Thursday, 23 May 2013

Morning visit to Wat Arun

Wat Arun

One website I checked out recently stated that there are over 31,200 temples in Thailand :  (http://www.watarun.net/).

A couple of weekends I finally made it to one of the best know, Wat Arun, or the temple of dawn located on the south side of the Chao Phraya river in Bangkok, opposite to the Grand Palace.

Full profile on Wat Arun: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wat_Arun

Wat Arun, a very impressive site

Getting there:

Now, even though it is called the temple of dawn you cannot actually visit the temple before 08:30am in the morning. This left me wondering how all the people I read who claim to have climbed the temple tower before sunrise managed to do it. 

Getting to the temple after dawn is a lot easier. We took the BTS down to Saphan Taksin and then got on the Chao Phraya Express Boat. Don't get a whole day ticket, you only need to go a few stops down to Tha Thien Pier (No.5) which cost us 40 BAHT.

The Express boat is really useful but drops you at the wrong side of the river to visit Wat Arun. Luckily a smaller ferry operates from Pier Tha Thien across to the other side. It's slightly annoying to change boat but only costs 3 Baht.

Once you've done all that, you just need to pay your entrance fee at the temple (100 Baht) and you're in.

Climbing it:

One of the most striking aspects of Wat Arun is the amount of colourful porcelain that it's been built with. That and it's height.

We started taking lots of photos from the bottom of the temple, but were soon eager to climb for both a close up view of the statues and figures along the way, and for the eventual view at the top.

The climb is quite steep with a one way system operating to prevent people from colliding too much.

Nearly there

The view:

It's a steep climb up the stairs to the temple. There are lots of blogs giving different counts of how many stairs there are. I was wheezing too much to count as I went.

The view gets better and better along the way though and you're soon presented with one of the best views of Bangkok. Once there, we just took some time enjoying the sights before eventually making our way back down.


One strange thing we saw at the top was a piece of cloth that had been wrapped around the top of the temple. People had attached hundreds of business cards to this cloth, presumably for luck and it made quite a beautiful effect. I added mine for good measure of course and shall immediately buy a lottery ticket, just in case.

Novel form of advertising for The Code - I added my card for good luck and to keep building up awareness