Wat Arun, The Temple of Dawn - Bangkok's Best Kept Gem
Wat Arun, or better known as the Temple of Dawn, is easily one of the most impressive temple ever erected in Bangkok. This stunning landmark is renowned for the heart-stirring view it provides at the break of day, hence the name given to it.
Built in the 16th century, this Buddhist temple is exceptional. Its incredible structure, notably the Khmer-style tower, has attracted tourists and worshipers from all around the world. At dusk, the entire complex is illuminated, giving it the victorious glory it so dearly deserves. It is a sight not to be missed for those moving around Bangkok by express boats.
How to Get to Wat Arun
Directions to Wat Arun:
- From whichever pier you are at, buy the ticket to Tha Tien (N8). Ask the people at the ticketing counter for precise instructions on which boat to take (boats can be differentiated by the color of the flag they have on) and on which exact corner of the pier you are suppose to be waiting at. Signboards in English are hard to come by, so always ask to make sure that you are heading towards the right direction. Fares are typically in the range of 10-15 baht, and can go up to 30 baht during peak hours. Available every 20 minutes or so.
- Alight at Tha Tien (N8), and take the cross-river boat to get to the other side. Yes, there are boats designated to just bring passengers to and fro the opposite riverbanks. Boats run every 5-minute and should cost you no more than 5 baht.
- Congratulation. You have now arrived at your destination.
You'd better be prepared for the inevitable close-up view of the tainted Chao Phraya river
......And it was all yellow ♫
It is important to note that:
- Admission fee for foreigners = 50 baht
- This is a sacred place, so be wise and dress appropriately. The inconsiderate ones who show up at the temple wearing shorts and plunging v-neck tops can feel free to drape themselves with scarfs available for rent at the ticket counter
- Opening hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
- Be very respectful, especially towards the monks. Rowdies should consider skipping this spot entirely (or any temple for that matter)
The Thai Buddhists ways of praying is very foreign to me.
After donating (which is expected of you), you will be given the items as shown in the picture above. Included are paper leaflets, candles, incense sticks, and a tiny piece of gold foil. It was definitely a very interesting experience for me, especially after getting to know the purpose of the foil. The final step to the prayers would be to gild a Buddha statue with the foil. With thousands of worshipers visiting the temple each day and carrying out the same ritual, the statues will always be covered in gold.
The magnificent center tower
Steps here are extra steep so be very careful when making your way up/down!
Every corner of the structure is encrusted with multicolored faience and ceramics that will constantly keep you fascinated and in awe
Pay close attention to all the tiny details.
How did they do that?!
The further you are from the river, the better it looks
Wat Arun after dark - equally as stunning
Your trip to Bangkok will never be complete without a stop at Wat Arun, the Grand Palace, and Wat Phra Kaew. Add them into your list now!