Wat Arun - The Temple of Dawn

Visitor's Guide

Wat Arun, Bangkok

The ceramics-covered towers of Wat Arun

Also known as the Temple of Dawn (ever since the soon-to-be King Taksin landed on the site at sunrise in October 1767), this is one of Bangkok’s oldest monuments and one of Thailand’s most iconic landmarks (it’s the image you see on the 10-baht coin). Its architectural style, inspired by Hindu-Buddhist cosmology, is actually unique in the country, with a central pagoda standing at 82 meters tall (270 ft) and symbolizing the mythical Mount Meru (home of the gods).

It can be seen from different parts of the city, soaring above the Chao Phraya River, on the west bank. The stunning towers, which you may actually climb for bird’s-eye views of the complex and the river, are covered in pieces of colorful Chinese ceramics discarded by Chinese traders who worked at the port nearby, and date back to the early 1800s. The steep steps represent the difficulty of reaching higher levels of existence.

Other structures in the complex were added over time, including shrines, ponds, and a pair of yaksa (giant) statues. It was briefly home to the Emerald Buddha, which is now in Wat Phra Kaew, and still features 120 Buddha images.

Wat Arun, Bangkok

A pair of yaksa welcoming tourists to the temple

Insider Tip

The best time for a visit is at sunset, when it’s especially stunning seen from the river, as the sun shines from the west, lighting up the spire. It’s also beautifully illuminated in a golden glow at night.

Visitor's Guide

Opening hours: 7:30am-5:30pm
Tickets: 50 baht

How to get to Wat Arun

After visiting the Grand Palace, Wat Pho and other must-see attractions nearby, head to the Tha Tien pier for the boat that takes you across the river to Wat Arun.

Wat Arun, Bangkok

Buddha images surround the temple

Stay by Wat Arun

Wake up with a view of Wat Arun and see it in its sunrise and sunset glow by staying at one of these riverfront hotels:
Arun Residence
Inn a Day
Riva Arun
Sala Rattanakosin

Wat Arun, Bangkok

Wat Arun seen from the river at sunset