In addition to the Buddha, the decorations inside the temple are spectacular, with colorful Chedis and over one thousand Buddha images sited along the corridors.
The official name of Wat Pho is Wat Phrachetuphon Wimonmangkhalaram Ratchaworamahawihan. Wat Pho was originally built during the Ayutthaya period. When the capital moved to Bangkok, Wat Pho was elevated to become one of the “first class” Royal temples in Rattanakosin. During King Rama I’s reign, the original temple was reconstructed and turned into the Royal temple of King Rama I. During the reign of King Rama III, stones were inscribed with Thai knowledge and placed around the temple as there were no books for people to study. These are known as “Jaruk Wat Pho” (Wat Pho stone inscriptions) and the stones have different categories: History of construction of Wat Pho, Traditional Medicine, Politics, Culture, Thai Literature, Proverbs, Residence and Buddhism. Wat Pho is admired and now viewed as the first university of Thailand. In addition, Wat Pho is registered with UNESCO as an important world heritage site.
What to do in Wat Pho?
Visit the Reclining Buddha: The highlight of Wat Pho is the massive Reclining Buddha that is 46 meters long and 15 meters high. The whole Buddha image is decorated with gold plate. The feet are nearly 5 meters in width and engraved with nacre (mother-ofpearl) illustrations of 108 auspicious characteristics of Buddhism.
Drop coins: Thai people drop coins in 108 bronze bowls in the temple for good fortune. You can purchase a cup of small coins at the entrance and start dropping them in the bronze bowls along the line next to the walls. Try to wish good luck in your life while you are dropping the coins.
Admire the Assembly Hall: Phra Vihara of the Reclining Buddha (the Assembly Hall) is embellished with traditional Thai murals. The main story is the history of Buddhism, but there are also some illustrations of scenes from Thai heaven and Thai literature. Be Fascinated by the Great Chedis of King Rama I – IV: There are 4 Chedis near the Assembly Hall, which were built by King Rama I, III and IV. This brief tradition of building a Chedi inside Wat Pho started by King Rama III. He built two Chedis to the left and the right of the King Rama I’s Chedi, and dedicated them to himself and his father (King Rama II). These two Chedis are built in an identical style to the first, but are decorated in a different color. King Rama IV built a Chedi in the Ayutthaya style that is different to the previous three Chedis. There are also another 170 Chedis within the temple for you to explore. Wat Pho has the largest number of Chedis of any temple in Thailand.
Walk along a corridor of Buddha images: There are more than one thousand Buddha images in Wat Pho! You can spend all day walking along the corridors admiring them in the temple. Try to see and count them all!
Massage: Wat Pho is famous for traditional Thai massage. There is an open-air hall for the Traditional Medical Practitioners Association Center in which you can have a proper Thai massage. However, massage here is not the same as a Western relaxing massage. Instead, you will experience a mixture of Thai massage and yoga.
How to get there?
Take the Chao Phraya express boat (blue flag) from the boat pier next to Saphan Taksin BTS station to Tien pier (No.8). The pier is in front of Wat Pho.
Opening Time: Monday – Sunday at 8.00 AM – 17.30 PM.
Ticket: 200 Baht