Why Wat Pho is one of Bangkok’s top sights

The Reclining Buddha is a highlight here, but there are lots of other things to see at one of Bangkok’s best temples.

Written by Michael Turtle

Michael Turtle is the founder of Time Travel Turtle. A journalist for more than 20 years, he's been travelling the world since 2011.

Michael Turtle is the founder of Time Travel Turtle and has been travelling full time for a decade.

Updated: February 23, 2024

Visiting Wat Pho in Bangkok

A sprawling complex with plenty of things to see, Wat Pho isn't just one of Bangkok's best temples, it's one of the city's top sights.

The temple has a rich history and is full of riches, including the very impressive 46-metre-long Reclining Buddha - which alone is worth visiting Wat Pho for.

  • The best things to see at Wat Pho
  • A brief history of Wat Pho
  • Some practical tips for visiting Wat Pho
  • How to get a Thai massage at Wat Pho

There are more than 400 temples in Bangkok – plenty to choose from – but few have the treasures that Wat Pho holds within its storied walls.

As one of the largest and oldest temples in Bangkok, built by the founder of the city, it’s been a bastion of the Buddhist faith as the modern metropolis has grown around it. For any visitor to Bangkok, it should be high on the list of things to do.

As one of Bangkok’s best temples , it can get busy. Yet the site is so large, with so many things to see in Wat Pho, that there are times you can even escape from the crowds.

There are moments when I feel like I’m exploring it for myself, lost in a maze of colourful tiles and statues of Buddha (there are more than a thousand!), wandering into its many hidden nooks and crannies.

Amongst the stupas, I’m able to breathe out, relax, and take in the magnificence of this important spiritual retreat – and what it says about the history of Bangkok.

What it says is that the traditions of Bangkok, and Thailand more generally, are still strong. Wat Pho is at the heart of the country’s royal district and the centre of Thailand’s faith. Both are extremely important – some would say just as much as they have always been. And this is where they intersect with the city’s heritage.

For visitors staying in districts like Silom and Sukhumvit, it’s the cacophony of scooters, the nightlife, the shopping malls that may define their impression of Bangkok. But here at Wat Pho, you see the other side.

Why is Wat Pho important?

Historically, Wat Pho is extremely important as the main temple of King Rama I, who rebuilt it over the remains of an old temple after he founded Bangkok in 1782. It’s one of the oldest and largest temples in Bangkok, home to the largest collection of Buddha images in Thailand, including the magnificent golden Reclining Buddha statue.

Where is the Reclining Buddha in Bangkok?

The Reclining Buddha, 46 metres long, is one of the highlights of Wat Pho. It’s housed within the temple complex in its own building, called Viharn Phranorn, that is decorated with murals inside.

Can you visit Wat Pho?

Yes, you can visit Wat Pho, and almost all of the temple complex is accessible to the public. Wat Pho is open every day from 08:00 to 18:30 and entry costs 200THB. You need to be dressed appropriately when you visit.

Although it is a working temple, it is overrun with tourists to the point where I can’t imagine locals finding much solitude.

“Dear Buddha, I would really like some guidance on…” Click! “…anyway, as I was saying, things at home have been a bit…” OMG, look at that massive statue of the sitting down guy “…oh, nevermind, I’ll just go to my therapist”.

Things to see at Wat Pho

The temple complex is expansive and takes at least an hour to explore properly. The various structures hold artefacts and give the faithful opportunities to express their devotion.

The highlight of Wat Pho is the gold reclining Buddha – 43 metres long and one of the largest in the world.

It takes a whole building to hold it, resting in a peaceful pose. The feet of the Buddha have a whole lot of images on the soles inlaid with mother-of-pearl.

Along the side of the Buddha are 108 metal bowls which people can walk alongside and drop 108 coins into. (Don’t worry – you can buy all the coins you need for about 20 baht, about 60 cents.)

You’ll learn a lot more about the temple complex with a guide, and I’d recommend this guided tour of Wat Pho that also includes the Grand Palace and Wat Arun.

The history of Wat Pho

The story of Wat Pho is older than that of Bangkok itself. Because, even before the city existed, there was a temple on this site. But by the time King Rama I founded Bangkok in 1782, it was basically in ruins. Because it was right next to his royal palace, though, he decided to rebuild it, and it became the main temple of the king.

It was a huge project for the time, and a large part of it was about cementing Bangkok as the capital of the new kingdom. One of the ways that was done was by moving ancient Buddha statues here from the capitals of the previous kingdoms in Sukhothai and Ayutthaya . (They still make up some of the huge collection of Buddha images here today.)

In the decades after that, Wat Pho continued to be an extremely important royal temple because of its proximity to the Grand Palace . Successive kings added their own marks, expanding and renovating different parts, especially King Rama III during the first half of the 19th century.

King Rama IV added a new stupa and made some minor changes in the second half of the 19th century, but since then there have been no major changes, although regular restoration work has taken place. The most recent large-scale restoration was in 1982.

Even when I visit, though, you can see that it’s a constant job to maintain Wat Pho and protect its heritage. I even spot a woman injecting a mural with something in one of the buildings (performance-enhancing, perhaps?).

The upshot of all of this is that, although Wat Pho certainly feels traditional, it is also very clean and well-maintained. Even with the throngs of visitors passing through, this part of Bangkok’s heritage is being looked after carefully.

Visiting Wat Pho

Bangkok has so much to offer – from the shopping, to the nightlife, to the food. But I think it’s also really important to explore a city’s heritage and this is one of the best ways to do it. Wat Pho is also conveniently right next to the Grand Palace, so it’s easy to combine the two.

The temple complex can get quite busy, so I would recommend trying to come first thing in the morning when it opens, or come later in the afternoon. Not only will you avoid the tour groups, it will be cooler during the summer months.

As a royal temple, you need to be appropriately dressed to visit. That means no singlets and no shorts (although, in practice, they’re not always as strict here as they are at the Grand Palace). I suggest carrying a pair of trousers in your backpack. Or you can ‘rent’ clothing at the entrance.

A visit to Wat Pho will take about an hour, although you may find you spend longer if you take some time to sit and enjoy the space, or if you choose to get a massage (more on that shortly). There’s quite a bit to see, so there’s no point rushing.

Where is Wat Pho?

Wat Pho is directly south of the Grand Palace, in the heart of the official Phra Nakhon district on Rattanakosin Island. It is very close to the eastern bank of the Chao Phraya River. You can see it on a map here .

How do you get to Wat Pho?

As with much of Bangkok, you may find a taxi or tuk tuk is the easiest way to get to Wat Pho. Just be careful catching one at the end of your visit – the ones that hang around the entrance are often waiting to scam tourists (so walk to the main road and hail one). For public transport, the Sanam Chai MRT station is ten minutes’ walk away, and is a good way to get here. Or you can catch one of the boats like the Chao Phraya Express along the river, getting off at Tah Tian.

When is Wat Pho open?

Wat Pho is open every day from 08:00 – 18:30. I would recommend visiting just after opening time or later in the afternoon to avoid both the heat and the crowds.

How much does it cost to visit Wat Pho?

The entrance fee for Wat Pho is 200THB (US$5.55). There is no concession price but children under the height of 120cm get free entry.

More information

For more information, you can visit the temple’s official website .

