Sometimes you can go to the same place during the day and at night and get different perspectives or experience different atmospheres. Such was our visit to Wat Pho during our full day in Bangkok, Thailand. We visited Wat Pho in the morning when it was open for the public, and the temple complex was quite full with visitors and worshippers alike. The complex also hosts a school teaching traditional Thai massage, so you have students and guests for the school on the grounds as well. As mentioned in a previous post, we even met scammers who tried to get us diverted to take tours elsewhere.
That night we came back to Wat Pho as part of our night bike tour with the Grasshopper Adventures. This time around it felt like we’re visiting a different place. At night the temple was closed to public, the building where the large statue of the Reclining Buddha was also closed, and the only people around were night guards. The Grasshopper Adventures obtained special permission for our group to stop at the temple grounds and walk around inside for about half an hour or so with our guide. The buildings were illuminated, but otherwise everything was quite dark. We had to resort to our little LED headlights and followed Tami who also brought a flashlight with her. It was pretty cool to go around the grounds with the whole place for ourselves, and in some areas, with complete darkness and only Tami’s flashlight and our headlights lighting the path or portions of the wall, it felt like we were inside some ancient temple during an archaeological expedition. Totally different feeling compared to our visit earlier during the day, when most of the time we had to contend with the crowd in looking at some of the more popular features of the temple, and during the hot sunny day looked for shaded area to cool down.
The photo below was taken while we were checking out the large stupas inside the Wat Pho grounds. You can see our group at the bottom of the ornate stupa that was illuminated at night.