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Wat Arun

Wat ArunLocated on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River, Wat Arun can The National Gallerybe reached either by Arun Amarin Road or by crossing the river by boat from Tha Tien Pier, near Wat Pho. The most attractive structure of this temple is the 79-metre-high pagoda or “Phra Prang? Wat Arun was renovated during the brief Thonburi period to be the Royal Chapel of King Taksin. Despite the meaning of its name that is “The Temple of Dawn? the most beautiful view of it is from the Bangkok side of the river at sunset. 
The Wat really looks better from a distance than close up, and you're not missing out too much even if you only view from across the river. The grounds are fairly pleasant and peaceful though, with good murals and a main Buddha image supposedly designed by King Rama II. The mythical guardians here are also quite impressive, though very similiar to those at Wat Phra Kaew.

It is possible to walk a limited way up the (very steep) stairs of the main prang, which gives a reasonable view of the Chao Phraya river.

Despite it's name (coming from Aruna, the Indian god of the dawn), the best views and photos of Wat Arun are in the evening with the sun setting behind it. There are some restaurants on the opposite side of the river that are good for watching this, though you'd be lucky to see the image of Wat Arun that's on all the postcards - that of the red sky sunset with the sun setting directly behind the temple. Sunset is around 6pm - 7pm all year round in Bangkok.

Details
Wat Arun is a little unusual as it's really the only major tourist attraction on the Thonburi side of the river. It is open every day from 8.30am to 5.30pm. Officially, entrance to the Wat is 20B and the ferry crossing is 2B. Sometimes if you walk around the Wat grounds, you will be requested for a donation (with a book showing how everyone else gave 100B/200B), and sometimes the staff at the pier will cite some excuse and charge another 10B or so to let you through.

Other attractions fairly easy to reach from here are Wat Pho, Wat Phra Kaew, the National Museum, Chinatown the Ko Rattanakosin area, and the Banglamphu district.

Due to it's location, by far the best and most common way to get to Wat Arun is on the river. The Tha Tien express boat pier, at the southwest corner of the Grand Palace / Wat Phra Kaew, is opposite Wat Arun and boats leave every few minutes. You can get to Tha Tien on the Chao Phraya River Express boats from any other pier, or take a taxi to it. Buses that go near Tha Tien are ordinary buses 1, 25, 44, 47, 62 and 91 which stop on Maharat road. There are also plenty of Thonburi canal tours that go here. 
How this trip makes a difference!
Creative Hands Every booking you make creates a donation. Ghale Treks is a proud supporter of Creative Hands a social welfare organization. We send part of your service charge to Creative Hands who support worthy causes in poorer communities. Your money will go to education, disabled or physically challenged people, street children, victims, and those living in rural and remote areas of Nepal. Read more about the great work that Creative Hands do and where your donation goes here: http://www.creativehands.org.np

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