The Temple of Dawn, or, by its full Thai name Wat Arun Ratchawararam Ratchawaramahawihan is a Buddhist temple – a wat – on the Thonburi bank of the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok.
It’s probably Bangkok’s most photographed sight, and I had to go there, too. I first wanted to see all major temples and the palace in one go, but the humid heat cut that short.
I’m glad it did, as this time I went in the late afternoon and so I got to see the sunset over the temples, and the Temple of Dawn being lit up beautifully.
The temple derives its name from the Hindu god Aruna, often linked to the rays of the rising sun. The original temple has been on this site since the 17th century, but its landmark spires have been added two hundred years later.
These spires of Wat Arun, called prang, are Khmer-style, and covered with colorful porcelain and seashells.
Sunrise must be really special at the Temple of Dawn, but the sunset is surely as beautiful.
I walked up the extremely steep steps and watched the sun set. There’s a fantastic view over the river, and the adjacent temple of Wat Pho and the Royal Palace.
I climbed down – surprisingly without much problem, as there were handrails mostly (unlike in Teotihuacan in Mexico where I made quite a scene about going down…) – and then strolled through the neighboring monastery.
There were food stands and peole and monks invited tourists and everyone to eat. An elderly monk talked to me and made sure I got a full plate, while another monk explained that this was a celebration for him.
I am not sure what the exact reason for the celebration was, but I got some yummy garlic spinach and rice and some of these dark colored eggs…
Time passed quickly and finally the lights went on and the temple was lit up for the night.
I took another couple of pictures and then hopped onto the ferry to the other side, to meet Daria’s friend Mioh, a Japanese expat working for UNICEF.
We had a great dinner in a beautiful restaurant called Sala Rattanakosin on the river bank with a view on Wat Arun, and later he took me on my first Tuk-Tuk ride to the nightly flower market, and on for a beer in the Silom area.