Wat Arun – The Temple of Dawn

Wat Arun also called Wat Chaeng or the Temple of the Dawn is an ancient temple dating back to the Ayutthaya Period. It is one of the most striking landmarks in Bangkok over the Chao Phraya River. The colourfully decorated spires on Wat Arun stands majestically and looks beautiful over the water. The temple derives its name from the Hindu god Aruna, often personified as the radiations of the rising sun.

The temple has gone through major restorations since the Ayutthaya Period. During the time of King Taksin, the temple was enshrined with Emerald Buddha image before it was transferred to Wat Phra Kaew on the river’s eastern bank in 1785. Previously the temple was located in grounds of the royal palace during Taksin’s reign, before his successor Rama I, moved the palace to the other side of the river. The temple was in abandonment for a long period, until King Rama II restored it and the main pagoda raised to 70m. During the year 2013 to 2017, most extensive restoration work was undertaken.

The temple is famous for its beauty and for the perfect site. The temple looks absolutely stunning during sunset. The temple has beautiful spires over 70m high, each decorated with a tiny piece of coloured glasses and Chinese porcelain placed on it delicately. You can also climb up the central prang for the amazing view of the Chao Phraya River, Grand Palace, and Wat Pho. Though climbing up is a bit tricky but there is a railing to balance yourself. Along the base of the central tower, there are sculptures of Chinese soldiers and animals. In the ordination hall, you can admire the golden Buddha image and detailed murals that decorate the walls. As it is a religious place, make sure to dress appropriately, or pick one of the cover-ups that are for rent near the entrance.

The entry fee is just 50 Baht and the opening hours is from 8:00 am until 17:30 pm. You can easily find it on the west side of Chao Praya River (opposite Tha Thien Pier).