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Temples in (and around) Bangkok (Part 6)

Bangkok has hundreds of Temples ("Wats"). Once I thought it would be possible to photograph them all (over the years). I know better now. On these pages you find some of the most famous and beautiful Temples of Bangkok and direct surroundings.

Although I advise to browse through these pages in order,
you can directly jump to any of the Temples shown on these pages by using the Temples Menu on the left.

Wat Arun

Wat Arun in sunset

Wat Arun is also called the "Temple of Dawn". This name comes from a legend, telling that King Taksin arrived here at dawn in 1767 from Ayutthaya, after that city had been taken and looted by the Burmese. At that time Wat Arun was only a small Temple. King Taksin wanted it to become the home for the Emerald Buddha (now at Wat Phra Kaew).
The current buildings were built or completed under King Rama I, King Rama II and King Rama IV. King Rama IV added the earthenware ornaments (see below).
Although the picture here shows it at sunset, it gives an impression of how it should look at dawn. Visit the Temple during the day, though. It is closed at night.

Gate of Wat Arun Pagoda of Wat Arun

In most cases you will arrive by ferry boat. The Express boat does not stop near Wat Arun. So you have to cross the river by ferry. The gate on the left hand side picture is at the side of the river, so this is where you normally arrive. If you are on the Thonburi side of the river, however, you can go to Wat Arun by taxi or tuk-tuk.
The right hand side picture shows the pagoda (prang), the "trademark" of Wat Arun, from nearby.

Detail of the pagoda of Wat Arun Smaller detail of the pagoda

The pagoda is indeed the part for which Wat Arun is famous. The two pictures above show some details of it. As you can see from the right hand side picture, the pagoda is decorated with earthenware parts, that were added during the reign of King Mongkut (King Rama IV).

Bot of Wat Arum Around the Bot

Although most people only visit the pagoda (and -as I will show below- to a large extent with their eyes closed for some of the most interesting things around there), Wat Arun is a normal Temple, with a "Bot" with a large Buddha image inside and Buddha images around it.

Birth of the Buddha Enlightenment of the Buddha Teaching of the Buddha

Around the pagoda four small shrines symbolize the four main events in the life of the Buddha. You find them near the corners, when you walk around the pagoda, on the first level. These four small shrines are often overlooked and -strangely enough- not mentioned in any of my travel guides for Thailand. So here they are. The three pictures above show (in this order) the Birth of the Buddha, the Enlightenment of the Buddha and the Teaching of the Buddha.

The Buddha enters Nirvana

The fourth main event in the life of the Buddha is his Entering into Nirvana. All four shrines are interesting and you, as a visitor of Hasekamp Net, should not overlook them!

View from Wat Arun Boat traffic near Wat Arun

From the pagoda you have a good view over Royal Bangkok. The left hand side picture proves what I said earlier, that the most interesting gate is at the side of the river.
When you go back by ferry to the other side of the river, take a last picture of Wat Arun. Go back in the early morning or the early evening (in both cases near 6.00 hours) to make a picture as the one at the top of this page.

(top of page)

Related pages: The Chao Phraya River (Part 1 and Part 2)

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