Wat Arun Temple in Bangkok


Being in Bangkok is not the first time in Wat Arun Temple I still couldn’t manage to get there, and I finally decided to fill this gap. It was especially curious to see him because this mountain temple, built as a Hindu temple, has become one of the most important temples in the Kingdom of Thailand, whose main religion is Buddhism.

Very spacious Buddhist ceremonies take place in the spacious wihan of the Morning Dawn Temple, located next to the prang Wat Arun. The most important of them is called "Kathin”And is held in November. The King of Thailand or members of the royal family takes part in this ceremony, rewarding the most venerable monks from all over the country with traditional monastic clothes. Therefore, everyone who is interested in the culture and traditions of Thailand should see the temple of the Morning Dawn.

Main interest temple complex Wat Arun is a high chedi, built in the Khmer style, and its unusual decor. Before the era of skyscrapers, it was the tallest building in Bangkok, its height is 79 meters. The whole surface of chedi is richly decorated with Chinese porcelain, which is why Wat Arun is considered almost the most beautiful temple in all of Asia. I don’t know, maybe someone also thinks so, but personally it seemed to me just unique and unusual, because it combines elements of cultures of different eras - Buddhist and Hindu.

Decor of Wat Arun Temple in Bangkok

Layout of the Temple of the Morning Dawn

On the territory of the temple complex of Wat Arun, there is the famous 79-meter pagoda, in the corners of which there are four smaller pranks. The Khmer-style chedi is called a prang, and the most famous Khmer-style temple, which is architecturally similar to the Morning Dawn Temple, is Angkor Wat in Cambodia.

In the chedi niches there are equestrian statues of the god of the wind Vayu, and the tops are decorated with vairas (Indra's weapon is a lightning bolt). Prangs were completed in the middle of the XIX century. The central multi-tier prang was built in the 18th century, it symbolizes Mount Meru in Hindu cosmology, and its levels represent the diversity of worlds in the universe.

Interesting fact: during the 19th century reconstruction, Wat Arun was decorated with porcelain mosaics. Broken porcelain was used as ballast on boats coming to Bangkok from China, and when it accumulated a lot, it was put on the lining of the temple's prangs. Although this version seems dubious.

Description of Wat Arun and photos

We decided to go up to the observation platform of the main prang Wat Arun and take pictures of its beautiful china elements and stunning views of the center of Bangkok. Very steep stairs with high steps lead to the top of the Morning Dawn Temple on each of its four sides. They symbolize the complexity of human life at the stage of improvement and comprehension of higher knowledge. And all over the prang, in rows are ceramic images of demons and monkeys. See for yourself in the photo.

We also go up to see the details of Wat Arun near

Porcelain decorated demon sculptures

In the photo porcelain-decorated statues look beautiful, but in reality they are even better.

All interest lies in the details.

Right at the foot of the main prang Wat Arun there are many animal figures and Chinese warriors. The latter appeared in the design of Wat Arun due to the fact that King Thaksin, who began construction, was originally Chinese and invited many Chinese to Thailand.

On the territory of the Temple of the Morning Dawn there are also several pavilions, a viharn, a library, an initiation hall and several living quarters (see the territory diagram below).

Entrance to the Hall of Initiations

At the foot of the main prang are statues of Chinese warriors

One of the four prangs surrounding the main one. The whole is filled with the symbols of Hindu cosmology

Views of the Chao Phraya River and the center of Bangkok with Wat Arun

Of particular interest is climbing very steep stairs to the observation deck located on the main prang of the temple. Funky open from her Views of the Chao Phraya River, surroundings and the city on the other side of the river. Skyscrapers towering above the earth and stretching toward the sky, boats and huge barges with cargo, going along the river, the roofs of temples and a large cable-stayed bridge - all this can be seen from the Wat Arun observation deck.

Photo of the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok from the top of Wat Arun

Across the river is the center of Bangkok with its main attractions

Wat Arun Temple on a map of Bangkok

The temple was built in the 15th century, in the Ayutthaya period, when Bangkok was not yet the capital of Thailand.

