Wat Po: Temple of the reclining Buddha, school of original Thai massage
Some Thais claim Wat Po as the unofficial first university of Thailand. It was once the country’s hub of various studies and still remains the most accredited school of Thai traditional massage. Wat Po used to be a lodging for provincial students, especially those from Thammasat University. That said, many Thai celebrities started their success stories here, may they be politicians, economists, academics, etc. Similar to Wat Arun , the temple was believed to be established during Ayuthaya as the capital (1350-1767.) It was renamed from Wat Potaram to Wat Po and finally to Wat Phra Chetuponwimonmangklaram by King Rama I. Though given a (very long) new name, Thais still prefer to call Wat Po for short. This temple is famous for the giant reclining Buddha, the Chinese giants, and as mentioned, Thai traditional massage. Wat Po is also among one of the nine temples where Bangkok people do a worship during the new year.
Hours: 08:00-18:00, daily
Admission: 50 Baht (100 Baht as of Jan. 1, 2012)
Pros: A visit to Turkey without a Turkish bath is like a visit to Thailand without a traditional Thai massage. And if you’ve come to Wat Po, it’s the original. Wat Po is the school of traditional Thai massage. +Wat Po is the best temple where you can see a combination of Chinese and Thai (e.g. the Chinese giants standing here and there.)
Cons: Traditional Thai massage may not be for everyone. There are submission postures similar to wrestling. (I’ve tried it and feel like so.) People with weak bones should take careful considerations. Observe first before taking a course.
Wat Po is ideal for
-People wanting a traditional Thai massage 5/5
Getting to Wat Po
- By the tourist boat: Tha Tien pier (N8)