Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Wat Pho: The Reclining Buddha

While she was in town, Chuck and I hopped on a river boat (more on that at the end of the post) and made our way to some of Bangkok's most famous religious sites.  

First on our list: Wat Pho, the Temple of the Reclining Buddha (and birthplace of Thai massage!):


While the wat is a large complex, including a working Buddhist monastery and over 400 Buddha statues, the main draw is the Reclining Buddha, a giant, 160 foot long, 50 foot high, gold-leaf-gilded statue of Buddha resting on a pillow of glass mosaics:

Because the building just barely fits the Buddha statue, it's difficult to get a photo that really captures just how big it is...

My favorite part of the Reclining Buddha is the soles of his feet: 3 meters high and 5 meters long (about 10x16 feet), they are covered in crazily intricate inlaid mother-of-pearl images and swirly toeprints:

The images on the bottom of his feet are 108 panels of auspicious symbols associated with Buddha, including white elephants and tigers:

The rest of the Wat Pho temple complex is pretty cool, too.  The temple's gates are guarded by these Chinese statues, which were originally brought to Bangkok as ballast on trading ships from China:


Lots of beautiful and elaborately decorated buildings and stupas:

Lots of Buddhas:

Here we are, rocking the river boat taxi on our way to the temples... the Chao Phraya is a large, fast-moving and muddy river with lots of boat action... tourist boats, taxis, commuter boats, hotel shuttle boats, fishermen...:


  1. So did you guys get Thai massages?

    Really cool pictures of all the Buddhas

    1. We didn't get a Thai massage at Wat Pho (too hot that morning!), but we did get them in my neighborhood. Thai massage rules- as I read somewhere recently: it's like having yoga stretches done to you. Awesome.


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