Wat Pho also spelt Wat Po, is a Buddhist temple complex in the Phra Nakhon District on Rattanakosin Island, Bangkok, Thailand, located directly behind the Temple of the Emerald Buddha in the Grand Palace. It is also known as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, its official name being Wat Phra Chetuphon Vimolmangklararm Rajaworamahavihara.
Wat Pho is one of the largest temple complexes in the city and also one of the first of Thailand’s public universities. It is now a renowned centre for traditional massage and medicine. Very popular with visitors, it is also the home of the truly incredible Reclining Buddha. At 46 metres long and 15 metres tall, with 5 metres long feet dressed in mother-of-pearl pictures of “laksanas”, this sacred image is revered by both locals and many tourists alike. Shoes must be removed before entry to the temple, and appropriate clothing is required. It is customary to purchase a bowl of coins for good luck, which can then be dispersed along the 108 bronze bowls that align the length of the walls. Wat Pho also houses four chapels that contain 394 gilded and gracious Buddha images, lined with golden statues that sit in the lotus position gathered from different parts of the country.
The most convenient way to get to Wat Po is by boat. The Chao Phraya River Express drops passengers at Tha Thien pier, and from there a short walk through the market and to the complex.
Wat Pho is the first of six temples in Thailand classed as the highest grade of the first-class royal temples. King Rama I had rebuilt the temple complex over an earlier temple site, which was later renovated and expanded even further by King Rama III. Some ashes of King Rama I are preserved in the temple.