After an early buffet breakfast at the hotel, we met our tour guide for the half-day city tour. Our first stop of the day was at the River City Complex and we embarked on a long express motorboat together with some day-trippers. We arrived at Wat Arun also known as The Temple of Dawn, one of the best known Buddhist temples in Bangkok and dates back to the ancient Ayutthaya period. As soon as we disembarked, we passed by through an alley lined with souvenir stalls.
First thing you'll notice of the outstanding Wat Arun is the tall, elongated central Khmer-style tower surrounded by four minor towers, which symbolize Mount Meru, the earthly representation of the thirty three heavens. I would say the beautiful architecture and fine craftsmanship of Wat Arun is quite unique and atypical compared to other temples in Bangkok.
Since the stairways are very steep visitors can only climb up to the first level. The second and third levels are prohibited to prevent a future accident.
Surrounded by beautiful gardens, the grounds are also pretty pleasing and serene. Along the pathway, we saw this three pairs of simple but colorful life-size wooden cutouts of Thai dancers that we were tempted to take some photos.
It's clearly a big fat scam!
Next to the prangs is the Ordination Hall with Niramitr Buddha image supposedly designed by King Rama II.