Wat Arun – Temple of Dawn is a Bangkok highlight
There are hundreds of wats or temples in Bangkok, but for many travelers, the most beautiful is Wat Arun: the Temple of dawn. It is found on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok. A cruise down the river in Bangkok is a must see for any visitor to Bangkok and Thailand and the highlight of any cruise is a stop at Wat Arun.
The temple is encrusted in porcelain and the attention to detail is amazing. The temple is beautiful from far away, but just about every facet of the make up of the temple is amazing taken on a smaller scale. From the moment you first see the central prang reaching out into the Bangkok sky as your boat approaches, your camera will be on overdrive.
The best way to get to Wat Arun is by boat. Take the Silom BTS line to Saphan Taksin and then head to the river. Grab a shared boat for 100 baht to Wat Arun. Getting back is the difficult part. They wanted 600 baht to return to Saphan Taksin, so I crossed the river to the Grand Palace and grabbed a taxi to Hua Lumphong MRT. The entrance fee to Wat Arun is 50 baht. If you do not want to venture out on your own, it would not be difficult to find a guide. Every cab driver, every hotel, every travel agency can hook you up if you don’t mind paying a little extra to the middle man.
Wat Arun – Beautiful on a small scale
Even without looking at the main prang, there is plenty to see at Wat Arun and photograph. The towers are full of small scale porcelain encrusted dragons, elephants, and other figures. Bas reliefs and smaller statues surround the main prang with four smaller spires situated at each corner.
Wat Arun climbing adventure –
The stairs up the main prang are crazy steep. Be sure you are focused and take your time going up and especially going down. I find it is more difficult going down as you can see the precipitous drop below you.
Soak up the beautiful views from the top
Once you do get to the top of Wat Arun, or at least the middle, you cannot actually climb to the top, soak in the gorgeous views. You get a wonderful view of Bangkok, the Chao Phraya, and the Grand Palace across the river.
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