I have recently started what I call “The Postcard Project” where I write to myself through postcards from places I visit. The time it takes to reach you makes it a message from one’s former self. And I just love the uncertainty of it all. Whether or not it gets delivered somehow requires the hand of fate.
I’ve sent myself four postcards from two different mail boxes in Thailand–one from a post office at The Grand Palace and another from a red mailbox just outside our hotel in Khao San Road. I didn’t wanna leave all of them at the hands of one postman so I had to send them separately.
My favorite of the four that reached me is that of Wat Arun, The Temple of Dawn. It sits across another famous temple, the Wat Pho (Reclining Buddha). Reaching it requires a ten minute ferry ride through the Chao Phraya River.
They say it is most beautiful at dawn, when the first light of sunrise hits it. We came to see it in broad daylight but it was breathtaking nonetheless.
Today, I got to relive the experience through the note on my postcard which reads: “Wat Arun was a delight to see. Its prangs were encrusted with colorful porcelain and the way they reflect the light of the sun was just majestic. But in the midst of all that beauty, your mind wandered to a day before–when you came to see the temples of Ayutthaya. They were in ruins but not one bit less majestic.”
Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn), Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha), and The Grand Palace are located at the heart of Bangkok.
Take a bus to The Grand Palace. Google map is your friend. It tells you which bus to take and where to wait for it. If you’re lucky, you may get on one of the free government buses.
The Grand Palace imposes a strict dress code. No shorts, no leggings.
The temple of the Emerald Buddha is inside the Grand Palace complex. The postcard says: “Jade, not emerald! You had to buy a postcard because photos weren’t allowed.”
Wat Pho is within walking distance from the Grand Palace. Follow the tourists. The message on the postcard was smeared but if I remember correctly, I was writing something profound about the reclining Buddha depicting a dying Sidharta.
Wat Arun can be reached from the Wat Pho complex. Cross the road towards the block along the banks of the Chao Phraya River. There is a ferry (3.50 THB) that will take you across to Wat Arun.
Ayutthaya is 2 hours away from Bangkok. Allot at least a day in Ayutthaya as there are quite a number of temple complexes in the area.
Ayutthaya can be reached via train (from the Hua Lamphong terminal) or mini bus (from Mo Chit bus terminal). Roundtrip fares are at 30 THB and 120 THB, respectively.