Search This Blog

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Wat Pho Fortified Temple treasures of Bangkok

Wat Pho is a a first grade Royal temple complex found just south of the Grand Palace that is one of the most popular and frequently visited attractions in Bangkok. 

Originally a monastery from the Ayutthaya period, King Rama I transformed the buildings and renamed them to Wat Pho. Today, this 20 acre complex is best known for the Reclining Buddha but there is quite a bit more to see at Wat Pho (100 Baht per person, includes a bottle of water). 

Most visitors come to Wat Pho specifically to see the 48.5 meter long statue found within the Phra Vihara (hall) of the Reclining Buddha. This is one of the genuinely unique attractions in Bangkok and is reason enough to visit Wat Pho.

When you enter the the hall to see the Reclining Buddha, there are several stopping places for you to photograph the giant figure. Try to take a few pictures right in front his head as well as from the base of his feet. Do make sure to have a look at the impressive mother-of-pearl designs found in the base of the Buddha's feet. These are quite impressive, as are the wall murals if you can manage to take your eyes off the Reclining Buddha every once in a while. 

After the Reclining Buddha, we enjoy seeing Phra Ubosot, a large assembly Hall surrounded by four viharas (smaller halls). The viharas are of simple design and decor. However, Phra Ubosot is decorative and very nice to see. The wall murals in particularly are memorable and we very much liked the mother-of-pearl door panels found here. The courtyard surrounding Phra Ubosot is enclosed by a cloister, which is lined with over 150 Buddha images. These are arranged in a lovely manner and make great photographs.

The Day is cool but its eerie at night 

Another neat thing to see at Wat Pho is the series of small chedis that are situated about the Phra Ubosot grounds. These are colourful, decorative and quite photogenic. Even more impressive are the four giant chedi structures found between Phra Ubosot and the Vihara of the Reclining Buddha. These are each 42 meters tall and covered with glazed tiles that beautifully reflect the sunlight to form lovely images. A fun thing to do is to position yourself so you can take pictures with the small chedis in the foreground with the large chedi structures behind them. 
Other things we enjoy seeing include the Wat Pho Giants, similar to those seen within the Grand Palace complex, the many Chinese ballast (rock giant) statues that are placed around the temple complex as well as the hermit statues at the small rock garden called Khao Mor.

Website now includes Google street view into the temple and grounds - link


In the end, there are easily 2-3 hours worth of things to see at Wat Pho. Most don't visit for this long but you can certainly spend this amount of time if exploring the temple grounds if you like. To maximise your time at Wat Pho, it is best to have a look at the temple map before your visit. You can download a good map directly from the Wat Pho website. 

Tip: You can combine a visit to Wat Pho with the Grand Palace. We would suggest allocating no less than 3-4 hours for the combined visit. 

Social Media Menu
Google Street View
Tour Zone info

Sponsored visit by 

No comments: