Wat Pho | The House of the Most Beautiful Reclining Buddha

Wat Pho or Wat Phra Chettuphon Wimon Mangkhlaram is the first-class royal temple of King Rama I’s reign, was originally built in the Ayutthaya period, and the King had it restored in 1789. During King Rama III’s reign, the King ordered the inscription of knowledge from old textbooks into the marble plates, then, placed them in the buildings to be the source of knowledge for the public. These plates could be categorized into many disciplines, such as history, religion, medicine and literature. The Wat Pho; therefore, could be regarded as the first university of Thailand. Furthermore, the temple is the house of the most beautiful reclining Buddha in Thailand. In 2011, UNESCO registered 1,440 stone inscriptions of Wat Pho as Memory of the World. There are many fascinating cultural heritage points in Wat Pho; for instance,

Wat Pho attractions including

99 Chedis

Wat Pho is the temple with the most Chedis of Thailand. One of the remarkable is the Four Great Stupas or Phra Maha Chedi of four reigns, the Chinese-Thai style architecture.

Wat Pho, Reclining BuddhaPhoto credit by คุณวรวุฒิ หิรัญยไพศาลสกุล

Phra Vihara Buddhasaiyas

Also internationally known as the Reclining Buddha is the graceful reclining Buddha and the third largest and longest one of Thailand. The image is regarded as the most beautiful reclining Buddha image in the country. There are 108 pearl carvings of auspicious images on the Buddha’s soles, in the Chinese-Thai style.

Reclining buddha

Reclining BuddhaThe most beautiful Reclining Buddha in Thailand

Epigraphic Archives of Wat Pho

It’s the stone inscriptions containing old wisdom and various bodies of knowledge.

Wat PhoPhoto credit: mgronline.com

Wat Pho's stone incriptionPhoto credit: watpho.com

Khao Ruesi Dat Ton (The Mountain of Exercising Hermits)

This is the health garden where there are many hermit statues demonstrating Yoga, movements, and the Thai traditional Physical Therapy manual in the form of graphic poems.

Wat PhoPhoto credit by คุณวรวุฒิ หิรัญยไพศาลสกุล

Phra ra Bian (The Cloister)

The cloister displays Buddha images collected from different regions of the country at the beginning of the King Rama I’s reign. These images are ancients images casted in different periods such as Sukhothai, Ayutthaya or Lopburi.  It’s one of photo hot spots for travelers.

Wat PhoPhra ra Bian

Sala Karn Pa Rien (The Sermon Hall)

The building locally called “Ubosot” which was built in the Ayutthaya Period.

Kam Phang Kaew (The Glass Wall)

The bas-relief images depicting the story of Ramakien, modeled from the grand shadow play in Ayutthaya period.

Wat PhoKam Phang Kaew

Chinese Dolls and Yaksha Wat Pho

The dolls were created by Thai master craftsmen and placed in the temple harmoniously. Yaksha Wat Pho is the legendary creatures with many old tales around them, were cursed and became the stone guardians of the temple. There is also the famous booth embellished with tile depicting a bantam realistically.

Wat Pho, Giant Door GurdiansChinese doll door guardians. Photo credit by คุณวรวุฒิ หิรัญยไพศาลสกุล

Wat Pho, GiantYaksha. Photo credit by watpho.com

Massage pavilions

Wat Pho provides on-site massage service. The service pavilions are located at the east entrance and is rated around THB 450 / hour. The service is always busy but waiting for the service is not that long. However, there are also massage service outside the temple compound that you can use. This massage service is managed by Wat Pho as well. Therefore, you can be certain that you will receive the same quality service as the one offered on the temple ground. To get to the shop outside the temple, you just need to ask the receptions at the pavilion, they will walk you there.

Wat Pho, massageMassage Pavillions at Wat Pho

Opening hours

The temple is open everyday from 08.30-18.30. The admission fee is THB 200 / person with one free bottle of water.

Wat Pho by night

The temple is even more beautiful in the evening when it’s illuminated. This would be my best moment of the day to visit the temple when no tourists are around. Your experience will be totally different from day time visit. Below is what the temple looks like in the evening. If you would like to experience Wat Pho by night, this “Bangkok Tuk Tuk Sunset Long-tail Night Lights Tour” will take you there. You will experience the other side of the temple beauty with knowledgeable guides.

Wat Pho by night

Wat Pho by nightWat Pho by night

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The Ancient One