Temple of the Dawn - Wat Arun, Bangkok
Wat Arun, Temple of the Dawn, is one of the best known landmarks and one of the most published images of Bangkok.It is open every day from 8.30am to 5.30pm.This temple can be reached either by Arun Amarin Road or by boat from Tha Tien Pier, near Wat Pho.Admission is 30 baht for tourist and free for Thai people.
I was recommended this tour by a friend of mine. This is how you can go about doing it. The idea is to visit Wat Arun, Wat Pho and Grand Palace all in one day. Its definitely doable but if you have time, I would suggest you do the first two on one day and the Grand Palace on another day.
1. Start off with taking a BTS to Saphan Taksin station.
2. As you exit the station walk towards the Char Praya river.
3. Don't take the tourist ferry which costs more baht.
4. Take the ferry which goes up and down the river which the locals use. Once again, unless you have plans of getting off at the piers and look around, don't buy the season ticket which is valid for unlimited use within the day. Purchase a ticket to Ta Tien pier. If I am not wrong, it costs 25 THB.
5. Get off at the Ta Tien pier.
6. You can see Wat Arun at the opposite side of the river.
7. Take a boat that will take you across the river for 2 THB.
There is an entry fee at Wat Arun for non-Thais.
Once you complete your visit, take the boat back across the river.
Located on the west bank of Chao Phraya River, Wat Arun can be reached either by Arun Amarin Road or by crossing the river by boat from Tha Tien Pier, near Wat Pho. The most attractive structure of this temple is the 79 metres high pagoda of Phra Prang. Wat Arun was renovated during the brief Thonburi period to be the Royal Chapel of King Taksin. Despite the meaning of its name that is The Temple of Dawn, the most beautiful view of it is from the Bangkok side of the river at sunset.
Wat Arun is open daily from 08.30 – 17.30 hours. An admission fee of 20 Baht is required.
An important structure is a 79-metre-high pagoda or "Phra Prang" decorated with ceramic tiles and fragments of multicoloured porcelain.
The name of Wat Arun literary means "Temple of the Dawn".
But the most beautiful view of it can be seen from the east side of the river at sunset.
Wat Arun also known the The Temple of Dawn is one of Bangkoks most famous landmarks. Located on the west side of the Chao Phraya River it is very peaceful as it is rarely crowded. The porcelain detail on the Wat is beautiful.
I visited Wat Arun during a visit to Bangkok in September 2007.
Wat Arun (the Temple of Dawn) is located on the opposite bank of the Chao Phraya river to Wat Pho and the Grand Palace. It can easily be reached, as I did, by catching the cross river ferry from Tha Tien pier (next to Wat Pho); a 2 minute crossing that costs a mere 3 Bahts.
Entry to Wat Pho costs 50 Bahts (approx. 0.80 GBP) and visitors must be respectfully dressed. I wore a pair of long trousers and a t-shirt that covered my shoulders.
The main attraction of this temple over the other temples in Bangkok, in my opinion, is that you can climb the steep staircase to the temple’s upper terrace for breathtaking views of the Chao Phraya river and the city skyline. The main photo on my Bangkok introduction page was taken from the upper terrace of Wat Arun. The climb is a steep one, and be warned that in long trousers on a hot and humid day, it is a sweaty climb to the top!
The total height of Wat Arun’s central praang is 82 metres, but the upper terrace is at perhaps only half that height.
Wat Arun is decorated with colourful porcelain tiles and features small characters who appear to be holding the temple up. As I was climbing up the stairs, these characters looked like little devils to me, but my guidebook describes them as being half human, half bird and named “Kinnari”.
As well as the main temple there is also a chapel, the entrance of which is guarded by two giants. The perimeter of the chapel features dozens of golden Buddha icons, and I witnessed an orange robed monk meditating inside.
You can find stalls selling postcards, souvenirs and food and drink by the exit.
We travelled to the temple by longboat as part of a Klong Tour (canals) and as we came along the Chayo Praya River the Wat Arun , The Temple of Dawn, stood out against the city landscape. It is a very large temple stretching into the sky , and with it being covered with broken pieces of porcelain it glissens in the sun. We walked up the steep steps to the first level and admired the temple and view over Bangkok. It is well worth the effort to walk around the Temple on this level and admire the detailed workmanship.
There is a small entry fee approximately 20 baht, the temple being open daily from 7:30am to 5:30pm.
Perhaps the most enjoyable and easiest way to reach the temple is by river taxii, it is interesting and cheap travel
Although not as grand and certainly not as popular as Wat Phra Kaew, Wat Arun stands out as my favorite of all Bangkok temples. Reasons:
1) The creativity and ingenuity in creating this lovely temple by recycling broken ceramics from Chinese merchant ships is simply fascinating. Look closely at the intricate temple ornaments, and these are mainly made of porcelain pieces - yes cups, saucers and plates.
2) Designed along Cambodian-Khmer lines, it stands out as one of the tallest religious structures in the country soaring to 104 meters. Coupled with its fantastic riverside location, it offers great vantage point to view Bangkok skyline and Chao Phraya river. Climbing the temple is fun, too, although you need to watch your steps very carefully.
