Bangkok, Thailand





Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn)
This iconic temple is situated on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River. This is a royal temple of the highest rank and the most visited tourist attraction in Thonburi. It is easily accessible by boat from Wat Pho in Rattanakosin. Ferries take off every 10-15 minutes, operating daily from 6:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. while t
he temple grounds open from 7:30 a.m to 5:30 p.m. Walking around the temple gardens and looking at it from a distance is free but entering the temple compound will cost 50 baht (for foreigners at least).

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Wat Arun served as King Taksin's royal temple and during the Thonburi Period, it housed the recaptured Emerald Buddha for several years before it was moved to the Grand Palace in Rattanakosin in 1785. During the Rattanakosin era, Wat Arun lost its special status to Wat Phra Kaew in the Grand Palace but remained one of the most iconic temples in Thailand. It is featured prominently on 10 baht coins and as the logo of the Tourist Authority of Thailand (TAT).
Wat Arun by Brian Jeffery Beggerly

Overlooking the Chao Phraya river, Wat Arun is not only the symbol of Thonburi but also a world-famous landmark. The prang (tower-like spire) was originally built during the Ayutthaya Period and is in the classic Ayutthayan style. It was reconstructed and enlarged during the reign of King Rama II and finished during the reign of King Rama III. It was once the tallest structure in Bangkok until the advent of the modern skyscraper.

The main prang and its four satellite prangs are beautifully decorated with colourful broken Chinese porcelain pieces. It is believed that these broken porcelain pieces came from Chinese merchant ships that were shipwrecked at sea. Steep steps lead up to two terraces that surround the prang. From here, you can have a nice view of the Chao Phraya River and even the Grand Palace, Wat Pho and the downtown area if you look far enough.

Buddha statues in Wat Arun by Trapper Frank
Wat Kalayanamit
656 Tesaban 1 Rd (Kanlayanamit Pier)
Wat Kalayanamit is situated at the mouth of the Bangkok Yai Canal on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River. The temple was founded in 1825 by a Chinese nobleman who donated his own residence and bought a piece of land to built a temple.
Today, this massive temple is popular with believers from the Thai-Chinese community. The viharn is in the typical Thai style but the two flanking buildings have Chinese designs. Inside the viharn is a large Buddha statue standing at 15.44 metres high and 11.75 metres wide. Every day during the Chinese New Year festival, this temple is crowded with thousands of Thai-Chinese worshipers.

Wat Prayoon
Thesaban Sai 1 (Memorial Bridge Pier). Opens: daily from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
This temple is close to the banks of the Chao Phraya River. The first thing you see is its large white chedi designed in the Ayutthayan style (it is the only chedi of this style in Bangkok). If you want a nice nightly picture of the chedi, walk on the Memorial Bridge at dusk when the chedi is beautifully illuminated. The shallow pool has some turtles swimming around, which you can feed with food bought from the stalls outside. There is a small
two-room museum with exhibits of Khon masks and other cultural objects.

Wat Rakhang
250 Trok Wat Rakhang (Wat Rakung Pier). Opens: daily from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
This temple was built during the Ayutthaya Period and later reconstructed and upgraded as a royal temple by King Taksin. The temple was named the "Temple of the Bells" due to the discovery of a huge bell at the temple during the reign of King Rama I. This temple was once the residence of many supreme patriarchs of the Rattankosin Period. There are beautiful mural paintings in the ordination hall, image hall and bell tower. Outside is a row of bells and believed that ringing all of the bells in a row would bring good luck. The front of the temple is on the banks of the Chao Phraya River and is beautifully lit at night.

Wat Rakhang by Heinrich Damm

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