Often overshadowed by its grander big brother Wat Phra Kaew next door, Wat Pho is one of Bangkok’s oldest and most iconic temples that should not be overlooked or underestimated.
Wat Pho is home to thousands of impressive Buddhist artifacts including the famous “Reclining Buddha” statue and should be high up on your list of things to do in Bangkok.
This guide covers everything you need to know about visiting Wat Pho including how to get there, hours of operation, the dress code, entrance fee and more.
Opening Times, Entrance Fee & Dress Code
The Wat Pho complex is open to visitors between the hours of 8:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. on a daily basis. As with most tourist attractions, you’ll find that the temple is not too busy in the morning while the afternoon tends to be packed with visitors.
The entrance fee is 100 Baht (approximately $3 USD) for all visitors except for children under height of 120 cm (4 feet) who receive free admission.
Note: As you could have probably guessed, Paul (6’4) and I (6’1) didn’t qualify for the free admission!
[Pictured above: Paul Anthony and I taking turns testing out the gong in Wat Pho]
The dress code at Wat Pho is not enforced quite as strictly as it is at the neighboring Wat Phra Kaew temple, but it is still something you should consider before going.
“Traditional or polite dress is required, while shorts above the knees are prohibited for women,” according to the official Wat Pho website. It is also worth mentioning that visitors are required to take of their shoes and leave them on the shelves outside before entering any of the religious buildings.
We were able to enter the temple wearing shorts and saw many other visitors dressed in similar attire that day. However, if you don’t want to take any chances then you may consider wearing pants.
About The Temple & Its History
Wat Photaram, commonly referred to as “Wat Pho,” is among the most famous temples in Bangkok due to its history.
In addition to the large collection of relics found at Wat Pho, the temple complex is considered to be the earliest center for public education in Thailand and is known as the birthplace of the traditional Thai massage.
On a side note, make sure you get a traditional Thai massage while you are in Thailand!
The Reclining Buddha
The Wat Pho complex houses the largest collection of Buddha images in Thailand with the Reclining Buddha statue being the most notable. Located inside the Viharn Phranorn temple on the northeastern area of the complex, the impressive Reclining Buddha statue measures 45 meters in length and 15 meters in height, making it one of the largest Buddha statues in Thailand.
We learned that the Reclining Buddha is a very sacred image in Buddhist culture that is said to represent the Buddha’s entry into Nirvana. Similar statues can be found in several other countries throughout Asia.
But Wait! There’s Much More To The Temple Complex
Wat Pho is most known for being the home of the reclining Buddha image, but the 80,000 square meter complex is home to so many other sacred relics and historic buildings that are worth seeing.
[Pictured above: A map of the 9 Wonders of Wat Pho]
Phra Ubusot Hall
Phra Ubosot or “bot” is the the main hall that is used for performing Buddhist rituals and is considered to be the most sacred building on the Wat Pho grounds.
A golden Buddha statue can be found perched atop an impressive pedestal made of gold and crystal inside of the Phra Ubosot building.
The intricate architecture and design found throughout the complex is simply stunning.
We visited Wat Pho on a relatively busy day and still managed to find some peaceful areas on the outer perimeters of the temple grounds without any other people as shown in the photo above.
Phra Rabeang & Rows Of Buddhas
The “rows of Buddhas” found in the Phra Rabeang section of the temple complex should also be on your checklist of things to see when visiting Wat Pho. There are literally hundreds of Buddha statues lining the walls!
How To Get To The Wat Pho Buddhist Temple
Wat Pho is located directly across from the Grand Palace on Rattanakosin Island in Bangkok’s Phra Nakhon District. You can get directions to Wat Pho from your current location by clicking on this Google Map’s link here.
[2 Sanamchai Road, Grand Palace Subdistrict, Pranakorn District, Bangkok 10200, Thailand]
There are plenty of transportation options for getting to Wat Pho including tuk-tuks, taxis, public buses, river boats and other options.
Arriving Via Chao Phraya River Boat
We arrived to the area via one of the Chao Phraya river boats and disembarked at Tha Tien Express Boat pier on the eastern bank of the river. A 5 minute walk from Tha Tien pier will get you to the northern entrance of Wat Pho:
I would recommend taking a river boat to the temple area because it is a great way to see the city from a different perspective and it also bypasses a lot of the traffic that can build up in this heavily visited area. Taking a boat ride on the Chao Phraya river should be on your list of things to do in Bangkok anyway, so you can kill to birds with one stone here.
Taking A Taxi Or Tuk-tuk
If you are coming from somewhere that isn’t close to the river, such as Chatuchak Market, then taking a taxi or tuk-tuk to the temple may be your best option. But as mentioned above, the traffic can get pretty ugly in this area depending on the time of day.
If you are deciding between a tuk-tuk and taxi then a tuk-tuk is probably the way to go as they can maneuver through gridlock traffic fairly easily.
Getting There With Public Transportation
If you are on a tight budget then you can get to the Wat Pho temple relatively cheaply via a combination of public transit options including the BTS Sky Trains, the MRT subway and Bangkok bus system.
TransitBangkok.com is a great resource that will help you figure out how to get to and from just about anywhere in the city of Bangkok via public transportation.
Final Review Thoughts
Wat Pho is one of Bangkok’s oldest and most iconic temples. The breath-taking architecture alone is reason enough to visit the complex – not to mention the historic significance of the temples and relics found inside.
Its location near the Grand Palace, Wat Phraw Kaew, Wat Arun and many of Bangkok’s notable attractions makes a visit to Wat Pho an easy addition to any itinerary.
As always, tell us about your experience at Wat Pho or share some information that you think would be helpful in the comments below!
"Such an amazing temple! I was very impressed with my recent visit to Wat Pho and the Reclining Buddha. Definitely worth your time if you happen to be in Bangkok for a few days."Rating: 5.0 ★★★★★