Because Wat Pho is right next door, it makes sense to also visit the Grand Palace , even though it might start to seem like a lot of the same kind of architecture by the end.

I think you’ll actually get more out of visiting the two sights if you do it as a tour, because the guide will be able to weave the story of how they fit together. If you’re interested, there’s this excellent private tour that also includes Wat Arun.

Or there are these other good tours, offering slightly different things, that include guided visits to Wat Pho:

Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot of information at the temple complex about what you’re actually looking at, so at the very least I would suggest doing a bit more research before visiting Wat Pho.

Thai massage at Wat Pho

Forget the massage parlours you’ll see on the streets of modern Bangkok. Wat Pho has had a school for massage here at the temple since 1955 and is one of the most important traditional medicine centres in Thailand.

While it is possible to do classes and courses here, they can go for weeks, so are impractical for visitors. But you can make the most of the professional therapists and get a massage yourself – which is a much more enjoyable option, right?

The pavilions at the eastern end of the complex are where you’ll find the massage school and it’s open from 08:00 – 17:00. The costs are:

  • Thai massage for 30 minutes: 260 THB (US$7.25)
  • Thai massage for 1 hour: 420 THB (US$11.70)
  • Foot massage for 30 minutes: 280 THB (US$7.80)
  • Foot massage for 1 hour: 420 THB (US$11.70)

It may seem strange to come to a temple and end up laying on a mattress and getting your muscles kneaded, but this is no ordinary massage experience.

Although it’s more expensive than you’ll find out on the streets, this is a special opportunity to get a traditional massage from therapists trained in a temple, something that’s been studied for decades and is an important part of Thailand’s culture, just like Wat Pho itself.


I’ve got a whole story with my thoughts on where to stay in Bangkok . But the short answer is there are two areas I would recommend for most travellers, and the first is Silom.

If you’re looking for a fun backpacker option, then I would suggest HQ Hostel Silom .

There are a few budget options, but I would recommend looking at Silom Serene .

A cool funky hotel in Silom is the W Bangkok .

wat pho temple tour

And for the ultimate luxury, I would recommend going across the river to the beautiful Peninsula Bangkok .


The other main area for accommodation in Bangkok is around Sukhumvit.

There’s no better party hostel in Bangkok than the Slumber Party Bangkok in Sukhumvit.

A good cheap and comfortable hotel that I would suggest is the 41 Suite Bangkok .

For a very cool boutique hotel, I think the Bangkok Publishing Residence is awesome.

And although there are quite a few good luxury hotels, I think the best is the Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit .

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14 thoughts on “Why Wat Pho is one of Bangkok’s top sights”

Thanks, Mark.

I hope the locals have not driven away by the huge amount of tourists. Be a shame if that was the case

There are plenty of temples for them in Bangkok, don’t you worry about that! But I’m sure lots of locals would avoid it because of the tourist crowds.

Ah, this is the one we did not yet go to! “…one of the most important” – now there’s no way out of that, is there? Your writing seems to have changed a bit since you’ve been to Bangkok – sudden outbursts of unexpected humor catch me off-guard (and I’m not even going to mention any ejaculation-allegories) and make me wonder what Lance is gonna say to these latest accusations. Probably not much. What’s next, Michael? I’m intrigued!

Well, maybe it’s not that important then… I’m sure you didn’t miss out on anything, really… ahem 🙂 And thank you for noticing the writing. I wouldn’t say it’s a change… just a bit more variety. I don’t want you getting bored, Vera!

Haha! Loved the pun in this! Jokes aside, the temple is beautiful and I’d love to see it one day. It’d be a shame if the locals have been driven away. I wonder if there are certain hours the temple is closed to visitors so that locals can worship in peace?

Glad you liked the joke. I have to amuse myself sometimes 🙂 And good idea about certain hours just for worshippers… perhaps they do that?

Always nice to revisit Wat Pho. We were back there last summer to shoot a commercial and it was so much fun. We were reenacting our first trip to Thailand that changed our lives and Wat Pho was one of the of the first places we visited way back in 2000. It holds a bit of a special place in our hearts. Great shots!

Oh, fantastic! it’s beautiful enough on its own but I love how it’s so special for you. I remember seeing your commercial but hadn’t put two and two together until you reminded me just now. So glad you got to go back there!

Wat Pho and Wat Arun are actually my favorite temple in Bangkok. :))

Excellent, another vote for me! 🙂

We went here during Songkran, oh it was flooded with locals and tourists!! I thought an hour was enough to explore here, I was wrong. I thought it was only the Reclining Buddha that’s there to see, I was wrong. Loved the line of buddhas there with the black one, did you see it? Definitely spent a lot of time just checking out the stupas!

There’s so much more than just the reclining Buddha. That doesn’t take too long to see and then you spend much more time going through all the other areas. It was brave of you to do it during Songkran! That sounds packed!

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Wat Pho Bangkok: The Temple of the Reclining Buddha

Wat Pho Bangkok: The Temple Of The Reclining Buddha

One of the most famous temples in Bangkok is Wat Pho (Thai วัดโพธิ์) . It is one of the city’s oldest and most important temples and is an absolute treasure in Thai culture.

Wat Pho is located in the heart of the Old City and is an absolute must for anyone who wants to get to know Bangkok better.

The complex is also called the “Temple of the Reclining Buddha.” This is due to one of the most precious treasures that Wat Pho Bangkok houses: one of the largest Buddha statues in the world.

Getting there: By MRT (Blue Line) to Sam Yot (about 20 minutes walk), by ferry to Tha Tien Pier, or by cab.

Opening hours: Daily from 08:30 AM to 03:30 PM.

Admission: 100 baht for adults (as of 2023).

Dress code: Knees and shoulders covered

Wat Pho Bangkok

Table of Contents

Architectural highlights and the reclining Buddha in Wat Pho

Wat Pho Bangkok is a labyrinth of ornate decorations, golden statues, and intricately decorated shrines.

Throughout the temple complex, you can admire countless Buddha statues depicted in various poses.

The largest of them is the reclining Buddha, one of the world’s most giant and most impressive reclining Buddha statues.

The gigantic statue is 46 meters long and 15 meters high. She exudes a fascinating aura of serenity and majesty.

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Wat Pho Bangkok is also known for its chedis (stupas).

These are Buddhist buildings in various forms, symbolizing the Buddha and his teaching, the Dharma.

The stupas are embellished with colorful porcelain tiles, giving the temple a unique look.

They also house the ashes of Thai kings and some royal family members.

Outside the temple complex, you can drift through many tranquil courtyards and admire the blooming lily ponds.

Tip: Book a guided tour of the city’s most important temples to learn more about the history of Bangkok.

Wat Pho Bangkok - Reclining Buddha

The turbulent history of Wat Pho Bangkok

Wat Pho Bangkok is also a real Eldorado for history lovers, as its history dates back to the 16th century.

The temple was founded during the reign of King Phetracha in 1688 and initially served as a monastery and training center for monks.

Accordingly, the temple was a center of education and knowledge. Therefore, to this day it houses valuable scrolls and inscriptions from times long past.

During the reign of King Rama I, Wat Pho was extensively expanded and renovated in the late 18th century.

King Rama I was a great devotee of Buddhism and saw Wat Pho as a place of education and knowledge.

Wat Pho Bangkok

Treat yourself to an authentic Thai massage on-site

A special highlight at Wat Pho Bangkok is the in-house massage school. Here, future massage therapists are trained in the fine art of traditional Thai massage.

