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.
Wat Arun (in Thai: วัดอรุณ) owes its name to god of Hindu mythology: Arunasymbol of the dawn.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
But the quietest time to visit is still early in the morning, before the crowds.
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.
158 Wang Doem Road, Wat Arun, Bangkok Yai, Bangkok 10600, Thailand
Prices and Schedule
Admission costs 50 baht.
The temple is open every day from 8.30am to 5.30pm.
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: