Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wat Arun

On the banks of the mighty Chao Phraya river across from Wat Pho is Wat Arun, a corn-cobbed shaped central spire, surrounded by four chedi. As with many of the temples at the Grand Palace and Wat Pho, Wat Arun is entirely covered with decorative ceramic plates and tiles in floral patterns. From a distance, the wat appears an overall grey-brown colour; and it's only up close that you see the millions of colourful petals that create the surface. The ceramic tile had been ballast, dumped by Chinese ships. I think it's the most incredible example of upcycling I've ever seen!

There are staircases that allow you to see the surface details close-up, and also get a nice view of the river and the Grand Palace. The first set of stairs are wide and easy, but they get progressively narrower and steeper (and terrifying); the third set feels more like a ladder, but it's definitely worth any fear!

We spied these giant lizards in a canal just off the main river. Central Bangkok.

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