Wat Pho is a Buddhist temple in Phra Nakhon district, Bangkok. It is situated in the Rattanakosin region directly neighboring to the Grand Palace. Also known as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, its formal name is Wat Phra Chettuphon Wimon Mangkhlaram Ratchaworamahawihan. The temple is also known as the origin of the traditional Thai massage.
Wat Pho is named after a convent in India where Buddha is assumed to have lived. Next to the building that houses the Reclining Buddha is a small elevated garden, the core being a Bodhi tree which is thought to have been disseminated from the original tree in India, where Buddha sat in anticipation of enlightenment.
The temple was created as a renovation of an earlier temple on the same site, Wat Phodharam, with the work commencing in 1788. The temple was reinstated and expanded under the rule of King Rama III, and was restored again in 1982.
The figurine of Reclining Buddha is 15 meter high and 43 meter long. The 3 meter high and 4.5 meter long foot of Buddha displays are decorated with mother-of-pearl. They are divided into 108 organized panels, displaying the lucky symbols by which Buddha can be identified like dancers, flowers, tigers, white elephants, and altar accessories. The seven tiered umbrella over the statue represents the authority of Thailand.
There are 108 bronze bowls in the corridor which indicate the 108 auspicious characters of Buddha. Dropping coins in these bowls is believed to bring good luck, and to help the monks maintain the Wat. Although the Reclining Buddha is not a pilgrimage center, it stays an object of popular devotion.
The easiest way to get to Wat Po is by boat. Take the Chao Phraya River Express to the Tha Thien pier, then walk through the market and up the short street. Wat Po is directly across the intersection, on your right. On the left is the rear wall of the Grand Palace.