The students then put their newly learned skills directly into practice on-site.

So, if you like, you can enjoy a Thai massage at Wat Pho at the highest technical level – an absolutely healing experience that relaxes and revitalizes body and mind.

Wat Pho Bangkok

Wat Pho Bangkok is an important center of Buddhism

However, Wat Pho is much more than “just” a spiritually significant place or sight. It is also one of the centers of Buddhism in Bangkok.

Because of its historical significance, countless worshippers flock to the temple daily to pray, make offerings, and express their wishes.

The spiritual energy of the temple is pervasive, and even for non-Buddhists, a visit can be a spiritual and inspiring experience.

Tip: You can save time and money with a guided tour of the city’s main temples.

By the way, the Thai New Year is traditionally celebrated in a big way at Wat Pho Bangkok. As a place of enlightenment, the temple is an important place for celebrating the Songkran festival.

The colorful festival is celebrated yearly by thousands of people at Wat Pho.

They come from all over to pay respect to the Buddha statues and sprinkle water on each other as a sign of blessing and purification.

The monks at Wat Pho are very friendly and often willing to answer questions about Buddhism and Thai culture.

Make sure, however, that you treat them respectfully and do not interfere with them in performing their daily duties.

Wat Pho Bangkok

Dress code and rules of conduct in the temple complex

Wat Pho Bangkok is a place of worship and spirituality.

Tourists are also expected to behave with the same respect. Keep quiet and avoid talking and laughing loudly.

You should also wear appropriate clothing and cover your shoulders and knees.

If you are not dressed appropriately, you can borrow clothes on-site to cover up.

Wat Pho Bangkok

Our conclusion about Wat Pho Bangkok

Wat Pho is one of the most important and, at the same time, most beautiful temples in Bangkok.

Therefore, it belongs at the top of every Bangkok bucket list.

The fascinating Temple of the Reclining Buddha offers you deep insights into the fascinating world of Buddhism, and the beauty and tranquility of this spiritual place are absolutely unique.

The 200 baht entrance fee (as of 2023) is definitely well invested, and you can combine the temple visit with a sightseeing tour on the picturesque Chao Phraya River.

Wat Pho Bangkok

The best tours for your visit to Wat Pho

1. City Highlights and Temple Walking Tour

Visit the main sights of Bangkok with tickets to the Grand Palace, Emerald Buddha Temple, Wat Pho, and Wat Arun with a local guide.

The tour will first take you to the Grand Palace, which was once the home of the kings of Siam and now houses the Temple of the Emerald Buddha.

Continue to Wat Pho with the famous reclining Buddha. The last stop is Wat Arun – the beautiful Temple of Dawn.

2. Grand Palace, Wat Pho, and Wat Arun private tour

As part of this private tour , you will be picked up and returned from your hotel comfortably – your guide will drive you around Bangkok in a comfortable car.

Visit the Grand Palace, Tha Thien Market, Wat Pho, and Wat Arun. You can also take a boat trip on the Chao Phraya if you like.

The best thing is that here you can put together all the elements yourself and visit the sights that interest you the most.

3. Grand Palace & Wat Pho half-day private tour

You will visit the Grand Palace with a local guide during this half-day tour . Here, you can learn everything you need about this impressive facility.

Then, we will go to the temple of the reclining Buddha. Take a journey back in time with your guide, and let the spirituality of the sacred place wash over you.

On the way back, we will pass Tha Thien Market, a cultural food market with great traditional products.

Frequently Asked Questions about Wat Pho in Bangkok

Here, we answer some frequently asked questions about Wat Pho in Bangkok.

You can find an overview of all important Bangkok sights here.

Where is Wat Pho located in Bangkok?

Wat Pho is located in the heart of Bangkok’s Old City, near the Grand Palace and the temple of Wat Arun.

What is the significance of Wat Pho in Thai culture?

Wat Pho Bangkok is one of the most important temples in Thailand and plays an important role in Buddhist culture. It is a place of worship, education, and healing.

How tall is the reclining Buddha in Wat Pho?

The reclining Buddha statue in Wat Pho is over 46 meters long and 15 meters high. It is one of the largest and most impressive Buddha statues in the world.

Is there a dress code for visiting Wat Pho?

Yes, when visiting Wat Pho, shoulders and knees should be covered to respect the temple as a place of worship.

How much is the entrance fee to Wat Pho?

The entrance fee for foreign visitors is 100 baht (as of 2023). Admission is free for locals.

Is there any way to book a traditional Thai massage at Wat Pho?

Yes, Wat Pho is famous for its traditional Thai massage school. Visitors here can receive a first-class massage from massage therapists in training.

What are the opening hours of Wat Pho?

Wat Pho is open to visitors daily from 8:00 am to 6:30 pm.

What is the Songkran Festival at Wat Pho?

The Songkran Festival, the Thai New Year, is celebrated in a big way at Wat Pho. It is a feast of prayer, showing respect, and sprinkling each other with water as a sign of blessing and purification.

Wat Pho Bangkok - Reclining Buddha

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Bangkok Temples Tour, Including Reclining Buddha at Wat Pho

wat pho temple tour

  • Discover Thailand’s spiritual traditions by visiting widely varied temples
  • See places where local people come to worship
  • Stay cool by exploring Bangkok in a climate-controlled vehicle
  • Convenient pickup and drop-off at selected hotels
  • See itinerary
  • Air-conditioned vehicle
  • Hotel pickup (selected hotels only)
  • Local guide
  • Entry/Admission - Wat Benchamabophit (The Marble Temple)
  • Entry/Admission - Wat Phra Chetuphon
  • Entry/Admission - Temple of the Golden Buddha (Wat Traimit)
  • Food and drinks
  • Hotel drop-off
  • Please be aware that the pick-up for this tour is included and covers all the hotel located in the following areas: (Silom Road, Thai Cultural Centre, Phaya Thai, Huai Khang, Bang Rak, Sathorn, Surawong Road, Rajdamri Road, Ram Buttri Chana Songkhram, Luangsuan Road, Khaosan Road) For hotel pick-ups outside of this area, an additional charge may be applied or a closer meeting point pick-up may be suggested to you by our Team upon reception of your booking.
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Stroller accessible
  • Infants must sit on laps
  • Infant seats available
  • Transportation is wheelchair accessible
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • You must provide your hotel details at time of booking, failure to do so may result in cancellation
  • Dress standards are conservative throughout Asia, especially outside major cities. To respect this and for your own comfort, we strongly recommend modest clothing, especially when visiting temples. This means clothing that covers your shoulders and knees. Loose, lightweight, long clothing is both respectful and cool in the predominantly hot Asian climate.
  • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
  • Important note: "At least 2 people are required for this activity to take place. Single traveler may book this product, but is subject to availability and cancellation if the minimum number of people is not met on the activity day."
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 20 travelers
  • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
  • Wat Benchamabophit (The Marble Temple)
  • Wat Phra Chetuphon
  • Temple of the Golden Buddha (Wat Traimit)

