While the Temple of the Emerald Buddha and Grand Palace are undeniably high on the list of sites to see, Wat Pho wins big points for its seniority and pastel-colored beauty. Known as The Temple of the Reclining Buddha in English, this is one the oldest temples in Bangkok, dating to the 16th century before the city was here.
The temple is active today and monks live on the premises. The grounds are a wonderland of multicolored stupas, Buddhist reliquaries that Thais call chedis. Pale blue, green, white, and yellow shards cover every surface, and visitors can wander away from the crowds and find peaceful nooks.
The Reclining Buddha gracefully fills the temple, and visitors walk the length of the space to see the bottom of his feet, which are inlaid with mother-of-pearl illustrations of the 108 auspicious characteristics of Buddha.
There used to be a massage pavilion on the Wat Pho grounds; visitors can now go to the school across the street for massages on Soi PenPhat 1. Many sellers across the road from the temple have different eucalyptus oils and traditional herbs.
Riverboat taxi: Tha Tien Pier