A monumental Buddhist temple on the banks of the river, famous for its central prang with a spire.
Wat Arun Ratchawararam Ratchawaramahawihan (Thai: วัดอรุณราชวราราม ราชวรมหาวิหาร) or Wat Arun (Thai pronunciation: [wát ʔarun], “Temple of Dawn”) is a Buddhist temple (wat) in Bangkok Yai district of Bangkok, Thailand, on the Thonburi west bank of the Chao Phraya River.
The temple derives its name from the Hindu god Aruṇa, often personified as the radiations of the rising sun. Wat Arun is among the best known of Thailand’s landmarks. The first light of the morning reflects off the surface of the temple with pearly iridescence.
Although the temple has existed since at least the seventeenth century, its distinctive prang (spire) was built in the early nineteenth century during the reigns of Rama II and Rama III.
Location – 158 Thanon Wang Doem, Wat Arun, Bangkok Yai, Bangkok 10600, Thailand
GPS 13° 44′ 37″ N, 100° 29′ 20″ E
Phone Number – +6628912185
Entrance Fee – 100 baht
Opening Hours, attendance – Monday: 09:00 – 18:00, Tuesday: 09:00 – 18:00, Wednesday: 09:00 – 18:00, Thursday: 09:00 – 18:00, Friday: 09:00 – 18:00, Saturday: 09:00 – 18:00, Sunday: 09:00 – 18:00
Wat Arun History
A Buddhist temple had existed at the site of Wat Arun since the time of the Ayutthaya Kingdom. It was then known as Wat Makok, after the village of Bang Makok in which it was built. (Makok is the Thai name for the Spondias pinnata plant.)
According to the historian Prince Damrong Rajanubhab, the temple was shown in French maps during the reign of Narai (1656–88). The temple was renamed Wat Chaeng by Taksin (1767–82) when he established his new capital of Thonburi near the temple, following the fall of Ayutthaya.
It is believed that Taksin vowed to restore the temple after passing it at dawn. The temple enshrined the Emerald Buddha image before it was transferred to Wat Phra Kaew on the river’s eastern bank in 1784.
The temple was on the grounds of the royal palace during Taksin’s reign, before his successor, Rama I (1782–1809), moved the palace to the other side of the river.
It was abandoned until the reign of Rama II (1809–24), who had the temple restored and had begun plans to raise the main pagoda to 70 m. The work on the pagoda commenced during the reign of Rama III (1824–51). The main prang was completed in 1851, after nine years of continued construction.
The temple underwent major restorations during the reign of Chulalongkorn (Rama V, 1868–1910) and in 1980, prior to the bicentenary celebration of Bangkok’s foundation.
The most extensive restoration work on the prang was undertaken from 2013 to 2017, during which a substantial number of broken tiles were replaced and lime plaster was used to re-finish many of the surfaces (replacing the cement used during earlier restorations).
As the work neared its end in 2017, photographs of the results drew some criticism for the temple’s new appearance, which seemed white-washed compared to its previous state.
The Fine Arts Department defended the work, stating that it was carefully done to reflect the temple’s original appearance.
Wat Arun Reviews
Cool place. I am very glad that Thailand has such a respectful attitude towards its rich culture. The entire territory of the temple looks very beautiful and well-kept. The skill and imagination of the sculptors amazes me. The entrance ticket costs 100 baht, and also at the entrance, all visitors are given a bottle of water along with the ticket. You can also get to the other side of the river by boat for just 5 baht. I recommend to try to see the beauty of the temple when you cross the river by boat.
One of the most iconic temple in Bangkok. It is a very beautiful and spectacular temple. It is best taken pictures during sun rise or sun set. It is very well maintained cleanliness. This temple can get very touristy as it is very photogenic temple. So ensure to get there early to avoid the crowds. At the entry of the main temple there are many tourist dresses in traditional Thai dress, so at time it get difficult to take pictures on the lawn of the temple.
This is one of the must-see temples in Bangkok. It’s very well kept and there are events held in the evening on the temple grounds. There are a few shops selling traditional Thai dresses for women and there are several boat docks that can take passengers to the other side of the river for a cheap price. The temple itself is beautiful and you can ascend the main central spire to get a good look at the Buddha relics within and the surrounding area. I would definitely recommend checking this place out on your trip to Bangkok.