There are so many things to do in Bangkok that even five days won’t be enough to discover as well as explore its fascinating sites. One of the most popular places to visit is Wat Pho, otherwise known as The Temple of the Reclining Buddha. This amazing site is the largest gold-plated reclining Buddha sculpted.
Wat Pho complex has a span of 80,000 square metres and is near the Grand Palace that’s right across the river from the area called Wat Arun. Wat Pho dates back in the 17th century and has several walled compounds. There are almost 99 ceramic covered chedis that surround Wat Pho.
Wat Pho was a part of the restoration project in 1788 for another temple known as Wat Phodharam. It is believed that King Rama III added most of the extensive restorations and extensions between 1824 and 1851.
Until in 1982, the people behind the historical site made another major reconstruction, which leads to what it looks like today. Some people believe that Wat Pho was the birthplace of the Thai massage, which carries the tradition in the modern massage school on the site.
The Reclining Buddha
This one-of-a-kind statue is the essence of Wat Pho. It stands at 15 metres tall and at least 46 metres in width. Experts say that the figure depicts the image of Buddha at his last moment of death and his ascension into Nirvana.
Buddha’s feet consist of 108 panels intricately designed with mother-of-pearls on each of the panels. All of them also have its unique symbol which symbolises the Buddha such as dancers, elephants, and flowers.
One hundred eight bronze bowls surround the reclining Buddha, which are a symbolism for his 108 propitious characters. You will even find devotees and monks dropping coins into these bowls in the hopes it will give them good fortune.
If you wish to join, you can purchase a small container of coins found near the head of the statue and offer your coins for good luck.
What Pho Grounds
Meanwhile, you can find at least 99 chedis with different sizes on the exterior of the reclining Buddha. Surrounding the compounds are several guardians’ statues sculpted with western-like top hats worn.
Similarly, on the posterior side of the eastern compound is the Wat Pho massage school. It is also a great place to have a body massage and get pampered after a day-long adventure.
In addition to Wat Pho Grounds’ grandeur is the royal monastery. It has an elegant ordination hall or otherwise known as ‘ubosot.’ The surrounding establishments are now a part of the school as well as the monks’ residence.
If you are planning to visit Wat Pho, it is best to do it as early as you can, or better yet, go on off-season. Doing so will help you avoid all the crows, especially in the morning. It can also get hotter throughout the entire day. So, it is best to bring bottled water with you on your journey. Have fun!