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Wat Pho

The “Temple of the Reclining Buddha” is the largest temple in the country and has more Buddha statues than any other Thai temple.

Wat Po is one of the top attractions in Bangkok for Thai people and tourists alike. The large temple is famous for its giant Reclining Buddha and has more Buddha statues than any other temple in the country. It is also one of the oldest public universities in the country and the official school of traditional Thai massage.

The temple is officially called Wat Phra Chetuphon Vimolmangklararm Rajwaramahaviharn, which explains why most non-Thai speakers refer to it as “The Temple of the Reclining Buddha.” The Thai abbreviation Wat Pho comes from Wat Phodharam, a lost monastery of the Ayutthaya period. King Rama I of the Chakri dynasty had the temple re-established, which took nearly eight years. King Rama III spent another 16 years restoring and extending it and King Rama IV gave it its present name.

When you enter the hall where the 150-foot (46-meter) long Reclining Buddha rests, drop a coin into one of the bronze bowls for good fortune. The 108 bowls represent the 108 different positive characters of the Buddha. The resting statue itself is covered in gold leaf and represents the Buddha passing into nirvana. Look for the mother-of-pearl inlays on the soles of his giant feet.

While this figure is the biggest attraction, you’ll find more than a thousand Buddha statues in the complex. The medical university on the temple’s grounds is a school for traditional medicine and, more famously, Thai massage. Bring extra baht to experience an invigorating rub. Visit the library, which is decorated with shards of porcelain, and don’t miss the ancient descriptions of massage techniques. Cross the road to visit the working monastery and talk with the monks; they love to practice their English.

Wat Pho is next to the Grand Palace and the same dress code applies: cover your arms legs and feet before you step inside. The easiest way to get there is by ferry or taxi. There is an admission fee and guided tours are available. The temple is open daily.


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Shangri-la Bangkok £135
Shangri-la Bangkok

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89 Soi Wat Suan Plu, New Road, Bangrak, Bangkok, Bangkok
     
    5.0 out of 5.0

    This family-friendly Bangkok hotel is located on the riverfront, within a 10-minute walk of Bangkok Riverside and State Tower. Iconsiam and River City Shopping Complex are also within 1 mile (2 km). Saphan Taksin BTS Station is only a 3-minute walk and Surasak BTS Station is 12 minutes.

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    Riva Arun Bangkok

    Riva Arun Bangkok

    392/25-26 Maharaj Road, Phraborom Maharajawang, Pranakorn, Bangkok
       
      4.0 out of 5.0

      Located in Bangkok City Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Wat Pho, Museum of Siam and Grand Palace. Temple of the Emerald Buddha is 0.7 mi (1.1 km) away.

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      sala rattanakosin

      sala rattanakosin

      Maharat Road, Rattanakosin Island, Bangkok, Bangkok
         
        4.0 out of 5.0

        Located in Bangkok City Centre, this boutique hotel is steps away from Wat Pho and Bangkok Riverside. Wat Arun and Grand Palace are also within 10 minutes.

        D&D Inn Khaosan £16
        D&D Inn Khaosan

        D&D Inn Khaosan

        68-70 Khaosan Road, Pranakorn, Bangkok
           
          3.0 out of 5.0

          Located in Bangkok City Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Khaosan Road, Bangkok Riverside and Democracy Monument. Thammasat University and Temple of the Emerald Buddha are also within 15 minutes. Bangkok Thonburi Station is 30 minutes by foot.

          ibis Styles Bangkok Khaosan Viengtai £43
          ibis Styles Bangkok Khaosan Viengtai

          ibis Styles Bangkok Khaosan Viengtai

          42 Rambuttri Rd., Banglampu Pranakorn, Bangkok, Bangkok
             
            3.5 out of 5.0

            Located in Bangkok City Centre, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Khaosan Road and Bangkok Riverside. Thammasat University and Democracy Monument are also within 15 minutes.

            Inn A Day £80
            Inn A Day

            Inn A Day

            57-61 Maharat Road, Phra nakhon, Bangkok, Bangkok
               
              3.5 out of 5.0

              Located in Bangkok City Centre, this boutique hotel is steps away from Wat Pho and Bangkok Riverside. Grand Palace and Wat Arun are also within 10 minutes.

              Sala Arun £65
              Sala Arun

              Sala Arun

              47-49 Soi Phen Pi Marn, Tha Tien, Phrabarommaharajchawang, Pranakorn, Bangkok
                 
                3.5 out of 5.0

                Located in Bangkok City Centre, this hotel is steps away from Wat Pho and Bangkok Riverside. Wat Arun and Grand Palace are also within 10 minutes.

                Arun Residence £69
                Arun Residence

                Arun Residence

                36-38 Soi Pratoo Nok Yoong, Maharat Road, Rattanakosin Island, Bangkok, Bangkok
                   
                  3.5 out of 5.0

                  Located in Bangkok City Centre, this boutique hotel is steps away from Wat Pho and Bangkok Riverside. Grand Palace and Wat Arun are also within 10 minutes.