One of the most famous temples in Bangkok is Wat Pho (Thai วัดโพธิ์). It is one of the city’s oldest and most important temples and is an absolute treasure in Thai culture.
Wat Pho is located in the heart of the Old City and is an absolute must for anyone who wants to get to know Bangkok better.
The complex is also called the “Temple of the Reclining Buddha.” This is due to one of the most precious treasures that Wat Pho Bangkok houses: one of the largest Buddha statues in the world.
Getting there: By MRT (Blue Line) to Sam Yot (about 20 minutes walk), by ferry to Tha Tien Pier, or by cab.
Opening hours: Daily from 08:30 AM to 03:30 PM.
Admission: 100 baht for adults (as of 2023).
Dress code: Knees and shoulders covered
Architectural highlights and the reclining Buddha in Wat Pho
Wat Pho Bangkok is a labyrinth of ornate decorations, golden statues, and intricately decorated shrines.
Throughout the temple complex, you can admire countless Buddha statues depicted in various poses.
The largest of them is the reclining Buddha, one of the world’s most giant and most impressive reclining Buddha statues.
The gigantic statue is 46 meters long and 15 meters high. She exudes a fascinating aura of serenity and majesty.
Wat Pho Bangkok is also known for its chedis (stupas).
These are Buddhist buildings in various forms, symbolizing the Buddha and his teaching, the Dharma.
The stupas are embellished with colorful porcelain tiles, giving the temple a unique look.
They also house the ashes of Thai kings and some royal family members.
Outside the temple complex, you can drift through many tranquil courtyards and admire the blooming lily ponds.
The turbulent history of Wat Pho Bangkok
Wat Pho Bangkok is also a real Eldorado for history lovers, as its history dates back to the 16th century.
The temple was founded during the reign of King Phetracha in 1688 and initially served as a monastery and training center for monks.
Accordingly, the temple was a center of education and knowledge. Therefore, to this day it houses valuable scrolls and inscriptions from times long past.
During the reign of King Rama I, Wat Pho was extensively expanded and renovated in the late 18th century.
King Rama I was a great devotee of Buddhism and saw Wat Pho as a place of education and knowledge.
Treat yourself to an authentic Thai massage on-site
A special highlight at Wat Pho Bangkok is the in-house massage school. Here, future massage therapists are trained in the fine art of traditional Thai massage.
The students then put their newly learned skills directly into practice on-site.
So, if you like, you can enjoy a Thai massage at Wat Pho at the highest technical level – an absolutely healing experience that relaxes and revitalizes body and mind.
Wat Pho Bangkok is an important center of Buddhism
However, Wat Pho is much more than “just” a spiritually significant place or sight. It is also one of the centers of Buddhism in Bangkok.
Because of its historical significance, countless worshippers flock to the temple daily to pray, make offerings, and express their wishes.
The spiritual energy of the temple is pervasive, and even for non-Buddhists, a visit can be a spiritual and inspiring experience.
Tip: You can save time and money with a guided tour of the city’s main temples.
By the way, the Thai New Year is traditionally celebrated in a big way at Wat Pho Bangkok. As a place of enlightenment, the temple is an important place for celebrating the Songkran festival.
The colorful festival is celebrated yearly by thousands of people at Wat Pho.
They come from all over to pay respect to the Buddha statues and sprinkle water on each other as a sign of blessing and purification.
The monks at Wat Pho are very friendly and often willing to answer questions about Buddhism and Thai culture.
Make sure, however, that you treat them respectfully and do not interfere with them in performing their daily duties.
Dress code and rules of conduct in the temple complex
Wat Pho Bangkok is a place of worship and spirituality.
Tourists are also expected to behave with the same respect. Keep quiet and avoid talking and laughing loudly.
You should also wear appropriate clothing and cover your shoulders and knees.
If you are not dressed appropriately, you can borrow clothes on-site to cover up.
Our conclusion about Wat Pho Bangkok
Wat Pho is one of the most important and, at the same time, most beautiful temples in Bangkok.
Therefore, it belongs at the top of every Bangkok bucket list.
The fascinating Temple of the Reclining Buddha offers you deep insights into the fascinating world of Buddhism, and the beauty and tranquility of this spiritual place are absolutely unique.
The 200 baht entrance fee (as of 2023) is definitely well invested, and you can combine the temple visit with a sightseeing tour on the picturesque Chao Phraya River.
The best tours for your visit to Wat Pho
Visit the main sights of Bangkok with tickets to the Grand Palace, Emerald Buddha Temple, Wat Pho, and Wat Arun with a local guide.
The tour will first take you to the Grand Palace, which was once the home of the kings of Siam and now houses the Temple of the Emerald Buddha.
Continue to Wat Pho with the famous reclining Buddha. The last stop is Wat Arun – the beautiful Temple of Dawn.
As part of this private tour, you will be picked up and returned from your hotel comfortably – your guide will drive you around Bangkok in a comfortable car.
Visit the Grand Palace, Tha Thien Market, Wat Pho, and Wat Arun. You can also take a boat trip on the Chao Phraya if you like.
The best thing is that here you can put together all the elements yourself and visit the sights that interest you the most.
You will visit the Grand Palace with a local guide during this half-day tour. Here, you can learn everything you need about this impressive facility.
Then, we will go to the temple of the reclining Buddha. Take a journey back in time with your guide, and let the spirituality of the sacred place wash over you.
On the way back, we will pass Tha Thien Market, a cultural food market with great traditional products.
Frequently Asked Questions about Wat Pho in Bangkok
Here, we answer some frequently asked questions about Wat Pho in Bangkok.
Where is Wat Pho located in Bangkok?
Wat Pho is located in the heart of Bangkok’s Old City, near the Grand Palace and the temple of Wat Arun.
What is the significance of Wat Pho in Thai culture?
Wat Pho Bangkok is one of the most important temples in Thailand and plays an important role in Buddhist culture. It is a place of worship, education, and healing.
How tall is the reclining Buddha in Wat Pho?
The reclining Buddha statue in Wat Pho is over 46 meters long and 15 meters high. It is one of the largest and most impressive Buddha statues in the world.
Is there a dress code for visiting Wat Pho?
Yes, when visiting Wat Pho, shoulders and knees should be covered to respect the temple as a place of worship.
How much is the entrance fee to Wat Pho?
The entrance fee for foreign visitors is 100 baht (as of 2023). Admission is free for locals.
Is there any way to book a traditional Thai massage at Wat Pho?
Yes, Wat Pho is famous for its traditional Thai massage school. Visitors here can receive a first-class massage from massage therapists in training.
What are the opening hours of Wat Pho?
Wat Pho is open to visitors daily from 8:00 am to 6:30 pm.
What is the Songkran Festival at Wat Pho?
The Songkran Festival, the Thai New Year, is celebrated in a big way at Wat Pho. It is a feast of prayer, showing respect, and sprinkling each other with water as a sign of blessing and purification.