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Wat Arun: the temple of dawn in Bangkok

Wat Arun is a magnificent Buddhist temple located on the banks of the Chao Phraya River; it is one of the most visited monuments in Bangkok.

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Visit Bangkok

“Wat” means temple in Thai



Wat Arun (in Thai: วัดอรุณ) owes its name to the god of Hindu mythology: Aruna, a symbol of the dawn.

Les Prangs du Wat ArunIt is located in the Bangkok Yai district (the great Bangkok), on the right bank of the Chao Phraya river.

The temple includes an 82 m high central Prang, inlaid with colored porcelain, and surrounded by four small Prangs.

Plan du Wat ArunThis Buddhist temple is an architectural representation of Mount Meru, the center of the world in Buddhist cosmology.

In Buddhist mythology, Mount Meru is a place that simultaneously represents the center of the universe and the uniqueness of the spirit sought by followers.

Wat Arun top viewThousands of kilometers high, Mount Meru, lies somewhere beyond the physical plane of reality, in a kingdom of perfection and transcendence.

The Prang at four corners of Wat Arun, which houses images of the guardian gods of the four directions, reinforces this mystical symbolism.

The central Prang ends with a trident with seven branches, which would be Shiva’s.

In Wat Arun 2017

History of Wat Arun

Before the passage of King Taksin in 1768, there was an old temple known as Wat Makok or Wat Makok Nok.

The king had the temple renovated and renamed it Wat Chaeng, the Temple of the Dawn.

Rama I will install the Emerald Buddha there before moving him, as well as the capital, on the other side of the river.

See: The Grand Palais (Royal Palace) and the Emerald Buddha in Bangkok

Statues of Buddha in Wat ArunStatues of Buddha in Wat Arun

Rama II and Rama III will build the central Prang, 85 meters high, and 234 meters in circumference.

Rama IV will have the prang covered with fragments of Chinese porcelain donated by the city’s inhabitants.

Statue of Buddha in front of Wat Arun PagodaStatus of Buddha in front of the central Prang

The most significant restoration work on the Prang was carried out from 2013 to 2017, during which a significant number of broken tiles were replaced.

Wat Arun after restoration in 2017

Useful information

Although it is known as the Temple of the Dawn, it is absolutely beautiful at sunset, especially when it is lit at night.

There are several bars and restaurants on the other side of the river that will allow you to enjoy a magical show when this magnificent pyramid of Asia lights up at nightfall.

Wat Arun de nuit (2)Wat Arun at night

But the quietest time to visit it is still early in the morning, before the crowd.

Statue of Buddha in the chapel of Wat ArunStatue of Buddha in the chapel of Wat Arun

How to get to Wat Arun

Wat Arun is almost in front of the Wat Pho, so easy to access.

From Saphan Taksin (Saphan = bridge), you can take a boat that stops at pier 8.

Small shuttle boats take you from one side of the river to the other for only 3 baht.

Wat Arun in Bangkok


158 Wang Doem Road, Wat Arun, Bangkok Yai, Bangkok 10600, Thailand

Temple website:

Price and Schedule

The entrance costs 50 baht.

The temple is open every day from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm.

Hall ordination du Wat ArunWat Arun ordination hall

Video: Wat Arun

It’s a 2013 video, so it’s from before the restoration.

Maps of Wat Arun

Map showing the proximity to the Grand Palais and Wat Pho:

Wat Arun map

See the temple on a Google map


Sources: Wikipedia;; Photos: Wat Arun by night: Preecha.MJ; Wat Arun Ordination Hall: BerryJ: Wat Arun at night 2: Pattiveth. M: Wat Arun from above: Diego Delso; Statue of Buddha in front of the Wat Arun Pagoda, Statues of Buddha in Wat Arun and Wat Arun 2017: Z3144228; Wat rows: Diego Delso



Settled in Thailand since a few years (with trips to Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia), I love this country and its inhabitants, the real country of Smiles! Sorry for any translation errors that may occur. Feel free to mention them in the comments, I will correct them. Thank you.

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