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Bangkok

The Temple of Dawn Bangkok | Wat Arun How to Get There

Wat Arun, the Temple of Dawn is one of the most beautiful temples in Thailand; one of the most symbolic landmarks in Bangkok, a must-go for any first-time visitor in Bangkok. It is situated on the west (Thonburi) bank of the Chao Phraya River, almost directly opposite Wat Pho, so it is very easy to get there.

The Temple of Dawn Bangkok Wat Arun

The Temple of Dawn Bangkok Wat Arun

Wat Arun Temple is very different to the other temples you can visit in Bangkok. The central tower is 76 meters high, is decorated by thousands of tiny seashells and pieces of Chinese porcelain and is protected by an array of demons and monkeys. Arun means morning and the temple is best viewed at dawn or sunset from the opposite river bank. Although Wat Arun is a very popular for tourists, it is also an important place of worship for Buddhists. Make sure you dress appropriately, or pick up one of the cover ups that are for rent near the entrance. Wat Arun Entrance Fee is 50 Baht. Open daily 8.00 a.m. to 5.30 p.m.

Wat Arun History

The Temple of Dawn Bangkok Wat Arun

Wat Arun was envisioned by King Taksin in 1768. It is believed that after fighting his way out of Ayutthaya, which was taken over by a Burmese army at the time, he arrived at this temple just as dawn was breaking. He later had the temple renovated and renamed it Wat Chaeng, the Temple of the Dawn. It used to be the home of the Emerald Buddha, before the capital and Palace was moved to the other side of the river. This can now be seen at the Grand Palace. The central prang was extended during the reign of Rama III (between 1824 and 1851), and is now one of the most visited sites in Thailand. It was also Rama III who added the decoration of the spires with porcelain, so that they glimmer in the sunshine.

The Temple of Dawn Bangkok Wat Arun

Wat Arun How to Get There

Wat Arun is located on the west side of Chao Praya River (opposite Tha Thien Pier). Take Chao Phraya Tourist Boat (Chao Phraya Tourist Boat – One Day River Pass) from Sathorn (Central) Pier (Saphan Taksin BTS Station) and get off at Tha Tien Pier (N8). From Tha Tien Pier, take a ferry across the river to Tha Rue Wat Arun Pier. Ferries run from 5.00 a.m. to 11.00 p.m. The fee is 3 Baht.

Wat Arun Cross River Ferry Counter

Wat Arun Cross River Ferry

Wat Arun Cross River Ferry

Wat Arun Cross River Ferry

The Temple of Dawn Bangkok Wat Arun

If you are very young and fit, try to climb the central prang. The bottom place is nice but the steps for going to the top are very steep. My sister did not dare to climb. For me, I am fine. It makes my legs shiver, I dared not look down when I was climbing up stairs because I felt so frightened. Climbing up is scarier than getting down and a bit difficult in the heat, but worth the climb, great views on top as you can see the winding Chao Phraya River and the Grand Palace and Wat Pho opposite. Really beautiful and I love it. I would like to do it again.

The Temple of Dawn Bangkok Wat Arun

The Temple of Dawn Bangkok Wat Arun

See also, Temple of Reclining Buddha Bangkok | How to get to Wat Pho.