on August 26, 2010
Rising up majestically along the banks of the Chao Phraya River, Wat Arun (the Temple of Dawn) is certainly hard to miss. An iconic landmark of Bangkok, this is a necessary stop when visiting the city, especially since it’s just across from the Grand Palace and Wat Pho. Best way of getting there: From Pier 8 (Tha Tien), right by Wat Pho, take the cross-river ferry, which departs every 10-15min or so. Cost: 3 baht. Entry into Wat Arun is 50 baht (for foreigners).Throughout Wat Arun, though, you’ll see great details in the architecture and art – with a mosaic-like appearance of porcelain pieces covering the structures. The whole temple has a lot of character, with various Thai mystical creatures surrounding the walls and the famed Thai monkeys guarding the baseBut the real point of visiting the temple is the central prang, or column. The prang is the distinguishing feature of the temple and the real challenge for tourists. Elderly and those with health concerns probably wouldn’t enjoy the grounds as much, as it is a steep climb up to the top of the Wat. But the views afforded at the top are worth the effort. Be warned: going down is almost more difficult than climbing up and many people actually have to take the stairs down backwards given how tall and steep each step is. Thankfully, though, they have separate staircases for those ascending and descending. So head up to the top of Wat Arun, take in the sights of the river, Grand Palace and surrounding area. It’s well worth the trip up. And for 56 baht overall (US$2), I’m sure you can afford it.
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