Tour of Wat Arun in Bangkok | Stories by Soumya

Wat Arun Bangkok: A Self-Guided Tour Of The Temple Of Dawn

Last Updated on October 12, 2023 by Soumya

Planning to visit Wat Arun in Bangkok? Looking for a quick guide to Bangkok’s Temple of Dawn? You’ve come to the right place.

Here’s a quick and easy guide to visiting Wat Arun in Bangkok.

Bangkok is full of brilliant examples of art and culture. It is hard to spend a day here without seeing something exotic and truly beautiful.

The temples of Bangkok fall into that category. On one of our recent trips there, we decided to check out one such paragon of beauty – The Wat Arun of Bangkok.

Please note: This post may contain affiliate links which means I may earn a commission if you make a purchase by clicking a link on this post. This will be at no additional cost to you. Affiliate links help me keep this website up and running. Thanks for your support!

My Top Pick: Best Wat Arun Tour in Bangkok

Tour of Wat Arun in Bangkok | Stories by Soumya

🥇 Best Wat Arun Tour

No time to read the whole article? Just need the best tour? I get it.

Here’s the Best Tour for Wat Arun in Bangkok.

History of Wat Arun or Temple of Dawn

Tour of Wat Arun in Bangkok | Stories by Soumya #watarun #bangkoktemples #bangkok #thingstosee #thailand

Wat Arun Ratchawararam Ratchawaramahawihan also know as Wat Arun (The Temple of Dawn) in short is one of Bangkok’s most famous landmarks and a must-do on every visitor’s Bangkok itinerary. This is also one of the prettiest temples in all of Southeast Asia and world, if I can say that.

Wat Arun is so named after Goddess Aruna of the Hindu mythology. “Arun” in Sanskrit means the rays of the rising sun. And that is exactly what the temple is believed to represent.

You can take an early morning trip to the temple to watch it glow under the first rays of the sun.

Beautiful Wat Arun

The temple was conceived and built by General Taksin in the place of Wat Makok which earlier occupied that land. He was enchanted by the splendor of the temple at sunrise one morning and named it Wat Chaeng or Wat Arun.

Wat Arun functioned as the king’s royal temple for several years and housed the very important Emerald Buddha.

Today, Wat Arun in Bangkok is one of the most visited and photographed cultural icons of the country.

In Bangkok, one of the best culture cities of Thailand, the tall central spire with a height of more than 70 meters, stands magnificently tall against the Bangkok sky.

The central prang of Wat Arun Bangkok

If you love visiting cultural icons, consider visiting the umpteen number of local markets in and around Bangkok for a peek into local Thai culture.

Interesting facts about Wat Arun Bangkok

  • Wat Arun in Bangkok is one of the most photographed icons of Thailand.
  • Wat Arun featured prominently on 10 baht coins and the logo of Tourism Authority of Thailand.
  • The broken pieces of porcelain that the temple is decorated with are believed to have been sourced from Chinese shipwrecks at the sea.

Why visit Wat Arun in Bangkok?

Wat Arun Bangkok is considered to be one of the prettiest temples in the whole of Thailand. I feel you should visit the temple for two major reasons.

For the amazing art and sculpture of the Temple of Dawn

The distinctive porcelain art all over the surface of the temple is a primary draw for tourists around the world.

The main prang as well as the satellite ones are all encrusted with seashells, stained glass, and colored porcelain. They are believed to have been collected from Chinese shipwrecked vessels.

Wat Arun is a rare temple that uses faience as building material. Below are many pictures that will tell you what I am talking about.

Looking for more culture-rich cities? Check out our Ultimate Bucket List of the 15 most beautiful cultural cities of Southeast Asia.

Broken porcelain sculptures at Wat Arun

For beautiful photographs of Wat Arun

Wat Arun looks incandescent both at sunrise and sunset.

A picturesque setting on the river provides ample opportunities for that perfect Instagram picture.

The temple, in itself, is so pretty that it is every photographer’s dream.

Intricate porcelain and glass work on the central prang
Broken porcelain sculptures at Wat Arun

How to get to Wat Arun?

Wat Arun is located on the Thonburi west bank of the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok.

The easiest way to get to the temple is on the ferry. If you have been visiting Wat Pho and the Grand Palace already, you can simply take the ferry from the Tha Tien Pier near Wat Pho and cross to the other side. It is not difficult to locate the stop, just follow the crowd.

The ride costs 4 baht per person one way.

Else, the temple can also be accessed from the Arun Amarin road on the west bank of the Chao Phraya river.

Get into Wang Doem Road from Arun Amarin in order to reach the temple. Our taxi driver was pretty confused even though we had assumed that Wat Arun would be famous. Google Maps turned out to be super helpful.

Wat Arun from across the Chao Phraya river

Click here to read all about our visit to the very interesting Yodpiman flower market on the Chao Phraya ferry one morning.

