Musings Over Bangkok Sunset

Musings Over Bangkok Sunset

There's nothing quite like seeing Wat Arun's sunset in Bangkok, Thailand.

Contributed by Purple Joys

Bangkok’s Wat Arun literally translates to Temple of Dawn. This Buddhist temple shines brightly when struck by light from the sunrise. Despite its name, Wat Arun’s best view is said to come not during dawn, but during dusk.

wat arun sunset bangkok

I stayed at Vivi the Coffee Place to see if this was true. I could have spent the remaining two hours doing something else. Walking, perhaps; seeing the rest of the stops in my Rattanakosin check list. But there I was, having cold latte and tuna sandwich (and a milkshake later on), waiting for the sun to go down, and nursing my sunburnt skin. The rays of the sun were intense. There was air-conditioning inside the café but I insisted on sitting in the veranda from which one can see Wat Arun. I watched as long-tail boats, cruise ferries, tour boats, and small pump boats passed by the Chao Phraya River. Long tail boats made splashes in the river. The sun’s rays glinted and reflected in the water. The café’s plastic roof canvas flapped against the late afternoon breeze.

For about an hour there, I was alone in the veranda, taking a few photos, trying to shoot a video whenever a boat passes by. It was the longest time I ever spent waiting for sunset but I relished it. Looking back, that was the most unhurried I ever was during my whole Bangkok trip.

Also read: Ultimate Guide to Bangkok: Everything You Need to Know & More

Bangkok, Thailand

Vivi the Coffee Place is located along the banks of the Chao Phraya River, on the Rattanakosin side overlooking the Thonburi district. It was a cosy place, with love seats, tall wooden tables, a few books and magazines in the shelves, and a menu that consists of coffees, milkshakes, pastries and pasta. The cafe’s veranda has a prime view of Wat Arun which is on the other side of the river.

At around 4 o’clock in the afternoon, the sun was still bright, its heat still piercing but more tolerable than the midday heat I endured earlier at the Grand Palace. Wat Arun, with its steep porcelain prang, was sparkling. Even if you had no idea what it is, it’s easy to tell that this shrine was special. The shiny, tall structure was commanding and astonishingly beautiful, even from afar. And it was only 4 o’clock.

Also read: What to do in Bangkok: A 3 Day Itinerary

Bangkok, Thailand

The sky slowly changed colours; from bright yellow it turned to pale orange. By quarter to six, the sky was a dark shade of orange with splashes of pink, the sun a large golden ball of fire beside Wat Arun’s silhouette. As the sun turned golden red and the sky turned pinkish purple, I snapped a photo and sat down, just staring into one of the most stunning views I’ve ever seen in my life. It was perfect. I watched the fiery red ball slowly disappear as I thanked God for letting me experience everything that I have experienced so far. I am aware of how privileged I am, of how blessed I am for having the chance to travel. Not everyone gets to do this. Sometimes it’s not even an issue of money, though most of the time it is. I know many people who earn more than I do yet they still don’t get to travel as much as I do. Some are too caught up with their jobs, some have families to think of, some simply can’t take vacation leaves.

I have a job that lets me save for travel. My job itself is something that I can do from any part of the world (though I rarely work while on vacation). My boss loves to travel as well so she understands and lets me do my thing as long as I get my job done. God blessed me with all these so I can see more of His creations. But I sometimes take that for granted. Worse, I sometimes come home from a trip and remember very little of my experiences because I was busy taking photos and breezing through a packed itinerary. But here in this moment, while watching Wat Arun’s famous sunset, I felt nothing but grateful. Being alone was strangely calming and humbling, too. It’s true what the French novelist Gustave Flaubert said: “Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” I knew then that this sunset would go down as one of my favourite travel moments in my life.

Also read: 15 Best Places to Watch Sunset in Asia

bangkok sunset

I’ve seen a lot of sunrises and sunsets and while they’re all beautiful, Wat Arun’s was, for lack of a better term, special. Maybe because I was far from home. Maybe because it was my first solo trip. Or maybe because the sun’s setting symbolised the day’s end while ushering a new beginning. It was, if there was such thing, the loveliest goodbye.

About Author

Joy Sallegue
Joy Sallegue

Joy is a writer and digital marketer from Manila, Philippines. Travelling and writing about her travels are two things that excite her most. Besides travel stories, she also writes about Korean music. Her days are usually spent drinking coffee, daydreaming about future travels, fangirling, and lurking on Twitter.


Related Posts