on September 9, 2010
If youre thinking about visiting the Grand Palace or Wat Arun then also plan on visiting Wat Pho, one of the oldest and largest temples in Bangkok that houses the famous Reclining Buddha. This temple is a tourists favorite for 2 main reasons: the 15 meter high and 46 meter long reclining Buddha covered up in gold plating and the magnificent Thai tradittional massages. The entrance to Wat Pho is on Chetuphon road. Entrance fee is 20B, its opened every day and opening hours are from 08.00am to 5.00pm.It was raining and we decided to walk our way from the Grand Palace ... it must have taken us approximately 20 minutes ... but it was a pleasant walk. The rain was very much refreshing as it was midday and temperatures were rising.We came across many vendors along the sidewalk that would just watch us pass by ... I didn't find it dangerous at all and we could say that we came across less "toutes" than outside the Grand Palace district.Once we arrived we had a hard time crossing the road to get to the entrance because of traffic and especially at big road intersections you don't seem to have a clear crossing point ... but happily we got a friendly police man to help us out!.To enter the temple you will be asked to take off your shoes and cover up your shoulders. I was able to best appreciate the size of it by viewing the statue from either of its ends (head or feet). The feet, in my opinion, are the most impressive part. They are designed with Mother of Pearl images, but you may have to squeeze your way through if it gets too crowded (usually does).If you wonder around the back side of the Buddha you will find 108 metallic bowls alligned one in front of the other. You can pay for a small dish of coins and can go placing coins in each bowl and making wishes (or at least thats what we perceived we had to do) ... a very relaxing moment and apparently dropping coins into these bowls is said to bring goodwill to the devotees.The rest of the Wat is also very interesting to see as you will find that it has been beautifully decorated with ceramic mosaics. Amazing chedis and shrines around the place cannot be left unseen. A Chedi can be described to be a colorful and intricately designed structures that are sacred in Thai temples. Underneath those big Chedis it is said that there are relics of revered monks.Every temple you walk into you will find gold. Golden buddha statues will be frequently seen around the place. These images are revered in Thailand as most Thai population is Buddhist.The surrounding gardens, chinese stone statues and pagodas also contribute in making the site well worth a visit.We were able to presence a Thai dancing school performing traditional dances ... very colorful and pleasant to see.LOVED IT! HIGHLY RECOMMEND!
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