Wat Pho is one of the most visited temples in Bangkok. This temple is very special because this is where you will find the largest collection of Buddha images and the largest reclining Buddha in Thailand. There are so many highlights on the eight hectares that Wat Pho Stands on. Some of these highlights are the reclining buddha, Phra Ubosot, ancient inscriptions, royal chedi, Phra Mondop, Sala Kan Parian, Granite and other Buddha statues. In this guide, we will tell you everything you need to know about the wonderful Wat Pho also known as the Temple of the Reclining buddha.
Do you want to read this later? Save this PIN on your Thailand Board on Pinterest and read it later ⬇
The History of Wat Pho
Wat Pho is believed to be founded in the 16th century as a monastery and was originally known as Wat Phodharam. In 1788 King Rama I, restored the temple after he built the Grand Palace next door. However, the majority of what you see on the grounds today was done during the reign of King Rama III in 1832. The Reclining Buddha was built in 1848.
This temple is also the country’s first public university due to 1360 marble inscriptions held here. These inscriptions contain information about medical, historical and liberal sciences. These inscriptions are placed all around the temple. It’s the birthplace of traditional Thai massages and because of this Wat Pho is still the national headquarters of teaching people about traditional Thai medicine. The temple is most famous for the reclining Buddha and due to the importance of this temple, it was declared a Unesco Memory of the World.
Things to see at Wat Pho
As we mentioned earlier there are many highlights on the ground of Wat Pho. Let’s look at some of these amazing highlights.
1. The Reclining Buddha at Wat Pho
The reclining buddha is the main reason why many people visit Wat Pho. This buddha is 46 meters long and 15 meters high. The Buddha is laying down on its right side thus where the name reclining buddha comes from. On the feet of the buddha, you will see some mother of pearl ornaments that are absolutely beautiful. It’s one of the most famous Buddha statues in Thailand.
2. Phra Ubosot
Pra Ubosot is a beautiful hall and inside is Phra Buddha Deva Patimakorn that is supported by a three-tiered pedestal and some very impressive murals. This hall is also where the ashes of King Rama I is kept.
3. Phra Chinnarat and Phra Chinnasri Buddhas
These beautiful images can be found in the southern and western chapels surrounding Phra Ubosot. These images were rescued by relatives of King Rama I, from Sukhothai.
4. Ancient Inscriptions
There is a low marble wall that surrounds Phra Ubosot. This will depict scenes from Ramakian. Ramakian is a narrative repeating the main phases of the construction of the nation. This is the Thai version of the Ramayana (the traditional story of Hindu history). There are almost 2000 other stone inscriptions covering various aspects of traditional Thai knowledge.
5. Royal Chedi
These are the four towering chedis that you can see before you even enter the grounds of Wat Pho. These Chedis are built to commemorate the first four Chakri Kings. These bell shape Chedis are beautifully decorated with colourful tiles that mimic the colours of the Buddhist flag. The middle chedi was built for King Rama I and it encases a buddha image from Ayutthaya that stands 16 meters high. The other chedis contain the ashes of other royal descendants of lesser stature.
There are many things to see so make sure you give yourself about 2 hours to look around.
How to get to Wat Pho
Due to the popularity of this temple as well as many other major landmarks being in the same area, getting to it is fairly easy. There are multiple ways to get here:
MRT (Underground/Metro train)
Taking the metro/ underground train is a quick, easy and cheap way to get to Wat Pho. You can go to the closest MRT station to your hotel that you can locate by looking on Google maps or asking the hotel staff. From here you go to Sanam Chai station which is the closest station to Wat Pho Temple. This station is right by Siam Museum. From the train station, you will have to walk for 5 minutes to get to Wat Pho.
Meter taxi/Grab/Motorbike Taxi
Whether you take a taxi, Grab or motorbike taxi to Wat Pho, it’s generally the same process. The only difference is the price. We prefer to use Grab because you will know the price of your trip before you get into the taxi. If you use a meter taxi, agree on a price or make sure the driver turns on the meter before you get in the car. Motorbike taxi will be the cheapest but its the most dangerous and not suitable for more than one person. We wouldn’t recommend motorbike taxis but it’s up to you.
Opening hours and Entrance Fee for Wat Pho
Entrance fee: 200 Baht per person, this includes a small bottle of complimentary water.
You can also hire a personal guide at the temple that will guide you around and explain things to you and answer your questions. They are very well-spoken and extremely knowledgeable about Wat Pho. They charge between 500 Baht to 1000 baht per tour.
Wat Pho is open every day from 08:30 to 18:30.
Dress Code for Wat Pho and the Reclining Buddha
Most religious sites across Thailand have a very strict dress code and we recommend that you follow this code otherwise you might be denied entry to these sites. Dress code for women: Cover your knees, shoulders and cleavage. Don’t wear crop tops or anything that is see-through or have a slit on the side. Dress code for men: Cover your chest and shoulders. Don’t wear an tank top or any other tight-fitting shirt. Wear shoes that cover your toes. When you enter the temples that contain the reclining buddha and other buddha images you will be asked to remove your shoes. Place your shoes in the reusable bag at the entrance and carry them around with you whilst you explore.
Things around Wat Pho
This is a very special part of Bangkok Thailand. Even the MRT train station (Sanam Chai station) close by has been uniquely decorated to fit with the theme of the important temples in the area. There are many other things around Wat Pho to do. Other notable places around Wat Pho include the Grand Palace, Wat Arun and Siam Museum.
The Grand Palace is located right next to Wat Pho so you can easily visit both on the same day. Wat Arun is a short boat ride across the Chao Phra river. If you are taking the MRT to get to Wat Pho you can visit Siam Museum easily since it’s right by the train station, otherwise, Siam Museum is a 5-minute walk from Wat Pho Temple. There are also many cafes in the area, we recommend Vivi the Coffee Place. It’s located right next to the river and you can see Wat Arun that’s across the river from it.
Hotels Near Wat Pho
For more hotel options around Wat Pho and the reclining Buddha look here ↓
If you like this blog and are wondering how you can support us, why not buy us a coffee to give us an energy boost so we can write more beautiful blogs?
Some of our links are affiliated, and we will earn a commission when you buy any product or service from the specific link. There will be no extra cost to you.