top of page

Nuad Thai Museum at the Wat Pho Temple - Everything One Needs to Know about Thai Massage

Updated: Apr 19, 2023

Have you ever tried Thai massage? Now it is time to know everything about it - join us for a visit to the Thai massage museum in the Wat Pho temple in Bangkok.

When in Bangkok, one should see the religious and cultural highlights of the capital and among these, a visit to the Wat Pho temple is a must - not least thanks to the giant sleeping Buddha there. When in the compound, you definitely must also take a look at the small but hugely interesting museum of Thai massage.

The temple is classified as the highest grade of Thai royal temples. King Rama I rebuilt an earlier temple as his main temple in the 18th century. Today the temple compound houses the largest collection of Buddha images in Thailand, including the world famous 46 m long reclining Buddha.

The temple is also known as the birthplace of the traditional Nuad Thai massage and houses a school of Thai medicine where Nuad Thai is taught. An anecdote from the history tells that a French Ambassador to the medieval Ayutthaya Kingdom once described Thai massage as a treatment where “the sick are compressed and stretched, and the pregnant are treated to deliver their babies with ease”.

Thai massage is a traditional form of manual therapy that utilizes pressure, compression, and rubbing, to boost blood circulation, reduce muscular soreness, and ease the aches and pains of conditions such as insomnia, depression, rheumatism, Parkinson’s, and the Office Syndrome.

Originally, the royalty and nobility were allowed to enjoy Thai massage. As early as during the reign of King Ramkamhaeng in the 13th century produced a stone inscription containing details about the use of herbs in massage. In the late 17th century, massage therapists were considered royal servants and were granted high ranks and land ownership.

Gradually, Thai massage started to have its own place in history and over time, the massage has grown into a formal system of knowledge. Nuad Thai is now an income-generating occupation and in 2019, the traditional Thai massage was included on the List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

All this and much more is on show at the small museum inside the Wat Pho temple and included in the ticket. Unfortunately, this temple and the museum are not really meant for the disabled or persons with prams. There are high thresholds up to the knee level and steps all over without ramps to go around these.

There is no loo in the museum but use the ones of the temple compound.

Do not throw away your entry ticket. In the middle of the compound, you will get a free water bottle against your ticket and believe us, a bottle of fresh cool water is always welcome in Bangkok!

There is no museum shop in the compound but you can acquire tons of Buddhist related gifts and material on Thai massage from trash to enormously expensive pieces of art everywhere in t

Wat Pho

2 Sanamchai Road, Grand Palace Subdistrict, Pranakorn District, Bangkok 10200


bottom of page