Wat Arun is one of the best temples in Bangkok. You will find an infinite number of temples in Thailandbut few as impressive as this gem located on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River. He is also known as the Temple of Dawn and stands out for its unique architecture. Visiting the temple can be a headache if you are not well informed as it is extremely popular. So in this post we have prepared a small guide to visiting Wat Arun and enjoy the temple.

Contents of this article


1. History of Wat Arun

The full name of the temple is Wat Aaron Ratchawararam, which means Temple of Dawn. Although it is also known locally as Wat Chaeng. However, it has not always been called that.

In fact, its history dates back to the era of Ayutthaya. At that time, the temple was still called What Makokwhich would mean Temple of the olive trees. However, later, It was named Wat Arun in honor of Arunáthe god of dawn in Hindu mythology.

In 1768, King Taksin traveled to Thonburi (where the temple is located) to establish a new capital on the bank of the Chao Phraya River. Until then the political center was in Ayutthaya, although for a short period of time it was moved to Thonburi, before later moving permanently to Bangkok. It is believed that when Taksin passed by the temple, it was just dawn. So the name is ideal!

For a time, Wat Arun was the royal chapel and housed the Emerald Buddha before it finally moved to the other side of the river. However, Wat Arun was not as special as we know it today until the reign of Rama III (1824-1851), when it was decided to further extend the central prang to its current height. It went from being 16 meters tall to 77 meters!

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The lovely main prang from below

2. How to get to Wat Arun

Getting to Wat Arun from anywhere in Bangkok is easy. Despite being located on the other bank, access is easy and you have several options.

2.1. By tuk-tuk, the most recommended option to get to Wat Arun

Getting around Bangkok by tuk-tuk is the most common and comfortable way. That was our option since we wanted to enter very soon. From our hotel, the Red Planet Surawong takes approximately 25 minutesalthough it is easy to take more or less (depends on traffic).

Regarding the price, it is impossible for them to charge you like a local. Everything will depend on where you get on, although it is still a very cheap option.

2.2. By boat from the Grand Palace and Wat Pho

This may be a good option to reach Wat Arun after visiting the Grand Palace and Wat Pho. There are plenty of boats that cross the river for about 3 baht or so.

However, it is not an option that we recommend since We would try to visit the Grand Palace and Wat Arun first thing in the morning and on separate days to avoid crowds.

23. By metro from anywhere in Bangkok

Finally, although it is not a very common option in Bangkok, you can also get to Wat Arun by metro. The most convenient option is to get off at Isaraphap, the closest station to the temple, and walk about 12 minutes to the entrance. It’s a pretty fast alternative, especially at peak times in Bangkok.

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3. Where to stay to visit Wat Arun?

We stayed in the Red Planet Surawong when we visit it. And, although it is not relatively close to the temple, we recommend it because it is very cheap and super good.

In this case, The ideal thing to visit Wat Arun would be to try to sleep in the Old City of Bangkok o on the shore of Chao Phraya. In the first area there are not many hotels, but on the river bank there are and they are spectacular. From both places it will only take a few minutes, you will simply have to cross the river. This way you won’t lose patience with the traffic in the center of Bangkok.

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4. What to see at Wat Arun

Es one of the most visited temples in Bangkok and has several attractions apart from its famous prang.

4.1. Central Prang, its main attraction

Evidently, Wat Arun is famous for its beautiful central prang. It is a tower more than 70 meters high, similar to a stupa. It is decorated with porcelain mosaics and shells, so it shines brightly in the sunny hours.

In its day you could climb all the way to the top, but today You can only walk around and go up to the middle level of the tower. It’s worth it because the views are beautiful.

It is the only area of ​​the temple where an entrance fee is required. Then we get into pricing!

4.2. The entrance to the ordination room

But the main mistake is to believe that the temple is only its central prang. There are more things to see at Wat Arun. For example the entrance to the famous ordination room. Although in our case we saw it on the way out! Since we entered through the main entrance, near the prang and left through the ordination room.

You will find two beautiful statues of the Yakshas with the temple behind representing the guardians of the sanctuary. A beautiful entry!

4.3. The main temple

And finally, we cannot leave the main temple either, the most sacred part of Wat Arun. We loved the hallways with the Buddha statues. Inside it is located the image of the Buddha Niramitr and the locals come to say their prayers.

The famous Buddha statues in the hallways

How much time do I need to visit Wat Arun?

We recommend spending at least an hour visiting Wat Arun, although we were there a little more. It’s worth paying attention to all the details!

But not only is its interior worth a visit, On another day (or the same) we advise you to go to the other bank of the river to see it at sunset. One of the most beautiful of our lives!

Wat ArunWat Arun
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5. How much does it cost to enter Wat Arun?

The temple is becoming more and more popular and the entrance prices only increase. However, enter Wat Arun It costs only 100 baht per person (about €3), although it is free for locals.

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6. Wat Arun Timings

The temple Wat Arun is open every day from 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

6.1. What is the best time to visit Wat Arun?

This is very important when visiting Wat Arun. We recommend entering at 8:00 a.m. to avoid crowds. It is an extremely popular temple and the central prang part, the most interesting, can be overwhelming with so many people.

We went at 8:00 a.m. and it was relatively quiet. Although around 9:20 a.m., when we left, it was full.

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7. Tips for visiting Wat Arun

Before visiting Wat Arun in Bangkok, it is very important that you keep these tips in mind.

7.1. It is a religious space, dress appropriately

It is a working Buddhist temple and visitors must respect local rules and customs. This means that men should wear long pants, or ones that cover the knees, and avoid sleeveless shirts.

Regarding women, they must wear skirts or pants that extend at least to the knee, and they must also have their shoulders covered. At the entrance they rent sarongs, but you better bring your homework done from home.

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7.2. Get up early and enter among the first

As we said, It is worth getting up early to get in first and visit Wat Arun without the crowds. And visit the central prang first and then the rest of the complex.

7.3. Don’t forget to go to the other side of the river at sunset

The most beautiful view of the monument can be seen from the east side of the river at sunset. we stand at the Riva Arun pier and we took some beautiful photos.

An incredible sunset from the Riva Arun pier

7.4. Once you are there, take out a 10 baht coin

Does what you see sound familiar to you? If you’re lucky, you’ll see that the temple is on 10 baht coins. A symbol of Thailand! However, the monogram of the king of the country appears on the new coins.

Source: https://lostraveleros.com/wat-arun-bangkok/

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