Wat Pho At Night

Wat Pho.

Been there done that.

Or so we thought!

Thanks to Becca’s fantastic research, we found ourself in a little apartment opposite the 250-year-old temple. Not only was it incredibly cheap, but it also had amazing views over Wat Pho at night (If you’re interested in staying, the name of the hotel was Chetuphon Gate).

The view from Chetuphon Gate Apartment


We had visited the temple a couple of days before, but after our move to the centre of Bangkok we were close enough to Wat Pho to be out and about after dark.

And it turns out not only is Wat Pho open for its advertised hours of 0900-1700, it also keeps the gates open in the evening until 2100.

Oh, and did I mention it’s free to walk around!?


We headed in – and had the place to ourselves.

Wat Pho at Night

Wat Pho Late Opening – Important Details:

  • Entry at night is via the south gate on Chetuphon Road.
  • The grounds stay open until 2300, the listed hours of 0800-1700 are for the inside areas such as the Reclining Buddha.
  • There is no entry fee at night.
  • You are allowed to use camera tripods at night, unlike during the day.
  • The grounds are nicely lit up for photographs.

The weather had been poor (it was still raining), so this may have contributed to us being alone here, sometimes it helps to be British and not afraid of the of a downpour.

Regardless of the weather, this was one of those experiences that you know at the time will be hard to shake off. It felt like being an explorer, happening on some ancient city in the middle of the night, the first to set eyes on the place for hundreds of years.

Wat Pho in the evening

I’ve had this feeling a few times whilst travelling – sitting watching a lion kill at night, wandering over the last crest of a hill towards Machu Picchu, paragliding over the Alps – but it’s surreal, my spirit seeming to be lifted out of my body and watching me from above. It’s looking down and urging me to drink it all in. Twenty minutes of experience that will create a lifetime of stories.

Wat Pho after Dark

Other than the sounds of monks chanting and the odd stray cat there was nothing at all to disturb us (not that either of these really did!). 

When it’s not full of tourists, your truly appreciate how vast this space is. 80,000 square metres of ornately decorated chedis, gold leafed temples, and one of the largest collections of Buddha images in the world (over 1,000).

At one point I lost Becca completely! 

Becca recording a video at Wat Pho

When I found her she was recording a video to share with our family. It’s only when I watched it back I appreciated just how lucky we are. I have uploaded it to YouTube and put it into the post below if you’re interested in a watch.

There are a couple of things to note before you head in.

Firstly, the big attractions such as the Reclining Buddha are closed in the evening.

Secondly, it does feel like we were a bit lucky with timing. On subsequent evenings we saw groups of tuks-tuks arrive at Wat Pho after dark on organised tours. These seem to arrive from about 2015 onwards, so if you sneak in beforehand you may still be able to get a similar experience to us (or just brave the monsoon rains!)

Wat Pho at Night Video

More Photos of Wat Pho at Night

Wat Pho at Night - Chedi
Wat Pho Open at Night
Wat Pho open at Night?

Reeves Roam contains affiliate links and is a member of the Amazon Service LLC Associates Program. If you make a purchase using one of these links, I may earn a commission, at no additional cost to you. For more information, see our disclosure policy.


  1. For the average tourist family, this is the only wat that I would recommend visiting. The Reclining Buddha is pretty impressive.

    However, note the scam that goes on with tourists headed to Wat Pho and the Grand Palace:

    A few blocks before we got there, we stopped to check the map. A “helpful” Thai man approached to give us directions. He also mentioned that the Grand Palace and Wat Pho (temple) were not open to foreign tourists until 1 p.m., as it was Sunday and only Thais were allowed in to worship. Despite having checked the hours online, I believed him. Big mistake. Since we now had three hours to kill, he suggested visiting some of the other wats and Buddhas in the area, plus a Thai silk and gem showroom. They actually wanted us to buy something from his colleague’s friend.s You don’t make this mistake please.

    1. Haha, we got approached in exactly the same way! Ours was actually a tuk-tuk driver who then wanted to take us off somewhere else. Thankfully we had read up on it though!

      Unfortunately we’d been caught out the day before by a slightly different scam, this one involving a friendly guy in the street, and a recommendation to go on a boat trip.

      It’s so disappointing, as these people erode your trust in everyone. After meeting them you assume everyone’s got an agenda, and pass up some fantastic opportunities because you’re worried about them. They need dealing with!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *