A Guide to Bangkok’s Reclining Buddha at Wat Pho Temple

The Reclining Buddha at Wat Pho Temple

Since relocating to Asia, we’ve had the chance to explore various temples, each with its own unique qualities. However, the Reclining Buddha at Wat Pho Temple is a standout among them. In fact, it exudes grandeur, reverence, and boasts rich decorations that create a truly captivating atmosphere. Undoubtedly due to the attention to detail, from intricately designed statues to well-crafted murals, speaks to the deep cultural and spiritual heritage of Thailand. As a result, this Bangkok landmark isn’t just a tourist spot; it’s an immersive experience that leaves a lasting impression, making it a must-visit in our temple exploration journey.

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What You Need to Visit the Temple

Wat Pho (the Temple of the Reclining Buddha), or Wat Phra Chetuphon, is located behind the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. It is a must-do for any first-time visitor to Bangkok. It’s one of the largest temple complexes in the city, dominated by its 46-meter-long reclining Buddha entirely covered in gold leaf.

Look for a good travel guide or walking tour to learn about your travel destination.

The Grand Palace

It’s an easy ten-minute walk between here and the Grand Palace. Hence, we recommend coming to Wat Pho second. The golden Buddha here is just as famous. Many people don’t take the time to wander around the rest of the complex. So the experience tends to be far more relaxing. The Grand Palace is also much more crowded. The best time to visit is when you can catch a few people getting a few extra minutes’ sleep.

You’ll need to remove your shoes to enter. As you do you’ll hear a constant clink of coins dropping into the 108 bronze bowls which line the length of the walls. You can purchase a bag of coins from an unattended box in front of the bowls. Dropping the small pennies makes a pretty pinging sound and even if your wishes don’t come true, the money goes towards helping the monks renovate and preserve Wat Pho.

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The Courtyard at Wat Pho

The figures above are impressive at 15 meters tall, 46 meters long, They make a remarkable impression lined up against the sides of the temple. The Buddha’s legs are 5 meters long and exquisitely decorated in mother-of-pearl illustrations.

There are 108 of them representing the 108 positive actions and symbols that helped lead Buddha to perfection. There are numerous statutes in the courtyards at Wat Pho Temple. Some of them are some comical looking Chinese statutes that were once used as ballasts on ships. There are also 91 chedis (or stupas) decorated in ceramic pottery flowers and colorful tiles all around the complex.

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Have you been to Wat Pho in Thailand? If not, have you seen anything like it along your travels?

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  1. duffelbagspouse

    I loved the sound of the coins, the glimmer off those golden statues in the sunlight and the smell of smoke in the air that rose above the temples. Yes, and its the center for Ayurvedic massage in Thailand too.

  2. Indrani

    I had visited long back and your description rekindled my memories. The dropping of pennies in the bowls and the sounds they made… yes! So well described! I was not aware of Thai massage there.

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