Wat Pho – Temple of the Reclining Buddha, Bangkok

Commonly known as Wat Pho, the statue of the Reclining Buddha is located in Thailand. It is also known as Wat Phra Chetuphon. The temple is the largest and oldest one in Bangkok with its 20 acres of lands was built about 200 years back. The temple underwent different remodeling at different times and a good number of Buddha images are housed in the temple. The gold plated Buddha is on a reclining form before he is receives ‘nirvana’ or enlightening.

History of Wat Pho – Temple of the Reclining Buddha:

Built about two centuries ago, the Reclining Buddha statue is located at the Wat Pho in Bangkok, Thailand. The Buddha statue is 46 meters in length and 15 meters in height. The reclining image of Buddha resembles the moments before his attaining enlightenment or ‘nirvana’. It is imagined that Buddha had lived in an Indian monastery named Wat Pho, and thus the name used here to remember his moments in India. Before turning to the temple, the location was used as a center for teaching traditional Thai medicine and is also considered as the oven of Thai massage. A large Buddha statue was ruined by the Burmese during the reign of King Rama I in 1767, and since then the temple and associated establishments experienced a god number of renovation attempts at different times.

Wat Pho – Temple of the Reclining Buddha, Bangkok

A bodhi tree (brought from India) is planted at the garden beside the Reclining Buddha temple and it is believed that Buddha sat under the tree while he was waiting for his nirvana. The latest renovation of the temple occurred in 1982. The Wat Pho houses over 1000 Buddha images which is the largest collection in Thailand and majority of the images are gathered from the former ruined capitals. There are numbers of inscriptions and various types of statues are exhibited at the temple. The library of the temple in enriched with religious and sacred books and materials. The temple is also a center of traditional Thai massage and massages are done on hourly basis in exchange of Thai Bahts, and learning of Traditional Thai massage in academic course forms is also available.    

Travel Guide information of Wat Pho – Temple of the Reclining Buddha:

The Reclining Buddha temple is located on the bank of Chao Phraya River and next to the Grand Palace. So, it is comfortably accessible by boat or taxi services. From the river pier, the temple is of short distance. The temple is opened from 8.00 am and shuts at 5.00 pm daily. Besides, you can ride on aircon buses to Wat Pho or regular bus services to Wat Pho.   

Wat Pho – Temple of the Reclining Buddha, Bangkok

Some Tips when you visit on Wat Pho – Temple of the Reclining Buddha:

Hire a guide to see the entire temple without wasting times. Traditional Thai dance and music classes are held in Sundays, you can enjoy the rehearsals. Admission fee is 50 Thai Baht for a single individual. Take your food during the lunch break. No foods allowed other than the lunch time. Do not miss the chance to get a traditional Thai massage and massage rates are hourly based. Entrance at the temple after 5.00 pm is prohibited.  

Culture & Customs of Wat Pho – Temple of the Reclining Buddha:

The Buddha statues are attractive and large and decorated elegantly. Entering at the temple at barefoot is a tradition of the temple. So, put off your shoes. As this is a sacred palace for the Thais and Buddhists, it is highly recommended to wear formal and full length clothing so that there are no exposed body parts above your knee. Coins are dropped through the line and length of the walls to preserve the chapel. Artworks on the walkways are highly appraisable.      

Wat Pho – Temple of the Reclining Buddha, Bangkok

Transport/ Getting Around in Wat Pho – Temple of the Reclining Buddha:

Get there by MRT Subway, river boat, taxi or tuk tuk.
There is no BTS Sky Train station in the area.

MRT Subway
MRT Subway station Sanam Chai which opened July 2019 is in walking distance from the Wat Pho. Exit the train station on Sanam Chai Road and walk North for about 500 meters.

River boat
If you are near the river you can quickly get there by Chao Phraya express river boat. Take an orange flag boat to Tha Tien pier. It is a very short walk from the pier.

Wat Pho – Temple of the Reclining Buddha, Bangkok

Wat Pho – Temple of the Reclining Buddha info:

Location: Rattanakosin
Address: 2 Sanam Chai Rd, Phra Borom Maha Ratchawang, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200
Open: 8 am – 6.30 pm
Phone: 02 226 0335
Price: 100 Baht
Completed: 1788
Official name: Wat Phra Chetuphon Wimon Mangkhalaram Rajwaramahawihan

Things You Should be Aware of When Visiting the Wat Pho:

  • Respectful attire is required. Wat Pho is a functioning Thai Buddhist temple, and a such the management insists that visitors dress in a respectful manner. This means that men must wear long pants and short-sleeved or long-sleeved shirts (no tank tops or sleeveless shirts). Women must wear skirts or pants extending at least to the knee, and also should not wear a top that reveals bare shoulders.
  • Visitors are allowed to take photographs in any area of the complex.
  • It is recommended that you wear shoes that can be easily removed as you’ll need to take them off when entering any structure in the complex.