In 1768, the Thai king Thaksin decided to move the capital to Tonburi. Having gone with his army along the Chao Phraya River, one day, at dawn, he saw a solemn, majestic structure on the shore. The king was so impressed with what he saw that he founded his residence in Wat Arun.

For some time there was a famous statue of the Emerald Buddha, until a temple was specially built for her on the territory of the Royal Palace. At the same time, Wat Arun continued to be one of the most revered. During the reign of the kings of Rama II and Rama III, reconstruction was carried out, in particular, its main prang was increased to an impressive height of 79 meters.

The structure of the temple complex

When you see the Temple of the Morning Dawn from afar, in person or in photographs, it appears gray. If you get a little closer, it seems that it is decorated with flowers. And only coming very close, you can understand how it is framed in reality.

The walls are decorated with colored Chinese porcelain - drawings and skillfully laid out mosaics. Porcelain laid out the main tower - Phra Prang, as well as four others. In the rays of the sun, multi-colored fragments play and shimmer - very beautiful and unusual! No wonder it is also called the Porcelain Temple.

Where did porcelain come from, because in those days the Thais did not know how to make it yet? There is an ancient Thai legend. She says that a long time ago, a Chinese merchant ship sank in the Chao Phraya River, the cargo of which was just china. Raising the ship from the bottom, the locals decided to use the pieces of porcelain in the decoration. There is a more prosaic version - the fragments were used in the holds of Chinese ships sailing in Thailand as ballast and were bought by Thais.

The territory of the temple

The main attraction is the tall, aspiring Phra Prang. It is surrounded by four smaller towers (each 16 meters high). The spire of the main prang is visible from a long distance - amateur photographers are guaranteed a huge number of successful angles. Its structure represents Meru - a sacred mountain, which in Buddhism is a shrine, the center of spiritual and material values.

Phra prang is made in Khmer style, has a three-tier structure. Each tier is supported by numerous sculptures of guards. For tourists, the two lower ones are open. But climbing up is not an easy test. Long, long staircases are very steep, with narrow steps, only the presence of the railing saves. Those who are not afraid of a steep climb will find themselves on viewing platforms - terraces at a height of 20 meters. Terraces form the base of the pagoda. It offers amazing views of Bangkok and the Chao Phraya River.

In niches of small prangs there are sculptures of the God of the Moon sitting on a white horse. And at the top of the main tower is a statue of the king Indra, seated on the three-headed elephant.

There are many stone statues on the territory: Buddha sculptures, demons with war paint - guards, temple keepers, unusual elephants with a large number of heads, lions, kinars - mythical creatures - half a woman, half - a bird, a monkey.

On one of the terraces you can see four niches. In each of them - according to the sculpture of the Buddha in four states: birth, enlightenment, the appeal of the Buddha to people and his entry into nirvana.

Under the tall roofs of the pagodas, many bells hang. The slightest breath of the breeze - and the melodic, most delicate sound encompasses everything around. According to legend, the ringing of bells drives away evil spirits from the temple.

Useful information for tourists

You can get to the Temple of the Morning Dawn as well as to the Grand Royal Palace, which is located almost opposite. It is enough to cross the Chao Phraya River (from berth No. 8) by ferry, which runs at intervals of 15-20 minutes. The fare is 4 baht one way. The road does not take much time - the river is quite narrow. The ferry takes tourists directly to the gates of the temple.

You can enter the territory only in appropriate clothing. Short skirts, shorts, open shirts will not work. Clothing should cover shoulders, arms above elbows and legs above knees. If you are dressed not according to the rules, then at the entrance you can rent clothes.

When visiting the premises of the temple complex, it is necessary to take off shoes at the entrance, often this is indicated by a sign or you can see someone else’s shoes already taken off.

Do not step on the threshold. That's right - step over it.

The temple is open for visits daily, opening hours from 8:00 to 18:00. Entrance fee is 50 baht.

Every evening, in the summer and in the spring, magnificent 15-minute light-music performances are held here. In English and Thai, accompanied by national music, the story of the history of the temple.

