Temple of the Reclining Buddha

August 21, 2012 by

Local Recommendations, Things To Do, Top Attractions

The head of the Reclining Buddha

The head of the Reclining Buddha

Located in the located in the Rattanakosin district of Bangkok, Wat Pho (or the Temple of the Reclining Buddha) is home to a gigantic, golden-and-glass-mosaic-ensconced figure of the Buddha in repose. It seems appropriate that this should be the reputed birthplace of the restorative art of Thai Massage.

One of the oldest and largest wats in Bangkok, Wat Pho has undergone many periods of decline and restoration. The latest of these was in the early 1980s and today the temple complex is a very popular tourist destination and site of devote religious observance.

The temple is also considered the first public university in the country. Since 1962, it has instructed students in students in the fields of religion, science and literature through murals.

Founded during the 16th century, this temple is easily one of the most interesting destinations for tourists seeking to revel in Thai history, art, science, and spirituality. Unlike many temples and other destinations in the city, Wat Pho is a living, breathing artifact that retains real practical and educational significance. There is even a small cloister nearby where you can have a traditional Thai massage for a nominal sum of money.

Though not technically a pilgrimage site, the grounds are nonetheless a working monastery and it is considered both good manners and good luck to leave an offering in one of the 108 golden alms bowls.

Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m.–6:00 p.m. daily. Admission is approximately $3.

- John Reality

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