No rain. I guess the afternoon squall has finally decided to halt. I just got out of Wat Pho and noticed I still have enough time to explore another temple that afternoon. The Temple of Dawn, Wat Arun is just across Chao Phraya river. Just a short walk from Wat Pho is the ferry terminal to cross the river. Only 3.50 baht and I’m across the river in less than 10 minutes.
Wat Arun Ratchawararam Ratchawaramahawihan is the exact name of Wat Arun. And for convenience sake, I’ll stick to the shorter name. From the river, the Buddhist temple spires were already striking. The wat may be a Buddhist but the name was derived from the Hindu god of radiations of the rising sun, Aruna. The center spire (prang) rises about 79 meters high and is covered in colorful porcelain mosaic glass. The temple has been around since the Ayutthaya Kingdom but the center spire was added later by Rama III around 1824 – 1851.
Wats and Cats
It was easy to make my way around Wat Arun as soon as I got off the west bank of Chao Phraya. It’s a small area but the details up close is outstanding. It can be overwhelming to inspect corner after corner of details. From the vegetation on the lower levels, to the Kinaree and Yaksha demons on the mid-level. Like many Buddhist temples, the central prang represents Mt Meru while the smaller satellite prangs are for the wing god Phra Phai. At that time, the stairs up to the central prang wasn’t opened and the ordination hall too. So I contented myself encircling the grounds. I did notice a lot of cats here (and at Wat Pho) and some of them look good. I guess it’s a reflection of Buddhist belief not to harm any creatures so they take care of them.
Wat Arun is a popular spot for sunrise where the morning sun make the prang glimmer in golden light. In the evening it glows with beautiful lighting. But with the unfavorable weather, I decided to forego shooting Wat Arun. There will be another chance when I return.
Opening Hours: 08:00 –17:30
Location: West side of Chao Praya River
Entrance Fee: 50 Baht
Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.