In case you want to see the largest reclining Buddha statue in Thailand, then Wat Pho in Bangkok (วัดโพธิ์กรุงเทพฯ) is the place that you should head to.
Just walk south of the Grand Palace for 10 minutes and you will reach this famous temple of Thailand. Wat Pho is the first on the list of six temples in Thailand considered as the highest grade of the first-class royal temples. Though the official name of the temple is Wat Phra Chetuphon Vimolmangklararm Rajwaramahaviharn but With a 46 meter long Reclining Buddha Statue being the center attraction, this temple is more famous as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha or Sleeping Buddha.
Here are the top 5 things that you should explore at Wat Pho (วัดโพธิ์กรุงเทพฯ) Temple in Bangkok (Click below to reach to the relevant section directly)
- Get Blessings from the Biggest Reclining Buddha Statue
- Learn about Temple architecture and mythology at Temple Museum
- Temple compound: Bodhi Tree and Chinese Guardian figures
- Learn Thai massage at the oldest Massage School of Thailand
- Walk to Chao Phraya River to capture stunning views of Wat Arun Temple (วัดอรุณราชวราราม)
More details are below –
1. Biggest Reclining/Sleeping Buddha in Thailand
( Go to the Top ) Wat Pho is one of the largest and oldest wats in Bangkok and you will be mesmerized as you will walk through the lane in front of the biggest reclining Buddha statue in Thailand. Painted in gold, this Buddha statue has a mammoth size but an equally calm posture and expressions as you walk through the narrow lane in front of the statue. Walls of the lane also have the old paintings from Buddhist mythology.
2. Temple Museum at Wat Pho Temple
( Go to the Top ) As soon as you enter the temple compound, there is a small museum to your right. This museum has a lot of details about temple architecture in Thailand and different mythological characters that are displayed in the temple. Just next to temple museum are Buddha images where you can kneel and pay tribute by lighting a candle.
3. Temple compound: Bodhi Tree and Chinese Guardian figures
( Go to the Top ) Next to the museum and just before you enter inside the temple with large Reclining Buddha statue, there is a beautiful compound. Compound is abuzz with different religious activities and tourists/devotees roaming around or listening to a live program. There is also a Bodhi tree in the compound which is considered to be the descendant of the Bodhi Tree in Bodhgaya (India)under which Gautam Buddha had got enlightenment.
A walk around the compound and you can easily explore the beautiful statues of mythological figures including Chinese guardians.
4. Learn Thai massage at the oldest Massage School
( Go to the Top ) Temple also houses one of the oldest and most renowned Thai massage school of Thailand. you can get a Thai massage from expert therapists here or even learn Thai massage here. There are courses offers to learn traditional Thai massage that may last from few weeks to a year. We did not visit the center but in case you have time, you may visit the massage center inside temple compound.
5. Enjoy Wat Arun Temple (วัดอรุณราชวราราม) views from riverside
( Go to the Top ) Just walk straight towards Chao Phraya River and you can have stunning views of Wat Arun temple from this side of the river. Especially during sunset, you can capture beautiful snaps of the temple with boats and river in foreground and crimson sky at the temple background. Many people visit this side of the river just to capture sunset view of Wat Arun Temple.
It was a well spent time at Wat Pho. It took us around an hour to explore temple and then we walked to the river and sat there enjoying sun-set views before heading to our hotel.
Dress code for entering Wat Pho
For all temples and monasteries in Thailand, you need to be respectful and follow basic dress code. A general rule is to keep your legs and shoulders covered completely. So shorts, open tops, skirts should be avoided. In case you think that your dress code is not appropriate, you may buy a full length pajamas right outside the temple. Also at the entrance of Reclining Buddha temple, A cloak is also offered free of cost which you may put on before temple entry and can put back after your visit.
Entrance Fee and Opening hours (Location)
For all foreign tourists, there is a 100 Bhats entry fee which also includes a free water bottle which you may collect from a stall in temple compound. Wat Pho remains open from 08:00 AM to 18:30 PM everyday.
Photography is allowed inside the temple. This is a common practice for all temples in Thailand but please be respectful for people and monks meditating inside and do not disturb them with light and sound of your cameras.
We hope that this information will help you plan your trip. Do comment below or drop us a note in case you require any more information.