The Many Facades and Colors of the Capital
After recovering from a tiring day at the Temple of the Emerald Buddha and Wat Po with a good night sleep, we headed back to the the same area (Ratanakosin Island) to visit another famous temple. We decided to take the boat taxi again, but this time, accidentally got on the tourist boat taxi (40 baht per person as opposed to 16 baht from yesterday). So what we got in addition is the tour guide who explained about places along the river in English.
Day 2: Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn) and Yaowarat, the Chinatown
In order to got o Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn) by boat from Sathorn Pier, you have to get off at Tha Chang (Elephant Pier) to cross the ferry from there to the temple’s pier. The 2 minute ride costs 3 baht per person (10 US cents!)
Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn)’s architecture is not a typical architecture of the Central region. It is influenced by the arts of Cambodia. The stupas are decorated in broken Chinese ceramics, just like the architecture of the Temple of the Reclining Buddha (Wat Po)
View of the Temple of Dawn from the other side of the river (Tha Chang Pier)
The guarding giants at Wat Arun. There are not many of these in other temples. I think they only exist at very important temples.
I love going to temples. The atmosphere of temples calm me and give me strength and peace of mind. Wat Arun, like other temples (except temples of the Emerald Buddha) allow monks to live there.
Lotus, the flower of Buddhism
The main Buddha statue of Wat Arun. When Thais visit a temple, they will normally first go into the main temple building that houses the the main Buddha statue. In this hall, you can prey, meditate, or simply sit there to calm your mind. There often are donation boxes for various purposes e.g. monks’ education, temple’s bills etc. In this picture, you can see the donation tree – a rather new invention that I have not seen before (or is it because I don’t go to the temple that often?).
Temples in Thailand do not only acts as a center for buddhists, but also a home to strayed animals like cats, dogs or even turtles.
The small Buddha statue in his teaching the animals manner. He believed that we all have previous lives in all shapes and forms. Each life suffers. To end the suffering is to find ways to achieve nirvana. Lord buddha said everyone can achieve nirvana.
The old stupa of Wat Arun, towering Bangkok’s bright blue sky on a warm December day.
The Chinese ceramic decor on the base of the stupa, I guess the guarding giant once lost the battle that caused him to lose one of his fangs :D.
View of the Chao Phraya river with the Royal Grand Palace on the opposite side overlooking from the top of the Stupa. The scene gives me an idea of what it must be like living along the river in Bangkok a hundred years back. The river of Bangkok is almost as busy as its streets – another charm of my hometown 🙂
A quiet corner under the tree with a great view of the stupa, away from the tourist ground.
Once we were done appreciating the beauty of Wat Arun, we decided to hit Chinatown next. We got on Bus No. 1 from Tha Chang pier passing the City Pillar and the Ministry of Defense to enter the Chinatown and Little India area.
Yaowarat Street is famously known as the Chinatown of Bangkok. It is one of the biggest commercial district in Thailand. It has Chinese old markets that sell rare foodstuff items from China, many of goldsmith shops, textile shops, wholesale fashion items/trinkets shops, and of course, many fine Chinese restaurants and Bangkok’s most delicious street food.
Welcome to Yaowarat, one of the busiest and most vibrant places in Bangkok.
A street side shop selling dried food on the main street of Yaowarat.
I love the streets of Bangkok, so many colors and so many things happening at the same time.
One of the many old shops in the area next to Little India. Love the rustic look of the shop.
And of course, everywhere you look there is street food. Yummy!
It was quite an adventure that left both of us very tired (also because of the heat) so we were looking forward to eating somewhere air conditioned 😦 I can’t believe it was in the 90’s in December! To add a little more fun and torture, we got on a non-air con/non fan bus from Chinatown to Central world. Something I had not done for a long, long time.
We ended the sightseeing portion of the day with a samosa from Little India. It tasted nothing like what I got from Jackson Heights in Queens 😦 Too spicy and quite greasy.
Hope you enjoyed the tour 🙂 For those who missed my first day going to the Temple of the Emerald Buddha and Temple of the Reclining Buddha, click here
Thanks for reading and see you on Day 3 of the trip soon. I am taking you to the South western part of the country! Something not to be missed! 🙂