The most noticeable part of Wat Arun-noticeable is a mild word, how could you miss this thing sticking up? You can see it from way down the river-is an 82 meter high Khmer-style spire, called a praang.
It seems grayish from a distance, but up close you can see that it is covered with patterns and flowers made of broken bits of porcelain tiles. Apparently Chinese merchant ships used to carry loads of the tiles as ballast, and left them behind in Bangkok when they picked up other cargo and didn't need them anymore. And why waste good tile?
If you're brave enough to haul yourself up the incredibly steep stairs, it's possible to go up to the second level of praang. Of course I had to go up; it seems a lot of my traveling is looking for tall things to climb for the view. It really wasn't as bad as it looked, anyhow.