Photo: The reclining Buddha at Wat Pho.

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Wat Pho

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If you only have time to visit one attraction in Bangkok, make it Wat Pho. The 80,000 square metre complex could break a record with all of its records: it’s the oldest and largest monastery in the Thai capital, birthed the city’s first university, houses the largest reclining Buddha, and contains more Buddha images than any Thai temple. Impressive is an understatement.

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It began modestly as Wat Photharam (“Temple of the Bodhi Tree”) in the 1600s, well over a century before Bangkok became the Thai capital. While erecting the nearby Grand Palace in the 1780s, King Rama I also found time to incorporate the original “Wat Pho” into a far grander new complex: Wat Phra Chetuphon. While this remains the official name, the old shortened moniker ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 800 words.)


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