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    A Bangkok Day. Wat Arun: The Temple of Dawn . . . and More!

    It was a beautiful Saturday late afternoon in Bangkok when I went to meet my friend at Wat Arun for some photography and then on to my favorite music venue, Saxophone, for some good live music.


    Left to right:  my friend and I at Wat Arun.


    Wat Arun is a fantastically ornate temple and chedi complex astride the Chao Phraya River.


    Wat Arun had been closed for many months, and shrouded in scaffolding for a major restoration.


    There are several temple structures, and several chedis crammed into a big square compound.


    The Wat Arun chedis are covered with intricate detail.


    When I say covered with intricate detail, I mean intricate detail.


    A phantasmagoria of Buddhist imagery.


    A massive and decorated chedi.


    There are a variety of structures at Wat Arun.


    There were quite a few tourists, Thai and foreign, at Wat Arun that afternoon.  These steps were very steep and irregular.


    I climbed those steps for this view.


    Such powerful visions!


    A Yak . . . a monster guard.


    As the afternoon light faded into evening, Wat Arun became more interesting.


    Bronze Buddhas here and there.


    Buddha and chedi at Wat Arun.


    Another bronze Buddha on the opposite side from the other one.


    Buddha in the golden light of the photographer's magic hour.


    Buddha and bikkus.


    Buddha Gotama and detailed Wat Arun chedi.


    The last of the golden light settling on the Wat Arun chedis.


    Some of the disassemble scaffolding from the recent renovation were still to be recovered.


    Deeper shadows . . . 6:00pm and the word went out to leave Wat Arun because it was closing time.  Oh no!


    I hated to leave Wat Arun as the light was getting better by the second!


    Wonderful late light . . . but . . .


    A beautiful light fell on this encased Buddha shrine.  We said iur good-byes to Wat Arun and headed out onto the small alleys to find the old Portuguese Cathedral . . .


    We found the Portuguese Cathedral along a stretch of river bank.


    The last light on the old church front.


    There could not be a greater contrast between this (recently restored) church interior and the splendor of Wat Arun only a few hundred meters away.



    We walked from the church to the river bank, now alight with tour boats and the shopping plaza on the far bank.


    Even at this hour, a troika of tug boats were struggling against the current to move a train of four huge rice barges to their upriver destinations.


    Looking up the river, we saw the last colorful light of a marvelous Bangkok sunset.


    These sunsets are very fleeting this close to the Equator . . . the sun goes down very fast here.


    We were so infatuated with the sunset that we hadn't noticed this amazing old, pre-war teak wood house bathed in the orange glow of the dock lighting.


    Only the shadow knows . . . a self portrait.


    Beautiful traditional detailing . . .


    And, yes, the house is lived in . . .


    I could not get enough of this old wooden house . . . it was mesmerizing.  We left to take a taxi across Bangkok to the Saxophone Pub.


    There was a very good Thai 'salsa band' playing.


    The trumpeter was especially good.


    Great jazz chops.


    The band sung in Spanish.


    The bass player kept the band very tightly together.  We really enjoyed ourselves the entire afternoon and evening.

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