I missed to visit this temple on my hurried trip in Bangkok a few years ago, having prioritized the Grand Palace and the Reclining Buddha. This recent trip however, afforded me to enjoy Chao Phraya River, cruise it with a longtail boat and a river boat, and visit Wat Arun, famously known as the Temple of the Dawn.
To get to Wat Arun, I haphazardly paid a hefty sum and boarded a longtail boat. I approached the counter in Saphan Taksim boat pier and told the crew that I am going to Wat Arun. I was whisked a little later to a longtail boat. Instead of disembarking at Pier 8, the boat docked at Pier 9 which was closer to Grand Palace. I had to walk back to Pier 8 where a small boat would take us to the other side of river, at Wat Arun’s entrance.
I learned on my way home that I took the expensive and tiring route to Wat Arun. A cheap and more comfortable alternative was to take a river boat. The fare is just a fraction of what I paid on the longtail boat and I didn’t have to walk back as the river boat stops at Pier 8. It was also a good way to “feel like a local” instead of the touristy longtail boats.
More of Wat Arun
War Arun is named after the Hindu god Aruna, a personification of the reddish glow of the rising sun. They say that the best views of Wat Arun comes at sunset. However, schedule did not permit and I visited the temple at daytime.
The main feature of this temple is the central prang which is adorned by colorful porcelain.
A balcony is located high in the central prang. However, climbing up and descending is a bit of a challenge as the steps are narrow and steep. I chose to do it anyway and see what’s in store for me up there, holding on to the railings and minding each step I took.
The balcony provides this breathtaking views of Chao Phraya River and the Grand Palace opposite the river.
Although one of the most popular tourist attractions in Bangkok, it is also an important place of worship for Buddhists. Remember to dress appropriately and maintain silence.
If I head to Bangkok again, I’d make sure Wat Arun to stun me on a sunset or see it at night when its all lit up or see it when the first ray of sun shines its light on this temple.