Wat Pho - The Temple of the Reclining Buddha in Bangkok

The oldest of the temples in Bangkok - Wat Pho, better known as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha - is adjacent to the no less magnificent complex of the Grand Royal Palace. The Thais call it "Wat Phra Chetuphon Wimolmangklararm Rajwaramahaviharn".


  • History of the Temple
  • General Information
  • How to get there
  • Cost and working time
  • Massage at Wat Pho
  • Tips for tourists: what to look for

History of the Temple

The first monastery on the territory of this truly magnificent temple was built by monks back in the 12th century, along with the foundation of the city of Bangkok itself. The medieval monastery existed in its original form until the 18th century, when King Rama I ordered to expand the temple and build the first huge stupa, the height of which was 41 meters.

▣ Temple complex Wat Pho (Wat Pho) in Bangkok.

Each subsequent ruler expanded the temple, decorated and completed new stupas - today there are 95 of them. An impressive figure for one monastery!

General Information

We are all accustomed to the traditional image of a seated Buddha with a blissful expression of an enlightened face. In the temple of Wat Pho, the Buddha is depicted lying, and not just lying, but waiting for the indulgence of nirvana. The statue in the temple of Bangkok is one of the largest Buddha sculptures in the world, it reaches a length of 46 meters and its height is 15 meters.

wat pho
▣ One of the largest Buddha sculptures.

Wat Pho differs from other temple complexes in its architecture, weaving and patterns unusual for Thai culture and Bangkok in particular. At the entrance you will be met by two oldest guardians of the temple - stone monks with the kindest expressions on their faces. They were brought here from China in the 18th century.

▣ Wat Pho temple complex was built in the 16th century.

The territory of the temple is truly huge - more than 80 thousand square meters, but only its northern part is interesting for tourists. In the south, there are monks' housing, a Thai massage school and other buildings. The temple complex in Bangkok is considered the center of medical knowledge and massage in Thailand: it is believed that it was here that the world-famous Thai massage was born. The Temple of the Reclining Buddha became the cradle for the country's first university.

How to get there

Finding the Temple of the Reclining Buddha is not at all difficult: it is located on the Ratannakosin Peninsula, on the banks of the Chao Phraya River and is adjacent to the Royal Palace of Bangkok. You can get here by boat, bus or taxi. If you choose the latter option, then the trip from the center of Bangkok to Wat Pho will cost you a maximum of 200 baht.

Temple on the map of Bangkok

The water route is a little more difficult, but it is very scenic: take the subway to Saphan Taksin subway station. There will be a pier nearby, from there for only 15 baht you will be sent by water transport to the pier near the Grand Royal Palace.

The cheapest way to get there is by bus. Routes No. 1, 3, 6, 9, 12, 25, 43, 44, 47, 53, 60, 82, 91, 123, 501, 508 are suitable for you, the fare ranges from 6 to 23 baht, depending on the distance, which you will pass. Air-conditioned buses No. 1, 6, 7, 8, 12, 44, 48.

Please note that if you want to get on the water taxi Chao phraya Express boat, then its nearest station is two kilometers from Wat Pho. Then get off at Tha Chang Pier, Tha Tien Pier or Pak Khlong Talad and walk the rest of the way.

Cost and working time

The temple in Bangkok is open daily from eight in the morning until half past six in the evening. Entrance is only 100 baht, which is very inexpensive compared to other temples. At 10 meters there is a counter where, upon presenting a ticket, you will be given a bottle of water. There are guides, but here it is possible to find everything and explore it yourself.

wat pho
▣ Don't forget to bring water.

Map of the temple complex

Massage at Wat Pho

On the territory of the temple complex, you can both enjoy a real Thai massage and learn it.

The prices for massage services are as follows:

  • Thai traditional massage 30/60 min. - 260/420 baht;
  • Thai massage with herbs 60 min. - 520 baht;
  • Foot massage 30/60 min. - 280/420 baht;

School of massage:

Training in traditional massage techniques is carried out for 5 days (30 hours) from 9.00 am to 4.00 pm. The cost is 9500 baht. At the end of the course, a certificate of completion is issued. The same duration of courses for foot massage, but the price is slightly lower - 7500 baht.

Tips for tourists: what to look for

In Wat Pho, be sure to pay attention to:

  • An army of Buddhas of four hundred sculptures in various poses;
  • Stone guardian monks of the temple;
  • Surprisingly decorated stupas, of which there are almost a hundred on the territory of the temple;
  • 108 metal bowls. In Bangkok, they say that if you throw a coin into each one, then the wish will come true. Coins are sold at the entrance;
  • Halls for prayers with also not the smallest Buddhas inside;
  • Thai massage. Here he can not only be made, but also taught the basics;
  • You must take off your shoes before entering the temple. Shoes can be left at the entrance, or you can use special bags that you can take with you;
  • Access to the Royal Complex in shorts is prohibited;
  • In no case should women touch the monks (this rule also applies outside the temple).

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