It is no coincidence that Thailand is well known as the land of the Golden Pagodas. Among the various temples in the capital city of Thailand, one of the most elegant sites voted by tourists is Wat Arun - the Temple of Dawn.
Scattering throughout the country are countless of large and small temples with different historical backgrounds. At a glance, there are more than 100 temples with unique architectural features associated with historical events as well as religious and spiritual significance throught Bangkok. Among the various temples in the capital city of Thailand, one of the most elegant sites voted by tourists is Wat Arun - the Temple of Dawn.
Wat Arun is located on the west bank of the famous Chao Phraya River of Thailand. This is considered the most ancient and magnificent temple of Bangkok. Every morning, Wat Arun is the first place in the city of Bangkok to receive the light of the rising sun from the east of the Phraya River, so it is named Pagoda of the Dawn.
History of Wat Arun
Wat Arun was constructed under the reign of King Taksin in 1768. Wat Arun is located in the grounds of the Royal Palace during the reign of King Thaksin. Then King Rama I (1737-1809), the next descendant, while moving the capital to Bangkok, he brought along the Emerald Buddha statue and the ancient temple was abandoned for a long time, until the reign of King Rama II (1767-1824, reigned from 1809 to 1824). King Rama II decided to expand Wat Arun, invited monks to live and built many stupas, among them, notably the main tower with a height of over 70m. Construction of the temple lasted from King Rama II to King Rama III (reigned from 1824 to 1851).
Wat Arun on the edge of Chao Phraya River
Structure & Architecture
Wat Arun has 4 corners with 4 pointed towers, symbolizing Mount Meru, the center of the worldview according to Buddhism. According to legend, Mount Meru is the sacred five-peaked mountain in the cosmology of Hinduism and Buddhism, considered the center of all material, metaphysical, spiritual and axial universes of the world. So the 4 towers in the imagination of the ancients are images representing the guardian deities in 4 directions. The temple's architecture is extremely meticulous and sophisticated to every detail. Each piece of porcelain, each inch of glass covering the towers of the temple is inlaid with gentle colors, creating great effects whenever illuminated under the lights.
The Temple of Dawn is also the place where the remains of King Rama II are buried. On the wall of the temple are paintings depicting the life of Prince Siddhartha, also known as Buddha Shakyamuni. Thanks to its unique architectural design, the highest tower of Wat Arun on the banks of the Chao Phraya River is considered a famous landmark of Bangkok. The 70m high Tower, decorated with Chinese porcelain and glass, is set up in an elegant and sophisticated way, promising tourists with the best memorable photos.
Interior architecture of Wat Arun
Constructed in the 17th century, Wat Arun is known for its unique architecture, quite distinctive and not in conflict with any other temples in Bangkok in particular or Thailand in general. After setting feet on the temple grounds, tourists will be wowed by the beauty of the temple built completely out of bricks and covered with colorful ceramics on the outside. Standing at the highest point of the temple, tourists can overlook the beautiful Chao Phraya River (also known as "Venice of the East"), the magnificent Royal Palace and the sacred Wat Pho temple.
Wat Arun with Krathong lantern
The Temple of Dawn
Wat Arun is named Pagoda of the Dawn because the best time to visit the temple is early in the morning. When the sun starts to rise, find your self a high spot on Wat Arun and admire the sunrise covering the temple roofs with a sparkling, dreamy and gentle yellow shade. Don’t forget to grab your camera and capture the best shots of the temple and yourself for Facebook and Instagram check-ins! This is also the best time to sit back, forget about your busy daily life, find your inner peace and enjoy these precious moments of your trip to the beautiful country of Thailand.
Wat Arun is best viewed at sunset
Opening hours & Entrance fee
The temple is a sacred spiritual place, so visitors should pay attention to appropriate costumes. From Sapphan Taksin pier, tourists can take a boat on the river to pier 8. From here, a small boat will take you to the other side of the river for only 3 baht. The entrance fee is 100 baht and the temple is open from 08:30 to 17:30. The best time to visit Wat Arun is at sunset or in the evening when that lights are up.