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Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha)

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Image of the Reclining Buddha

Regarded as one of the oldest wats in Bangkok, Wat Pho (official name is Wat Phra Chetuphon Vimolmangklararm Rajwaramahaviharn) houses the famous image of the reclining Buddha and is said to be the birthplace of Thai massage. This place is a must-see for tourists.

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Just outside the building where the reclining Buddha can be found
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Restoring the column details

Located adjacent to the Grand Palace, Wat Pho complex is divided into two compounds. The north compound is where the structure containing the reclining Buddha is found. There is also a garden just outside the building that contains a bodhi tree which was believed to be the same type of tree where Buddha sat under as he awaited enlightenment. Also in the north compound is the medical school and massage center. On the other hand, the south compound, also called Tukgawee, houses a residence and a school for monks. Scattered all over the temple complex are chedis, some of which house the ashes of the royal family. 

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Building where the reclining Buddha is housed
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Chedis at the back
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The wall/entrance separating the two compounds

The most popular feature of the complex is the image of the reclining Buddha, a 46-meter long image, with a maximum height of 15 meters at the head and with feet measuring 3 meters high by 5 meters wide. The feet are intricately  inlaid with Buddhist symbols made from mother-of-pearl.  Along the interior sides of the building, 108 bronze bowls are lined up where people can drop coins in the belief that doing so will bring them good fortune. In getting inside the building housing the image, you have to remove your footwear and place it in a shoe bag provided outside the building.

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Remove your footwear before entering
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Tourists flock the image to take photos
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Details in mother of pearl
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Bronze bowls
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Just before the exit

Since the the temple is a sacred place, visitors must dress appropriately. Entrance fee to the temple is now 100 baht, inclusive of bottled water. The temple, as well as the massage center, are open from 8AM to 5PM daily. 

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Souvenir items

To get to the temple, you may ride a taxi for about 100 baht under normal traffic conditions. If you wish to take a bus, you make take nonairconditioned buses with numbers 1, 3, 6, 9, 12, 25, 32, 43, 44, 47, 48, 51, 53, 82, 103, or air-conditioned buses with numbers 1, 6, 7, 8, 12, 44. If you want more adventure, you may take the Chao Phraya Express boat. If you choose this option, you may get off at Tha Chang pier, Tha Tien pier or Pak Klong Talad Pier, then walk through the Thai Wang Road entrance.You will even get a glimpse of Wat Arun located on the other side of the river. 

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You may take the route via Chao Phraya in going to Wat Pho
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Wat Arun on the other side
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Sweaty me!


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