The tourism rate in Bangkok has increased significantly, and if you are looking forward to going to Bangkok on your next vacations, there are some things you need to know about the city and its most notable places.
Bangkok is the Pandora of activities for all those who like to taste diversity in people, places, and activities.
Wat Pho is one place that you should not miss. It is an extremely important place that holds the historically and culturally rich foundation of Bangkok. It would be safe to say that you must visit Wat Pho Temple if you want to see Bangkok’s culture and history with your own eyes.
Keep reading, and you will know why we say so. Moreover, we will also lay down a guide to help you out with how to schedule your trip to Wat Pho, considering various aspects and factors of the place.
Let’s get started!
Wat Pho History:
As the name suggests, Wat Pho is a Buddhist temple in Bangkok. It is located within a walking distance from the Grand Palace in the Phra Nakhon District, on an island named Rattanakosin. Its original name is Wat Phra Chetuphon Wimon Mangkhalaram Rajwaramahawihan. This temple holds significant value for all Buddhists worldwide. The fun fact is it’s also known as the Reclining Budha. Do you know why it is called Reclining Buddha? It is known so because it has a 46-meter reclining Budha, which is fascinating to all those interested in learning more about it.
This temple is not just an ordinary temple, but it is amongst the first six temples in Thailand, and if we form a hierarchy of temples, it will fall in top grade or first-class royal temples in Thailand. It dates back to the time of King Rama I (1736-1809), who built an exceptionally complex and intriguing temple. Moreover, some of his ashes are also enshrined at the temple.
Following King Rama’s building I, it was later expanded by King Rama III (1788-1851) and he added an important center for health and public education. At that time, It was considered to be a university for Thai medicine. If you are intrigued by Buddhism and its history, then you must visit this place. The temple has the largest collection of Budha images in Thailand. The temples marble illustrations and transcriptions are specially recognized and appreciated by UNESCO in its Memory of the World Programme.
Origin of Thai Massage
Don’t we all love Thai massages? So if you want to learn its origin, you must visit Wat Pho in Bangkok because that is where the foundation of Thai massages was set, and they still teach there – so if you want to flaunt your exceptional skills of Thai massage, ensure that you take a few classes.
If you are dedicated to Thai massage, you can also get here as 30-minute to 1-hour body and massage packages available. The collect thing is you can book your massage reservation in advance by calling any of these number 02 662 3533, 02 622 3551, 08 6317 5560, 08 6317 5562. Make sure to add (+66) in case you’re calling out of Thailand.
To be fully aware of the place, you must experience a virtual tour, so when you go there, you will exactly know what is what. It will save a lot of time figuring out what you must do next and help you understand in the back of your mind the purpose of the area.
All in all, it will be more of a learning experience than just sightseeing:
- Phra Ubosot
The main hall where all Buddhist rituals are performed is Phra Ubosot (Phra Uposatha) or bot. It is the most important, pure, and sacred part of the building, so if you enter there and find everyone being too careful, you will know what it is for. Its structure is in all Ayuthaya-style and was put together by King Rama III; however, later, he changed it to the Rattanakosin-style. The main area and building are built on a marble platform, and to add to it, and it has ubosot in the middle.
When you go in, you will find a crystal and gold three-tiered pedestal having Budha on top; this is directly under Thailand’s authority. Rama was the one who placed the ashes of Rama I under the pedestal of Buddha, so the visitors will simultaneously pay respects to both Buddha and Rama.
- Phra Rabiang
Phra Rabiang has almost four hundred pictures of Budha, ranging from northern Thailand. Did you know, only 400 were selected out of a total of 1200 that?
The double cloister contains around 400 images of Buddha from northern Thailand selected out of the 1,200 King Rama I brought. Since all are on the double cloister, 150 are on the interior side; the remaining 244 are on the exterior side. The mages are extremely special because these are from the times of Siamese history, such as the Chiangsaen, Sukhothai, U-Thong, and Ayutthaya eras.
Wat Pho Timings:
- Massage Center Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Temple Hours: from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
- Entrance Fee: 200 baht for adults and free for those under 4 feet
Wat Pho Dress code:
When you enter any religious places, there are some dress codes that you must follow. If you want to visit Wat Pho, you must follow the dress code, or you would be sent back:
- Knees should be covered.
- Shoulders should be covered.
- Refrain from wearing religious symbols/chants shirts
- Skulls or any death-related pictures are not allowed.
- Revealing clothes are prohibited.
- Too tight clothes are prohibited.
How to get Wat Pho?
Getting to Wat Pho is possible in two ways. You can grab tuk-tuk, bus or even boat. I suggest you grab the water taxi as it is The most thrilling way to get to Wat Pho is. These river taxies are affordable and also enable you to avoid city traffic. Grab the Chao Phraya Express boat to Tha Tien Pier then follow signs the short distance to the entrance of Wat Pho.
The closest MRT station to Wat Pho is Sanam Chai, an 8-minute walk to the south. Regrettably, the BTS Skytrain doesn’t get into Rattanakosin Island
Where to Eat Food?
While the temple itself does not have any food courts, you can find some of the best restaurants around the area. Once you are done curbing your hunger for sightseeing of this exceptional place in Bangkok, you can also curb your hunger pangs.
Read below to find some of the best restaurants in the area:
- Oskar Bistro Bangkok
- Tang Heng Kee
- All Meals Sawasdee
- The Sixth
- Home Cafe Tha Tien
We assure you that it would be a wholesome experience for you!