We hailed a taxi in Bangkok going to our next destination. Good thing our friends Joey and Sar, who’ve been based in Bangkok for a while, accompanied us to tour the temples in the city.
The sun has just risen when we arrived at Wat Arun temple. This is one of the most popular landmarks in Bangkok for its spectacular view of the temple from the Chao Phraya River. It creates a stunning reflection and glitter from afar.
Wat Arun is composed of one central prang or spire then surrounded by four others. The main prang is about 79 meter high made of ceramics and multi-colored porcelain in intricate patterns. Wat is the Thai word for Buddhist temple. The name Wat Arun is derived from Aruna, The Hindu God of Dawn.
Before we even arrived at the Wat Arun itself, our eyes were treated with a lot of beautiful temples surrounding the place. Being Filipinos, and we don’t have temples in our country, we were just in awe of the distinct details of the designs.
We even saw some Buddhists there. Since we were not really familiar with how Buddhists go about their lives and all, we had a lot of assumptions. One friend even told us that Buddhists don’t really interact with people. Then we saw some Buddhists there, sipping some milk tea while reading books. Hahaha!
To prove that they’re approachable, we asked for some photos and they obliged.
We paid about 100 baht each as entrance fee.Thais are free but for foreigners like us, it’s not.
People can actually climb up the central spire of Wat Arun, but be careful because it’s so steep. There are railings for support and balance.
This can be scary to those with fear of heights. But it’s not every day that we get a chance to go to Thailand and explore their temples, so I just go with it. I just made sure that I climbed really slow and ensured that I hold the railings all the time.
One of our friends didn’t dare to climb the spire, but for us to hell with it. Hahaha!
Reaching the highest point of the spire gave us a nice view of the Chao Phraya River and also the Grand Palace and Wat Pho which we later explored.
It was definitely a challenge going down. But with deep breathing and careful movements (hahaha), I did it.
For us travelers, Wat Arun is a temple we explored and adored. But for locals, it is there important place of worship. So it is our responsibility to respect the place.
There were a lot of thoughts running through my head while observing people at Wat Arun, but it was more of realizing the differences of every culture and traditions and being able to be there and immerse yourself is an important moment for every traveler.
Looking at Wat Arun when we were about to board the boat going to the other side of the river, made me appreciate and value more the architecture, craftsmanship and culture of Thai people. Now I know why a lot of travelers are obsessed with Thailand. Things that you only experience and learn through travel.
Photo Credit: My good friend, Geneveve Mallari
Wat Arun Details
Full Name: Wat Arun Ratchawararam Ratchawaramahawihan
Address: 158 Wang Doem Rd, Wat Arun, Bangkok Yai, Bangkok 10600, Thailand
Phone: +66 2 891 2185
Entrace Fee: 100 Baht
Open: 08:30AM to 5:30PM