The Temple of the Reclining Buddha
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The Temple of the Reclining Buddha

So, I am going to be honest.

Arriving in Bangkok after New Zealand was a bit of a culture shock. The language barrier, the heat, and the amount of people in Bangkok compared to New Zealand is like comparing apples to oranges. There is just no comparison. So to put it lightly, we made three very classic tourist/newb mistakes, basically within our first three days in Thailand. We were scammed by taxi drivers, conned into going into a shop and mislead into paying $63 for a load of laundry. So my initial reaction to Thailand was not that favorable.

However, after an exhausting afternoon of a few tears, I pulled myself together, and Ryan and I ventured out to visit Wat Pho – The Temple of Reclining Buddha, and I am so glad we did.

The Temple of the Reclining Buddha    The Temple of the Reclining Buddha

The Temple of the Reclining Buddha

The Temple of the Reclining Buddha

Wat Pho is one of the largest and oldest wats in Bangkok, is home to more than one thousand Buddha images, most importantly the Reclining Buddha, which reaches 15 meters tall and 46 meters long, and houses enough gold, and jewels to make anyone swoon (you see why I was happy we left the hotel?). But after our earlier rookie mistakes, I wanted to be prepared to visit Wat Pho sans issues, so I looked up the proper etiquette/dress code for visiting a Buddhist temple, and below is what I found.

Proper Buddhist Temple Etiquette:
1. Bow your head and pay your respects to the Buddha statues
2. Take off your shoes when you enter the temple
3. Never point at Buddha
4. Keep quiet
5. Cover yourself up! We all know it is hot, but do not wear shorts, or tank tops. Remember you are on sacred grounds

The Temple of the Reclining Buddha

The Temple of the Reclining Buddha

The Temple of the Reclining Buddha    The Temple of the Reclining Buddha

The Temple of the Reclining Buddha

The Temple of the Reclining Buddha

The Temple of the Reclining Buddha    The Temple of the Reclining Buddha

Visiting the Temple of the Reclining Buddha was a wonderful introduction to Buddhist traditions and beliefs. Learning that Buddha can be represented in many forms, but a reclining Buddha represents Buddha during his last illness, prior to parinirvana, had an entirely new meaning to me after our visit to the temple.

The vibrancy and colors of the Temple of the Reclining Buddha and the surrounding grounds should not be missed when in Bangkok.

-Chelsea

We are currently in Thailand, follow along on Instagram!

LocationLOCATION: Bangkok


  1. Oh no, that’s too bad your visit to Thailand got off to a bad start! I hope it continues to get better! Looks like this was a successful visit–what a gorgeous place.

    • Thank you Shea! It definitely got so much better once we got used to the difference in culture. Arriving in a new country is always a challenge but we are definitely getting better at it each time!

    • Thank you Shireen! I think it is really just getting used to the difference in culture. After Bangkok, we had a wonderful Thai vacation! Also we probably deserved to be taken advantage of…we were being lame haha

  2. Oh my goodness, I’ve always wanted to visit Thailand after seeing girls hanging upside down in Bangkok on America’s Next Top Model. Wow, I can’t get over how beautiful these pictures are! I would’ve loved to seen what you were wearing. I hope you enjoyed your time!

    xox
    Chanel
    Je M’appelle Chanel

    • Hi Chanel! Oh my, yes! The Thai women has such amazing fashion sense! Also the Chinese tourists have also been so fashionable!

    • Hi Surbhi~

      Oh I love when I can hear other reads have been to a location I have been to! Do you have any other Thailand suggestions :)

    • Yes, it did get a lot better! But as a traveler and adventurer yourself, it is hard to think every day is going to be perfect, right? So I am glad we got our “tough day” out of the way at the beginning!

    • Thank you Susie! It definitely got so much better after those first few days! I have been enjoying your link love!

    • Hi Jacqueline!

      Thanks for the questions! Where will you be going in Thailand? In terms of not getting scammed, here is what I suggest.

      1. Always load on google maps the city you are going to before you go (i.e. load directions from airport to your hotel). That way, even when you are offline, google maps still has everything loaded and if you are in a big city with wifi pings, your blue dot, will follow you.
      2. If you are in Bangkok, only use taxis that will turn on the meter. If they don’t understand you when you say meter, you can point to it and say “tick, tick.”
      3. When you are in Phuket, you will only get a taxi with a meter from the airport to whichever beach you are staying on. We had read it would be about 500 baht from the airport to Kata Beach, but it ended up being about 900 baht. I think the info we were reading was out of date, because when we read our hostels taxi info, it said 900-1000 baht.
      4. In Chiang Mai, just take the little red trucks. Usually when you go to front window and say where you are going, it should be about 20 baht, if the driver does not say anything, he has agreed to the price.
      5. No matter what city you are in, it is a good idea to have a general idea of where you need to go. Never assume the driver knows, because they will always say, “yes, I know.” That way, if they try to take you to their brother’s gem shop (a giant scam btw! do not buy!), you can nip it in the bud before you get too far in.

      Hope that helps and do not hesitate to ask any other questions! I would love to help you avoid any of the heart ache I experienced from being naive.

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