Temple of the Dawn - Wat Arun, Bangkok
for "shining light"
Wat Arun, often called “The Temple of Dawn”, is one of the most remarkable visual identities of Bangkok. The imposing Khmer-style “prang” or tower is 104 metres tall and decorated with bits of porcelain that was used as ballast by boats coming from China.
Flowers...and flowers, the pattern of all temple wall is flower, so cute for a holy place....girls will love it!!!
The central spire has a height of approximately 70 feet, built of brick and covered with pieces of Chinese porcelain and glazed ceramic. These products were available because Chinese ships carrying Thai products to China needed ballast material while travelling without cargo back to Bangkok to reload. When loaded with cargo, the porcelain and ceramics were discarded and appropriated by the builders of the wat. Figures of demons and half - humans support the different layers. Construction was completed in the early 18th Century during the reign of Rama III. Details of the figures and ceramics are on this page.
Wat Arun rises to 82m and can be seen from the river. It really is stunning and a close up inspection shows you the detail and intricacy of the porcelain mosaics and decorative Hindu figures. Its an 18th century creation and the central tower is symbolic of Mt Meru which is the centre of the universe in Hindu and Buddhist mythology.
Its open from 8.30am to 5pm with an admission of about 30B.
My time here at Wat Arun was short…and we visited later in the afternoon and the light wasn’t the best for taking photos, the sun behind the temple, my intention to return another time earlier in the day was never to be reality, not on this particular visit to Bangkok.
Wat Arun is located on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River, its known as a symbol of Bangkok and has been located here in various incarnations since before Ayutthaya was the capitol of Thailand.
From its high central spire or prang you have a terrific view of the river and on the opposite shore, not too far from Wat Arun you can see another important Temple, Wat Pho.
Before it was moved to the Wat Phra Kaeo, at the Grand Palace complex, the Emerald Buddha was revered here until the late 1700’s. Wat Arun is truly a marvel and beautiful architectural wonder and to see the detail in the construction is all the reason that you need to visit here. It really is something spectacular to see and is so highly revered that its image is permanently on display on EVERY 10 Baht coin of Thailand.
The main 79 meter high tower or prang is surrounded by four smaller Prangs and as a grouping symbolically represents the “terrestrial representation of the thirty-three heavens”, a Buddhist concept. The prang itself as a structure is symbolic of the Mount Meru, a sacred mountain in Hindu and Buddhist religions that is considered the “center of the Universe”.
All of the prangs are meticulously decorated with tiny pieces of ceramic that arrived in the country as ballast in the holds of trading vessels from China and the central prang has narrow stairways that lead to various platforms or terraces where you can stop and view the surroundings…be careful though…the stairs are QUITE steep!
The compound of Wat Arun is quite large and as you’ll find in most of the Temples throughout Bangkok and Thailand, there are many other smaller areas and shrines for worship. I found during my little tour a small oasis of shade that was fenced off and being used by a couple of Monks that were cooling off from the mid afternoon heat. I wanted to join them…but didn’t, and after asking, they allowed me to photograph them there.
There are plenty of opportunities to take some great photos but I would advise you to arrive in the morning to have the best light of the day to photograph here.
The Ubosot area is off to the side of the prangs and I only visited the outside of it. Yaksha (demons) guard the entranceway to the Ubosot area, a green one on the left, a white one on the right hand side of the entrance. The main entrance was closed off and so in fact Im not sure that it’s possible to enter the Ubosot.
Access to Wat Arun is easy if you will venture here yourself, or if you choose to explore by organized tour, I would imagine that all Tour Boats will make this a stopover on they’re itinerary.
To get here on your own…by boat…which is most fun I think…get yourself to the Tha Tien Pier (Pier Stop 8)…located close to Wat Pho…Here you can catch a smaller boat for a small charge and it will cross the river to the pier at the Wat where you can simply walk to the entrance.
If you are using buses to get here….busses 1, 25, 44, 47, 62 and 91 will do the job.
The Wat is accessible from 0830 -1730 and the cost to enter is only 50 baht…or the equivalent of about $ 1.50 USA.
Visiting here was certainly a memorable experience of my visit to Bangkok and I would definitely advise you to include some time in your itinerary here to see this for yourself.
Wat Arun also known as The Temple of Dawn is a Buddhist temple (wat) in the Bangkok Yai district of Bangkok, Thailand, on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River. You can take the ferry (15 Baht) for less than 5 minutes rides to this Temple which is just across the river. The full name of the temple is Wat Arunratchawararam Ratchaworamahawihan. This is the most famous temple in Bangkok and if you climb to the top you can have the most spectacular sights of the Chao Phraya River and some part of Bangkok. The entrace fee is 50 Baht. Please dress up politely, no sleeveless shirt, no short pants or skirts and no slipper inside the temple.
