Wat Pho is the second most important temple in Thailand, after. It’s thought to be the oldest in Bangkok, predating the city’s status as the capital, but the date and founder are unknown.
The complex was renovated and constructed by King Rama I in 1788 and again by King Rama III in 1832 which is when many of the present structures date from.
The temple is also regarded as Thailand’s first university and is a center for studying traditional Thai massage. I didn’t have time to try it but I told a friend and he said it was the best massage he’d ever had. Must go next time.
Phra Ubosot, a hall with a large golden image of Buddha sitting under an umbrella, is the most sacred building of the complex. You should take your shoes off when entering and sit on the floor, but be careful not to show the soles of your feet to Buddha as it’s considered disrespectful.
I went to see the Reclining Buddha which is one of the biggest Buddha statues in Thailand. It represents his final ascent to Nirvana and liberation from perpetual rebirth. The circles on the soles of his feet each represent a chakra or energy point.
Unfortunately I didn’t get to see the famous Giants, the figures guarding the entrance to the Phra Mondop library as they were being renovated.
Time to eat! There’s a nice restaurant called Err around the corner…