Similar experiences

wat pho temple tour

  • You'll get picked up See departure details
  • 1 Wat Benchamabophit (The Marble Temple) Stop: 30 minutes - Admission included See details
  • 2 Wat Phra Chetuphon Stop: 30 minutes - Admission included See details
  • 3 Temple of the Golden Buddha (Wat Traimit) Stop: 30 minutes - Admission included See details
  • You'll return to the starting point

wat pho temple tour

  • Elizabeth H 0 contributions 5.0 of 5 bubbles Great tour We had a great guide! The bus was comfortable and the food on the boat was tasty. The boat could have stood for stronger AC, but we’re in a heat wave so it’s probably fine normally. Read more Written April 7, 2024
  • 1Nadia1K 0 contributions 5.0 of 5 bubbles Excellent tour This was a wonderful tour with several stops that were all insta worthy. The tour guide also takes your pictures if you’re travelling alone or even if you’re in a group. I recommend this tour. Definitely worth what we paid for. Read more Written March 30, 2024
  • A2089LKroseo 0 contributions 5.0 of 5 bubbles Take the tour! Amazing tour! Donna was an excellent guide. Loved it. She gave us personal and historical contexts and the cruise back was a trip with great food. Read more Written March 29, 2024
  • COWanderers 0 contributions 5.0 of 5 bubbles A great tour of Ayutthaya A well managed tour of a few of the Ayutthaya temples with a great history brought by our tour guide. The coach rides were very comfortable and we had a wonderful boat ride back into Bangkok while sitting on the front deck. Lunch was a tasty buffet of Thai food. Read more Written March 27, 2024
  • christineTPItravels 0 contributions 1.0 of 5 bubbles Don't book this tour. It's not what it says. We had booked several tours through Viator prior to arrival in Asia. This was NOT worth what we paid. After receiving several emails about our tour, I thought it would be great. Nothing on WhatsApp the day of tour. We found our guide with a paper and my name on it. We had a large van and a driver, as well as a guide. We were unprepared for this. The drive from cruise port to the Grand Palace took 3 hours. The driver spent most of the time either on his phone or chatting up with the driver in their own language. And, they were loud! The driver would speed up and slow down, not a pleasant drive. We arrived at the Grand Palace (well, across the road and down a bit from the actual palace) Apparently, there was some type of ceremony that caused traffic to back up. When nearing the gate, the guide told my husband, who was wearing shorts, he would need to buy pants. He admitted it was his fault for not advising on this at the cruise terminal, where we met. He laughed. Also, he was a challenge to understand. He did know the Grand Palace, though. He was wanting to take lots of pictures of my husband and I and was angry when we kept telling him no. We were at the Palace for less than an hour. The guide asked about shopping and we said we were not looking for high end or junk. We are more impulse buyers than shoppers. We were looking forward to the market we had requested in the selection process. The guide decided we did not have enough time to go to the market (it was about noon and our onboard was 5:30PM) Instead, as he was busy on his phone, sending kissy face emojis, and speaking with the driver, they decided to take up to what was clearly a shop for tourists. Jewelry and junk. We browsed and when we went to find the guide, he was have a drink and chatting up a lady at the counter. All the way to Bangkok, we had no real shopping experience and no opportunity to have a Thai lunch. The guide insisted we head back. Again on the return, the driver and guide were talking and laughing. At one point, the guide explained to us that they get paid by the day not the hour. So, at the end of an 8 hour day, with allotment for lunch included in the 8 hours, they would not be paid extra. I guess the driver and the guide wanted to be done before the 8 hours. And, they were. The driver was much speedier on the return trip and we were back on board before 3PM. Guess we did have time to shop. This was 100% the worst tour and not worth even half what we paid. I will not recommend to anyone, not my clients and not to other travels. Read more Written March 25, 2024
  • fionan912 0 contributions 5.0 of 5 bubbles Great show with nice dinner The food was amazing, and they will refill the platter whenever needed. It was great to learn about Thai traditional dance and music. Read more Written March 24, 2024
  • ChristopherC898 0 contributions 5.0 of 5 bubbles A good insight into northern Thailand history and culture. Nok, our guide was very knowledgeable and enthusiastic. The experiences on this tour were very interesting and gave us a good insight into the history and cultures of northern Thailand. A really interesting day. Read more Written March 18, 2024
  • Von14 0 contributions 4.0 of 5 bubbles Interesting day viewing temple ruins We were picked up from our hotel in an air-conditioned coach and drove about an hour with some commentary along the way. It was an interesting experience, but a very hot, humid day walking amongst the ruins. We visited a few other sights in the area before driving to the river where we boarded a boat which served a delicious buffet lunch and cruised back to Bangkok, viewing many interesting sights along the way. Read more Written March 16, 2024
  • A2377GHbrianr 0 contributions 5.0 of 5 bubbles Historical tour and boat trip. Well executed trip, with hotel pickup (a must). Tour guide First kept us informed and entertained. Great historical sites with time to explore. Nice buffet lunch and boatteip back to Bangkok. Read more Written March 16, 2024
  • DavenDeb222 0 contributions 5.0 of 5 bubbles Must see It was great to visit and we got to walk over the bridge, also went on a long boat ride which was a bit of fun, there is lots of food stalls and a market near by, when we were there around the 9th of march 2024 it was very hot and humid, so take or buy plenty of water Read more Written March 15, 2024
  • Rider269 0 contributions 5.0 of 5 bubbles Fabulous Temple This tour was fascinating from start to finish what an amazing place, we thoroughly enjoyed the tour, essential to have a personal guide as without you would miss the history. Read more Written March 6, 2024
  • Explorer45744662745 0 contributions 2.0 of 5 bubbles Avoid Tour East Thailand Day 1, Our guide was called TOM, on return from tour which TOM slept a large part of to buffet evening meal @ The imperial Phitsanulok food cold no heat under containers, room below standard cracked sink bath area very badly stained , breakfast also cold no heat under food containers. Day 2, tour around National park our guide TOM spent the entire time speaking to a Thai couple so we were unaware of the history of what we were seeing and were never told on completion. TOM slept in between stops. Arrived at Teak Gardens hotel for evening meal to find that the hotel only offers breakfast so we were taken to a local restaurant at 19.50pm to be told we only had a few minutes to order as they were closing @20.00pm. Day 3 guide TOM complained toothache visited pharmacy had tour day . TOM slept for long periods of the journey Day 4 had a pleasant tour day through Chang Rai & Chang Mai, again TOM slept for most of this journey, arrived back to hotel being taken out to traditional kantoke food and tribal dance evening, we left to be followed out by 3 members of staff accusing us of not paying the bill our guide TOM was nowhere to be seen eventually he appeared and explained it was prepaid, we were embarrassed and humiliated in front of other guests in attendance. Day 5 we were dropped off at elephant nature reserve told to go in with a security guard on arrival we were again told to queue and pay and again TOM was no where to be seen so again we had to go outside to try and find him to explain that it was all paid for. We are appalled at the way we have been treated . We have complained to the TOUR EAST COMPANY they have accused us of deliberately trying to leave without paying for drinks, that we were being fussy about the food and that they provided us with free drinks as goodwill this never happened, and that they are not responsible for the tour guide sleeping on the last tour day due to toothache. TOM slept for most of our 1000km trip so we missed out on many sights along the way. On our last tour day 5 he did not even complete the tour he ended it after lunch so we missed the afternoon section of the elephant’s nature reserve As a form of compensation they insulted us by sending a bottle of wine complimentary to our hotel in Phuket. I STRONGLY advise against using this company if you are considering a tour in Thailand, they are both disrespectful and unprofessional . Read more Written February 26, 2024
  • Frances M 0 contributions 5.0 of 5 bubbles Outstanding Ms Luck and Mr Lam the driver, gave us an awesome experience. Nothing was too much trouble in this personal trip. Luck’s knowledge was superb and Mr Lams driving was excellent. Thank you for our memorable experience. Read more Written February 17, 2024
  • 256deepab 0 contributions 4.0 of 5 bubbles Absolutely worth doing! Very interesting place to visit, we had a good guide who was very helpful and made the whole trip informative and enjoyable ! So much history here! The cruise and lunch was very good! Read more Written February 16, 2024
  • iantobedfordUK 0 contributions 5.0 of 5 bubbles Very informative half day tour A very informative tour. Included 3 temples and a good deal of background information on the temples and buddism. We learnt a great deal in half a day, and was well with doing. Read more Written February 10, 2024

