Climbing to the Top of Wat Arun
Save the best for last. That was on my mind while doing my IT for the Bangkok leg of my Indochina Adventure. After I visited the National Museum I went straight to Wat Arun via a Tuktuk which I haggle for 40 Baht from 80 Baht. Every tourist should haggle since the Tuktuk drivers are charging double from the original price.
After 5-10 minutes we reached the ferry station.
Wat Arun is on the west bank of Chao Phraya River meaning you have to cross the river to go to the temple. Crossing the river for 3 minutes would only cost you 2 Baht. Cheap isn’t? It is as if it is only the temple that you cans see on the other side of the river but actually I observed that most of the residential places in Bangkok are on the west side of the river.
Entering the temple will cost you 50 Baht.
Wat Arun is considered one of the most well known of Thailand’s many landmarks. The temple is named (Wat Arun or the Temple of the Dawn) because the first light of the morning reflects off the surface of the temple with pearly iridescence. from Wikipedia
There was a sense of excitement on me when I entered the vicinity of the temple. The place was crowded with tourist from all over the world. There was a consensus of feeling among the people who entered the temple. All of us want to climb the top of the 250 feet temple. And most of the people did it.
I climbed and saw the East side of Chao Praya River from the west side. A mixture of urban structures and religious temples dominates the view from the top of Wat Arun. Wat Arun has three levels accessible for climbing. The captivating view The Grand Palace will mesmerize your eyes with its shining golden roof.
I spend about 40-50 minutes on the top circling temples on each level. There can never be serenity within the temple as tourist flock on every side. There were families, couples and friends cheering each other to climb the steep stairs. Of course there were solo travelers like me who brought their friend – a camera.
It was easy for me to climb every steep detailed stairs since I had some walking exercises around Grand Palace and Wat Po in the morning. Like the temples in Angkor Wat Archeological Park, the challenge was to descend from the top. With sweats all over my body and in my both hands, I was afraid to go down because I might slip on the stairs. My both knees were shaking. Poor guy from Manila no body was cheering me down there. But then, I was motivated by Japanese elder who at her age didn’t bother to go straight down after the some sightseeing above.
Back at the east side of the river was easy as going to the west side.
Since sunset in Bangkok is at around 6pm, I had opportunity to stroll around and look for a coffee shop where I can see the famous sunset of Wat Arun.
I found The Coffee Place. The perfect spot to watch the sunset. The coffee shop was very relaxing and has a good ambiance. Given the fact that they offer affordable pastries and drinks from coffee to juices of your choice, I excitedly ordered my first dose of coffee to kill time and reminisce the past days of my travel.
The Coffee Place is operated by Aurum The River Place a hotel in front of the Chao Praya River.
It was kind of weird because there were no other travelers aside from me in that coffee shop which I theorized is the perfect spot to watch the sunset. Many minutes had past when a group of (I think) high school students chatting with each other.
Then the great surprise came to me. Not what I am expecting actually, a big dark cloud covered the bright sky of Bangkok.
At maybe around 6:15 I decided to concede with nature. I didn’t wait for the rain to dominate me; I paid my bill and headed to Kao San Road for another think that I look forward to – Authentic Thai Massage and Kao San night life.