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Wat Pho

Book yourself in for an energising treatment at the official school of traditional Thai massage, housed in Bangkok’s oldest temple complex.

The Temple of the Reclining Buddha – known locally as Wat Pho – is the largest and oldest of Bangkok’s temples, safeguarding spiritual and cultural riches. Not only is it the site of one of Thailand’s first public universities, it also plays guardian to a collection of over one thousand Buddha statues.

The temple grounds are divided into two walled areas. The southern compound is still a working monastery. Simply cross the road to meet the monks who live there. In the northern compound, you will find the school of medicine and the figure for which the temple is famous.

Of all the Buddha statues collected within Wat Pho, the most impressive is the Reclining Buddha inside the Viharn. At 46 m long and 15 m high, it takes up almost the entire length of the shrine. The statue is covered in gold leaf with intricate mother of pearl laksanas inscribed on the soles of its feet and depicts Buddha achieving Nirvana.

Each of the 108 bronze bowls surrounding the statue signifies one of the Buddha’s 108 positive actions and symbols. To attract good luck, buy coins at the entrance to drop into these dishes.

If you are interested in traditional healing practices, you may know that this temple is the birthplace of Thai massage. Home to a collection of ancient plaques inscribed with medical texts and descriptions of massage techniques, it is a great place to discover the theory and practice of Thai medicine. Make sure you experience an invigorating massage for yourself.

Wat Pho was re-established by King Rama I on the site of an ancient monastery and can be found next to the Grand Palace. It is easy to reach by ferry or taxi and charges a small fee for access to the grounds. The temple is open on a daily basis, with guided tours available to introduce you to all of its hidden secrets. Make sure you dress modestly as this is a sacred place.

We know you really want to get the most out of your visit to Wat Pho. So, we've put together a list of some fun things you can do on your visit:

If you're after even more options, take a look at our Bangkok things to do page.


Guide to Exploring Wat Pho


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Top Hotel Deals

See all 3,310 properties near Wat Pho
lebua at State Tower (The World's First Vertical Destination) Rs8,617
lebua at State Tower (The World's First Vertical Destination)

lebua at State Tower (The World's First Vertical Destination)

State Tower 1055/111 Silom Road, Bangrak, Bangkok
     
    5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    This family-friendly Bangkok hotel is located on the riverfront, within 1 mi (2 km) of Sri Mariamman Temple and Iconsiam. Asiatique The Riverfront and Siam Paragon Mall are also within 3 mi (5 km). Surasak BTS Station is 10 minutes by foot and Saphan Taksin BTS Station is 12 minutes.

    ARUN Riverside Bangkok Rs6,986
    ARUN Riverside Bangkok

    ARUN Riverside Bangkok

    87-89 Maharaj Road, Phrabarommaharachawaang, Bangkok, Phranakorn
       
      3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Bangkok City Centre, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Wat Pho, Temple of the Emerald Buddha and Grand Palace. Khaosan Road and Wat Arun are also within 3 mi (5 km).

      Riva Arun Bangkok Rs6,843
      Riva Arun Bangkok

      Riva Arun Bangkok

      392/25-26 Maharaj Road, Phraborom Maharajawang, Pranakorn, Bangkok
         
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Bangkok City Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Museum of Siam and Wat Pho. Temple of the Emerald Buddha and Grand Palace are also within 1 mi (2 km).

        Inn A Day Rs6,977
        Inn A Day

        Inn A Day

        57-61 Maharat Road, Phra nakhon, Bangkok, Bangkok
           
          3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Bangkok City Centre, this boutique hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Bangkok Riverside, Wat Pho, and Wat Arun. Temple of the Emerald Buddha and Grand Palace are also within 15 minutes.

          Shangri-la Bangkok Rs9,746
          Shangri-la Bangkok

          Shangri-la Bangkok

          89 Soi Wat Suan Plu, New Road, Bangrak, Bangkok, Bangkok
             
            5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Bangkok City Centre, this luxury hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Bangkok Riverside and Iconsiam. King Power MahaNakhon and Patpong Night Market are also within 2 mi (3 km). Saphan Taksin BTS Station is 6 minutes by foot and Surasak BTS Station is 12 minutes.

            sala rattanakosin Rs7,844
            sala rattanakosin

            sala rattanakosin

            Maharat Road, Rattanakosin Island, Bangkok, Bangkok
               
              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Bangkok City Centre, this boutique hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Wat Pho and Wat Arun. Temple of the Emerald Buddha and Grand Palace are also within 15 minutes.

              Feung Nakorn Balcony Rooms and Cafe Rs3,293
              Feung Nakorn Balcony Rooms and Cafe

              Feung Nakorn Balcony Rooms and Cafe

              29 Soi Fueang Thong, Fueang Nakhon Road, Kwang Watratchabopit, Phranakorn, Bangkok, Bangkok
                 
                3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Bangkok City Centre, this guesthouse is within a 10-minute walk of Wat Pho and Giant Swing. Grand Palace and Khaosan Road are also within 15 minutes.

                The Royal ThaTien Village Rs1,990
                The Royal ThaTien Village

                The Royal ThaTien Village

                392/29 Maharaj Road, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok, Bangkok
                   
                  2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Bangkok City Centre, this guesthouse is within a 10-minute walk of Bangkok Riverside and Wat Pho. Temple of the Emerald Buddha and Grand Palace are also within 15 minutes.