Thailand · Travel Tales

Wat Pho and Wat Arun

To complete your tour of the big three temples along the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok, you ought to go to Wat Pho and Wat Arun after your Wat Phra Kaew tour.

Wat Arun across the river
Wat Arun across the Chao Phraya River

Way Pho (entrance: 100 baht) is right beside Wat Phra Kaew and houses the grand Reclining Buddha.

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The detail on the roofs of wats are marvelous on their own.
Around Wat Pho
Around Wat Pho

The Reclining Buddha is more than 150 feet long. I had already expected it to be massive, but I didn’t expect it to be that big.

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Beautiful mother-of-pearl inlay featuring the 108 auspicious signs of the Buddha.
Beautiful mother-of-pearl inlay featuring the 108 auspicious signs of the Buddha.
Bronze bowls into which visitors can put donations
Bronze bowls into which visitors can put donations

Now to go to Wat Arun from Wat Pho, you’d need to take a ferry in the adjacent market. Fare is 3 baht. The ferry simply crosses the river to the Thonburi side of Bangkok.

The market which you'd have to cross to get to the ferry dock
The market which you’d have to cross to get to the ferry dock
The massive Wat Arun
The massive Wat Arun

The Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn) is accordingly more impressive at dawn, when sunlight reflects off its surface facing eastward. It used to house the Emerald Buddha when Thonburi was still the capital of the Siamese kingdom.

You can walk up Wat Arun, but be warned: the stairs are very steep. You’d be rewarded, though, with a nice view of the Chao Phraya and the surrounding neighborhood.

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Interesting: Chinese guardians around the temple
Interesting: Chinese guardians around the temple
Detain on Wat Arun: porcelain plates and gigantic sigay (cowrie shells)
Detain on Wat Arun: porcelain plates and gigantic sigay (cowrie shells)
View from Wat Arun
View from Wat Arun

To get back to the Khao San area, we crossed the river again, then took an express boat at the nearby pier (Tha Tien) to go back to the Phra Pin Klao pier.

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