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Temple of the Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho)
Opening Days: 7 days a week
Opening Hours: 8:00am – 6:30pm
Entrance Fee: 100 baht
Wat Pho is situated in the district of Phra Nakhon, directly adjacent to Grand Palace. This temple is home to over 1000 Buddha images in addition to the biggest single image in Thailand, the Reclining Buddha measuring at 46m in length and 15m in height. It shows Buddha resting with his head being ably supported by his right arm.
This temple is known for the first university of Thailand, educating students in the areas of science, literature and religion through sculptures and murals. It is also considered the birthplace of Thai massage. With so many things being the very first of Thailand, no wonder Wat Pho is immensely famous among locals and tourists alike.
The entrance to the temple where the reclining Buddha is housed is 100 baht. This is a holy place and you need to dress appropriately.
The statue is 15 metres high at its highest point and 43 metres long from the elbow of Buddha resting on the ground to the feet at the other end. The souls of Buddha’s feet are ornamented with precious pearls and stones that depict auspicious symbols in Buddhist religion.
No matter from which angle you see, serenity can be felt from the Buddha’s expression.
The corridor to the hall in which Reclining Buddha is laid has 108 bronze bowls that commemorate 108 characters of Lord Buddha.
For good luck, you can purchase a bowl of coins and drop in the 108 bronze bowls that line up on the other side of the walkway. Make a wish and hope your voice will be heard with the ringing sound when you drop the coins. Your money goes to support the maintenance of the temple.
There are a few entrances to get into Wat Pho. The free one allows you to visit the smaller temples, pagodas and a massage center.
You can see small pagodas layout nicely inside the temple area.
There is a small garden adjacent to the Reclining Buddha temple. It has bodhi tree as its centrepiece. The tree is considered sacred in Buddhism because Gautama sat under it as Siddhartha – the prince – and meditated to attain enlightenment and became Buddha, which means ‘the aware’. UNESCO recognised the site and its features during Memory of the World Programme. The present Wat Pho is the result of restoration attempt of the original temple that was situated at the same location.
The best way to get to Wat Pho is by taxi, tuk-tuk or motorbike taxi. If you would like to save the fare by first getting to the nearest train station, you can exit at Hua Lamphong MRT station or National Stadium BTS station which are 2.5km and 3.9km from Wat Pho respectively.