Wat Pho - the most important information
Wat Pho is a Buddhist temple complex located on Rattanakosin Island. This temple, also known as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, is the first on the list of temples in Thailand classed as the highest grade of the first-class royal temples.
About Wat Pho
The exact date of the construction of the old temple is unknown, but it existed before Bangkok was established as the capital city. The Grand Palace was built adjacent to Wat Pho, and King Rama I ordered the renovation of the old temple site. The construction was completed in 1801, and the Temple held many of the retrieved Buddha images from abandoned temples in various cities in Thailand. Wat Pho has been restored various times, with the last being in 1982. Here are some interesting facts about Wat Pho you ought to know:
- It is one of the oldest temples in Bangkok.
- The temple is one of six first-class royal temples.
- The image of the Reclining Buddha is 15 meters high and 46 meters long.
- There are over 1000 Buddha images in the temple.
- The traditional Thai massage originated from Wat Pho.
What to see at Wat Pho?
The Temple complex covers an area of 80,000 square metres and consists of two walled compounds, with only one being open to visitors. Wat Pho has over one thousand Buddha images, four great chedis, 91 small chedis, and gardens, among other things. Here are some of the things you shouldn’t miss while visiting Wat Pho:
- Phra Ubosot - this ordination hall is used for performing Buddhist rituals. This hall houses a Buddha image with a nine-tiered umbrella over it that represents the authority of Thailand.
- The Reclining Buddha - this image of Buddha is located in the assembly hall and it represents the entry of Buddha into Nirvana and the end of all reincarnations. The hall is decorated with mural paintings that illustrate different stories.
- Phra Maha Chedi Si Rajakarn - the group of four chedis dedicated to the first four Chakri kings. Each one of the stupas is 42 meters high.
- Phra Rabieng - double cloisters with around 400 images of Buddha, which surround the chapel that connects four main directional Viharas. All the images are covered with gold leaves.
- Phra Mondob - the Sculpture Hall containing a small library of Buddhist scriptures that is not generally open to the public. There are multiple figures at the entrance beside the gates, as well as three pavilions with mural paintings that are around the Hall.
Tickets and opening hours of Wat Pho
- Tickets - the entrance fee is 200 baht, while the entrance is free to children under the height of 120 cm.
- Opening hours - Wat Pho is open daily from 8 am to 6:30 pm.
How to get to Wat Pho?
The easiest ways to reach Wat Pho are:
- By Bus - lines 32, 44 NGV, 524 AC, Wat Pho Bus Terminal.
- By Boat - Chao Phraya Express boat, stop at Tha Chang pier, Tha Tien Pier, or Pak Klong Talad Pier.
What should you know before visiting Wat Pho?
Here are the things you need to know before visiting Wat Pho:
- Be polite and calm when you enter the complex.
- There is a dress code. Shorts above the knees are prohibited. You are required to take off your shoes before entering religious buildings.
- It is prohibited for women to have physical contact with monks or novices.