Wat Pho is famous for its Reclining Buddha statue and that is why most people visit this temple. But if you take the time to explore further, it has so much more to offer. After our morning touring the Grand Palace, we head over to Wat Pho, just south of the palace. It’s about a 10 minute walk, but we take our time, browsing all the little tables of things to buy lining the sidewalk. I really want a pair of those elephant pants I see everywhere! They look so comfy and cool.
Inside the temple complex is quiet and serene. The Reclining Buddha temple is closest to the entrance, so that’s where we head first.
The reclining image of Buddha represents his entry into Nirvana and also symbolizes the end of all his incarnations. While this particular reclining Buddha is quite popular, there are several statues of him throughout Thailand and other Buddhist nations.
Holy smokes this thing is massive. I expected it to be big, but nothing compares to seeing it in person. I can barely get it all into frame.
Along the wall behind Reclining Buddha is long row of 108 bronze pots. These represent the 108 characters of Buddha. It’s supposed to be good luck to walk down the row and put a coin in each one. Coins can be purchased at the far end, by Buddha’s feet, for a few Baht and help the monks maintain the temple.
Back outside, Adrienne and I wander around the rest of the Wat Pho temple. I don’t think we run into any other tourists. Most visitors only come to visit Buddha, but it’s a tiny part of this complex. The rest of the temple is quite lovely and worth walking around. You’ll more than likely have the place to yourself, which makes it even nicer.
Looking back at the Reclining Buddha temple.
Wat Pho is also considered the first public university in Thailand. Today, the school of medicine offers courses in Thai massage, and is supposed to be an excellent place for visitors to get one for a small fee.
Phra Ubosot is the main structure in this complex and is where the main Buddhist rituals are performed. It consists of the main temple in the middle surrounded by cloisters and a gate on each of the four sides.
In the surrounding hall are hundreds of gold and black Buddha statues.
And the entire grounds are dotted with these smaller chedis called Phra Chedi Rai. They contain the ashes of members of the royal family.
It only takes us a couple hours to tour the entire temple, which is great because we’re both getting a bit worn out from the heat and lack of sleep the night before. We make our way back to the river and our hotel for a cooling rest in some AC. There’s another big day of site seeing ahead of us tomorrow!