Situated on the west bank (Thonburi) of the Chao Phraya River, Wat Arun Ratchawararam Ratchawaramahawihan or Wat Arun features a very different design to other temples in Bangkok. The temple’s main Phra Prang or Khmer-style tower rises at the center to a height of some 66 meters and is decorated with seashells and bits of porcelain that glimmer in the sunlight. This is surrounded by four smaller Phra Prang.
An iconic landmark, Wat Arun is also known as the Temple of Dawn and is one of the most internationally recognizable of Bangkok’s temples, having been used as a location in several Hollywood movies.
The King of Thonburi or King Taksin envisioned Wat Arun in 1768 when, after having fought his way out of Ayutthaya which was taken over by a Burmese army, he arrived at the temple as dawn was breaking. He ordered the temple renovated and renamed it Wat Chaeng (the Temple of Dawn). Later, work was done on the temple during the reign of King Rama III from 1824 to 1851 including the addition of the porcelain decoration.
Visitors to Wat Arun can climb the steps up the central prang for rewarding views of the Chao Phraya River and city surrounds, see the giant statues known as Yak Wat Jaeng which guard the temple, the ordination hall with its golden Buddha image and wall murals and the library.
Can be visited daily from 8.30 am to 5.30 pm
158 Wang Doem Road, Wat Arun, Bangkok Yai, Bangkok 10600