What to see

The Temple of Dawn is a complex of five towers - the central Phra Prang with a height of about 79 meters and four towers lower (about 16 meters each). If you go from the main entrance, at the gates of visitors two huge guards will meet - statues of demons made in the traditional Khmer style. Inside, on the territory of the sanctuary, you can find many more interesting sculptures - here from every niche, from each terrace, stone statues of Hindu and Buddhist gods, demons, mythical Kinari and royal elephants look at tourists.

And to complete a walk along Wat Arun is a climb to the observation deck of the main tower. Phra Prang has three tiers, and two of them are available for visiting. The climb goes up through a rather narrow open staircase with steep steps that leads to panoramic terraces. The reward for those who are not afraid of heights will be a beautiful view of Bangkok. At the beginning of 2018, the passage above the 1st tier was closed due to the restoration, but this is a temporary phenomenon.

How to get to the Temple of Dawn

The Morning Dawn Temple is located in the Thonburi district on the west coast of Chao Phraya - directly opposite the Royal Palace, which is located on the other side of the river.

The exact address: 158 Thanon Wang Doem, Wat Arun, Bangkok Yai, 10600, Thailand.

Pier near the Temple

The easiest way here is to walk or get on the river:

On foot:less than 150 meters from the Royal Palace to Tha Tien Marina.

Ferry:From Tha Tien Marina, crossings take place every 10-15 minutes.

On foot:after crossing, you can walk to Wat Arun in 2 minutes.

Bus:Routes 3, 32, 47, 53, 82 stop at Tha Tien pier.

Ferry:From Tha Tien pier, take the ferry to Wat Arun.

From Hua Lamphong Railway Station:

Underground MRT:From the Hua Lamphong station at the railway station, get to the Sala Daeng station, where transfer to BTS Skytrain.

BTS ground station:From Sala Daeng, take the Saphan Taksin Station at Sathorn Pier.

Express Boat:get from the pier by speed boat to Wat Arun temple.

From Suvarnabhumi Airport:

Train Airport Rail Link:From the station on the ground floor of the airport, go to the Phaya Thai station, where transfer to the BTS metro line Sukhumvit Line.

BTS ground station:to get to Siam station, where to get to the Silam Line branch.

BTS ground station:get to Saphan Taksin station at the pier.

Express Boat:from the pier Sathorn go to the temple.

Important: Express Boat tickets are purchased at the pier or directly in the boat.

You can also get to the Temple of Dawn by taxi, but traveling from the east tourist coast is not profitable because you have to make a big circle to get to the bridge.

Schedule and ticket price

Opening hours of Wat Arun Temple: from 07:30 to 19:00.

However, the main tower of Phra Prang has its own regime: from 08:00 to 18:00.

The property is open from 08:30 to 18:00.

Cost of visit: 50 baht (

Important: To visit this place you need clothes that cover your knees and shoulders, but if there is none, you can rent a cape. Audio guides, unfortunately, are not issued, so before a visit it is better to study the description of the temple according to the plan.

Virtual tour

We offer a small video tour of the Temple of Dawn.

According to reviews, the Wat Arun Buddhist Sanctuary is best visited in the morning, immediately after the opening, when there is not yet a large crowd of people inside. After that, you can take time on the Royal Palace, located on the other side of the river, the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew) and the Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho), and at dusk return to the temple to admire it in the backlight. At the same time, it is not necessary to cross the river again - the best view opens just from the opposite bank. By the way, there is a restaurant overlooking the river and the temple, where you can go for dinner. Thus, in one day it is easy to visit several of Bangkok's most important attractions.

Wat Arun - Temple of the Morning Dawn in Bangkok

Previously, the temple of Wat Arun was called - the temple of the god of the morning dawn. Over time, for convenience, the word "god" disappeared from use and just the name remained - Wat Arun.

Wat Arun was created during the reign of King Thaksin, when Ayutthaya, the ancient capital of Thailand, destroyed by the Burmese, ceased
being the main city and capital moved to Bangkok.

Entrance to Wat Arun Temple in Bangkok

Wat Arun meets the dawn in Bangkok, and from its largest stupa in the form of a cob, billions of bright reflections scatter with splashes.

