Are you thinking of visiting Bangkok, Thailand? Don’t pass up the chance to see Wat Arun, popularly known as the Temple of Dawn. Wat Arun is a beautiful Buddhist temple with a rich history and stunning design located on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok’s Yai district.
Wat Arun’s origins may be traced back to the Ayutthaya Kingdom, where it was first known as Wat Makok. During the reign of King Taksin, who swore to restore the temple after passing it at dawn, it was renamed Wat Chaeng. The Emerald Buddha picture was previously housed here before being moved to Wat Phra Kaew in 1785. The center prang, Wat Arun’s most distinguishing feature, was built under the reigns of Rama II and Rama III, and it was completed in 1851 after nine years of constant construction.
The central prang of Wat Arun is a breathtaking sight to behold. Standing between 66.8 meters and 86 meters tall, this prang is encrusted with vibrant porcelain, giving it a unique and striking appearance. Around the base of the prang, you’ll find intricate figures of ancient Chinese soldiers and animals. Atop the prang is a seven-pronged trident, often referred to as the “Trident of Shiva.” Inside the Ordination Hall, marvel at the Niramitr Buddha image, believed to be designed by Rama II. The temple’s decorations are a blend of colored ceramic and stuccowork, making it a true masterpiece of art and architecture.
How to travel to Wat Arun
From the city
To reach Wat Arun, you can utilize public transportation options like the MRT to Sanamchai station. Once you arrive there, proceed to Tha Tien Pier, where you can board a ferry to reach Wat Arun. The ferry operates from 05:30 onwards with a fare of 5 baht per trip.
An alternative method of transportation is the Chao Phraya Express Boat, denoted by the Orange Flag. This mode allows you to travel seamlessly from Saphan Taksin pier to Wat Arun along the scenic Chao Phraya River.
Best way to visit Wat Arun
To make the most of your visit to Wat Arun, plan to arrive early in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid the midday heat. The temple’s stunning porcelain decorations are especially enchanting when illuminated by the soft glow of the rising or setting sun. Don’t forget to explore the temple grounds and enjoy the views of the Chao Phraya River.
Wat Arun is equally stunning when viewed from the opposite side, offering a breathtaking sight. For an unparalleled experience, head to the rooftop bars, such as Eagle Nest, where you can indulge in the magnificent view of Wat Arun.