Where We Be
Buddha achieves perfect peace and passes into nirvana
Wat Pho -- Bangkok, Thailand
Across the river from Wat Arun (the Temple of
Dawn) is Wat Pho -- which is also conveniently
adjacent to the Grand Palace and Temple of the
Emerald Buddha. Talk about easy touring! The
oldest and largest temple complex in Bangkok,
Wat Pho is also one of the most significant. It's
best known for its Reclining Buddha, which is
some 45 meters (150 feet) long. We really
enjoyed getting to see this huge Buddha with
his peaceful demeanor -- and no wonder as he
is said to be on the verge of entering nirvana.

Wat Pho is home to some 1,000 Buddha images,
but clearly the star of the show is the Reclining
Buddha. Nevertheless, we had a great time
wandering around the rest of the complex with
its many colorful temples and tapering towers.
We might have stayed even longer if it hadn't
been so blazing hot out; by noon we were just
about the only tourists left.
Right next to the entryway is the building housing the Reclining
Buddha. Even in repose he's big enough you're looking straight up.
These people pictures give some perspective on just how big the Reclining Buddha is
Even his feet are enormous. We like the spiraling mother-of-pearl inlays on each toe.
This on-site diagram indicates the key sights at Wat Pho
Wat Pho is the oldest and largest temple complex in Bangkok --
and also the birthplace of traditional Thai massage
Numerous Buddhas on gilded pedestals line the outer cloister
By the end of our tour, Wat Pho was almost empty. If you're willing to
brave the noonday heat in May, you too can see Wat Pho tourist-free!
These stone statues are said to have originally been imported as ballast on ships trading with China
The rest of the temple complex is colorful and full of Buddhist symbolism
Don't miss this grand and colorful temple
complex right in the heart of Bangkok
The central shrine in the main chapel is quite elaborate
The temples and grounds are in pristine condition
Buddha in his Overcoming Fear pose