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Thailand: Wat Arun

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Wat Arun | Thailand | Asia

[Visited: July 2001]

Probably the most pleasant way to enter Bangkok is by riverboat. You appreciate the metropole from a different angle, are relatively far away from the capital's traffic jams and noise, and you are able to escape the humid heat a little. One of the most attractive sights on the river banks is the Wat Arun, Bangkok's oldest temple. When King Tak Sin started to built a new place which was to become the capital, he arrived at dawn; hence the nickname Temple of Dawn.

Picture of Wat Arun (Thailand): Wat Arun from river - Bangkok

Before entering this temple, I first walked around the complex to get a view from all angles, and to savour the quietness that surrounds it. Then, I entered, and enjoyed the view and serenity of the temple inside. I discovered that unfortunately the - steep - stairs to the higher levels are closed, so it seems that it is no longer possible to reach the highest level from which I remembered from an earlier visit, you can have good views of the river and the city.

Picture of Wat Arun (Thailand): Wat Arun, from below - Bangkok

On each side of the second level, there are pavillions with a roof like a stupa. These house statues of the four major events in Buddha's life. The decoration of the temple consists of Chinese porcelain which has been broken into pieces. The pieces are then used as a kind of mosaic to make for a colourful and original outside temple. However, when you see the temple from a distance, the colour seems to be brownish. After the visit, you can sit down at the riverside and enjoy riverlife literally floating by.

Picture of Wat Arun (Thailand): Detail of Wat Arun - Bangkok
Picture of Wat Arun (Thailand): Decorated elephant at Wat Arun
Picture of Wat Arun (Thailand): Closeup of Wat Arun temple - Bangkok
Picture of Wat Arun (Thailand): Stairs at Wat Arun temple - Bangkok
Picture of Wat Arun (Thailand): Elephants at Wat Arun temple - Bangkok
Picture of Wat Arun (Thailand): Close-up of Wat Arun temple - Bangkok
Picture of Wat Arun (Thailand): Sideview of Wat Arun temple - Bangkok
Picture of Wat Arun (Thailand): Detail of Wat Arun - Bangkok

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