Wat Phra Chetuphon
Its full name is quite a mouthful, so everyone simply calls it Wat Pho.
Map of Wat Pho
VISIT WAT PHO TO GET LOST WITHIN ITS GRANDEUR.
To feel small amongst millions of tiny tiles built into something so incredibly large.
Getting AroundCLICK HERE TO SEE THE FULL SIZED MAP
Wat Pho Map Index
1. Phra Ubosot
3. East Viharn
5. West Viharn
6. North Viharn
16. Viharn Phranorn
(Chapel of the Reclining Buddha)
Points of Interest
2. Kamphaeng Kaew
7. Phra Prang
8. 5 Chedis
9. Phra Chedi Rai
10. Phra Rabiang
11. Phra Viharn Kod
13. Phra Maha Chedi Si Rajakarn
14. Phra Mondop
17.Sala Karn Parien
23. Sala Rai
12. Khao Mor (Rock Gardens)
18. Missakawan Park
19. The Crocodile Pond
22. Massage Service
Wat Pho is one of the oldest temples in Bangkok, thought to have originally been constructed sometime around the beginning of the 1700s. It has been restored many times since, and in fact, one section or another is always undergoing some sort of restoration.
It is overwhelming to try to conceive of the amount of effort it takes to construct something so grand and so detailed. I could not truly fathom it until one day when I came across a man sitting quietly in one of the halls, restoring one of the small Buddha statues. A few pieces of mosaic were missing from the base, and he was replacing them. I watched him carefully, as he slowly, piece by piece, replaced the small tiles, using tweezers. He would take one small piece, dip it in glue, then carefully fit it exactly into place. I watched him for several minutes as he quietly did his work. His process was deliberate and painfully slow going.
Then it hit me. Like one of those fun childhood books where you see a small piece of an image, and then the next page a little more, and the next, a little more, until you have zoomed out completely. I saw this small 5-inch swatch he was carefully tending, and then the whole base of that statue, then the room, then the walls, then the grounds, gardens and outside walls, with all of its temples, and imagined floating above the 80,000 square meters within its confines. It is a sea of beautiful tiles. It is truly an amazing feat of human creation, and it was built with tweezers.
Stay tuned for next week when we will talk about what you need to know to make the most of your visit to Wat Pho. Till then.
And remember, never stop exploring.
Interested in Southeast Asia?
Check out a beautiful map of the area!
One of the thousands of maps available from Maps.com.