Wat Arun: Temple of Dawn

I’d been coming and living in Thailand for almost three years now and I still hadn’t visited Wat Arun, otherwise known as Temple of Dawn, one of the oldest and most recognisable temples in Thailand. All that changed yesterday, and, well…it was ok.

Wat Is Going On?

I’d had a bad Friday and Saturday morning due to some technical issues regarding setting up my Amazon FBA online store. It turns out that I have to phone the U.S. IRS to get something called an EIN which allows people who are non-residents of the United States to sell on Amazon (if you’re wanting to sell in America)…are you still awake? I also read I need to provide the IRS with an American address even though the EIN is for people who do not LIVE in the country…are you still with me?

Because of this, I was, therefore, a bit disheartened and as I ate my corn flakes I began to work out how the flipperty heck I was going to sort this out. At the very least it means calling the US from Thailand which I bet will be really cheap.

But you can either sit around and worry about stuff or you can get on with it. Monday will come around and I’ll get on with it but until then…fun times!

To Wat Arun Or Not Arun?

As I mentioned earlier I had been meaning to go to Wat Arun for some time but just hadn’t got around to it but I’d mentioned it to Malinee the previous day and although my initial mood was to stay in and stare into an abyss whilst eat chocolate, we set off.

Meng Noodle

But first, lunch. Malinee had decided that she must have noodles so we made our way to Silom Road and to Meng Noodles which apparently does the best noodles in Bangkok – so when we arrived I obviously went for a rice dish instead. I don’t know why but I saw a dish I’d eaten before and loved on the menu and my mind was made up. It’s called Khao Moo Dang which translates into Rice Pork Red. Yes, the word for pork is the same noise a cow makes. I don’t know who came up with the name for pork in Thailand but it sounds like someone was trying to have a laugh. The dish is basically pork cooked three different ways, a slice of boiled egg, some rice with some kind of sweet sauce all over it and a pork stock soup…

Khao Moo Deng

It tasted delicious. In fact, it was so good I ate it incredible fast, resulting in some fine burps which sadly I had to suppress due to other customers in the restaurant. I noticed some photographs on the wall and was assured by Malinee that they were famous Thai people that had eaten in Mengs. I’m sure she’s right but as far as I know, they could just be a shrine to customers that have died from eating too much Khao Moo Deng.

RIP fellow Khao Moo Dengers

One of the things I love about Bangkok is the food, especially when you eat in a normal little restaurant with no frills. Most of these little restaurants serve food that you would pay top dollar for anywhere in the west. In Bangkok, you can have one of the nicest meals you will ever eat for £2.50 sometimes less.

Where The Magic Happens

If you want to check this place out while you’re here – https://www.facebook.com/NaiMeng They have a Facebook page.

Wat? When?

After settling the bill and a few more silent burps we made our way to Sala Deang BTS station and onto Silom pier to began the boat trip to Wat Arun. The sun beat down on us and the temperature began to rise. I like temples but not as much as I like not dying from sunstroke so we decided to get off at an earlier stop and head to Icon Siam one of the many new shopping malls that are taking over any spare ground in Bangkok.

Chao Phraya River

My mind was beginning to wander from Amazon worries as we strolled around the pristine and shiny new shops. Then something strange happened…myself and Malinee both had an overwhelming urge to eat cake. I must say that it was she that originally mentioned the ‘c’ word but due to my mood and lust for any kind of cake, I didn’t put up a fight. We made our way to the coffee and cake shops which covers almost an entire floor of the shopping mall. The place looks like the reception of some fancy hotel or spa.

Icon Siam…a bit understated

The entire floor was covered in fake plants and huge chandeliers of all sizes. It even had a water feature!

A Hub of Water

These are coffee shops that look like London private members bars. It seems like the perfect place to eat overpriced cake, I thought to myself, so that’s what we did and this was the choice I made, a sort of brownie cheesecake…

CAKE!

Wat Cake?

I don’t know what you think but when I clapped eyes on this I wanted to pick it up with both my hands and begin rubbing it all over my face while making groaning noises. You’ll be pleased to know, I decided against it and just ate it like a normal person ( Thailand has changed me).

