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Wat Pho

The “Temple of the Reclining Buddha” is the largest temple in the country and has more Buddha statues than any other Thai temple.

Wat Po is one of the top attractions in Bangkok for Thai people and tourists alike. The large temple is famous for its giant Reclining Buddha and has more Buddha statues than any other temple in the country. It is also one of the oldest public universities in the country and the official school of traditional Thai massage.

The temple is officially called Wat Phra Chetuphon Vimolmangklararm Rajwaramahaviharn, which explains why most non-Thai speakers refer to it as “The Temple of the Reclining Buddha.” The Thai abbreviation Wat Pho comes from Wat Phodharam, a lost monastery of the Ayutthaya period. King Rama I of the Chakri dynasty had the temple re-established, which took nearly eight years. King Rama III spent another 16 years restoring and extending it and King Rama IV gave it its present name.

When you enter the hall where the 150-foot (46-meter) long Reclining Buddha rests, drop a coin into one of the bronze bowls for good fortune. The 108 bowls represent the 108 different positive characters of the Buddha. The resting statue itself is covered in gold leaf and represents the Buddha passing into nirvana. Look for the mother-of-pearl inlays on the soles of his giant feet.

While this figure is the biggest attraction, you’ll find more than a thousand Buddha statues in the complex. The medical university on the temple’s grounds is a school for traditional medicine and, more famously, Thai massage. Bring extra baht to experience an invigorating rub. Visit the library, which is decorated with shards of porcelain, and don’t miss the ancient descriptions of massage techniques. Cross the road to visit the working monastery and talk with the monks; they love to practice their English.

Wat Pho is next to the Grand Palace and the same dress code applies: cover your arms legs and feet before you step inside. The easiest way to get there is by ferry or taxi. There is an admission fee and guided tours are available. The temple is open daily.


Guide to Exploring around Wat Pho


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Lodging Near Wat Pho

See all 2,302 Hotels near Wat Pho
$29
iSanook Residence

iSanook Residence

118, Soi Songphra, Siphraya Road, Bangkok
4.4
of 5, from 1,501 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Located in Bang Rak, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of River City Shopping Complex and Si Phraya Pier. Patpong Night Market and MBK Center are also within 2 mi (3 km).

$73
Riva Arun Bangkok

Riva Arun Bangkok

392/25-26 Maharaj Road, Bangkok
4.6
of 5, from 101 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

Located in Bangkok City Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Wat Pho and Museum of Siam. Grand Palace and Temple of the Emerald Buddha are also within 15 minutes.

$103
sala rattanakosin

sala rattanakosin

Maharat Road, Bangkok
4.3
of 5, from 145 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

Located in Bangkok City Centre, this boutique hotel is steps from Reclining Buddha and Wat Pho. Wat Arun and Grand Palace are also within 15 minutes.

$89
Sala Arun

Sala Arun

47-49 Soi Phen Pi Marn, Tha Tien, Bangkok
4.2
of 5, from 6 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Located in Bangkok City Centre, this hotel is steps from Reclining Buddha and Wat Pho. Wat Arun and Grand Palace are also within 15 minutes.

$104
Millennium Hilton Bangkok

Millennium Hilton Bangkok

123 Charoennakorn Road, Bangkok
4.3
of 5, from 1,423 reviews
5.0 out of 5.0

Located on the Chao Phraya River, with sweeping views of Bangkok, this new contemporary hotel is accessible by road, sky train, or river by Hilton's shuttle boat.

$31
Chetuphon Gate

Chetuphon Gate

370-372 Soi Pratoo Nokyoong, Bangkok
3.8
of 5, from 19 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

Located in Bangkok City Centre, this hotel is steps from Reclining Buddha and Wat Pho. Grand Palace and Wat Arun are also within 10 minutes.

$88
Arun Residence

Arun Residence

36-38 Soi Pratoo Nok Yoong, Bangkok
4.1
of 5, from 65 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Located in Bangkok City Centre, this boutique hotel is steps from Reclining Buddha and Wat Pho. Wat Arun and Grand Palace are also within 15 minutes.

Inn A Day

Inn A Day

57-61 Maharat Road, Bangkok
5.0
of 5, from 1 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Located in Bangkok City Centre, this boutique hotel is steps from Reclining Buddha and Wat Pho. Wat Arun and Grand Palace are also within 15 minutes.