Discover the rich history of Bangkok’s Wat Pho temple, how to plan a visit, and how much the entrance ticket costs!
Thailand is a country with the biggest Buddhist population on earth.
Can you guess how many temples there are in this country? More than 40,000 temples!
No wonder, whether you walk in a big city or even in the suburb area, you will see temple and another temple just within one or two blocks away.
Thai temples, or what they call as wats are typically comprising a multi-building complex with enticing architecture.
One of the largest and oldest wats in Bangkok is Wat Pho, also known as the Temple of Reclining Buddha.
History of Wat Pho
Wat Pho has a long and rich history, dating back to the 16th century.
It was during the reign of King Rama I in 1788 that this temple came into existence, a time when the Thai kingdom was centered in Ayutthaya.
Remarkably, Wat Pho predates the very foundation of the city of Bangkok itself!
The primary objective behind its establishment was the preservation and advancement of Buddhist cultural and religious heritage, fostering knowledge and tradition within the faith.
This temple is very special because it is listed as the highest grade of the first class Royal temples and also home to more than 1,000 Buddha images.
The architectural beauty of Wat Pho
The temple complex is divided into several sites such as the sacred main hall for rituals, an area with a group of stupas or chedis, and the most intriguing site is the chapel of reclining Buddha.
A reclining Buddha statue represents the historical Buddha during his last illness and about to enter Nirvana. The size of this golden statue is 15 meters high and 46 meters long.
There are also 108 bronze bowls along the corridor where visitors can drop coins into the bowls and pray for good fortune.
Adorning the exterior of the main edifice, you’ll encounter a striking sight – 71 petite stupas or chedis, each housing the revered remains of the royal family.
Each chedis has a beautiful artistic motif on it.
The surrounding is green and lush with small gardens and the ponds.
This verdant landscape adds a delightful touch of tranquility, rendering the area a pleasant and inviting destination for visitors.
Preservation of traditional art
Beyond its role as a sacred place of devotion, Wat Pho holds the distinction of being one of Thailand’s most ancient hubs of Buddhist education.
Historically, this temple served as a hallowed ground for the training of traditional Thai medicine, with a particular emphasis on the art of Thai massage, known as Nuad Thai treatment.
Furthermore, Wat Pho has gained renown as a repository of traditional Thai arts, encompassing masterful carvings, intricate calligraphy, and captivating paintings. Within its walls lies a precious trove of artistry, meticulously preserved throughout the passing centuries.
How to get to Wat Pho?
Wat Pho stands as one of Bangkok’s premier tourist attractions, drawing a considerable number of visitors.
Situated in the Phra Nakhon district, this temple enjoys excellent accessibility via various public transportation options like taxis, tuk-tuks, or the BTS train system.
Moreover, its strategic location places it in proximity to other notable tourist landmarks, including the Grand Palace, Temple of the Emerald Buddha, and the City Pillar Shrine.
Here are several convenient methods to reach Wat Pho:
- Taxi: Ensure that the taxi you choose employs a meter. The travel duration typically spans 30 to 45 minutes, subject to traffic conditions and your departure point.
- Tuk-tuk: Opting for a ride on these distinctive three-wheeled vehicles can offer a unique and enjoyable experience. However, it’s advisable to negotiate the fare beforehand.
- Train: The nearest MRT station to Wat Pho is the “Sanam Chai Station,” while the closest BTS station is the “Saphan Taksin Station.”
- River Boat: You can embark on the Chao Phraya River Express, disembark at Tha Tien Pier, and take a leisurely stroll to reach the temple.
- Walking: If you’re lodging around the Khao San Road vicinity or near the Grand Palace, consider a pleasant 10-minute walk to Wat Pho, enhancing your exploration of the area.
How much is the entrance fee for Wat Pho?
The entrance fee to visit Wat Pho is 200 baht, equivalent to USD 5.39.
When planning your visit, remember to wear modest attire in accordance with temple etiquette.
For those seeking a bit of relaxation and rejuvenation, you can indulge in a Thai Massage session here for 480 baht, lasting one hour.
To delve deeper into the temple’s history, consider signing up for a walking tour through Klook.
Is there a dress code for Wat Pho?
Yes, there is a dress code for Wat Pho, as is common in many temples in Thailand.
It’s important to dress respectfully to show reverence for the religious and cultural significance of the site.
Here are some guidelines for the dress code at Wat Pho:
- Modest clothing: Wear clothing that covers your shoulders, arms, and knees. Sleeveless tops, shorts, and short skirts are not appropriate. Loose-fitting, long pants or a long skirt and a conservative top are a good choice.
- Remove shoes: Before entering the temple buildings, you are required to remove your shoes. You’ll usually find designated areas or racks for this purpose.
- Hats and sunglasses: It’s customary to remove hats and sunglasses when entering the temple buildings as a sign of respect.
- Avoid revealing attire: Avoid clothing that is overly revealing or see-through. Clothing with offensive graphics or messages should also be avoided.
By following these dress code guidelines, you’ll show respect for the religious and cultural traditions of Wat Pho and have a more enjoyable and meaningful visit to this historic temple.
If you arrive and find that your attire doesn’t meet the dress code, there are often sarongs or cover-ups available for rent or loan at the entrance to the temple.
In conclusion, these are some quick insights into Wat Pho, encompassing ticket pricing, transportation tips, and exciting tours to enhance your visit.
Be sure to include this temple in your Bangkok travel itinerary, and don’t miss exploring other captivating tourist destinations in the city.
Should you find the time, embarking on a journey to the temples in Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai can also be a rewarding addition to your Thai adventure.
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Hi, my name is Velysia – a travel blogger from Indonesia. I’ve traveled extensively around Indonesia and Asia. I love hiking and learning new cultures. I hope you can find this blog useful, if you like my work, you can support me through paypal.