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Wat Pho (Reclining Buddha temple)

Updated: December 23, 2022 by Michiel Bosch Location: Bangkok Type: Temple

Wat Pho was built by a king of Ayutthaya period and it was here before Bangkok was established as the capital.  The Grand Palace was later built next to it in the reign of King Rama I who also ordered a complete restoration of the temple in 1788.  

The temple underwent another major renovation in the reign of King Rama 3 who wanted to turn it into a learning centre for all.

Commonly known among locals as Wat Pho (Temple of the Bhodi Tree), the full name of this first class royal monastery is Wat Phra Chetuphon Vimon Mangkararam Ratchaworamahawihan, a name given by King Rama IV.  

The highlight here is the 46 meter long Reclining Buddha with intricate mother of pearl decorations on the soles of the feet. These symbols are reminders of actions that bring peace and happiness to one’s mind.  Also in the compound are many stupas including the famous four elegant pagodas known in Thai as “Phra Maha Chedi Si Ratchakan”. Each of them contains the ashes of the first four kings of the Chakri Dynasty.

Temples served as schools or training centres before formal education began in Thailand.  Wat Pho has been teaching traditional Thai medicine since the reign of King Rama III. The temple still has statues demonstrating exercise and meditation and stone inscriptions on various topics from medicine to literature. Its meditation centre and traditional Thai massage school are also internationally recognised. Thai massage classes and services are offered for a fee.

The Reclining Buddha at Wat Pho. Visit the reclining Buddha temple on our private Bangkok city tours.

Visit Wat Pho (Reclining Buddha temple) on a Bangkok tour…

BKK Tours can organize the following private tours for you:

  • Bangkok Highlights tour by local transport
  • Bangkok Highlights tour by minivan
  • Bangkok Explorer tour
  • Floating markets and Bangkok tour
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wat_Pho
  • https://www.tourismthailand.org/Attraction/wat-pho

About Michiel Bosch

Michiel Bosch and Photjaman 'Air' Reamsan founded BKK Tours in 2009. With the help of a carefully selected team of English speaking tour guides and professional drivers, they share their passion for Thailand by showing travellers the popular highlights and hidden gems. BKK Tours is a leading tour operator for private Bangkok tours and day trips, awarded with a Certificate of Excellence by TripAdvisor yearly since 2012, and received a Hall of Fame award which recognizes consistent excellent reviews from travellers.


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Wat Pho in Bangkok: The Ultimate Exploration Guide

Wat Pho in Bangkok

Wat Pho , a highlight in any Bangkok travel itinerary and also known as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, is a must-visit in the city. It’s one of the city’s oldest and biggest Buddhist temples .

We visited it right after the Grand Palace , which is just nearby. It was a great experience with lots of cool things to see.

In my guide, you’ll find the stunning photos we took and the top attractions of Wat Pho. I’ll also explain how to get there easily using BTS and MRT .

Keep reading to uncover the hidden gems and exciting experiences that Wat Pho offers! 😊

Wat Pho Overview

Must-see attractions, wat pho dress code, my suggestion, visitor information.

  • By BTS and Boat

Related Posts

Bangkok Wat Pho Overview

Wat Pho has always been a popular spot in Bangkok. It houses the giant reclining Buddha , which is one of the biggest Buddha sculptures in Thailand .

The temple is also filled with stupas, chedis, and all other historical statues .

And of course, there a lot of beautiful locations within the complex that are perfect photo backgrounds .

Along with that, it’s recognized as one of the Thailand’s first public education centres that focuses on religion, literature, and science.

However, it’s more famous as a hub for medicine and traditional massage.

Bangkok’s Wat Pho is definitely a great place to explore because of its exceptional features .

You’ll find plenty of spectacular Buddha statues, towering chedis, and more .

And to make your trip more memorable and convenient, I have listed down its 10 must-see spots .

So, let’s kick start with the first one, which is the reclining Buddha.

1. Giant Reclining Buddha Statue

Giant Reclining Buddha Statue at Wat Pho

Get ready to meet the main highlight of Wat Pho ―the giant reclining Buddha statue . This huge statue is clothed in gold and is 150 feet long .

And notably, the giant structure is a significant part of the country’s past . So, be sure to take a closer look at its brilliant shade and smooth structural design.

Reclining Buddha Feet with Auspicious Symbols

Aside from its size and color, one of the unique aspects of the statue is its design.

See the feet of the reclining Buddha and you’ll discover intricate traditional decorations called the laksanas. These illustrations are very important Buddhist symbols and characteristics.

There are over a hundred laksanas that correspond to the number of actions done by Buddha to acquire perfection.

2. Phra Ubosot

Phra Ubosot

Head to the holiest place in the temple, which is the Phra Ubosot . This sacred ordination hall is where Buddhist rituals and gatherings are celebrated.

Phra Buddha Theva Patimakorn Statue

As you enter the vast building, you will catch a glimpse of the Phra Buddha Theva Patimakorn .

This striking Buddha statue is one of the most relevant and refined statues inside. It’s because the base of the Buddha image houses some of the ashes of Rama I .

3. Phra Maha Chedi Si Rajakarn

Phra Maha Chedi Si Rajakarn built by Four King Rama

Gaze at Phra Maha Chedi Si Rajakarn and be amazed by its stunning four stupas .

Each of the pagodas stands at 42 meters, making it a great backdrop for your photos .

And if you look closely, you’ll appreciate the beautiful mosaic designs .

More so, these stupas were created to honour the earliest Chakri kings. One of these was built by King Rama I.

The other pagodas were made by Rama III and Rama IV respectively.

4. Phra Mondop

Phra Mondop

Drop by the Phra Mondop and unravel its mural paintings and giant figures . This scripture hall has its own library filled with Buddhist scriptures .

However, these historical files are off-limits to the public.

5. Phra Rabiang

Phra Rabiang Cloisters

Next in line is the Phra Rabiang , which consists of cloisters with different Buddha images from the Rama I period.

But before you enter the building, you’ll see some political nobleman statues guarding the area.

Seated Buddha Sculptures

As you walk around the place, you’ll come across these seated Buddha statues . Each of the figures is very significant in Wat Pho as it holds a fragment of the Siamese history.

Standing Buddha Statues

There are also standing Buddha sculptures , which are draped in golden colours.

Admire the statues that have different sizes. Some of these are full-grown while some are medium-sized.

