Among the many inspiring and unique Buddhist temples of Thailand, Wat Pho which is also known as Wat Phra Chetuphon is the most famous among local Buddhists as well as foreign visitors to Bangkok. The 20 acre temple is also recorded to be the oldest temple, constructed approximately 200 years before Bangkok became the capital of Thailand. It was rebuilt by Rama the First. Today the temple houses the world renowned statue of the Reclining Buddha which is the largest of all the statues found in Thailand; 15 meters high 46 meters long. The temple also can boast of having the largest collection of Buddha statues in Thailand.
The Reclining Buddha statue looks serene and calm featuring the 108 auspicious characteristics of the true Buddha and illustrated Buddha’s attainment of Nirvana. The impressiveness of the statue is not solely because of its size. It’s entirely plated in gold except the eyes and feet which have been engraved with mother-of-pearl decoration. Additionally there are around 1000 other smaller statues found in the temple. The ground of the temple is separated in two by the Chetuphon Road which runs through the temple therefore many visitors mistakenly visit only one sections of the temple. There are 394 Buddha statues to be seen inside the temple hall and outside its walls 152 slabs can be seen depicted images of the Ramakian story. The temple is also complete with many rock gardens and various other statues bringing out the calm and quietness of the atmosphere. Visitors can observe, make an offering or join in a ritual at this temple. If visited early in the morning, one can have the great opportunity of observing the morning activities of the monks. The sight of barefoot monks carrying their bowls on morning begging rounds would awaken the spiritual self of any observer.
Wat Pho, which is also the first university of Thailand, is where the traditional Thai massages were first taught and popularized. Although most of the stone inscriptions were ruined by the Burmese who destroyed Ayuthaya, a few of them can still be seen at the temple explaining the age old science behind Thai massages that are famous all around the world. Although these massages are not always gentle experiences, they are highly recommended for anyone looking for a herbal massage done in traditional method. Other attractions in close vicinity to the temple include the Erawan Shrine, Lumpini Park, Grand Palace and the National Museum.
After visiting the spiritually enticing temple, one can select Bangkok President Park, one of the best among serviced apartments Bangkok. Staying at a Bangkok apartment on Sukhumvit with swift and easy access to the capital’s many attractions would be an ideal choice.