The Reclining Buddha in Bangkok is part of Wat Po which is located just behind the Grand Palace.
46 meters long and 15 meters high, this huge golden buddha, the largest reclining Buddha in Thailand is part of one of the oldest and largest temples in Bangkok which dates back to the 16th century and which was rebuilt in 1781 by King Rama 1.
The reclining buddha is covered in gold leaf and has mother of pearl in-laid feet.
The reclining Buddha is part of Wat Po (sometimes spelt Wat Pho)and is located in the old section of Bangkok, very close to The Chao Praya river and just behind The Grand Palace. Unfortunately, it is not close to any skytrain or subway station which means you'll have to get there by river ferry, bus or taxi..
If you are coming from the Silom, Sathorn, Sukhumvit areas of Bangkok, we suggest you get to Saphan Thaksin on the Sky train route. This will take you to the river and from that stop, you can get the river ferry to the Grand Palace and get off at Tha Chang.
We suggest you visit Wat Po after seeing The Grand Palace and so once you come out of the main entrance of the palace, turn either left or right and follow the white walls until you come to a large temple opposite the walls on the opposite side of the road. That's Wat Po.
The reclining Buddha is housed inside a temple making it nice and cool although there's not a lot of room to move about with all the people visiting and trying to take photos.
The entrance to Wat Po is a small side gate in one of the walls that surround the complex. Once through the gate / doorway, turn left and follow the side of the temple, past concrete Chinese statues and towards a kiosk where you can pay for your ticket, buy a drink or snack and get camera accessories which are generally over priced.
Paying to get into Wat Pho is almost optional as it's easy to get lost in the crowd. It is not structured like The Grand Palace where you have to show your ticket before being allowed to enter.
Once through the side gate, you are in the complex and there's really no-one there to check you've paid but as the fee is so small - 50 baht - you may as well pay anyway.
As with all tourist areas in Bangkok and Thailand, there are Thai people milling around hoping to make a bit of extra cash from either fair means or foul.
Most temples have people offering guided tours and what they ask is fairly random but it's usually a lot more than should be paid so if you do want someone to take you round, 200 - 300 baht should be more than enough to cover an hour of their time.
There are those who are hanging around waiting to pick your pockets and whilst we were on a recent visit, we witnessed a young lady being arrested for pick-pocketing or bag snatching so be sure to keep your possessions close by and tightly closed. It's too easy, with all the other people jostling around you, to get used to people brushing against you and this is perfect for people trying to steal your personal belongings.
That said, we do not know of anyone who has had anything like this happen to them and so this is a "heads up" rather than an explicit warning.
Upon entering the temple which houses the reclining Buddha, you will notice a long line of black metal bowls which run the length of Buddha. These are "merit" bowls and the idea is to drop a coin(s) into each bowl as you walk down the line.
You should go to the kiosk to get some change as you only want to drop in 1 baht coins or even the small "Satang" coins which come in 25 Satang or 50 Satang denominations.
It's not the amount that you put in but the process of doing it.
Best Time To Arrive
It's open early and closes late and so we suggest making it a second port of call after The Grand Palace. Get to The Grand Palace around 8.30 to 9.00 am, spend 2 hours there and make your way to Wat Po for around about 11.00 am. Spend an hour at Wat Po and then you'll be set for finding somewhere to eat (try Kao Sarn road).
The reclining buddha makes for a fantastic photo opportunity but it's really difficult to photograph. There is little space to stand back and get everything in and there are pillars in the way as well.
Most people photograph the head and then the length of Buddha from the base of the feet. The trouble is, everyone else is trying to do the same thing and so you either have to wait for a good moment or take a photo with other people's heads in the way.
If you have a tripod, you'll probably not get the opportunity to use it so use a wide angled lens and plenty of patience.
Photographing the temple compound is a lot easier as their is plenty of space and most people visit the reclining Buddha and then move on.
Food & Drinks
Drinks and snacks can be purchased from the kiosk at inflated prices and so we suggest grabbing water or other drinks before getting to the temple. Shops around the temples might be more expensive for tourists but if you find a 7 Eleven, the prices will be standard.
How To Dress
We suggest loose clothing that covers your legs, shoulders and chest. We also recommend wearing sandals or shoes you can take off easily because you have to take your shoes off to enter most of the temples and some buildings.
Remove shoes before entering temples
Direction To Follow
Unlike the Grand Palace, there is little in the way of a direction to follow. It's fairly open and you can go where you want.
The temple for the reclining Buddha has a route to take - starting at the head and moving past the wishing / merit bowls and on down to the feet but other than that, you can choose where to go and when.
The photos used on this page are all professionally taken and the light has made a big difference to how they have come out.
If you are keen on photography or just want to take some great photos for memories then choose your day carefully - if time allows.
Cloudy conditions will produce poor photos and the colours will appear dull .
If you are in Bangkok for a while, go on a sunny day
Unfortunately, there are a few scams that go on around Wat Pho and the Grand Palace - so be careful about who you talk to and what you accept
The main scams revolve around telling you the temple is closed and that you should go on another tour which they can offer.
Please ignore these people and DO NOT accept their offer.
The Grand Palace - Wat Pra Gaew- 5 minute walk
(Amazing Thai architecture and home to the Emerald Buddha)
National Museum- 5 minute walk
(Largest museum in the area with many displays to help you learn about Thai life and culture)
Golden Mount Temple - 20 - 25 minute walk
(A golden topped temple set on a small hill a short walk from Kao Sarn Road.... a decent view across Bangkok awaits.)
Wat Chana SongkhramRachawora Mahawiharn - 20 minute walk
(Ancient temple built in the Ayutthaya period- good introduction to Thai temples)
Giant Swing - 15 minute walk
(Huge red swing about 80 feet high once used by young men swinging to catch a bag of silver coins in their teeth.)
Wat Suthat - 15 minute walk
(large temple next to the Giant Swing)
Wat Ratchanatdaram Worawihan- 20 minute walk
(a short walk past democracy monument, this temple is architectually impressive)
Situated opposite Central World, the Arnoma Hotel provides good accommodation in an excellent location. Close to Skytrains, excellent shopping, restaurants and entertainment. Few hotels at this price offer such a good location.