Renowned as one of the most stunning landmarks in Bangkok, Wat Arun is a Buddhist temple, commonly known as Temple of Dawn. Sitting majestically on the western shores of the Chao Phraya River, Wat Arun is a spectacular monument rising 70 metres above the ground. The beautiful and intricately decorated temple is covered in colourful porcelain and seashells that shine brightly throughout the day. The four-corned pagoda is a representation of the mythical Mount Meru which is centre the world in Buddhist culture.
The original temple was a much simpler structure and was built in the 18th Century. King Taksin named the site the capital, and soon realised that the temple was the first building to catch the morning light, so he then named it "Temple of Dawn". In 1782 King Rama moved the capital to the other side of the river and took the temple with him. The Khlmer style towers were later added by his successors in the 19th century.
The Wat Arun Temple is an incredible sight that is surrounded by a beautiful river, which makes for some great photo opportunities. Among the tiny pieces of porcelain and coloured glass you will find beautiful floral designs as well as statues of demons, monkeys and Buddha. Inside of the temple, you will find brass Buddha statues and the large golden Buddha which holds King Rama II's ashes.
The Wat Arun Temple is open daily from 8:00am til 5:30pm and is located just a short journey from another major Bangkok attraction, The Grand Palace. Entrance to Wat Arun temple is 100 baht per person. The easiest way to access the Wat Arun temple from Bangkok is via boat. Take the Chao Phraya express boat to the Tha Tien Pier, then transfer to the Tha Tien express boat to Wat Arun. As Wat Arun is a deeply sacred site, tourists are advised to dress appropriately in attire covering the shoulders and knees. Alternatively, you can rent a sarong at the temple entrance. Outside the temple, there may be some scammers trying to tell you that the temple is closed and offer you a cheap tuk tuk, just politely decline and continue walking towards the entrance.