6. Phra Prang

Phra Prang

Carry on with your exploration and catch the Khmer-style Phra Prang .

There are four Phra Prang around the temple complex, guarding the key points of the temple. Each tower also features incredible marble designs and gold leaf highlights .

7. Phra Chedi Rai

Phra Chedi Rai

At the gate of Phra Rabiang, you’ll witness some smaller chedis , which are also known as Phra Chedi Rai .

Most of these were created by Rama III , while some were built by Rama I .

8. Phra Buddha Lokanat

Phra Buddha Lokanat Temple

Another unique site in Wat Pho is the Phra Buddha Lokanat . You can find this at the eastern part of the temple complex.

Phra Buddha Lokanat Statue

Inside this building is the golden Buddha that dazzles in Sukhothai style . Because of its design, it’s called the Phra Buddha Lokanat.

9. Phra Buddha Chinnaraja

Phra Buddha Chinnaraja

At the south section of Wat Pho, there’s the Phra Buddha Chinnaraja .

Watch the seated golden Buddha surrounded by five disciple statues. This Buddha figure was brought by Rama I from Sukhothai.

10. Phra Buddha Chinnasri Muninat

Phra Buddha Chinnasri Muninat

And at the west part of the temple seats the Phra Buddha Chinnasri Muninat .

Spend your time appreciating the golden Buddha structure. Aside from this religious figure, the place also has its own small museum.

Wat Pho Dress Code

It’s important to know that Wat Pho is a religious complex and you should wear proper clothing during your visit to avoid violating the rules and to enter the temple easily.

Dress code for men:

  • Should wear long pants, short-sleeved or long-sleeved shirts
  • Can wear short pants as long as it covers the knees
  • Can wear whatever footwear, including shoes, sandals, and flip-flop
  • Should not wear sleeveless shirts
  • Should not wear clothing with disrespectful image or slogan

Dress code for women:

  • Should wear long skirts or long pants that extend at least to the knees
  • Should wear shirts or blouses with sleeve
  • Can wear long dresses as long as it covers the shoulders and the knees
  • Should not wear tank tops and sleeveless shirts
  • Should not wear short dresses
  • Should not wear see-through and torn clothing
  • Should not wear leggings or any tight-fitting pants

Long Pullover Pant and Sarong

If you are wearing short pants, don’t forget to take with you a pullover pant or a sarong to cover your legs.

This clothing can easily fit inside your bag, so you’ll just take it out and wear it once you arrive at Wat Pho.

You cannot rent a long pullover pant or sarong at the temple, but there’s a shop across the entrance selling these items.

Wat Pho Map

For easy navigation around the complex, you can save the above map into your smartphone. So, you’ll have a reference to the places inside the temple.

1. Allocate 2 hours for your Wat Pho tour

In general, you can complete the temple tour within an hour. But if you want to fully enjoy and take in all the scenic views, then spend 2 hours inside the temple grounds.

2. Be mindful of some tuk-tuk scammers

Outside the temple, there are some tuk-tuk scammers who will inform you that the temple is closed and unavailable for visitors.

Once they offer you cheaper tuk-tuk tours, step back because that’s certainly a scam. Be reminded that the temple is open every day.

3. Other Places to Go

wat pho temple tour

After exploring Wat Pho, I suggest that you visit Wat Arun. This is one of the popular temples in Bangkok for tourists. That’s why I included it my Bangkok itinerary during my visit to the city.

This temple is just located right across Wat Pho, making it a perfect destination after your trip. If you have time, read my article on Wat Arun temple in Bangkok to gain more details on what to do and see there.

wat pho temple tour

If you’re a history buff, you shouldn’t miss Ayutthaya. This is one of the most beautiful ruined cities in Thailand with a very rich history.

Within this place, you’ll discover ancient Buddha statues, historical structures and more.

I have written a detailed guide on Bangkok to Ayutthaya day trip here, which records the must-do things in the area.

So, if you want to plan your visit beforehand, take a look at my guide and more information about the place.

Opening Hours: 8:00 AM – 6:30 PM

Ticket Price: 200 Baht per person (Free entry for children under 120 centimeters)

Address: 2 Sanam Chai Rd, Phra Borom Maha Ratchawang, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200, Thailand

How to Get to Wat Pho in Bangkok

1. by bts and boat.

To go to Wat Pho, the first step is to take BTS Skytrain to Saphan Taksin Station and then leave the Exit 2 . After that, you just need to walk to Sathorn Pier . From there, catch the Chao Phraya Express Boat (single trip fare is 16 baht) to Tha Tien Pier . The temple is just a 3-minute walk from the pier.

For more details, simply refer to my detailed guide below.

Step 1 Going to Wat Arun

1. For the first step, take the Silom Line which will help you reach Saphan Taksin Station. From the station, head to the Exit 2 so you’ll find Sathorn Pier.

2. Once you arrive at the Exit 2 of Saphan Taksin BTS Station, take the stairs down.

3. From the stairs, walk straight for a minute or so, and then turn left. From there, you’ll see Sathorn Pier.

4. After turning left, head straight and you’ll find a ticketing booth.

Step 2 Going to Wat Arun

5. Just look for the booth with a “Chao Phraya Express Boat” or Orange Flag label. The one-way fare for the boat ticket is 16 Baht per person. Be it known that this is the fixed price regardless of what jetty you alight.

6. Once you have your ticket, get to the Chao Phraya Express Boat (Orange Flag) and wait for it to arrive at Tha Tien Pier. The travel time from Sathorn Pier to Tha Tien Pier is just around 15 minutes.

7. After taking off from the boat at Tha Tien Pier, head out of the pier and walk straight for about 3 minutes.

8. There you’ll find Wat Pho temple on the right side.

Chao Phraya Express Boat (Orange Flag): Monday to Friday: 6:00 AM – 6:10 PM Saturday: 7:30 AM – 5:00 PM Sunday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

*Departs every 15 to 30 minutes

Google Maps:

To give you a better view of the instructions, here’s a Google Map from the BTS Skytrain, then Chao Phraya Express Boat, and lastly, Wat Pho.

Saphan Taksin BTS Station to Wat Pho

The another option is you can take the Bangkok MRT to reach the Wat Pho temple. And, the nearest MRT Station to the temple is Sanam Chai Station, Exit 1 . It only takes less than 5 minutes’ walk to the temple from the MRT station, Exit 1.

If Sanam Chai MRT Station is your starting point, you can check the Google Maps below to know how to walk to the temple conveniently.

Sanam Chai MRT Station to Wat Pho

Alternative Option:

Since Wat Pho is located near Grand Palace and Wat Arun, all these attractions are often toured by visitors in one day.

And if you want to have the most comfortable trip to these three tourist spots, simply join this tour .

The tour is just the perfect option for those who are busy travellers who don’t have extra time planning for transportation and such.

Grand Palace Bangkok Guide

Grand Palace in Bangkok: Expert’s Guide to Exploration

Bangkok Itinerary

Bangkok Itinerary: The Best 5 Day Trip Guide for Reference

Best Things to Do in Bangkok

30 Top Things to Do in Bangkok You’ll Want to Go in 2024

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The Ultimate Guide to Wat Pho, Bangkok: Planning, Tips & Temple Etiquette

BY Pelago by Singapore Airlines


Your Journey to Wat Pho, Bangkok Begins Here

Wat Pho, also known as the Giant Buddha Temple, is one of Bangkok’s most iconic and revered landmarks.

