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The enchanting Wat Arun located on the western bank of the Chao Phraya River is also called the Temple of Dawn. This name is derived from the Indian god Aruna who is the god of dawn. The Wat Arun is shown via the most beautiful pictures passing by social media. These pictures are mostly made during the sunset (like the picture above) and we think this is the most beautiful moment of the day to visit this temple. The Wat Arun was built during the Ayutthaya period and was originally called Wat Chaeng. There was a period that the Emerald Buddha was housed here but today you can find the Emerald Buddha in Wat Phra Kaew on the grounds of the Grand Palace.
The masterpiece of this complex is the 82 meters high and 234 meters wide ‘prang’ (spire) which is decorated with mosaic of broken Chinese porcelain and glazed ceramic tiles. The decoration of the Chinese porcelain is a fine example of recycling. This because in the early days of Bangkok, Chinese ships dumped the porcelain in Bangkok because they no longer needed it. The Chinese used the porcelain as ballast for their ships, but upon arrival in Bangkok this was superfluous. There are also four smaller ‘prangs’ that symbolize the four wind directions, on top of the towers the God of Wind is depicted on his horse ‘Pai’.
Unfortunately, the Wat Arun has been in the risers for a while now (2018), so you are only allowed to enter a small part of the stairs. But if you get the chance and have no fear of heights, the climb to the top is definitely worth it! And when the risers are gone of course.
The guardians of the Wat Arun
By the way, we were very impressed by the entrance of the Wat Arun. Two guards (Yaksha’s) keep watch here and no it’s not those nerdy museum guards you sometimes see in movies. These are colossal “bouncers” with tusks with which they can bite, pointy shoes with which they can give you a kick against your back and if it can’t, their meter long swords will come in handy…so be sure to stick to the current clothing regulations!
Dresscode for Buddhist temples
What are you not allowed to wear?
– Tight pants, like leggings
– Clothing with holes/ fraying
– All shirts without sleeves, such as singlets
– Shorts, only long pants are allowed
What are you allowed to wear?
– Skirt that falls well over the knees
– Each shirt with sleeves covering the shoulders completely
– Trousers for men and women
– Neat slippers or sandals
Information Wat Arun
Alternative name: Temple of Dawn or Wat Chaeng or Wat Arun Ratchawaram Ratchawaramahawihan
Open: Daily from 08:00 – 17:30
Entrance: 50 baht
Address: 158 Thanon Wang Doom
District: Phra Nakon
Route BTS: Saphan Taksin stop, get off, then take the Chao Phraya River Express Boat.
Chao Phraya River Express Boat: Local line, red, green or blue flag to: What Arun Ratcharawaron Pier