Solo Overland Backpacking Trip to Thailand & Laos – Part 8: Wat Arun, Bangkok

Solo Overland Backpacking Trip to Thailand & Laos – Part 8: Wat Arun, Bangkok

This is part of my travelogue on my solo overland backpacking trip to Thailand & Laos in 2013.

Previously: Part 7 – Wat Pho, Bangkok

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Still Day 4: Thursday, 29 August 2013

From Wat Pho, we proceeded to the next temple situated across the Chao Phraya river, Wat Arun. Wat Arun is one of the prominent landmarks if one cruises along the Chao Phraya river. The structure and the colour of the temple makes the temple looks elegant enough and it has its own spark to attract people to visit it.

Dari Wat Pho, kami teruskan perjalanan ke satu lagi wat yang terletak kat seberang sungai, Wat Arun namanya. Wat Arun ni salah satu mercu tanda yang jelas kalau kita naik bot sepanjang Sungai Chao Phraya. Struktur dia, warna dia buat Wat Arun nampak elegen, semacam ada kuasa untuk tarik orang pergi lawat dia. Eh khurafatnya bunyi. Haha.

We were greeted by these two bouncers. Lol.

Wat Arun has another name to it, the Temple of Dawn. I was told that the name Temple of Dawn was given because during sunrise, the first sunlight shining onto the temple gives some sort of iridescence or nice reflections.

Satu lagi nama untuk Wat Arun ialah Temple of Dawn. Kata orang, nama tu diberi sebab bila waktu Subuh, bila matahari pertama terbit, dia punya pantulan kat bangunan wat tu buat wat tu nampak macam…cantiklah senang kata. 

One of the buildings inside Wat Arun’s compound.

After crossing the river from Wat Pho, both Florian and I went to the entrance and paid the entrance fee. This temple is small as compared to Wat Pho, but what differentiate this wat is that it has a central prang surrounded by other smaller prangs. Looks like a stupa but instead of the normal-design stupa, this prang was designed with a Khmer style.

Lepas seberang sungai, aku dan Florian pergi ke pintu masuk wat dan bayar bayaran masuk. Kecil je wat ni kalau nak dibanding dengan Wat Pho, tapi yang bezakan wat ni dari wat lain sebab kat wat ni, stail dia ada satu prang kat tengah, dan dikelilingi prang-prang kecil. Macam stupa yang kat wat-wat lain, tapi rekaan dia rekaan Khmer.

One of the smaller prangs.

As we entered the compound, we were greeted by two ‘bouncers’, the Yaksha guardians statues which guarded the entrance to the ordination hall. It did not take us long before we reached the central prang. From afar, the central prang looked like cement with natural cement colour. However, upon closer inspection, I noticed it was made by several colourful porcelain. I went to the steps to climb the prang.

Elok je kami masuk dalam wat ni, kami disambut dua orang ‘bouncer’, patung Yaksha gergasi yang jaga pintu masuk ke dewan ordination. Jalan punya jalan, akhirnya sampai ke prang utama kat tengah tu. Dari jauh nampak macam simen, tapi bila dah dekat baru nampak, banyak porcelain kecil-kecil kat situ. Aku pergi ke tangga sebab nak naik ke atas.

The stairs to climb the central prang. Trust me, this is so steep!

According to history, the central prang was built in the 19th century, during the reign of King Rama II. However, proper maintenance has made this prang sustained the changing environment. One thing for sure, the climb was a steep one. I had a hard time to reach the platform area of the prang.

Ikut sejarahnya, prang utama ni dibina pada abad ke-19 oleh King Rama II. Tapi, sampai sekarang prang ni kuat lagi. Time aku naik, rasa gayat sikit sebab tangga dia curam sangat.

View of the Chao Phraya river and beyond from Wat Arun.

A few minutes climbing, finally I reached the platform area. The view from above was amazing. I could see the Chao Phraya river with the boats and even Wat Pho as well as the Grand Palace at the horizon. Sometimes, the wind blew and although it was freaking hot with the sun just on top of our heads, the wind soothed things a bit.

Lepas beberapa minit naik tangga, akhirnya sampai pun di kawasan platform. Pemandangan dia memang superb! Nampak sungai Chao Phraya dengan botnya. Wat Pho dan Grand Palace pun nampak di kejauhan. Ada masa angin bertiup, lega sekejap sebab kalau tak panas giler.

Another view of Bangkok from the top.

At the small prangs, there were small bells being hang. So, when the wind blows, there will be sounds of bells, which I found to be amazing and surreal.

Dekat prang-prang kecil tu pulak, digantungnya loceng-loceng kecil. Jadi, bila angin bertiup, denganlah bunyi loceng macam orang jual aiskrim “kring..kringg…kring”. Eh, tak. Bunyi macam wind charmer jiran sebelah rumah aku! Haha.

The majestic Temple of Dawn – Wat Arun.

The visit to Wat Arun taught me a lot. Although it is a place of worship, Wat Arun is also a history piece, something that had withstand the test of time. Visiting here will let us know about the history of Bangkok in general, how Buddhism was made as an integral part of Thai culture, and which King built what and when.

Yang pasti, lawatan aku ke Wat Arun banyak mengajar aku supaya menghayati sejarah, jaga monumen warisan. Bukan apa, tak tahu sampai bila bangunan-bangunan, tempat-tempat macam ni boleh bertahan. Sekurang-kurangnya, ke Bangkok, lawat Wat Arun, boleh belajar pasal agama lain, sejarah orang lain, dan akhirnya kita boleh menghormati perbezaan tu.

More photos of Wat Arun:

Lagi gambar Wat Arun:

The signboard of Wat Arun from the back entrance.
Hi! Ok bye! Lol.
Small reclining Buddha found in one of the inlet of the prang.
Florian trying hard to climb.
One of the statues there.
This, somehow, reminds me of Borobudur in Yogjakarta, Indonesia.

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After exploring Wat Arun, we exited through the back door and was welcomed by rows of wooden houses and shop houses. We walked a bit to find a place to eat. After lunch, we flagged a taxi to return to the hostel.

Lepas dah pusing Wat Arun, kami keluar ikut pintu belakang. Saja nak tengok apa ada. Keluar-keluar nampak rumah papan, rumah-rumah kedai, sebaris. Kami cari tempat makan dan lepas makan tengahari, kami tahan satu teksi untuk balik ke hostel.

Going back to the hostel.

Whilst on the way, I noticed this building.

Masa dalam perjalanan balik, aku nampak bangunan ni.

Recognise this?

Then, I remembered. Hangover II!

Fikir punya fikir, baru aku teringat. Hangover II!

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To be continued – Part 9

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To go to Wat Arun, disembark at Jetty No. 8: Tha Tien. There will be another gate at the jetty for a ferry ride across the river. Cost of the ride is THB 3 [as of August 2013].

The entrance fee to Wat Arun is THB 50 [as of August 2013].

8 Replies to “Solo Overland Backpacking Trip to Thailand & Laos – Part 8: Wat Arun, Bangkok”

    1. Yeah, you bet! It was soooo steep.

      Well, there will always be another time KJ, I am sure. In fact, I did not manage to visit Wat Arun in 2011 but gladly managed to this time around 🙂

    1. Masa first time saya ke Bangkok pun mcm tu gak. nengok dari bot.. hehe.. sebab tak cukup masa gak. nasib baik dapat pegi kali kedua. hehe

      hahahahah. akak masa ni gigih diet tak makan daging, nasi semua lepas tu siap jogging masuk running events bagai. sekarang… hah mcm dipam pam. hahahahah

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