Whether you are travelling Bangkok as a stopover, for a holiday or even on a business trip, it is impossible to ignore the culture and artistic vibe that the city has to offer. From the food and clothes markets, to the endless perfected sculptures and fine-detailed architect down every road to the golden glistening temples where Monks and Buddahs go to pray and meditate.
The endless amounts of temples make up a huge part of Bangkok, with the well known Grand Palace making the heart of the city. If you are visiting anywhere in Thailand i’d advise definately going to see at least one temple. Whilst Mum and I were in Bangkok, we took a trip to Wat Pho, or as it’s otherwise known, the temple of the reclining buddah.
Until you get to Wat Pho yourself, it is hard to imagine the beauty that stands within it’s walls. After paying 100 baht to enter, we stepped through the barriers to bask in a golden ambience. The white, gold, and bright colours came together to build 71 Phra Chedi Rai, 5 metre relics which hold the ashes of the royals.
The reclining Buddha is one of the largest Buddha statues in Thailand, standing (or laying), at 15m tall and 46m long it truly is a spectacular sight. The Buddha is laying on it’s side resting one arm under it’s head. This represents a sleeping lion. The reclining Buddha matches the rest of Wat Pho with it’s golden colouring and fine detail. Around the edge of the room are 108 bowls where visitors may drop in coins to help the Monks maintain Wat Pho and to symbolise bringing good fortune.
Wat Pho is spread over a huge plot of land, meaning we needed a good few hours to see everything and even then there was still more to see. We took the time we had available to wander around admiring the ancient architect and relics that stood before us. As Wat Pho is a sacred temple, as is every other temple in Thailand, is it mandatory to wear long trousers and have your shoulders covered. There are plenty of stalls selling traditional Harem pants outside the walls of Wat Pho, however i’d advise buying some before you visit as the prices outside the temple are more expensive (still cheap). I had a vest on as we were not planning to visit the temple that day, and just wrapped a sarong around my shoulders.
The temples are open most of the day to the public, if you are unsure there will be staff available to advise you of the opening hours. Tuk tuk drivers will advise you the temple is closed to get you to spend money elsewhere, read about how this happened to me in my blog post ‘the scams really do happen, I should know…’.
And best of all, when you are finished admiring the beautiful scenery inside Wat Pho or any other temple you visit, you can then exit to the aroma of yummy Thai food just waiting to be bought!