This past November, I had the privilege of making my first trip to Thailand – Bangkok, to be more specific. Having heard so much about both the city and the country as a whole, I wasn’t quite sure where to begin exploring. Top of my To-Do List of course, were Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha) and Damneon Saduak (floating market), which I have already blog about it here.
So after our morning excursion at the floating market, we hop on another boat on the Chao Phraya River and made our way to one of the oldest, largest, and definitely most significant temples in Bangkok.
The Temple of Reclining Buddha is 15m high and 43m long Buddha that rests inside the well-decorated Ordination Hall. While I was expecting the image to be big, I was shocked to stand before a massive, massive figure. The statue itself is covered and surrounded with Buddhist and Thai symbols. The Buddha’s reclining position is said to represent his entry into ‘nirvana’ after passing through all the re-incarnations. His expression is one of peace and serenity, worth basking in for a few minutes before making your way through the long room, towards the feet.
Before entering hall, all the visitors are required to take off their shoes and fret not, each of us were given a plastic bag to place our shoes. I had to borrow a sarong (free)…because shorts and short sleeves are not allowed.
One hundred and eight bronze bowls are lined up against the wall in the area behind the statue, towards the exit. These bowls symbolize the 108 auspicious characters of Buddha. Guest are able to buy a small container of coins to drop on every bowl for good fortune. These donations also go to the maintenance funds of the temple.
While exploring the grounds of Wat Pho we came across chedis (stupas), viharas (halls), and a central shrine (bot) – each structure was exquisitely decorated with painstaking detail: adorned with porcelain mosaic work, hand-painted murals, or gilded in gold – and is basically larger than life. It also houses the largest collection of Buddhas in the world – over a thousand – and obviously, one of the largest – being the Reclining Buddha.
Wat Pho is def. one of the most beautiful temples I have ever visited.