With its massive golden Buddha statue, this temple offers a captivating glimpse into Thailand’s rich cultural heritage.

A tower-like spire with deities and intricate patterns pointing towards the sky at Wat Pho, Bangkok

Did you know that Wat Pho also is renowned as Thailand’s first public university, where traditional Thai massages were taught?

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know to plan a memorable visit to the biggest Buddha in Bangkok.

Unearthing the History of Wat Pho

Steeped in history dating back to the 16th century, Wat Pho emerged as a significant religious and cultural centre during the reign of King Rama I.

Commissioned as a restoration of an earlier temple (known as Wat Photharam), the site underwent several renovations over the centuries.

This Big Golden Buddha temple in Bangkok is renowned for its massive Reclining Buddha statue and for being the birthplace of traditional Thai massage.

With over 1,000 Buddha images adorning its grounds, the temple complex captures Thailand’s profound spirituality.

Must-Visits in Bangkok: Wat Pho and Wat Arun

A row of Thai Buddha statues at Wat Pho, Bangkok

In the heart of Bangkok, Wat Pho and Wat Arun, the Temple of Dawn, stand as two iconic landmarks that must be on every traveller’s list.

Wat Pho boasts the awe-inspiring Reclining Buddha, a golden masterpiece stretching 46 metres long and 15 metres high.

Meanwhile, Wat Arun, the Temple of Dawn, stands majestically on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River, adorned with colourful porcelain that glimmers in the sunlight.

Wat Pho Ticket Prices and Opening Hours

Whether you are an early riser or prefer to explore later in the day, Wat Pho welcomes visitors daily from 8am to 6:30pm, allowing ample time to immerse yourself in its timeless aura.

There is a modest entrance fee of 200 THB for Wat Pho Bangkok (for foreigners).

Getting to Wat Pho

  • To reach Wat Pho, taxis and tuk-tuks are readily available in Bangkok. However, be cautious about potential scams near the entrance while returning. It’s better to walk to the main road to hail a reliable one.
  • You can use public transport like the Sanam Chai MRT station, which is a short ten-minute walk away. Another option is to take a boat like the Chao Phraya Express along the river and get off at Tah Tian for easy access to Wat Pho.

Address: 2 Sanam Chai Rd, Phra Borom Maha Ratchawang, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200, Thailand ( map )

Things To Do at Wat Pho

1. witness the big buddha.

wat pho temple tour

The Reclining Buddha at Wat Pho in Bangkok is an awe-inspiring sight to behold.

Measuring an impressive 46 metres long and covered in gold leaf, it is one of the biggest Buddha statues in Thailand.

This iconic image symbolises the Buddha’s entry into Nirvana and attracts thousands of visitors seeking its serene presence and spiritual significance.

2. Marvel at the Giant Guardian Statues

View this post on Instagram A post shared by ยูอินะ อูชิโนะ / ยี่หวา (@___yl_yuina)

As you approach the temple’s entrance, be greeted by the awe-inspiring giant guardian statues, known as Yaksha and Yakshi.

These mythical figures stand as sentinels, protecting the sacred space and guiding visitors towards inner reflection.

3. Pay Homage at the Four Chapels

Within Wat Pho, four beautifully adorned chapels are dedicated to various aspects of Buddha’s teachings.

Each chapel houses revered Buddha images and serves as a place of devotion and contemplation for worshippers.

4. Discover the Courtyards and Prangs

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Shi Travels Here (@shitravelshere)

Wander through the temple’s vast courtyards and marvel at the intricately designed prangs, traditional Khmer-style towers. The courtyards offer ample space for quiet reflection and offer stunning photo opportunities.

5. Seek Blessings from Monks

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Maude Bsy (@mauderyoko)

Should you wish to receive blessings or learn more about Buddhism, Wat Pho provides the opportunity to interact with resident monks.

There’s no better opportunity to engage in meaningful conversations to deepen your understanding of Buddhist philosophy.

6. Explore the Chedis

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Oum (@oum.supanan)

The temple complex features 91 chedis or stupas, each containing ashes of royalty, dignitaries, and prominent members of the Thai royal family. These magnificent structures embody the essence of Thai architecture and history.

7. Visit the Chinese Medicine Hall

Adjacent to the temple complex, the Chinese Medicine Hall offers herbal remedies and medicinal treatments to visitors seeking traditional healing practices.

8. Admire the Guardian Deity Statues

wat pho temple tour

Be awed by the intricate guardian deity statues that stand protectively around the temple complex. These detailed sculptures showcase the craftsmanship and devotion that went into their creation.

9. Participate in Meditation Sessions

Experience a moment of tranquillity amidst the bustling city by participating in meditation sessions held within the temple.

Guided by experienced practitioners, these sessions offer an opportunity to centre yourself and find inner peace.

10. Get a Thai Massage

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Pek Fin (@madamben)

Wat Pho offers both Thai massage and foot massages on-site, available in 30 or 60-minute sessions.

To ensure availability, it is recommended to book ahead through the Wat Pho Massage website.

If you’re interested in learning the art of Thai massage, the Wat Pho Thai Traditional Massage School offers one-day courses. The courses are available every day of the week, except Sundays.

11. Wat Pho Dress Code

To honour the sanctity of Wat Pho, a strict dress code is upheld to ensure a respectful atmosphere.

The dress code requires visitors to wear long skirts/trousers and sleeved shirts.

You will also have to remove your shoes before entering the temple. At the entrance, you’ll receive a plastic bag to wrap your shoes and carry them with you during your visit. Later, you can deposit the reusable bags in a collection vat provided outside the temple premises.

12. Temple Etiquette: Do's and Don'ts for Visiting Wat Pho

Here are a few unwritten rules for visiting a Thai temple that adds a touch of cultural finesse to your temple visit.

  • Respectfully remove hats, sunglasses and shoes before entering a worship area.
  • Do silence your mobile phone, remove headphones and speak softly.
  • Avoid laughing or speaking loudly.
  • Do step over the wooden thresholds of the temple, not on top of them.
  • Stand up when monks or nuns enter the room.


  • Don’t point at monks or Buddha statues with fingers, feet or objects.
  • Don’t touch or turn your back to an image of Buddha.
  • Don’t smoke, spit, chew gum or snack while walking around the temple.
  • Don’t disturb monks or other worshippers during their prayers.
  • Women can’t touch a monk or his robes.

Pro Tip: When visiting Thai temples, you’ll find metal donation boxes; though not obligatory, why not drop 10-20 THB if you had a great experience or took photos to show appreciation?

Beyond Tourist Norms for the Bangkok Big Golden Buddha: Insider Tips

To make the most of your Wat Pho trip, here are our handpicked activities that go beyond the tourist norms:

13. Explore Bangkok's Wat Pho After Dark

Bangkok night tour: enchanting adventures to wat arun, wat....

Escape the sweltering Bangkok days and dive into an exciting night tour! Beat the crowds and explore the Grand Palace, Wat Pho, Wat Arun and more. You get to indulge in street food at a night market and sail across the breathtaking Chao Phraya River.

14. Set Sail on the Enchanting Grand Pearl Dinner Cruise

Grand pearl dinner cruise bangkok.

