Wat Pho — The Temple of the Reclining Buddha

Across the river from Wat Arun is Wat Pho (Wat Phra Chetuphon). Another of my favorite tourist stops in Bangkok. The Reclining Buddha. Golden. Majestic. At 15 Meters high and 46 Meters long, it is the largest reclining Buddha in Thailand. The Temple is beautiful and peaceful even with the thousands of tourists who visit each week. The temple also houses over 1000 Buddha images on it’s grounds. The most of any temple in Thailand.

The Temple serves as the the official Thai Center for Traditional Medicine and Massage. You can get a massage here for around 200 baht. But be careful. Traditional Thai Massage is a fairly rugged experience. It’s not for the faint of heart and you may come out feeling a little sore. Even so, you’ll feel refreshed. I usually opt for the foot and leg massage at other outlets. Nothing better than a relaxing hour long massage of your feet and legs after 8 hours of tourist treks through the hundreds of incredible sites in Bangkok.

Not too far away is Wat Phra Kaew. The Temple of the Emerald Buddha and the Grand Palace. If you make it to Bangkok. Don’t miss these magnificent structures. They are incredible.

As you make your way to these three sites, you are likely to be approached by seemingly genuine folks who will attempt to steer you to other destinations. It’s a scam. Usually involving gems or a tailor shop. A nice fellow will approach you and give you advice on different sites to see in Bangkok. Then he’ll ask you where you are headed–even though it’s obvious that you are headed toward Wat Pho or the Emerald Buddha. They’ll tell you that these sites are closed for a holiday or for cleaning or some ceremony. Then they will steer you toward a “random” Tuk Tuk who will take you to another Temple. BUT along the way, you should stop at a Jewelry Store or a Gem Shop or Tailor Shop. It’s a scam. These places will attempt to overcharge you in the hundreds of dollars for Jewelry. The Tailor Shops will attempt to charge two to three times the amount of other Tailor shops. Don’t fall for it. There are hundreds of quality tailor shops around Bangkok that have reasonable prices and the more you purchase, the better the bargain. I was lucky. The first time I visited Bangkok, I met a Thai girl who took me to Wat Pho and the Grand Palace. One of the touts attempted to approach us, she yelled at him and warned me about the scam.

The last time that I visited Bangkok and Wat Pho, I ran across a tout hitting up three Japanese girls. So I stopped and watched for a minute or two. Let the guy run his scam and then stepped up and told the girls what the tout was doing to them. He had actually tried to take them on a trek around the city to make it to a Temple that was a few hundred feet away. I laughed and then pointed the girls in the proper direction. The tout got pretty angry and made as if he was going to get violent. I laughed at him and lunged back and he ran off. It was pretty funny and I felt pretty good after helping those three girls out. One of them was actually cute. lol

When I gave Becca the grand tour of Bangkok, one of the touts got us and pulled the Jedi Mind Trick on us. We almost fell for it. But came to our senses and walked on to the Grand Palace and Emerald Buddha.