A Pop Icon has made a name for itself by creating ice creams styled like the delicate tiles seen on Bangkok’s famed Wat Arun, or “Temple of Dawn.” Visitors looking for a one-of-a-kind cultural experience have been captivated by the delicate patterns and designs inspired by the pagoda’s blue ceramic tiles and flower decorations.
The ice cream, appropriately named ‘Flower of Dawn,‘ is a light combination of butterfly pea coconut milk and Thai milk tea flavours. Its unusual appearance, combined with the temple’s attractive surroundings, has made it a popular choice for both residents and tourists.
Sirinya Hanpachearnchoak, Pop Icon’s 34-year-old owner and designer, highlighted her aim to present Thailand’s rich cultural heritage in a new and inventive way. Sirinya hopes that by infusing the temple’s character into the ice cream, tourists will spend more time admiring the fine intricacies of the pagoda.
Foreign tourists seeking relief from Bangkok’s oppressive heat have also adopted the ‘Flower of Dawn’ ice cream. Many consumers hailed it for being “refreshing” and providing a much-needed cool-down.
Since its debut in May, the ice cream has been available only at the temple for 89 baht (US$2.56) each scoop. Pop Icon stated that the revenues will be donated to the temple to assist Buddhist education and medical bills, ultimately benefiting the local population.
Wat Arun Ratchawararam Ratchawaramahawihan, commonly known as Wat Arun or the Temple of Dawn, is a Buddhist temple located on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok, Thailand. It is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the city and is often featured in postcards and tourist brochures.
The temple’s name translates to “Temple of Dawn” in English, which reflects its stunning beauty during the early morning hours when the first light of the day illuminates its spires. The temple’s distinctive feature is its central prang (spire), which reaches a height of about 70 meters (230 feet). The prang is decorated with colorful porcelain tiles and seashells, making it a visually striking sight.
Wat Arun dates back to the Ayutthaya period but underwent significant renovations during the early Rattanakosin era in the early 19th century. King Rama II and King Rama III were responsible for the temple’s expansion and the addition of its central prang. The temple complex also includes several smaller prangs, statues, and pavilions.
To reach Wat Arun, visitors can take a ferry across the Chao Phraya River from the Tha Tien Pier, located near Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha) and the Grand Palace. Upon arrival, visitors can explore the temple grounds, climb the central prang for panoramic views of the river and the city, and admire the intricate details of the temple’s architecture.
Wat Arun is an active place of worship, and visitors are encouraged to dress respectfully and observe appropriate behavior when visiting. The temple is open to the public daily, although specific opening hours may vary.
Ice cream is a popular treat in Thailand, and you can find a wide variety of flavors and styles throughout the country. Here are a few things to know about ice cream in Thailand:
1. Street Vendors: In many cities and tourist areas, you’ll find street vendors selling ice cream. They often use a traditional method of making ice cream called “I-Tim Pad,” which involves pouring a liquid ice cream mixture onto a frozen metal surface and then scraping it off in rolls. This method creates thin, delicate ice cream rolls that are typically served in a cup with various toppings.
2. Ice Cream Shops and Cafes: Thailand also has numerous ice cream shops and cafes where you can enjoy different types of ice cream. These establishments often offer a broader range of flavors, including both traditional options like vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry, as well as unique flavors inspired by Thai cuisine, such as durian, coconut, mango sticky rice, Thai tea, and more.
3. Gelato: Gelato has gained popularity in Thailand, and you can find gelato shops in many urban areas. Gelato is known for its rich and creamy texture, and it comes in a variety of flavors. Some gelato shops in Thailand offer both traditional Italian flavors and local twists.
4. Specialty Ice Cream: Thailand is known for its creativity when it comes to ice cream. You can find innovative and Instagram-worthy ice cream creations, such as ice cream served in fish-shaped cones, rainbow-colored soft-serve, or ice cream topped with cotton candy and other whimsical toppings. These specialty ice cream treats are often found in trendy dessert shops or cafes.
5. Coconut Ice Cream: Given the abundance of coconuts in Thailand, coconut ice cream is particularly popular. It’s usually served in a coconut shell, and you can add various toppings like peanuts, corn, sticky rice, or syrup to enhance the flavor.
6. Brand Name Ice Cream: Thailand also has a presence of international ice cream brands like Häagen-Dazs, Baskin-Robbins, and Dairy Queen, which can be found in shopping malls and urban areas.
Whether you’re strolling through a night market, exploring a shopping mall, or visiting a specialized ice cream parlor, you’re likely to find a delightful selection of ice cream flavors and styles to satisfy your sweet tooth in Thailand.