3) Fully lit at night, Wat Arun is a sight to behold, especially from the restaurant across the river on Tha Tien pier with your favorite Singha (local beer) and spicy Thai food. Best time to visit is late afternoon before closing, and then grab a seat at the restaurant across the river to watch the sunset and soak in that wonderful, easygoing vibe. More night pictures of Wat Arun here.
My trip to Wat Arun was a bad one, probably the worst of my whole trip to Bangkok. No, I am not complaining about the Wat, I am complaining on myself.
Our whole day schedule was a bit tight. We had a early morning boat ride to Grand Palace, afternoon Khao San Road, Vimanmek Mansion and then China Town. It was already 3.30pm when we decided to go to Wat Arun. I think we were misleaded by the name of the Wat : Temple of dawn. We thought it should only be visited during the dawn! How silly we were!
We reached the pier at about half past 3, and we booked a boat for 300 baht. We was too tired to bargain or look for the alternative and took the offer. It was only 30 mins short trip, and we need to pay for the boat parking fees for another 20 baht, then 20 baht for the entrance. Worst thing we also been scammed of another 40 baht for taking a damn photo (read my tourist trap tips for details).
Except the above, Wat Arun is really a nice place to explore. But if you are tired for another wat after many wat and wat been visited for the same day, I'll suggest why not you just take a nice photo while the boat passed by. Look at the picture, isn't it nice suited to the name of "Temple of the dawn"?
Located near the Chao Phraya River, you can find the glittery temple called Temple Of Dawn.
Imposing its beauty at 70 meters high this became one of the famous landmarks in Bangkok. The facade is made up of coloured glass and chinese porcelain..all put together to make a unique and intricate pattern design.Unique with eye catching charm and beauty.
The best time to see this temple is during sunset while cruising the Chao Phraya River.
"The Temple of the Dawn",
Located on the west bank of Chao Praya River (Thonburi side). The most attractive structure of Wat Arun is the center 79 meter high pagoda. You have a wonderfull view from the pagoda to Bangkok-Ratanakosin island. I took from the pagoda wonderfull photos.
Name: Wat Arun
Attraction Type: Architecture, Wat-Temple, Buddha Image, View of Ratanakosin Island and Chao Praya River
Close to: Chao Praya River
Pictures in the web: Wat Arun
Photos: You can take great photos of the Pagoda and great photos to the Ratanakosin Island, Chao Praya river, Bangkok's skyscrapers from the Pagoda.
Last Visit: September 2007
Be careful: The steps
First Photo: Prang of Wat Arun
Second photo: Art in Wat Arun
Third photo: Wat Arun and Chao Praya
Forth photo: Wat Arun
Fifth photo: Buddha Image
Even though I have read lots of times that Wat Arun is not especially worth seeing, I have always enjoyed it - we call it the "china plate temple" for obvious reasons - and I love to take close up pics of it. The silhouette is an unmissable sight when you travel on the river - and the temple is quite different to any of the others I have seen in BKK.
Any - if you are a shopper - the best range of T-shirts seem to be here - and the adjacent shops actually have quite reasonable things to see - and buy of course! There are the monks at the exit from the pier into the temple, and a quick blessing never hurt anyone - the cutouts of Thai dancers you can shove your head through for a pic (for a cost of course), the costumes you can hire for photography, and man with the carpet snake for photograpic opportunity - the options seem endless really!
The history of the temple is also quite interesting, as it is really made from Chinese ballast porcelain - just like the incredible number of Chinese statues at the Grand Palace and Wat Pho - all ballast!
Wat Arun was also the home of the sacred and valuable Emerald Buddha, before it was transferred by Rama I across to its current location in Wat Phra Kaew in the grounds of the Grand Palace comlex.
If you have to cross the river, it costs a whole 4 Bt each way - so what is there to lose!
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.
A friend of mine could not stop talking about Wat Arun. I now know why.
Bangkok has so many temples, but this one stands out. For one, its really tall and you can actually climb to a fairly reasonable height. Steep steps, so be careful. Once you are on top, there is a wonderful sprawling view of the River. The little courtyards as well as the green lawns (although rather small) makes one feel very comfortable here.
Wat Arun's name pays tribute to its patron goddess Aruna which equals Aurora (dawn goddess). The temple looks very khmer in structure (except for the decoration) but it hails from the 18th to 19th century. The decoration is 19th century (reign of King Mongkut = Rama IV).
The temple is actually most interesting from up close and less from a distance, or rather: one first needs to go real close and the step back again a little to fully appreciate it.
However, the view of the main pagoda as a whole from this distance already gives you an idea of what to expect: the temple is simply surprising and one wonders how its builders conceived its stunning ornamental plan (more on that below).
I spare you pictures taken from the river: from such distance the temple looks comparably plain (unless you get very favorable light), nothwithstanding the fact that the river vista made it onto the 10 Baht coin.
Unfortunately the pagoda can only be climbed until a lower level.