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First Day in Bangkok: We visited Wat Arun

First Day in Bangkok: We visited Wat Arun

February 2020 · 4 min read · Bangkok

When we arrived in Bangkok, we first visited the famous Wat Arun. We took a small boat across the Chao Phraya River, as our hotel was on the opposite side of the river. The trip cost about 40 cents for everyone. Wat Arun is located on the banks of the Chao Phraya River and translates to the Temple of Dawn. It is named after the Indian god of dawn Aruna. Despite the name, sunset is the best time to visit the temple. Because the evening light underlines the mystical effect of the temple and makes it sparkle. On our first day we visited the temple around noon - this is also a good time. Overall, we were at the temple about 5 times - there are other sights directly at the temple that we absolutely wanted to see.

With a typical boat in Bangkok - the Chao Phraya Express boat we went to Wat Arun. As we quickly noticed, the boat is one of the most important means of transportation in Bangkok. They are used during the day on regular services on the Chao Phraya. With these boats you can really reach many sights. You can imagine it like a bus in Germany - there are stops that the boats keep coming to on the shore. The stops are about as far apart as the bus stops in Germany.

We found that boating is the most convenient form of transportation in Thailand. We actually never dared to drive tuk tuk - they always looked a little insecure. Otherwise we mostly took a taxi - which is of course more expensive, but still very cheap compared to Germany. You can simply choose a stop on the bank for the boat tour and then queue up. You can buy the card directly at a counter, you usually have to wait a maximum of ten minutes, but at lunchtime you sometimes had to stand in a crowded queue. I would really recommend you a boat trip on the Chao Phraya River - it is an adventure itself! I'm not sure if the boats that the locals use as water taxis would be allowed in Germany (and admittedly, sometimes the engine sounded really bad) but I still felt safer than in a taxi. And somehow it belongs to a Thailand tour!

But now to Wat Arun:

One of the most beautiful temples in Bangkok is Wat Arun. Because of its striking construction, it is one of the symbols of the city. In contrast to other temples in Bangkok, the construction of Wat Arun is reminiscent of buildings from the Khmer Empire. The many mosaics with flower patterns made of colorful porcelain are particularly beautiful. In the middle of the complex is the central Prang, which is also known as Phra Prang. This symbolizes the world mountain Meru, which rises from the world sea and on top of which stands the palace of the Hindu god Indra. On each of the four sides there is a (very) steep staircase that you can climb. All stairs are connected to each other on the four levels, so that the tower can be circled on each floor.

How to get to Wat Arun: Wat Arun is located on the western side of the Chao Praya River in the Thonburi district. The best way to reach him is by taking the river ferry, which you can board at the Tha Thien pier (old town). This is where the Chao Phraya Express boat stops, which my sister and I also went with. From Tha Thien you can also visit the Wat Pho Temple and the Royal Palace on foot.

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Finally, a few tips that we can give you on the way: We have stayed in several hotels in Bangkok, but we liked the Bed Station Hostel Khao San the best. It is relatively cheap, which is why backpackers with a small budget stay there. The hostel also has a small bar, a restaurant and even a pool with a shared lounge.

Travel Resources for your trip to Thailand

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Flights: We recommend checking to find the best and cheapest flights to Thailand.

Accomodation: Explore the best places to stay in Thailand on, Agoda and Hostelworld.

Travel Insurance: Medical emergencies abroad can be pricey, but travel health insurance is not. We always use SafetyWing for affordable and reliable coverage.

Transportation: Use 12go and Omio to find detailed bus and train schedules, making travel planning easier.

Car Rental: For hassle-free car hiring, DiscoverCars is our trusted choice with a wide selection of vehicles.

Internet: Got an eSIM compatible phone? Airalo is perfect for reliable internet access during your trip. Just install it before you go, and you're set!

Day Trips & Tours: We recommend GetYourGuide for a variety of well-organized and enjoyable activities.

Tickets: Save on entrance fees in Thailand with Klook and Tiquets.

Travel Planner: Need a hand planning? Our free travel planner chatbot is your personal guide to Thailand. Chat now.

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