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.
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
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.
We are currently in Thailand, follow along on Instagram!