Wat Arun or Temple of Dawn is one of Bangkok’s most famous temples at the west bank of the Chao Phraya River. It is right next to the Naval Base and directly across Wat Po. It is famous for both Thais and foreigners due to the beauty and signature charm of its decoration. Every day, thousands of Thais and foreigners visit the temple. Lots of them go there by canal with a tour early in the morning. The best times to view Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn) are at dawn and sunset.
The temple has been at this site since the Ayutthaya Period. Its previous name was Wat Makok. It means Olive Temple. This is because there were many olive orchards in this area. After Burmese armies invaded and conquered Ayutthaya Kingdom, General Taksin marched his army to conquer it back. When he arrived at this temple in the morning, he saw this temple during sunrise. From that moment, people called this temple Wat Chaeng or Wat Arun. It means Temple of Dawn. When General Taksin became king and moved the Siam capital from Ayutthaya to Thonburi, he appointed Wat Arun as his royal temple. It was inside his personal residence, the Wang Derm Palace. During King Taksin’s reign, Wat Arun also housed the Emerald Buddha. Once King Rama I became the king, he established the Grand Palace. So, they also moved the Emerald Buddha from Wat Arun to Wat Phra Kaew as well in 1785. Yet, it still remained one of the most important temples in Thailand. Many also use Wat Arun as logos such as on 10 Baht coins and the logo of the Tourist Authority of Thailand (TAT).
The main and the tallest building of Wat Arun is Phra Prang Wat Arun. It overlooks the Chao Phraya river. It is one of the famous landmarks in the world and one of the most photographed icons of Thailand. Originally, they built it in the Ayutthaya Period. King Rama II then had it reconstructed and enlarged until finished during King Rama IV’s reign. He changed its official name to Wat Arun Ratchawararam. It is 82 meters tall and became the tallest structure in Bangkok before the modern skyscraper. Phra Prang Wat Arun and its four satellite prangs have colourful porcelain pieces from China as decoration.
Around Phra Prang Wat Arun lie many levels of terraces. Tourists can climb up there to see a nice view of the Chao Phraya River. You will also see the Grand Palace, Wat Pho and even Bangkok downtown. Apart from this, you can take a look at the main chapel. Also, the hall and the Chinese style bell tower are very beautiful to watch.
From Novotel Bangkok Platinum Pratunam, you can walk to BTS Skytrain Chidlom or Siam Station through R-Walk. Then take BTS to Saphan Taksin Station (Silom Line). Leave via Exit 2 and take a Chao Phraya Express Boat to Tien Pier (N8). After that, take a cross-river ferry to Wat Arun. Ferry boat fare is only 4 Baht per person. It leaves about every 10 to 15 minutes. It operates daily from 6 am until around 10 pm.
Opening Hours: Daily from 8 am – 6 pm
Admission Fee: Free of charge for Thais and 50 baht for foreigners
Address: 158 Wang Doem Rd, Wat Arun, Bangkok Yai, Bangkok 10600
For more information, call: +66(0)28912185, +66(0)24663167, +66(0)24657742