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11.3.15

Bangkok : Wat Arun「วัดอรุณ」

Wat Arun temple in Bangkok

Standing on the other side of Chao Praya river, Wat Arun is the antithesis of Wat Pho and Wat Phra Kaew. Guarded by giants called Yuk Wat Jaeng (ยักษ์วัดแจ้ง) who happen to be mortal enemies of the Yuk Wat Po (ยักษ์วัดโพธิ์) standing at the other river bank it is a sample of the Khmer Architecture, characteristic of Cambodia and crystallized at Angkor Wat, its master piece. It is commonly known as the temple of dawn, because it shines when the sun rises up into the Thai blue sky, but stands dark at dusk.




The construction of the stupas (known as prang in Thai) was completed at 1851, after 50 years of work. The main stupa is 75m high and is surrounded by monkeys, demons, Chinese soldiers and animals but the top is occupied by Buddhist iconography, where different levels of the stupa represent different things:
- Base is for Traiphum, indicating all realms of existence
- Middle is for Tavatimsa, granting desires
- Top is for Devaphum, six heavens within seven realms of happiness

The way up is steep and tricky, specially when wearing the pareo to cover your bare legs, but as usual, worth the effort. From the top, you get outstanding views of Bangkok and the Thonburi area where the major temples are located, along the Chao Praya river. I could not think of any better way to end up a busy day, than enjoying a yummy ice-cream in the Temple Gardens.

Wat Arun temple in Bangkok
Get on the boat...
Wat Arun temple in Bangkok
...Wat Arun here we come!
Wat Arun temple in Bangkok
Wat Arun temple in Bangkok
Cute guardians surround the dock area.
Wat Arun temple in Bangkok
Stairs are steep.
Wat Arun temple in Bangkok
But the views are worth it.
Wat Arun temple in Bangkok
The main stupa is loaded with Chinese porcelain giving its hypnotizing shade.
Wat Arun temple in Bangkok
Flowers chains remain the most popular item to offer in Thai Buddhism.
Wat Arun temple in Bangkok
Wat Arun temple in Bangkok
Wat Arun temple in Bangkok
While being referred to as Temple of Dawn it is undeniably charming at Dusk too.
Wat Arun temple in Bangkok
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