A visit to the Wat Arun temple is a must while in Bangkok. We got there during our cruise on the Chao Phraya river, and I have noticed that most of the cruises stop there. Wat Arun is the only Buddhist temple I've ever seen, and it is just the way I've always imagined it.
The main tower is wonderfully and minutely decorated with thousands of statues and other decorations, that you can appreciate while climbimng the steep stairs to get to the top. Besides the main tower, the temple is made up of several pagodas and a beautiful garden. I litteraly fell in love with the Wat Arun temple, and I was so sorry we were only given 30 minutes to visit it, since our boat was leaving...
The entrance ticket costs 50 baths and you can spend there unlimited time, unless you are forced to hurry because your boat is leaving.
Be sure you have some water with you, since climbing the temple in hot season will make you very thirsty!
After the fall of Ayuthaya, due to the Burmese invasions, King Thaksin established a temple here to host the emerald Buddha. The temple was named after the god od dawn or Aruna. Wat Arun has a very original architectural style and a tall chedi, which is 82m high. The tower's construction was lead by Rama II on 19th century and finished by his succesor Rama III
Wat Arun (Temple of the Dawn) is located on the western bank of the Chao Phraya River opposite Wat Pho and is the standout temple in Bangkok. Construction of the tall prang and four smaller ones was started by King Rama II (r. 1809-1824) and completed by King Rama III (r. 1824-1851). The towers are supported by rows of demons and monkeys. Very steep and narrow steps lead to a balcony high on the central tower. The circumference of the base of the structure is 234 meters, and the central prang is 250 foot high. The central balcony commands an impressive view of Bangkok across the river. From here you can see the Grand palace, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha and the spacious Wat Pho.
The towers of Wat Arun are built of brick covered with stucco. The decorations are unique; thousands of pieces of multicoloured Chinese porcelain. In niches in the central tower are green figures of the God Indra seated on Erawan, the traditional Thai three-headed elephant. Niches in the smaller towers contain figures of the Moon God, on a white horse. The trident of Shiva extends from the top of each tower.
Open: 9am-5pm. Admission: 50B.
What is it?
The temple is also known as 'the Temple of Dawn', it stands on the riverbank and is one of the most photographed sights in Bangkok
The temple has fairly small ground with one large central tower, and four smaller ones. There seems to be some disagreement over the height of the main tower, with estimates ranging from 80 to 100 meters, with the majority of numbers somewhere in the region of 85.
Whatever the true height, the more remarkable features are, first of all, the steep steps (I have not been to Cambodia by then, so did not know what steep really means) and the bits of porcellain with which the tower is decorated.
Although it's known as 'the Temple of Dawn', personally I much preferred the view from the river after sunset
This place was great. The temple is covered with little pieces of porcelain. There were not many tourist there when I visited it so I could enjoy it better. I climbed almost to the top. It was a real challange, cuz of the stairs. They were almost vertical and very small, but when I had to come down it was even harder.
It is one of my favorite temples in Bangkok.
One of the most elegant temples in Bangkok, Wat Arun is located on the other side of the Menam Chao Phraya but you can easily take a short boat ride across from the Wat Pho. So you can visit both temples at the same time. Not to be missed if you want to say that you have seen all the famous temples of Thailand.
There is a small admission if you want to enter and climb the small steep steps to get a great view of the surrounding and the feel of the temple with the many elaborate carvings, mythical icons and statuettes.
As it is open air, it can be hot or raining. So be prepared for the elements. You can walk around the temple and see the surrounding monastic places for monks. I tried to find another way out but end up deciding to get back across the river.
After going to the Grand Palace, walk and go to Tha Ten Pier. Pay 2 baht for a boat ride to wat arun. Very cheap!!! There is an entrance of 20 baht to Wat Arun. The best location to take a good picture though is outside but you must go inside to be able to appreciate the temple.
Thonburi is the west banks of the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok. You can take a trip with a colourful painted long-tail boat in the khlongs (rivers) of Thonburi.
Wat Arun is a nice temple in Thonburi.
Wat Arun should also be on your top list of temples to visit here. Cost just 50 bht to enter and a couple of bht to cross the river, this place is truly a gem. I personally enjoy the boat ride and also the climb up the temple. An amazing view from up there overseeing the Chao Praya river awaits you. Very cool...
By boat from Tha Thien Pier, near Wat Pho (1THB). Open 7.30 - 17.30; admission fee: 20 THB. Climbing the steps is prohibited. The best view is from the river, especially at down. Wonderful view too during evening river cruise. It's the highest prang of Thailand. This temple date from Ayuthaya period and it was a Royal Chapel housing the Emerald Buddha, before its removal to Wat Phra Keo. The prang, in Ayuthaya style, is encrusted of ceramics decorated wirh floral motifs, aninmals, figures and glittering in the sunligjt. This prang symbolized Mount Meru while other 4 smaller prang contains statue of Phra Pai, god of the wind. Exterior part is much more suggestive and impressive than inside.