Maybe it was my mood or maybe it was the fact I have taken to not eating as much chocolate as I used to but I didn’t enjoy it. I mean, I liked the first three or four mouthfuls as the sugar began to power into my veins. But after that, I kind of got bored of the taste. It’s as shocking to me as anything that has ever happened to anyone anywhere in the world! I bravely carried on and finished it but I think the relationship me and cake enjoyed for so long is beginning to wane.

Wat Now?

The sun finally began to lose it’s strength so we made our way back to the river and the short ride to Wat Arun. Wat Arun is one of Bangkok’s best-known temples and originally built in the early 19th century during the reign of King Rama II.

Wat Arun is also known as The Temple of Dawn which sounds like somewhere you’d find Indiana Jones and a series of booby traps. Despite the risk of being killed by one such trap I heroically stepped off the boat and into the temples grounds.

The first thing that strikes you is its height, there seem to be two differing views of its height with some records saying it is 219 feet and others saying it’s 282 feet. I didn’t have my tape measure with me but I can safely say it’s tall – really tall!

Wat Arun

I then began to notice more the detailed decoration which apparently is made from porcelain.

Wat Arun

I was certainly impressed by its size and design but I wasn’t totally blown away with it as I have been with other temples in Bangkok. It certainly isn’t in contention to dislodge any of the ones that make up my top 5 – https://pauldancewriter.com/2019/06/28/the-top-5-must-see-temples-in-bangkok/

Wat Do I Think?

Wat Arun is certainly worth a visit and the chance to walk a certain way up its side is different to many temples in Bangkok but it didn’t strike into me as many other temples have. But it’s so easy to reach and close to other sights that spending an hour here is recommended. It’s a chance to add a tick to places seen and makes a good picture for your Instagram…that is if you are comfortable in front of the camera because you end up with a photo like this otherwise…

Natural models

To read more about Wat Arun follow the link – http://www.watarun.net/

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15 Comments Add yours

  1. First, on behalf of the United States, I’m sorry my country is being such a pain in the arse.
    Second, you had to suppress burps for other customers in the restaurant? What about poor Malinee? She does NOT want to hear your burps. I guarantee it.
    Third, how do you pronounce “khao?” My mind is saying it’s pronounced like “cow,” in which case the name of the pork dish is even stranger to the western ear. As in, “Cow Moo Dang.”
    Finally, Wat Arun is very pretty, but if they can accurately determine the elevation of Mount Everest, you’d think they’d be able to do the same for the height of a temple. Sheesh!

    1. Firstly suppressed burps is only really a thing I tend to do in public – and from my experience it’s the same for Thai people, trust me 😄 I also accept your apology on behalf of your country, maybe you can let it know I’m not dodgy. Yes it is pronounced ‘cow’ which does make it all the more funny/confusing. Yeah I dunno what’s going on about the height issue. I checked 2 websites (one was Wikipedia) and they both said about the height discrepancy – wtf??!

  2. By the way, if they won’t let up about an American address, try 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, D.C., 20500. That should solve your problems. 😉

    1. Haha – don’t you have a loon living there? 😉

  3. Rivergirl says:

    You’re filling out a form for non US residents and have to provide a US address. That makes perfect sense…
    🙄

    1. Yes it’s so incredibly clear and easy 😵

  4. Rivergirl says:

    You and cake have broken up? That’s so sad. Please send all the love starved cake to me … I shall show it the proper amount of affection.

    1. I’m going to try really hard to rekindle the greatest love of the 21st century.

      1. Rivergirl says:

        Cake. It’s always been there for you… and asks so little in return.

      2. Seeing as though you put it that way….🍰

  5. Rivergirl says:

    Let me get this straight, we have a temple of indeterminate height made out of porcelain? Very odd. Rather like that odd looking fellow photo bombing the pretty woman’s selfie…

    1. Odd looking fellow….I’ve never felt so proud of myself 🥰

  6. GGeorgina says:

    I do like your sense of humour Paul and super glad you finally made it to Wat Arun. It looks majestic and sounds like an interesting place to visit. Thank you for sharing your experiences.

    1. Thank you so much Georgina. Saying I have a good sense of humour is like nectar to me 😄. Even if I try to write a serious post, I can’t help myself 🤪

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