Wat Arun Bangkok: The Temple of Dawn

Wat Arun Bangkok: The Temple Of Dawn

One of the most fascinating and famous temples in Bangkok is Wat Arun Bangkok (Thai วัด อรุณ, formerly: Wat Chaeng – วัดแจ้ง).

It is also known as the Temple of the Dawn and towers majestically on the western bank of the Chao Phraya River.

It blends picturesquely into the skyline so that you can spot it and its central tower from afar.

“Wat Arun” translated means “Temple of the Dawn.” It got its name from the Hindu deity Aruna, the god of dawn.

The name says it all here. Indeed, Wat Arun Bangkok shows its most beautiful side when the sun rises early in the morning.

Getting there: By MRT (Blue Line) to Itsaraphap, by ferry to Tha Tien Pier, or by cab.

Opening hours: Daily from 08:00 to 18:00.

Admission: 100 baht for adults (as of 2023).

Dress code: Knees and shoulders covered

Wat Arun in Bangkok: An architectural highlight

Wat Arun Bangkok is famous for its stunning architecture and ornate decorations. The first thing that will catch your eye is the main tower.

This is also called “Prang” and rises a proud 79 meters. It is completely decorated with colorful porcelain tiles and glass mosaics, which makes it an absolute eye-catcher.

The main tower is surrounded by four smaller towers. These are each guarded by guardian figures, also known as “Chinthes.”

These are lion-like creatures from mythology that symbolize strength and protection.

Locals and visitors are even allowed to climb the main tower. You must climb a relatively steep staircase and many steps to do this.

But the effort is worth it, because the top view is breathtaking.

You can expect a panoramic view of the Chao Phraya River and the surrounding city, which is especially unforgettable at sunset.

Tip: Book a guided tour of the city’s most important temples to learn more about the history of Bangkok.

The Temple of the Dawn is an important center of Buddhism

However, Wat Arun Bangkok is much more than “just” a spiritually significant place or sight. It is also one of the centers of Buddhism in Bangkok.

Accordingly, it houses a large number of Buddha statues and elaborate murals illustrating the life of Buddha.

Other highlights of the temple complex include the temple museum. Here, you can admire a large collection of relics and artifacts.

You will also get a deeper insight into Buddhist culture and learn a lot about the significance and history of Wat Arun Bangkok.

What you should know before visiting Wat Arun Bangkok

Wat Arun is best reached by boat from the Chao Phraya River.

So when you visit it, you can directly combine the excursion with a boat ride on one of the cab boats or an excursion boat.

The view of the temple from the water is also worthwhile. So have your camera ready before the boat docks at the pier in front of Wat Arun Bangkok.

It is best to visit the temple as early as possible before the crowds arrive.

Alternatively, a visit at sunset is also an impressive experience. Note, however, that the temple complex closes around 18:00.

Dress code and rules of conduct in the temple complex

Wat Arun Bangkok is a place of worship and spirituality.

Tourists are also expected to behave with the same respect. Keep quiet and avoid talking and laughing loudly.

You should also wear appropriate clothing and cover your shoulders and knees.

Tip: With a private tour of the city’s most important temples, you are stress-free and time-saving.

You can borrow clothes on-site to cover up if you are not dressed appropriately.

The rental is currently free of charge (as of 2023). However, you must pay a deposit and often face longer queues.

Our conclusion about Wat Arun in Bangkok

We can only recommend visiting Wat Arun Bangkok and think the temple is an absolute must for every Bangkok trip.

The fascinating Temple of Dawn offers you deep insights into the fascinating world of Buddhism, and the beauty and tranquility of this spiritual place are simply unique.

The 100 baht entrance fee (as of 2023) is definitely well-invested and you can combine the temple visit with a sightseeing tour on the picturesque Chao Phraya River.

The best tours for your visit to Wat Arun

1. City Highlights and Temple Walking Tour

Visit the main sights of Bangkok with tickets to the Grand Palace, Emerald Buddha Temple, Wat Pho, and Wat Arun with a local guide.

The tour will first take you to the Grand Palace, which was once the home of the kings of Siam and now houses the Temple of the Emerald Buddha.

Continue to Wat Pho with the famous reclining Buddha. The last stop is Wat Arun – the beautiful Temple of Dawn.

2. Grand Palace, Wat Pho, and Wat Arun private tour

As part of this private tour, you will be picked up and returned from your hotel comfortably – your guide will drive you around Bangkok in a comfortable car.

Visit the Grand Palace, Tha Thien Market, Wat Pho, and Wat Arun. You can also take a boat trip on the Chao Phraya if you like.

The best thing is that you can combine all the elements yourself and visit the sights that interest you the most.

3. Grand Palace & Wat Pho half-day private tour

You will visit the Grand Palace with a local guide during this half-day tour. Here, you can learn everything you need about this impressive facility.

Then, we will go to the temple of the reclining Buddha. Take a journey back in time with your guide, and let the spirituality of the sacred place wash over you.

On the way back, we will pass Tha Thien Market, a cultural food market with great traditional products.

Frequently Asked Questions about Wat Arun in Bangkok

Here, we answer some frequently asked questions about Wat Arun in Bangkok.

You can find an overview of all important Bangkok sights here.

Where is Wat Arun located in Bangkok?

Wat Arun is located on the western bank of the Chao Phraya River in the Thonburi district of Bangkok, Thailand.

What are the opening hours of Wat Arun?

Wat Arun is open daily from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm for locals and visitors.

How much is the entrance fee to Wat Arun?

The entrance fee for foreign visitors is 100 baht (as of 2023). Admission is free for locals.

Is there any particular dress code for visiting Wat Arun?

Yes, appropriate attire is expected when entering the temple grounds. Shoulders and knees should be covered, and see-through or very tight clothing is also frowned upon.

Is it allowed to climb the main tower of Wat Arun?

Yes, you can climb the main tower of Wat Arun. However, the way up is a steep staircase with many steps. The climb is strenuous, but the view from the top is worth the effort.

Is it allowed to visit Wat Arun at night?

Unfortunately, the temple area closes at 18:00. However, it is worth coming at around 5pm to experience the sunset on site. After that, you can take a boat to the other side of the river and enjoy a brilliant view of the illuminated temple.

Which boats stop at Wat Arun?

At Wat Arun, all excursion boats as well as most lines of public boats stop.

What other sights are there to see near Wat Arun?

Near Wat Arun are other attractions such as the Royal Palace, Wat Pho, and the flower market Pak Khlong Talat.

How much time should you allow for a visit to Wat Arun.

The duration of the visit depends on how detailed you want to explore the temple complex and at what pace you are traveling. However, you can usually see them all in one or two hours.

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