hours visiting wats of little interest. The Thai silk showroom ended up being a custom clothing store. Again, unfortunately, we ended up spending some money there. As we requested, the driver dropped us off at a Thai massage school near Wat Po. (That was the best deal of the day: 1/2 hour Thai massage for $6.) We then headed to the Reclining Buddha at Wat Po, our original destination. A few blocks away, we were approached by another Thai man, saying that the Wat Po was closed for a religious holiday this afternoon, but we could visit some other wats and the Thai silk showroom. Ahhhhh… it suddenly became apparent how utterly stupid we had been. That was the real scam. The tuk-tuk drivers get gas vouchers from the businesses and probably a cut of what you spend.There's a sign at the Grand Palace, warning about con artisits, but by then, it's too late.To be honest, 2 days in Bangkok is more than enough... one may have been better.For photos and more ideas of what do to with kids in Thailand, check out our travel blog at www.aroundtheworldin72days.com

TripAdvisor View more

We went to a lot of the temples in Bangkok off our own backs (without tours) i would recommend this as a way to see more and travel at your own pace as Bangkok is easy to get around and very cheap.The temples are magnificent and a must see if you are in Bangkok. The enormity of this gold reclining Buddha is out of this world

TripAdvisor View more

Much less traveled that the other Bangkok temples with Buddhas, this attraction was simply perfect. There was so much to see and it was very laid back and not as commercial as the others. Some say to see the Reclining Buddha first, some say last. I went twice on both ends of my visit. There is a map of sorts, it was fun to walk around, don't miss the little water feature near the center area near the entrance, very cool. And don't miss the wall/courtyard of approximately 50 Buddhas with one hand up (kind of signaling stop - or talk to the hand). Then there is another larger Buddha behind glass that has much history.I went at the end of the day when it was not so hot and when there was less of a crowd, with quality late afternoon light. The Reclining Buddha is not to be missed, it is huge. I brought a polarizing lens for my camera which made the gold in the Buddha even pop more. Stunning.The feet of the Reclining Buddha were very cool too with inlaid mother of pearl among other gems. Still very well preserved.The photos on line dont really do this justice as the Buddha is so massive. Still, not to be missed and to me, is a must see in Bangkok..

FourSquare View more

One of the oldest and largest temples in Bangkok, it was built by King Rama 1,200 years ago as a site for public education. Courses in traditional Thai massage are conducted here.

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Itineraries include Temple of the Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho)

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