Cruise along the historic Chao Phraya River and see Bangkok lit up in all its glory.Glide by the glowing Wat Arun. Drink in the majestic sight of the Grand Palace and its golden spires. Feast on a Thai dinner buffet as you take in the romantic atmosphere.

15. Wander Through Wat Pho and Wat Arun with a Local Guide

Wat pho and wat arun guided walking tour in bangkok.

Discover the iconic Wat Pho and Wat Arun on a guided walking tour in Bangkok! Explore the city’s famous landmarks in just three hours, with flexible start times for your convenience. Marvel at the 300-year-old temple of Wat Arun, boasting a stunning white chedi adorned with thousands of mosaic pieces.

Visiting Wat Pho is more than just a tourist attraction; it’s an opportunity to connect with the heart and soul of Thailand.

So plan your trip thoughtfully, follow the temple’s dress code and immerse yourself in the sacred beauty of these iconic Bangkok landmarks. Whether you choose to explore independently or join a guided tour, Wat Pho and Wat Arun promise an unforgettable experience.

Commonly Asked Questions

Can i visit wat pho with the kids.

Yes, Wat Pho is family-friendly, and you can visit with children.

Can I take photos inside Wat Pho?

Yes, photography is allowed within the temple grounds, but avoid using flash and be respectful of worshippers and ongoing ceremonies.

How many Buddha images are in Wat Pho?

The Wat Pho is the oldest and largest temple complex in Bangkok, with more than 1,000 Buddha images, which is more than any other Wat in Thailand.

Is there a specific time to witness the chanting rituals in Wat Pho?

Yes, visitors can witness the enchanting chanting rituals at certain times of the day, typically in the mornings and evenings.

Are there any nearby attractions to visit after exploring Wat Pho?

Yes, you can easily visit the Grand Palace , Wat Arun, and the vibrant markets of Bangkok after you visit Wat Pho.

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Wat Pho Temple (Wat Phra Chetuphon) is one of the most important landmarks of Bangkok and I would recommend you to add it to your Bangkok itinerary if it has not yet been included.

Wat Pho temple receives between 10000 and 15000 visitors a day and it is mostly due to an impressive gigantic Reclining Buddha statue. This post will prepare you for your visit to this temple and will tell you all you need to know.

From the temple opening hours, to the entrances fees, dress code and all other important information to facilitate your visit.

Pilar sitting on top of some chedis at Wat Pho temple in Bangkok. They are beautifully decorated in hues of green, yelos and blue

Table of Contents

Is it What Pho temple worth a visit?

There many things to do in Bangkok and you will for sure need a few days to cover the most interesting places and Wat Pho temple should be a mandatory stop in your itinerary.

Check out this one month itinerary in Thailand if you are planning to travel the country further.

Most of the people are drawn to the temple in search of the Reclining Buddha image, which makes the visit really worth it. It is a huge golden Buddha statue with some very interesting engravings in its feet.

But it is not only the Buddha image the reason why you should visit this temple. The temple is really beautifully decorated with statues and paintings. It is one of the most stunning temples in Bangkok and really worth a visit.

Pilar in prayer position and the giant golden reclining Buddha on the back

Introduction to Wat Pho temple

The Wat Pho temple was originally the first public university in Thailand, where science, literature and religion were taught. There many inscriptions about medical science on marble around the temple complex and that is why I recommend you to visit the temple with a guide.

What Pho built date is unknown but it is believed that it happened during the XVI century. It was used as a Royal temple for King Rama I of the Chakri dinasty.

Nowadays What Pho is one of Bangkok;s most famous landmarks and a very well known traditional Thai massage and medicine centre. The temple became a world UNESCO heritage site in 2008.

Pilar at the entrance garden of the Wat Pho temple in Bangkok. Wat Phoe is written on the grass with some flowers. There are some palm trees and other bushes and the roof of a building and some chedis on the back

What to see at the Wat Pho temple complex

As mentioned at the beginning of this post the most well known site of this temple complex is the reclining Buddha. The Buddha statue is covered in golden lead and it is gigantic, 15 meters tall and 46 meters long. The Buddha feet are 3 meters high and 4.5 meters long and they are decorated with 108 panels where Buddha related symbols are painted. At the center of each foot there is a “chakra” or wheel or energy.

Wat Pho temple Buddha feet with many Buddhist inscriptions and a drawing of a chakra, wheel of energy, in each foot.

You will need to leave your shoes at the entrance of the reclining Buddha hall.

In the corridor leading the to Buddha there are 108 bronze bowls that represent the 108 characters of the Buddha. 108 is a magic number is Eastern spirituality as well. You can get a bag with 108 coins at the entrance and drop them in each of the bowls. This will bring you good fortune, according to the Thai beliefs.

The face of the golden reclining Buddha and some purple flowers

The Wat Pho temple is also home to several chedis and chapels and the residence of a former prince.

Wat Pho is considered the first public university for teaching Thai Massage and they also teach Thai medicine. You can get all type of Thai massage at the temple. The rates are not that great but they are usually fully booked due to the prestige of the school.

  • Thai massage 30 min: 260 Baht (8.30 US$)
  • Thai massage 1hr: 420 Baht (13.40 US$)
  • Foot massage 30min: 280 Baht (9 US$)
  • Foot massage 1 hr: 420 Baht (13.40 US$)

How to get to Wat Pho temple in Bangkok

Wat Pho Temple is located on the river banks, next to the riverboat pier, very close to the Grand Palace, across the river from Wat Arun and right behind the Temple of the Emerald Buddha.

The temple is walking distance from Kao Shan road so I would recommend you to walk along the Chao Praya river, passing the Thammasat university, and the you will find it on your left hand side.

A golden Buddha statue and several Buddhist monks, dressed in orange on the left side of the praying room. One the right hand side some lay poeple praying on their knees. This is in the Wat Pho temple in Bangkok

You can also grab a Tuk Tuk to get to the temple but make sure to bargain the price as they usually ask for a very high amount of money for what it is a very small distance.

Wat Pho opening hours

Wat Pho temple is open every day from 8:00 AM to 6:30 PM. The massage service is available until 6:00 PM.

Wat Pho temple dress code

Like most places of worship in Thailand the Wat Pho you need to cover your shoulders and knees to enter the Wat Pho temple complex. If you do not have adequate clothes with you, it is possible to get a bug sharong at the entrance to cover yourself.

Wearing shoes is not allowed to enter the “reclining Buddha” image room. You can leave them at the door.

A line of golden Buddhas in an open air corridor in the Wat Pho temple in Bangkok

Wat Pho temple entrance fee

The entrance fee is 100 bahts and it includes a small water bottle. Your ticket allows you to visit everything in the temple complex without any extra fees. The massage is paid for separately. If you want to book a guide at the gates for around 400 baths.

You can purchase your ticket at the gate of pre book them on line.

Pilar in a patio in the middle of some ornate chedis at the Wat Pho temple in Bangkok

Wat Pho temple tours

If you are an a tight schedule booking a Wat Pho tour in advance will save you quite a lot of time.

For more tips about things to visit in Thailand check this 10 days in Thailand itinerary


I have been several in Bangkok and have spent in total months there during several stays in the city arriving from Europe or just on the way to other several destination in Thailand. Check here some more Bangkok guides;

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And it is not only about Bangkok but Thailand is one of the most beautiful countries in the world that I have travel extensively and I know quiet well. Check here some of the guides:

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