August 12, 2012

Sawadee Ka Bangkok! : Wat Arun

Continuation from here...

Done with Wat Pho, I continued my wat exploration to another famous wat in the city which is also quite near to the Grand Palace. Sitting on the Thonburi side of the Chao Phraya river, Wat Arun or Temple of the Dawn, is one of the most famous landmarks in Bangkok.

The temple can be reached by ferry from Tha Tien, near Wat Pho.   

3 Baht per way

The outstanding feature of Wat Arun is its 80m high Khmer-style pagoda or prang. 

It is possible to climb up the main prang. But if you are afraid of height you might think twice of going up cos the steps look scary. They are very steep! Even I thought the climb back down with such steep steps was a bit daunting.

The view is worth it though. You have a nice view of the temple complex, the Chao Phraya river and the surrounding area.  

young monks

the steep steps

The prangs have very elaborate decorations. You can see they are beautifully decorated with tiny pieces of colored glass and Chinese porcelain.

decorations of the base of the prang

demons supporting the prang 

Chinese style statues

There were a lot of Chinese decorations around the compound. This is because the trade between Thailand and China flourished long time ago and when trading ships were coming back to Thailand from China, they put statues at the bottom to make the ship stable.

Next to the prangs is the Ordination Hall.

the temple guardians

The entrance before the Ordination Hall is a beautiful tiered roof in the form of a crown, flanked by a pair of giant demons. They are similar to the demons in Wat Phra Kaew.

Buddha images inside Wat Arun

Although it is known as the Temple of the Dawn, the best views of Wat Arun are during sunset when its prang make a silhouette against the skyline.

I think the Wat really looks beautiful from a distance, when you can see the main prang in the centre with its four smaller prangs.

Wat Arun is open daily.
Visiting hours are from 8.30 am to 5.30 pm.
Entrance fee is 50 Baht.
Direction: Take the ferry from Tha Thien (N8)

No comments: