A sightseeing tour in Bangkok is never complete without a visit to a wat, a Thai temple. Bangkok nestles numerous wats where Wat Pho comes among its most famous three temples. Known as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, Wat Pho is acclaimed as one of the oldest and largest temples in Bangkok.
Wat Pho is referred to by many names including Wat Phra Chetuphon, while its formal name goes as Wat Phra Chetuphon Vimolmangklararm Rajwaramahaviharn. After Bangkok was founded as the new capital, Wat Pho was built on a site where an old temple stood. The construction work began in 1788. Wat Pho was expanded and revamped during the times of King Rama III followed by another restoration in 1982.
The most famous attraction at Wat Pho in Bangkok is its magnificent reclining Buddha statue. This Buddha image spans 46 metres in length and 15 metres in height while it is entirely gold plated. This statue’s eyes and soles of the feet are embedded with mother of pearl. The three metre long soles are exquisitely decorated, displaying 108 sacred characteristic symbols of the Lord Buddha. This reclining Buddha statue is also one of the largest Buddha images in Thailand.
Wat Pho is well known for housing more than 1000 Buddha images, where some of them even date back to the early capitals of Thailand, Sukothai and Ayutthaya. In the temple premises you will come across striking artistry crowning the entranceways, roofs and gables. You will also come across imposing stone sculptures dotting the compound. The belfry of the temple itself is a work of wonder, teeming with enthralling relief motifs.
The more you explore Wat Pho the more you will be inspired and captivated. You will be mesmerized by the skyline weaved by the numerous chedis, tapering structures, of various sizes. What’s more each chedi is immersed in elaborately ornate floral designs. Inside the temple hall you can observe over 300 bronze Buddha statues. And just outside the hall are marble plates relating part of the legendary Ramakien, the Thai national epic based on the renowned Indian Ramayana.
Even before the temple was built, this area was famous for Thai medicines and traditional massage. In the mid 20th century, a Thai medical school was built next to the temple to promote traditional healing methods. You will discover this Thai massage school towards the north of the temple, while there is a monastery resting towards the south.
Wat Pho is nestled in the Rattanakosin District of Bangkok, right next to the Grand Palace, the 18th century palatial complex. You can visit Wat Pho conveniently from one of the Sukhumvit apartments. Spend your holiday at one of the serviced apartments Bangkok has on offer and sample a comfortable stay at Grand President Bangkok in Sukhumvit. Enjoy your holiday at this elegant hotel while living in one of the most happening neighbourhoods, surrounded by best Bangkok shopping malls. Even the business and entertainment districts can be reached within minutes from here.