Wat Pho – Bangkok’s Oldest Temple
29 February, 2012
Wat Pho, or the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, is the oldest and largest Buddhist temple in Bangkok. It is home to more Buddha images than any other Bangkok temple and it shelters the largest Buddha in Thailand.
Wat Pho was built as a restoration of an earlier temple on the same site, Wat Phodharam, with work beginning in 1788. It was restored and extended in the reign of King Rama III (1824-51), and restored again in 1982.
Wat Pho is the birthplace of traditional Thai massage. Even prior to the temple's founding, the site was a centre of education for traditional Thai medicine, and statues were created showing yoga positions.
During the reign of Rama III restoration plaques inscribed with medical texts were placed around the temple, while in 1962 a school for traditional medicine and massage was established.
The Wat Pho complex consists of two walled compounds, bisected north-south by Sanamchai Road running east-west. The northern walled compound is where the reclining Buddha and massage school are found.
The southern walled compound, Tukgawee, is a working Buddhist monastery with monks in residence and a school.
Wat Pho is located on Sanam Chai road and Maharaj road next to the Grand Palace. It is open daily between 08:00 - 17:00 hrs, with an admission fee of THB 100. Tourists must be in polite dress, no shorts, although trousers are permitted.
For more information please call (02) 225-9595, (02) 622-0100, (02) 221-1375