We crossed the Chao Phraya River from Wat Arun to reach another temple complex in Bangkok.
Just a few minutes of walking, passing through some shops and street food, we reached Wat Pho or The Temple of the Reclining Buddha.
My high school friend, Gev, went straight to the ticketing booth. There’s an entrance fee worth 100 Baht. While waiting, I took the chance to observe, looked at tuktuks and saw some Thais praying at the little temples. One very significant moment that I’ve witnessed was a mother teaching her daughter how to pray while kneeling and uttering words of praise and meditation.
When Gev returned, it was finally the chance to explore the temples. Upon entering the complex, it was like being in a totally different place with lots of unbelievable temples with colorful and intricate design.
Wat Pho is the largest and oldest temple complex in Bangkok. It has more than a thousand Buddha statues which were collected from abandoned temples in other parts of Thailand during the time of King Rama I. This complex covers about 8 hectares of land. Aside from the Buddha images and temples, Wat Pho is considered the center of preservation of traditional Thai massage. It is actually a massage school with pavilions located inside the complex. It is also considered as the oldest university in Thailand teaching religion, medicine, science and literature.
Exploring the Reclining Buddha
This is the most famous spot in the complex. We removed our shoes as we entered the place where the Buddha is located. Then, we saw this huge golden Buddha which is about 46 meters long and 15 meters high.
Surrounding the Buddha are little temples where people pray and meditate.
Looking at it was just unbelievable. I’ve seen a lot of photos of this golden Buddha on the internet and looking at it for real was just amazing. And being amazed, for me, is having a photo while smiling.
By the time we left the Reclining Buddha, all I could remember was tons of temples, and a lot more Buddha images. Towering structures called as Prang were stunning. It’s tall, huge and what’s fascinating is the details and colors of each prang. It makes me think how much love and passion was poured into making these structures.
This is actually a place of worship and solitude. Sometimes it’s just sad to think that the Thais’ culture and way of praying is sometimes disrupted by tourists. I think the best thing we could do as travelers is to be sensitive, try not to make any noise as much as possible. Respect the people and the place.
I admit. Thailand has so much to offer. Beaches? we also have lots of gorgeous beaches in the Philippines What I enjoy the most is Thailand’s food and culture. And touring the temples is the best way to get a glimpse of Thai’s vibrant history and way of life.
Wat Pho Quick Facts
Official Name: Wat Phra Chetuphon Vimolmangklararm Rajwaramahaviharn
Address: 2 Sanamchai Road, Grand Palace Subdistrict, Pranakorn District, Bangkok 10200
Hotels Near Wat Pho here!
Credit: Photos by Gev Mallari
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