Home Visit Bangkok Wat Arun: the temple of the dawn in Bangkok

Wat Arun: the temple of the dawn in Bangkok

by Pierre To
8 minutes to read
Wat Arun by night

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


Useful information
Video on Wat Arun
Maps of Wat Arun

See also :
Bangkok, the complete guide to the Thai capital

Namely: Wat means temple in Thai


Wat Arun (in Thai: วัดอรุณ) owes its name to god of Hindu mythology: Arunasymbol of the dawn.

The Prangs of Wat Arun

It is located in the Bangkok Yai (the great Bangkok), on the right bank of the river Chao Phraya.

The temple consists of a central Prang, 82 m high, inlaid with coloured porcelain and surrounded by 4 smaller Prangs.

Map of Wat Arun

This Buddhist temple is an architectural representation of the Mount Meruthe centre of the world in Buddhist cosmology.

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

Wat Arun seen from above

Thousands of miles away, the Mount Meru is somewhere beyond the physical plane of reality, in a realm of perfection and transcendence.

The Prang in four corners of the Wat ArunThis mystical symbolism is reinforced by images of the guardian gods of the four directions.

The royal crematorium of the deceased King Rama IX was also designed to represent Mount Meru, see :
Royal cremation in Thailand, what you need to know

The central Prang ends in a seven-pointed trident, believed to be that of Shiva.

In Wat Arun 2017

History of Wat Arun

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

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

Rama I installed the Emerald Buddha here before moving it and the capital to the other side of the river.

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

Buddha statues in Wat Arun

Buddha statues in Wat Arun

Rama II and Rama III had the central Prang built, 85 metres high and 234 metres in circumference.

Rama IV had the prangs covered with fragments of Chinese porcelain donated by the inhabitants of the city.

Buddha statue in front of Wat Arun Pagoda

Buddha statue in front of the central Prang

The most extensive 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

Wat Arun after restoration in 2017

Useful information

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

There are several bars and restaurants on the other side of the river, where you can enjoy a magical sight as this magnificent Asian pyramid lights up at night.

Wat Arun by night (2)

Wat Arun by night

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

Buddha statue in the chapel of Wat Arun

Buddha statue in the chapel of Wat Arun

How to get to Wat Arun

Wat Arun is almost opposite the Wat Pho and therefore easy to access.

Since Sapphan Taksin (sapphan = bridge) you can take a boat that stops at pier 8.

A small shuttle boat takes 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

Prices and Schedule

Admission costs 50 baht.

The temple is open every day from 8.30am to 5.30pm.

Wat Arun ordination hall

Wat Arun ordination hall

Video on Wat Arun

This is a video from 2013, so before the restoration.

Maps of Wat Arun

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

Map of Wat Arun

View the temple on a Google map

Sources : Wikipedia Photos: Wat Arun by night: Preecha.MJ; Wat Arun ordination hall: BerryJ; Wat Arun by night 2: Pattiveth.M; Wat Arun from above: Diego Delso; Buddha statue in front of Wat Arun Pagoda, Buddha statues in Wat Arun and In Wat Arun 2017: Z3144228; Wat Prangs: Diego Delso

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