October 19th 2010. Bangkok.
Today we took the riverboat to cross the Chao Praya river to visit Wat Arun, the temple of Dawn. Our guesthouse for tonight is about two blocks from the river so it should’ve been easy to locate the pier where the ferries and water-taxi’s depart.. No surprise that it took us nearly two hours to find!
Arriving at the foot of the temple from the water is amazing. From afar the towers stand tall and the shapes are not like any building I know in Europe. With every step I got closer to the temple, more and more details exposed itself to me: The guardians of the temple, the steep marches that go all the way to the top, the leaves and flowers made with ceramics that decorate every inch and corner of the construction and color it’s holy content.
We encountered a pretty young lady of the “Royal Thai Tourism Education Bangkok” who came to Wat Arun with some of her classmates to propose free tours of Wat Arun and practice her English. We declined as we already lost a lot of time walking around looking for our ferry but I was very interested in the story behind Wat Arun, this is what I remember from her story:
Aruna and his brother, Garuda, were promised to become the powerful sons of Vinata, mother of all birds, if she was patient enough to let them hatch from their eggs. However, she didn’t want to wait any longer and her curiosity made her to break one of the eggs. A flash of light radiant and red as the morning sun arose from the broken shell. It was Aruna, the coming of day, not as powerful as the sun at noon but it’s spiritual powers are thought to be stonger than those of the light of day.
At the end of the day we came across a park named Saranrom Park, where I threw some left-over bread in the pond to see if there were any fish. In a few seconds my thoughts were confirmed, little fish came to the surface to snack of my egg-sandwich. A bit later these enormous koi-carps followed and to my cheerful stupefaction even turtles came swimming to eat.
Boyfriend was so impressed by the local sport we got introduced to in this park after looking it up I found out that it’s called Sepak Takraw. Takraw is the Thai word for the special woven wicker ball that is used to play. In this version of the game all players stand in a circle and kick the ball around, using feet, elbows, head, anything but their hands, without it touching the ground, in the most artistic and acrobatic way.
Got to go, time for some Thai curry and a few pitchers of water on the side!
About the travel diaries..
In some of my travels I kept a diary in honor of all my adventures, encounters and emotions along the way, they may not be forgotten.
I regret not having a DSLR on my first years of exploring the world and regret even more having lost nearly all photo’s of our (boyfriend and me) six months backpacking-trip through South-East Asia.
The travel diaries is all what is left of my ventures: bits from my scribbles, pieces of what I remember and all that’s left over from the pictures that we took.