The sharper edge to traveling in Asia

Massage at Bangkok’s famous Wat Pho

Written By: herbrunbridge - Jun• 03•10

Historic Wat Pho

Not only is Wat Pho oldest and largest wat (temple) in Bangkok, it’s also the Thai center for teaching the healing art of massage.    Containing the largest collection of Buddha images in Thailand, this extraordinarily beautiful site, resplendent with spires of intricate ceramic mosaics, occupies a centuries-old holy site, essentially rebuilt in 1781.  Highlights include Thailand’s largest reclining Buddha image, made from plaster-coated brick, and gold-leafed, the spires themselves, and a magnificent series of carved stone statues of royal, holy, and warrior figures, and animals. 

Untold thousands have visited Wat Pho for individual massages as well as to attend the wat’s well-known massage school. 

You can have your own massage in one of the two massage buildings inside the wat, along the eastern perimeter wall.  Prices are reasonable, and we elected the ½ hour for 180 baht.  Inside, a dozen or so men and women are busily engaged in providing full body massages, while half a dozen or so are engaged in providing foot reflexology to tired feet. 

In terms of clothing, here, you only remove your shoes, and the rest of you clothes stay on.  In just a half-hour, we had feet rubbed, shoulders and back massaged, fingers pulled, and thighs and calves throttled, all under a series of fans that kept the high-ceilinged interior comfortably cool on this otherwise hot day.  We kept our eyes shut, enjoying the experience, interrupted by the occasional unpleasant notion that we should instead have bought the one-hour ticket, and enjoyed the experience to the fullest.  

Wat Pho’s Thai Traditional Medicinal and Massage School has been in operation since 1955, its courses running from one week (30 hours) to three years.  Courses also include therapeutic and healing massage, oil massage and aromatherapy, and infant and child massage. 

How to get there 

Wat Pho is a large complex bordered by the Grand Palace to the north, and Maharaj  Road to the west.  We recommend taking a river taxi to the Tha Tien pier, then proceed east for a few meters to Wat Pho’s white-clad walls.  The massage area is inside, along the eastern wall.  The wat is open from 8 am – 6 pm. 

Prices for massage 

Half hour: 180 baht
One hour: 300 baht
One hour with herbs: 400 baht
45 minute, foot reflexology: 300 baht

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One Comment

  1. Kids Pools  says:

    reflexology can really soothe those very stressed joints and muscles;*:

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