Opening Hours of Wat Arun

The temple complex is open every day between 8 am – 5:30 pm. You can come earlier and view the temple from outside if you wish to photograph it at sunrise.

Tickets and Toilets at Wat Arun

Tickets are priced at 100 baht for foreigners and are available at the entrance of the temple. There are varied opinions on ticket prices on the internet. I have seen three numbers – 50, 100, and 200.

Toilets are located at the exit/entrance which means you should have your ticket on yourself if you wish to use the washroom in the middle of your tour. That way, you don’t have to buy another ticket if you wish to come in again.

There are souvenir shops near the toilets if you wish to make any purchases.

A satellite shrine

Tips for an amazing experience at Wat Arun

  • The best time for visiting the temple is in the evening when the temple is lit up and makes a very pretty sight from the opposite end of the Chao Phraya River. That also makes it one of the most romantic places in Thailand.
  • However, coming in a bit earlier gives you ample sunlight to explore the intricate porcelain and seashell work. Hence, it is best to make a late afternoon visit to Wat Arun and finish it up with the sunset. If you wish to avoid crowds, come at sunrise.
  • The best way to visit Wat Arun is on a guided tour like this one that will give you deeper insights into the history and architecture of the temple. If you’d like a private tour, check out this highly-rated private tour that includes the three most iconic attractions of Bangkok – Wat Arun, Wat Pho, and the Grand Palace.
  • It can get really sunny and hot during the day. Carry water and hats.
  • The steps of the central prang are quite steep and can be a challenge for people with knee problems. Also, the main shrine may sometimes be closed to the public because of private functions being held there. Plan accordingly.
  • Since Wat Arun is a living temple, there is a temple dress code in Thailand that you need to adhere to when entering the temple. You need to cover your shoulders and legs. Cover-up scarves can be rented at the entrance.
View of the temple

Final Thoughts!

Did you enjoy this visual tour of Wat Arun in Bangkok? Do you think you will include it in your itinerary the next time you go there?

Or maybe you have been there already? What did you love about the temple? Do let us know in the comments below and let’s get the conversation going.

And while you are at it, don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to get regular updates on unique cultural experiences from across the world.

Loved our Guide for Wat Arun Bangkok? Pin It For Later!

Tour of Wat Arun in Bangkok | Stories by Soumya #watarun #bangkoktemples #bangkok #thingstosee #thailand
Tour of Wat Arun in Bangkok | Stories by Soumya #watarun #bangkoktemples #bangkok #thingstosee #thailand
Tour of Wat Arun in Bangkok | Stories by Soumya #watarun #bangkoktemples #bangkok #thingstosee #thailand
Tour of Wat Arun in Bangkok | Stories by Soumya #watarun #bangkoktemples #bangkok #thingstosee #thailand

Soumya is an acclaimed travel writer who has traveled to 30+ countries and lived in 8 while pursuing her passion for history and culture. Her writings have been published in BBC Travel, Architectural Digest, National Herald, and many more. She loves exploring world heritage sites and has a deep affinity for everything ancient, especially the lost civilizations of Mesoamerica!

21 thoughts on “Wat Arun Bangkok: A Self-Guided Tour Of The Temple Of Dawn

  1. Wow I missed this temple when I was in Bangkok, I guess I have to go back! Beautiful photos and great detailed post. thanks for sharing!

  2. Beautiful temple. Its architecture is unique and marvellous. It is not similar to either of the North and South Indian Hindu temples. Do all the temples in Thailand have similar architecture?

    1. Yeah, the structure of most Thai Buddhist temples is the same. But the outer decorations vary a lot. Many-a-time, they are golden. Wat Arun is special because it has white and multicolored porcelain all over it. That makes it stand out of the crowd.

  3. One word…AMAZING! you captured the magnificent beauty of the temple and surrounding areas with your photography. Bangkok was not on my bucket lost but after reading your post, I will have to reconsider!

  4. The Wat Arun Temple looks absolutely gorgeous. I was totally in awe of the temple by seeing the first photo on this post. Thanks for sharing the history about the temple. They make travelling more interesting. I am sure the sunrise must be really spectacular from the temple.

    1. It is really very beautiful. Agree that history makes travel so much more interesting. Gives us so much food for thought.

    1. Thank you! Wat Arun is a beautiful temple. I am glad I was able to do some justice to it’s beauty.

    1. Absolutely! I wonder how much effort it must have taken the workers to get to this level of intricacy.

  5. This is the only important temple I have missed in Bangkok despite visiting more than once. They say that the best time to see Wat Arun is in the morning and one should take the river boat to reach there. If I’m lucky…may be the next time!

    1. Morning is an absolutely beautiful time to see the temple. I hope you get to see it the next time you are in Bangkok.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Begin typing your search term above and press enter to search. Press ESC to cancel.

Back To Top