Saturday, June 22, 2013

Travelogue: Climbing Up...

Wat Arun (also called Temple of the Dawn) is relatively small compared to Wat Pho. This one goes vertically upwards. There are 2 guardian statutes facing outwards (unlike the Emerald Temple where they face inwards); again the guardians are based on Ramayana. And I read that the name Arun itself comes from the god Aruna (brother of the Garuda).
(Pic on left: Temple Guardians)
There are three flights of stairs to climb. The first set of stairs are not very steep; the second set is medium and the last set to go to the top is the steepest; it feels almost like climbing up a ladder. Small kids and elderly people probably won’t be able to make it to the top. And when you climb such steep steps you always have the fear of ‘what if someone climbing ahead slips’! At each level you can go around the structure but the area keeps narrowing down because the whole structure is like an inverted cone. Being tired, it felt great to stand on top to absorb the strong breeze. Our veggie friend with the sprained ankle didn’t want to miss this and he pushed himself to climb up and possibly worsened his foot because it was quite swollen. The height of the temple is about 60 meters.
We cautiously climbed down; some preferred going down facing outwards (back facing the stairs) while some preferred going down inwards.
You’ll find a lot of roadside food vendors in Bangkok; and for our veggie friend this was a relief because some had fruit juices and cut fruits; they cost between 10 Baht and 20 Baht. Our veggie friend had a few long pieces of green mango – that was his lunch!
To head back to our hotel, we opted to take the bus again! We knew the numbers and so we waited at the bus stop and didn’t have to wait long. The fun was as to whether we’d know where to get off because obviously we didn’t want to rely on the conductor. And so I opened the Bangkok map (paper map) and tried to follow the route on the bus. If you spot your location correctly then you will be perfectly right while using a map else you’ll find yourself lost; today I was perfectly right. But our veggie friend and photographer also found the bus stop based on the locality.
(Pic on right: View from the top)
We wondered if our ‘expert’ friend would be in the room or if he would have left on some adventure!

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