Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Wat Pho Temple: Take a Thai massage course at Bangkok's famous temple

Historical Background: Wat Pho is a large Buddhist temple south of the royal palace. Although its history extends back at least to the 16th century, the current structures all date from 1793 or later. When the future King Rama I, the founder of the Chakri dynasty, unseated his rival Tak Sin in a bloody war, he transferred the capital across the river from Tonburi to what is today downtown Bangkok. As part of his grand development scheme, he renovated a dilapidated monastery called Wat Potaram. He renamed it Wat Pho Chetuphon, or the Bo-Tree monastery, and funded a construction effort that lasted seven years. The centerpiece of the temple was an enormous statue of the reclining Buddha, over 46 meters long and 15 meters high. Covered in gold leaf, it is housed in a special building built for its protection.

Massage Courses:

As of today, several massage courses can be taken at Wat Pho. Many foreigners choose to do it. Courses take a few days only and you will have the chance to learn from specialists and also try it yourself several times.

Wat Pho is located right next to the Grand Palace. The best way to get information on the courses is to go there in person.

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