Bangkok, Thailand is famous for its grand temples. Whether you're new to Buddhism and Thailand's elaborate architecture or not, I gotta say that a trip to its wats is among the list of must-do activities when you're traveling (and taking a break from shopping-- more on this later) in Bangkok. One of my favorite wats is the Wat Phra Chettuphon Wimon Mangkhlaram Ratchaworamahawihan (Whew! That was a mouthful!) located in Phra Nakhon district. To make things easier, tourists call it Wat Pho for short.
Wat Pho is the birth place of traditional Thai massage. Until now the legendary massage school still offers massage services and lessons. The other main attraction here is the Temple of the Reclining Buddha. It houses one of the world's largest image of Buddha, measuring 49 feet high and 141 feet long. Yes, that grand and striking!
The soles of the feet are even laid with mother-of-pearls showing the 108 auspicious signs of Buddha.
The columns, ceiling, windows and walls are also impressive:
Near the exit, you can find 108 bronze bowls placed along the corridor. People drop coins in each of the bowls, with the belief that it would bring them good fortune.
Wat Pho is also known for its more than thousand Buddha images found all over the place.
Statues are not the only grand pieces that can be found here. My other favorites are the colorful chedis ornated with ceramics and flower-shaped tiles. I learned that these chedis actually contain ashes of the royal family and Buddha.
One can't miss the tallest bunch among these 91 chedis -- four huge pagodas called the Phra Maha Chedi Si Rajakarn.
Each pagoda measures 138 feet high, and is decorated with psychedelic mosaics. The green pagoda is a commemoration for King Rama I. The white spire is a tribute of King Rama III for his father, King Rama II. The yellow pagoda, was also built by King Rama III as a tribute to Buddha and his own reign. The last one, the dark blue-colored, is for King Rama IV.
*Entrance fee to Wat Pho is 100 Baht. Temple is open from 8AM to 5PM.
*Massage costs 260 Baht for a 30-min Traditional Thai massage and 420 Baht for a 1-hour Traditional Thai massage
*How to go to Wat Pho:
-via Bus #s. 1, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12, 25, 32, 43, 44, 47, 48, 51, 53, 82, 103
-via Chao Phraya Express boat, get off at Tha Chang Pier, Tha Tien Pier or Pak Klong Talad Pier,
then walk along Thai Wang Road
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