Monday, December 2, 2013

Wat Arun - a must see Thailand's landmark.

Wat Arun is a must see landmark. It is a very old Buddhist temple.  The local call it as Wat Chaeng. It  is situated on the west (Thonburi) bank of the Chao Phraya River. It is one of the most stunning temples in Bangkok, because the design is very different to the other temples that you can visit in Bangkok. It is partly made up of colorfully decorated spires and stands majestically over the water.

Wat Arun from Chao Phraya River view
The temple derives its name from the Hindu god Aruna, often personified as the radiations of the rising sun. Wat Arun is among the best known of Thailand's landmarks and the first light of the morning reflects off the surface of the temple with pearly iridescence.  Although the temple had existed since at least the seventeenth century, its distinctive prang (spires) were built in the early nineteenth century during the reign of King Rama II.
Wat Arun Bangkok
This temple is one of the tourist destinations when seeing the Grand Place complex.  You can go first to Grand Place then take a walk to Wat Pho and finally go to Wat Arun.   Other tourist attractions accessible from here are the National Museum, Chinatown the Ko Rattanakosin area, and the Banglamphu district.

Wat Arun Temple
Located on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River, this temple can be reached either by Arun Amarin Road or by boat from Tha Tien Pier, near Wat Pho. The Tha Tien express boat pier, at the southwest corner of the Grand Palace or Wat Phra Kaew, is diagonally opposite Wat Arun. You can get to Tha Tien on the Chao Phraya River Express boats from any other pier, or take a taxi to it. Plenty of Thonburi canal tours also take tourists to visit this artistic piece of architecture.

Chinese soldier  at Wat Arun
The main feature of Wat Arun is its central prang (Khmer-style tower) which are encrusted with colourful porcelain. This is interpreted as a stupa-like pagoda incrusted with coloured faience. The height is around 86 m. The corners are surrounded by four smaller satellite prang.

The prang is decorated by seashells and bits of porcelain which had previously been used as ballast by boats coming to Bangkok from China. The presiding Buddha image, cast in the reign of Rama II, is said to have been molded by the king himself. The ashes of King Rama II are interred in the base of the image.

You can climb the central prang if you wish, the steps are very steep but there is a railing to balance yourself. Getting up is as tricky as getting down! When you reach the highest point you can see the winding Chao Phraya River and the Grand Palace and Wat Pho opposite. Along the base of this central tower there are sculptures of Chinese soldiers and animals.

Some tips: 
  • You can get to try the traditional Thailand dress for only 100 baht at the lower part and take photo like crazy with Wat Arun as the background. 
Tourists with Thai Traditional dress
  • At the jetty terminal, buy some fish food and threw them into the Chao Phraya to lure the fishes up, the fishes were huge! 
  • Dress properly, off shoulders (spaghetti straps/ sleeveless ) and shorts for women are disallowed. You might ended up buying a wrap arounds on site if you are considered not dressing properly. 
  • Climbing up to the steep stair of the pagoda is painful but the view for the top is very beautiful. Don't forget to take some photos with this amazing architecture. 
view from Wat Arun
  • There are some stalls along the side of the temple. You can buy some t-shirt here at the outside of temple. The price is fixed.  You can buy 12 pieces for 1000 baht or 6 for 500 baht.  Price of kids size is more lower than that. There are around 10 – 15 seller in here sold T-Shirt and some sold the souvenirs   
  • Despite the name, the most spectacular view of the glittering monument can be seen from the east side of the river at sunset, when the spires of Wat Arun make an impressive silhouette against the skyline.

by "feb zakri"

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