Wat Arun - Temple of the Morning Dawn photo

Long and painstaking work lasted for decades. Wat Arun since its inception, has flourished and fell into decay.

Wat Arun - Temple of the Morning Dawn photo

Symbolism of Wat Arun Temple in Bangkok

There are five main towers in Wat Arun Temple. The main wat, in the form of a cob, stands in the middle of the complex.
There are two observation platforms on it, which you can climb along steep steps to see Bangkok around in all its splendor.

demons hold the vaults of Wat Arun and guard it

Since September 2013, a three-year repair began in Wat Arun temple, which is necessary to update the mosaic of the temple, to complement
extensions, to restore and improve what has been decreasing over the years.

Wat Arun - Temple of the Morning Dawn photo

failed to rise to the top

sculpture of warriors in the temple of Wat Arun

How much is the entrance to Wat Arun

Unlike the cost of entering other Buddhist temples and venerable places, the cost of entering the temple of the morning dawn is very budgetary - only 50 baht.

Wat Arun - Temple of the Morning Dawn photo

opening hours of the temple of the morning dawn wat arun photo

How to get to Wat Arun Temple?

The temple of the morning dawn of Wat Arun is very easy to "fit" into a sightseeing tour of Bangkok.
If you are traveling as an organized group, then in 90 percent of cases it will be in your program.
If you do not know where it is better to buy an excursion and do not want to pay extra, write to me, I will give you contacts of the company whose services we use ourselves.

I also advise you to ride on long boats

The third temple can capture the temple of the Emerald Buddha, it is also next to it.

appeal not to use Buddha images for entertainment

This is the ultimate marina. You can leave here by buying a ticket for a tourist boat for the whole day (120 baht), or go
boat as public transport for 10 baht. We did so.

It is impossible to drive your stop. If in doubt, do not hesitate to ask the conductor to tell you where to go and get a card.
Stop the pier - Ta Thien. (Pier number 8) When you exit the pier you will get to the side, where is the temple of Wat Pho.

Ta Thien pier where you will get to Wat Arun

To get to Wat Arun temple, you need to take a ferry from the same pier for 3 baht and cross to the other side. Ferries run frequently.
Back the same route.

we buy a ferry ticket for 3 baht

Chao Phraya - River Walks in Bangkok photo

How to save money on a hotel or apartment on vacation?

I am looking at the Rumguru website. There you can find absolutely all discounts on hotels and apartments in 30 booking systems, including booking. Often I find very profitable options, it turns out to save from 30 to 80%

How to save on insurance?

Insurance abroad is needed. Any method is very expensive and the only way not to pay out of your pocket is to choose an insurance policy in advance. For many years, we have been making out on the Cherehapa website, which give the best prices for insurance and selection with registration takes only a couple of minutes.

Ayutthaya - how is the excursion to the ancient capital of Thailand?

Hello Katya! Thanks for your articles. I’m even very sad now, today I’ve read all your posts to the core. Even about condominiums, which I never intended to rent. Maybe because everything connected with Tya touches. I miss you wildly, I add up, as you wrote your fingers with a cross so that everything coincides in November))) and they gave the husband a vacation and everything turned out with money. I am from Ashgabat. We have another misfortune, cu cannot be bought in principle. Only put the local currency on the visa cards, and upon arrival you can (supposedly) cash out where it seems possible. But the Turkmen mind cannot understand .... Therefore, it is scary.
And returning to your articles. Have you been to Wat Sacket in Bangkok? I’m afraid to recommend, but I really liked it there. Some kind of “place of power,” or something. And the view of Bangkok is wonderful. And I would like to ask you, do you know anything about the Ferris wheel in Bangkok and Madame Tussauds? I just dream of visiting the latter, after reading Madame's biography. I look forward to your new narrations! Good luck

Lyalya, I understand you! I hope you succeed and everything will turn out well with the trip!
Of course, I heard about the Saket, but all the time something does not add up with a trip there, it does not carry luck with the weather, then there is not enough time.
Madame Tussauds is quite mediocre in my opinion, are you talking about the one in Siam Paragon?
But you weren’t on the Ferris wheel, which one do you mean? Is it in some kind of amusement park?