Home of the Reclining Buddha Image
Peaceful recline Wat Pho's central reclining buddha
The Reclining Buddha, Bangkok
is considered to be the most beautiful reclining Buddha image in Thailand. Towering at 30 meters high and 46 meters long, the reclining Buddha of Wat Pho is actually an addition to the original temple during Rama III's reign. The soles of the enormous feet are fixed with mother of pearl shell in 108 auspicious panels, depicting the dharma wheel and scenes from the life of the Buddha.
In front of the Reclining Buddha is 108 bowls in a line from head to toe. A particular popular meditative and well wishing activity that foreigners and Thai alike perform is dropping a 50 sidang coin in each bowl. If one finishes with no coins left then the wish would be granted.
Rama I Mural A depiction of royal life
Contrary to popular belief, the reclining Buddha is not the principle image of the Wat. The principle image is in the central building. It also contains a throne area for the King. The temple, the permanent temple of Rama I, contains 5 chedis or pagodas. Rama I built the largest and central chedi while each sucessive king built the surrounding chedis. The entire complex was renovated in 1788. This is evident in the small salon just north or the reclining Buddha, where portraits of European and Middle Easern visiters can be found. Renovations are ongoing.
The temple is parallel to Thonburi which is across the river and from which Rama I reigned. Later, the capital was moved to Bangkok for strategic purposes, and the Grand Palace was built on its north wall.
As Thailand's first university, it is especially famous for the study of ancient medicine and massage. Students from all over Thailand come to Wat Pho and graduates are considered experts in Thai traditional massage.
A massage at Wat Pho is only 250 baht an hour.
Cheaper, Wat Pho style massages parlours are sprinkled around the the Wat. Just follow the signs.
Wat Pho is well connected within the city of Bangkok. Get there by bus, taxi, or river ferry. It's just steps away from Pier Tien. (N8)
Daily 8am to 5pm
2 Sanamchai Road, Phra Borommaharachawang, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok