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Wat Pho

Wat Pho Massage School and Temple

Wat Pho is without doubt one of the most important Buddhist temples in Bangkok. It is home to the huge Reclining Buddha and learning Thai massage.

Wat Pho – The Temple of the Reclining Buddha (Wat Phra Chetuphon) – is one of the largest Buddhist temples in Bangkok – and probably the oldest.

It is situated in the Rattanakosin area – next to the Grand Palace.

As well as being an important Buddhist temple, Wat Pho is also significant in relation to traditional Thai medicine – and Thai Massage in particular.

Wat Po Massage is renowned the world over and Wat Poh Thai Massage School is the main reason.

The statues within the grounds mainly depict positions for yoga – an important aspect of Thai medicine and culture.

The existing Wat Pho temple is itself constructed on the site of an older temple Wat Phodharam. The construction of Wat Pho started around 1788.

Wat Pho Massage School and TempleThe older site was a centre for traditional Thai medicine, and Wat Pho has carried that significance forward to the present day.

In present times, the temple houses a school for traditional medicine, and of course, Wat Pho Thai Massage in particular.

As a Buddhist Temple, there are over one thousand images of Buddha, and of course the spectacular Reclining Buddha image (Phra Buddhasaiyas) – some 150 ft long, and 50ft high! It is a photographer’s dream – and nightmare – covered in gold plate, with mother of pearl eyes.

The Thai Massage School and also the reclining Buddha are to be found in the northern walled section, whereas to the south, there is a working monastery for Buddhist monks.

As you would expect, traditional - and genuine Wat Pho Thai Massage is available at the Temple - without appointment. Don’t expect the soothing type of massage of exotic films and TV programmes!

Thai Massage is meant to work. Pressure points are explored, and you will find your body placed into positions that you probably felt would be impossible.

Wat Pho Massage School BangkokVery therapeutic of course, for Wat Pho is the home of the genuine Thai Massage.

Not to be missed, and a talking point at dinner parties when you arrive back home.

If you really like it, you can also take a course here to learn Wat Pho Thai Massage.

Inscriptions and drawing on the inner walls of the Wat Pho Temple, which show the pressure points used in traditional Thai medicine, and of course in Thai Massage in particular.

Wat Pho is divided into the two sections by the busy Chetuphon Road. For tourists, the northern section described above is the important attraction. The grounds are extensive – and accessible.

If you decide to wander into the southern section – where the monks work – be prepared for ‘discussion’ for the monks – as with most Thai people – love to 'practice their English'.