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Bangkok: Wat Pho – Reclining Buddha and Thai Massage

by Sanne
Wat Pho, Bangkok

It’s AC’s first time in Bangkok, and she wanted to do some sightseeing. A few days ago, she therefore went to see the Grand Palace in the morning. I went to meet her at the main entrance at noon, and then we went to Wat Pho to see the reclining Buddha.

The reclining Buddha was a beautiful sight and much larger, than I thought it would be. You can change 20THB notes to coins, which you then drop in some of the 108 large bronze bowls along the wall, in the corridor behind the Buddha. The donations help the monks maintain the place, and dropping coins in the bowl is also said to bring good fortune. At first we didn’t see the bowls, so we thought they were playing some kind of strange cling-cling music. Then we realized that the continuous, very zen-like jingle, came from the coins hitting the bowls.

There’s a big school for traditional medicine and Thai massage at Wat Pho. The school also offers massage treatments, and it is one of the best places in the city to get a traditional Thai massage. Even though the reclining Buddha was an impressive sight, I’m not really a temple-kind-of-person, so the main reason why I wanted to come along to Wat Pho, was the prospect of getting one of those renowned massages.

The Thai massage at Wat Pho is 420THB for an hour, which is a bit more expensive than at the average Thai massage salons you’ll find down most side streets throughout the city. It’s money well spent, because the therapists are very professional, and there’s no doubt they know what they’re doing.

We had the massage in a nice, temple-like building with high ceilings and large, hard mattresses on wooden platforms. It was excruciatingly painful at times (but in a good way I guess), and afterwards, it felt great. AC had some neck pain prior to the massage, which she told the therapist about, so he gave that area a little extra attention. Now, two days later, the pain is gone. I didn’t come with any specific issues, so I just got a standard treatment.

We weren’t sure whether it would be inappropriate to tip or rude not to tip, but then we saw someone, who looked like a regular slip the therapist a couple of bills after his session was finished. We therefore decided to do the same, and it was appreciated. It was one of the best massages I’ve ever had, and it was worth every baht.

Read my guide to Thai massage in Bangkok

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