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Wat Pho is the oldest and also the largest ancient temple in Bangkok.
Exotic and Fun Things You Should Do In Wat Pho
Wat Phoâ€™s most famous attraction is the Temple of Reclining Buddha, where a 60 metres long and 15 metres tall golden Buddha statue was built in a reclining pose, thus the Reclining Buddha. The entire chapel of Viharn Phranorn was actually built to protect the statue under King Rama III's instructions in 1832. The gilded statue was so huge and long the temple almost couldnâ€™t cover all the parts. You can also learn about interesting facts from each symbolism hidden in each statueâ€™s parts, such as the myriad pearls adorning Buddhaâ€™s soles feet which is said to symbolize the 108 actions Siddharta Gautama completed until he reached enlightment. Visitors are allowed to drop some coins inside one of 108 bronze bowls lining along the corridor. The bowls are representation of 108 auspicious characters of Buddha, and those who drop coins in any of the bowls is believed will receive good luck.
Phra Ubosot is the main hall where all Buddhist rituals are being performed. The grand structure of the 'bot' was constructed by King Rama I. The ubosot or 'praying hall' is located at the center of courtyard and enclosed by double cloister called Phra Rabiang. The praying hall is simply stunning, it's also a place where Phra Buddha Theva Pattimakorn, statue of Buddha made of gold-copper alloy from Ayutthaya period is located. Underneath its pedestal is said to be a place where some of Rama I's ashes is kept by Rama IV as a homage for the former king. Phra Ubosot is also a home to ten images of Buddha's disciples, consists of Moggalana, Sariputta, and eight Arahants.
From 1,200 Buddha statues being brought by King Rama II, 400 of them are stored in Phra Rabiang. 244 Buddha statues are placed at the outer side of the double cloister, while the rest are kept in the inner side of the building. They came from different periods, from Chiangsaen to Ayutthaya. The double cloister itself is intersected by four viharns, each viharn housed different images of Buddha. The eastern viharn contain an 8-meter standing Buddha statue named Buddha Lokanatha, while Buddha Maravichai can be seen sitting under a bodhi tree in its antechamber. Buddha Chinnaraja is accompanied with his five diciples listening to his first sermon in the southern viharn. While Buddha Chinnasri is located in the western viharn guarded by a naga.
Missakawan Park is located right next to Viharn Phranorn. It's a small park, but stunning nonetheless. A Chinese-style pavillion is located in the area. The pavillion's wall is decorated with murals depicting some scenes from a Chinese literature 'Sam Kok'. Nearby is a famed bodhi-tree, believed to be the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi Tree from India where Buddha sat and awaiting for enlightment.
Located outside Phra Chedi Rai is clusters of smaller chedis, famously known as Phra Chedi Rai. Seventy-one of the chedis were built by Rama III, while the other four groups of five chedis were built by Rama I. Chedis with larger size contain the relics of Buddha, while the rest 71 smaller ones contain ashes of the royal family.
Far before the Reclining Buddha come to existence, Wat Pho has been famous for its Thai massage school. Today, many Thais and tourists come to the place to learn more about art of Thai massage and traditional medicines. Head to the massage area located inside the medicine pavillion and enjoy a relaxing traditional Thai massages. Feeling refreshed? Take your time exploring the pavillion which feature many murals and sculptures depicting teachings of religion, science, and literature. There are also medical inscriptions and plaques about human anatomical locations and pressure points serving as instructions for the therapists.
How to Get Tickets?
To enter Wat Pho, you should pay 100 baht â€“ per person. Be prepared for some extra fee if you want to try traditional Thai massage here which will be more expensive than if you ask for massage in many Thai massage salons. The price is about 250 baht for 30 minutes massage, 400 baht for one hour massage, or a 45 minutes foot massage. Itâ€™s much expected though, isnâ€™t it?
How To Get Around?
Wat Pho is expansive, although most attractions in Wat Pho can be reached on foot. Wat Pho is also located next to Royal Palace and Wat Arun is located just across the river of the wat.
What Should I Wear?
While it is open for tourists, Wat Pho is still a worshipping ground. You're expected to wear much conservative and modest clothes. Wear long-sleeved tops, or cover your shoulders and arms with a jacket if you're wearing tanktop. Avoid wearing shorts, and opt for trousers instead. Rent a robe or shawl if you must. Don't forget to take off your shoes upon entering the bots.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Wat Pho is always in dry season when most of the time the weather is sunny. It's much recommended to go there in the afternoon if you want to explore the place without battling with the intense sunlight and heat. The panorama is also still superb during the time and there is less crowds too.
Will I Need a Guide?
A guide might be helpful to provide you with in-depth informations about bots and their history in Wat Pho. Though it's not a necessity either since most informations can be found easily in this website.
How To Get There?
You can reach Wat Pho easily by boat. Take Sky Train to Saphan Taksin Station S6 in Siloan Line. Once you arrived at the station, take Exit 2 Gate and go directly to Chao Phraya River Express Boat Pier. From Tha Tien Pier (N.8), the boat will take you straight to Sanamchai Road. Head to the right side which is the direction to Wat Pho temple.