View of Wat Arun on the Chao Phraya river bank in Bangkok

Wat Arun – Temple of Dawn, Bangkok

Wat Arun, the Temple of Dawn, (full name: Wat Arun Ratchawararam Ratchawaramahawihan) is one of Bangkok’s best known landmarks and one of the most famous temples in the city.

It stands on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River in Thon Buri district. Wat Arun is best seen from the opposite bank of the river; majestuous it glistens in the sunlight during the day and stands dark and noble at dawn or dusk. It’s worth a visit to this amazing and peaceful monastery complex with a beautiful prang encrusted with colorful glass and Chinese porcelain.

The Temple of Dawn

Wat Arun’s Khmer style towers or “Prang,” are the best known part of this beautiful temple. It also contains narrow passages, several old buildings, shrines, figures of animals and ancient Chinese warriors.

Tourists can climb the stairs to the second level of the main tower, but be warned, the steps are very steep to climb to the two levels, especially the ones to the second level. If you suffer vertigo or have any fear of heights, you may not complete this climb, descending the staircase is so scary.

Wat Arun seen from the Chao Phraya River
Wat Arun seen from a ferry on the Chao Phraya River , Bangkok. Photo: Diliff.

The temple had existed since the time of the Ayutthaya Kingdom, when Ayutthaya was capital of Thailand. It was situated in Bang Makok (Village of Olives) and consequently named Wat Mokok. King Rama II restored the temple and ordered extending the pagoda to its actual 86 meters high.

Wat Arun enshrined the Emerald Buddha statue before it was transferred to Wat Phra Kaew (วัดพระแก้ว) in 1785.

You can get Wat Arun by car, taxi etc, however boats are the cheapest way to get this temple. Through the Chao Phraya River, several ferries travel across the river towards the Maharaj pier.

-Thailand News (TN)

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