Wat Pho – one of the oldest temples in Thailand, which laid the foundations of traditional Thai massage. All guests of Bangkok should definitely visit this temple, because here you can not only learn a lot of interesting things about the history and culture of Thailand, but also get an aesthetic pleasure from its beauty.
Even the experienced traveler Wat Po is impressive. The only inconvenience is crowds of tourists at any time.
Wat Pho Temple of the Reclining Buddha awaiting the achievement of nirvana – this is the full name of the religious building. The temple complex is located in the central part of Bangkok on Rattanakosin Island. This ancient Buddhist monastery was built 9 centuries ago, long before the founding of Bangkok.
Since the 18th century, the rulers of the Chakri dynasty have been crowned in this monastery. King Rama I moved the capital to Bangkok and significantly scaled and reconstructed the ownership of Wat Pho Temple by building the Grand Palace in the neighborhood – at that time a royal residence.
A century later, King Rama III underwent another reconstruction, and a medical training center was established at Wat Pho. It developed the branches of Thai medicine and developed the technique of traditional Thai massage. In honor of the four kings, succeeding each other as governors, at different times in the temple complex 4 patterned stupas were erected 42 meters high.
The temple complex of Wat Pho spreads over 80 thousand m², which includes many unique cultural and historical monuments. Here are:
- The main building of Phra Ubosot with a hall for Buddhist services, surrounded by a gallery with 4 hundred identical gilded Buddha statues;
- Wiharn with a huge gilded statue of the Reclining Buddha;
- library with unique ancient manuscripts;
- 95 stupas, 4 of them high, erected in honor of the kings, the rest are low, dedicated to members of the royal families;
- ancient center of traditional Thai medicine;
- park with a waterfall and artificial pond (crocodile pond);
- 4 meeting rooms;
- numerous Chinese statues of mythological creatures guarding the temple.
In the inaccessible to tourists southern part of the territory are cells of monks and office premises of the monastery.
Good to know! Wi-Fi is available in the temple area, you must ask for a password to access the network at ticket offices.
The pearl of the temple complex is located in its center building – viharn, which houses a statue of a reclining Buddha. The largest sparkling gilding 46-meter statue in all of Thailand has the shape of a reclining Buddha at one of the moments of his life – when he is in peace, waiting for the achievement of nirvana.
The height of the impressive monument is 15 meters. The statue is covered with thin sheets of gold, the deity’s feet are decorated with mother-of-pearl mosaic, in which the history of the reincarnations of the Supreme Deity is encrypted. It is imperative to get around the statue to get acquainted with these unique ornaments.
The interior of the Temple of the Reclining Buddha includes numerous paintings that depict scenes from the life of 7 famous students of the Main Deity. The bas-reliefs with images of episodes from the ancient Indian epic “Ramayana” are carved on the balustrade.
When you visit the Temple of Buddha, ringing of falling coins is almost constantly heard. A long row of 108 bronze bowls stretched along the wall behind the lying golden statue, passing by which you need to throw 1 small coin into each bowl, making wishes. Thais believe that this ritual helps in the fulfillment of desires and purifies karma. You can exchange banknotes for trifles here.
In the pavilion of traditional medicine, you can do Thai massage, as well as take a course in one of the areas of Thai medicine:
- Thai massage
- pharmaceutical business;
- medical practice;
The territory of the temple complex Wat Pho is very extensive, the total length of the walls enclosing it is more than 1 km. To thoroughly examine all the sights and have time to do a massage, you need a lot of time, so it is better to come here in the morning.
On a note! Also at the box office at the entrance you can get a map of the complex with a description of the facilities located on its territory.
Wat Po is located in the historical part of Bangkok, located on Rattanikosin Island. A landmark can be the nearby Grand Royal Palace.
Address: 2 Sanamchai Road, Bangkok 10200, Thailand.
To get to the island the fastest is by boat or ferry, which depart from the pier Sathorn (Taksin), located near the metro station of the same name. You can also take a bus or taxi, but due to traffic jams it may take longer. Fare:
- water transport – $ 0.5;
- by bus – $ 0.17-0.65 (depending on distance); in air-conditioned buses, the fare is twice as expensive;
- taxi – $ 1 plus counter.
- The Wat Pho temple complex is open for visits at 08-18.30 hours every day, seven days a week.
- Entrance ticket costs $ 3, in addition to the ticket, a bottle of water is given free of charge.
- The opening hours of the pavilion of traditional medicine, in which you can do Thai massage or learn it – 08-17.
Cost of services at Wat Po Medical School:
- Thai massage (Thai massage) – 420 baht / hour or 260 baht / 30 minutes.
- Foot massage – 280 baht in half an hour and 420 in 60 minutes.
For more information, visit the site of the temple complex www.watpho.com/plan.php. There you can download a map of the temple complex.
When visiting the temple, you must follow a strict dress code and certain rules of conduct:
- Entrance to the territory of the temple complex is allowed only in closed clothing covering the chest, shoulders, arms to the elbows and legs to the knees. This applies not only to women, but also to men.
- At the entrance to the temple you must remove your shoes.
- According to Buddhist canons, women are not allowed to touch the Buddha statues, as well as monks.
- All visitors to the temple are forbidden to sit with their legs stretched out in the direction of any Buddha image – sculptural or pictorial. You can sit down only by bending your feet under yourself or taking the lotus position.
- The temple should be respectful, it is forbidden to talk loudly.
- Be careful when going through doorways. In the Buddhist tradition, it is believed that the threshold must be crossed, it is impossible to step on it, this brings failure.
Prices on the page are for September 2018.
To visit the Buddha Temple, waiting for nirvana, brought only positive emotions, take the advice of those who have already been there.
- When going to Wat Pho, take a shoe bag with you, because you will have to take off your shoes before entering the temple, and it is most convenient to carry shoes with you in a bag.
- When buying tickets, each visitor is given a small bottle of drinking water. But on hot days, it may not be enough. Take water containers with you – there are sources in the temple complex where you can get cool drinking water for free.
- Going to visit Wat Pho, dress in covered clothes. The neckline, shoulders, arms to the elbow and legs to the knees should be closed in both women and men. If you find yourself dressed inappropriately, you will be offered to rent closed clothing at a price of $ 3, otherwise you will not be allowed into Wat Pho (Bangkok).
- When visiting the Temple, be careful, watch your pockets. Despite the sanctity of this place, there are many pickpockets here who are not afraid to spoil their karma and mood – the guests of Bangkok.
The Temple of the Reclining Buddha in Bangkok is a real gem among the attractions of Thailand, it is included in the mandatory tourist program for everyone who is acquainted with the culture and history of this country. Allocate for his visit only $ 3 and a few hours, and this watch will become one of the most vivid and memorable moments of your life.