Jan 5, 2012

Wat Pho in Bangkok, Thailand

Temple of The Reclining Buddha

Wat Pho

via: dalbera

A trip to Thailand is not complete without a visit to one of Bangkok’s remarkable Buddhist temples. The largest, oldest, and most famous Buddhist temple in Bangkok is Wat Pho, or the “Temple of The Reclining Buddha.” Wat Pho is not only a place of piety for Thai Buddhists, but it is also known as Thailand’s first university, and the birthplace of the Thai massage.

Wat Pho is comprised of two compounds, divided by Sanamachi Road. The southern compound, Tukgawee, is a monastery and education centre. The northern compound contains the massage school and the famous reclining Buddha. Historically, Wat Pho was a center for education and spirituality. The various murals, sculptures, and statues were used to inform students about the principles of medicine, science, and religion. Today, it is the most powerful symbol of Buddhism in Bangkok, and is inhabited by monks and visited by thousands of tourists every year.

“Astonishing” is the best word to describe the 1,000+ beautifully crafted Buddha images within the 20 acre complex. Wat Pho offers peace, tranquility, and spirituality at every corner, as you’ll find striding about the premises alongside tourists of every stripe. The main attraction of Wat Pho is the Reclining Buddha. The largest reclining Buddha in Thailand, the golden statue measures 46 meters long and 15 meters high. Many first-time visitors often find it challenging to capture the entire statue in their camera’s frame.

Don’t miss out on a traditional Thai massage from Wat Pho. The traditional Thai massage is more of a revitalizing, activating and stimulating experience than the therapeutic massages that most people are familiar with. Thai massages are of the deep-tissue type, and involve stretching and yoga-style postures, and no oils are used in the process. Massages typically run 150 baht for a half-an-hour, or 250 baht for a full hour.

Wat Pho

via: Poo-tee-weet?

The official name of the complex is Wat Phra Chettuphon Wimon Mangkhalaram Ratchaworamahawihan. Wat Pho is located near the Chao Phraya river, just south of the Grand Palace, and just minutes away from Thailand’s most sacred temple, Wat Phra Kaew. The entrance fee is 20 baht. A Thai massage, consultation from an astrologer or palm reader, and a blessings from a monk will run you a little extra. Nirvana is not attained on a schedule, but plan on spending at least an hour exploring this oasis of peace and tranquility.

Here are the closest hotels and hostels to Wat Pho:

Wat Pho Hotels

 

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