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Sunday, August 25, 2013

Chao Phraya River Cruise + WAT ARUN

Why go on an expensive Chao Phraya River Cruise when you can do-it-yourself? This we accidentally discovered after visiting the Grand Palace and Wat Pho as Wat Arun is located across the river from Wat Pho and there is a ferry terminal where you can board to cross the river and eventually go on a cruise.

What we did was wait at the park near Chang Ferry Station until the sun was low on the horizon and marveled at the beauty of Wat Arun.This Buddhist Temple is probably one of the most photographed and popular attraction in Bangkok due to to its imposing structure and strategic location along the bank of Chao Phraya river.
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View of Wat Arun from the East Bank of Chao Phraya River


Apologies if this post is full of all-about-us photos.We waited too long in the other side that the temple was already closed when we crossed.Fail.One good thing about it though is that you don't actually have to get inside to appreciate it.Unlike other temples in Bangkok, Wat Arun is not walled,instead, a metal bar fence surrounds it so one can still clearly see the whole structure without getting intimate.
Wat_Arun from Chao_Phraya
Wat_Arun Bangkok
The main feature of Wat Arun is its central prang (Khmer Style tower) which are encrusted with colourful porcelain.This is interpreted as a stupa-like pagoda incrusted with coloured faience. The height is reported by different sources as between 66.8 m (219 ft) and 86 m (282 ft). The corners are surrounded by four smaller satellite prang. The prang are decorated by seashells and bits of porcelain which had previously been used as ballast by boats coming to Bangkok from China.The presiding Buddha image, cast in the reign of Rama II, is said to have been moulded by the king himself. The ashes of King Rama II are interred in the base of the image. Source


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I didn't realize how extensive the Indian influence is to Thailand until I learned that Wat Arun actually based its name from a Hindu God Aruna who is personified as the radiations of the rising sun.

Well, Buddhism is the prevalent religion in this country after all which originated in India.Wat Pho (and I assume many other temples in Siam) also have Indian influences.

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I reckon that the view of Wat Arun is lovely on sunrise since it is located at the East bank of the river.Nonetheless, it is a sight to behold during sunset and especially at night when it lights up.The area is away from the financial district so there is no other high structure to compete against.The night is all for the structure to dominate.
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We crossed the river back to Chang Ferry Terminal and waited there till it got dark before boarding the boat to central station.Behold what I captured.

Speaking of expensive River Cruise at Chao Phraya River.Just to give you an idea, a
Bangkok Dinner Cruise on the Chao Phraya River usually costs $50. You can have a similar experience (less the meal) for only a few Thai Baht is you give a little time for research and ride the passenger ferry instead.


HOW TO GET TO WAT ARUN?
1. Just get your ass to any ferry station along Chao Phraya River 
2. and find your way to Chang Terminal.From Chang Station 
3. then ride a smaller boat to the other side.

Sorry I cannot remember how much it is exactly how much the fare is from Central Ferry terminal to Chang Station but it is cheap.If I can recall correctly, crossing the river to Wat Arun from Chang Station only costs 3.50Baht. That's how cheap it is.
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We then found our way to Central Ferry terminal and transferred to the sky train to meet Gideon who is a high school classmate/ friend of our.He happens to be working as an English teacher in an international school there.We had dinner together at MK Suki Siam Station which will be the subject of my next post.

Please look for it soon.

Also, please feel free to read:
***How to get to WAT PHO: The Temple of the Reclining Buddha

_____________________

15 comments:

  1. there's always a choice and a cheaper version.

    nice captures at the blue hour!

    ReplyDelete
  2. ganda naman ng view na yan, napaka calming

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  3. loved your night shot of Wat Arun! Blue hour at its finest! Hindi nyo visit yung inside grounds ng temple?

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  4. Wish ko lang talaga makapunta ako dito!

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