The most holy object in this temple is the Emerald Buddha – there are so many stories that revolve around this Buddha image, that it’s not surprising that many Thai’s claim this Buddha statue has magic powers.
We also visit the original royal palace of Bangkok. It’s an interesting architectural fusion, mixing Western and Eastern elements into one building. Historically this is significant, because this is one of the reasons why Thailand is the only country in the region that has never been a European colony.
We leave the temple and have lunch in a small restaurant near the Chao Phraya river.
Then we get on a boat and get out at the Wat Pho temple, also known as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha.
Buddhists from all over the world come here to worship and pray at the feet of this 46 meter (or 151 feet) long, 15 meter high reclining Buddha statue. It’s size is so magnificent, that they had to build the Buddha statue first, and then built the chapel building around it. Adjacent to it, you find a small garden where a Bodhi tree grows, that is a scion of the original tree in India where the historical Buddha meditated.
We continue to explore the monastic compound. Once this was the centre for teaching traditional medicine, and even today you can find medical scriptures here. In the temple walls, there are stone inscriptions that explain methods of curing diseases and depict the energy lines of Thai massage. And since we are already at the source, we get an original, authentic traditional Thai massage inside the temple. (For those who a foot massage, that is also an option for you).
After the massage, we take the boat and cross the river to get to the Wat Arun temple. You will immediately notice the different architectural style. The central element of this temple is the 67 meter high prang (essentially a khmer-style tower). For those of us who climb up the steep stairs, there awaits a reward: a beautifully scenic view over Bangkok and the Chao Phraya river. The perfect way to end such a full day.
Optional: You can get on a long-tail boat and make a khlong tour, to enjoy the sunset on the Chao Phraya river. You can spontaneously decide if you want to make a khlong tour, and your tour guide will inform you about the details.