Wat Arun – Explore The Temple Of Dawn

Wat Arun, otherwise known as The Temple of Dawn is a magnificent temple located in the west Thonburi region of Bangkok. So, if you are headed to Bangkok and are looking to visit some of the temples, this is definitely on the list.

A Girl sitting by Wat Arun's Temple

A Brief History

This pearly temple is one of Thailand’s most iconic landmarks. A previous home to the Emerald Buddha; Wat Arun has seen title changes, renovations and restorations throughout the centuries – but still holds on to its timeless and rich cultural history.

The temple was originally built in the 17th century by King Taksin. However, its last restoration and modification was added by King Rama III in the 18th century.

Wat Arun is actually quite different from many other temples in terms of its design.

Firstly, each of the three levels in the central prang hold intricate symbolism within Buddhist iconography. Secondly, the decorations that were added by King Rama III are what enable the temple to glimmer in the sunlight; giving Wat Arun its namesake the Temple of Dawn.

In other words, the reason that the temple is referred to as the Temple of Dawn is because the first light of the morning reflects on the surface of the temple, illuminating the temple with a pearly, magical iridescence. The decorations consisting of Chinese porcelain, shells and coloured glass are what allow Wat Arun to glow so beautifully.

A girl standing in the passageway at Wat Arun

How To Get To Wat Arun

Don’t want to read? Watch how to get there.

The temple is located on the banks of the famous Chao Phraya River and is a mere stone’s throw away from Wat Pho (another must-visit temple in Bangkok – it’s the birthplace of the Thai massage).

If arriving from from MoChit Bus Terminal, make your way through the market to the Bus Stop Port Bus Station. There are plenty of buses at the ready, but you want red bus number 3.

Hop on the bus (don’t worry about tickets, the conductor will find you, just say you’re heading to Tha Tian Market and fork out your THB 8.50). Now that’s exactly where you will want to go.

Alight At Tha Tian and walk straight through to the ferry; a fun way to cross the Chao Phraya River and for an astonishing 4 baht, you step off straight into Wat Arun.

We use Google Maps to follow the stops when taking the bus, it’s pretty simple. Google Maps can also show you which buses to take if you are starting from somewhere other than MoChit (as mentioned above).

The bus cost Byron and I about 17 baht, instead of a Tuk-Tuk who’s been known to charge upwards of THB 400!

a girl walking around the gardens of Wat Arun

Vital Visitor’s Information

Remember To Dress Respectfully

Please remember that monks do live and worship on temple grounds, so it is a MUST that you dress respectfully! No open shoulders or shorts! That goes for both men and woman.

They do have sarongs for rent at the entrance (THB20).

a girl sitting at Wat Arun

 Costs and Times

There is an entrance fee of 50 baht per person (for foreigners).
Locals may enter for free.

You can book online through the official site or just pay at the entrance.

The temple is open from 7:30am to 5:30pm.

X Marks The Spot

A Complete Video Guide To Bangkok

Our visit to Bangkok in April 2018 took us on an amazing three days around the city. Cramming as much experience into the time we had was our goal and I think we did pretty well!

Here’s our complete Bangkok itinerary if you’re interested in making your own trip out there. We have done all of the planning for you, so you can just do the fun part… travel!

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