WAT PHO, BANGKOK, THAILAND – Our second stop of the day was to Wat Pho, the temple of the Reclining Buddha. This temple is 400 years old and is the oldest temple in Bangkok. It is situated on 20 acres of land. The statue of the reclining Buddha is 150 years old. While also being a place of worship this temple is also a school for learning the art of the Thai massage. The entire course involves 7 days of studying. It is also a working Buddhist monastery. Outside of the entire temple complex you will often see the monks collecting food. Buddhist monks are not allowed to cook for themselves and as such, people bring them meals. Outside of the temple is home to many pagodas (chedis) or burial mounds. These burial mounds house the ashes of many members of the royal family. There four larger chedis that are dedicated to four of the past kings of Thailand. The green pagoda is dedicated to the Rama I, the yellow pagoda is for Rama II, the orange pagoda is for Rama III and the blue pagoda is for Rama IV. In Thailand each day is represented by a different color. Your color is based on the day that you were born.
Monday – Yellow (current King of Thailand)
Tuesday – Pink
Wednesday – Green
Thursday – Orange
Friday – Blue (current Queen of Thailand)
Saturday – Purple
Sunday – Red
The Reclining Buddha is located in the northern complex of the temple. The reclining buddha is over 160 feet long and stands justo over 49 feet tall. He is reclined on two large pillows that are made of blue glass. His feet are just under ten feet high and just under 15 feet wide. There are symbols on the bottom of his feet, made of mother of pearl. These symbols all represent the buddha. There are over 108 of these symbols. Along one of the walls are 108 pots, in which people place coins for good luck. Each pot is supposed to represent one of the symbols on his feet.