Wat Arun Temple is one of the most stunning and beautiful temples in Thailand, located on Thonburi west bank of the Chao Phraya River in the Yai District. This Buddhist temple derives its name after the Hindu God Aruna, who was often seen as the embodiment of the reddish glow in the rising sun. Every morning the light bounces off the temple – which makes the temple glow. This is why it’s called the “Temple of Dawn”.
This Buddhist Temple existed since the 17th century and was renamed and renovated numerous times. It was originally envisioned by King Taksin in 1768 when he was walking past it at dawn. He later renovated as well as renamed it as the Wat Cheng — which used to be where the Emerald Buddha originally was before it was moved to the royal palace. The most iconic aspect of the temple which is its prangs was only constructed during the period of influence of Rama II.
One of the best times to view the Wat Arun temple is from the east side of the river at sunset or sunrise when the light reflects off its central spire which is covered with colorful porcelain and topped with a seven-pronged trident which is also known as the “Trident Of Shiva” and along the base of the trident are figures of ancient Chinese soldiers along with animals.
Even though it is highly recommended to visit Wat Arun ‘the Temple of Dawn’ when the sun is setting and the temple is lit up at night, you can catch a great of the view from the opposite side of the bank. If you want less crowd, then visiting the temple at dawn is ideal. Wat Temple hours are from 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM and is open daily.
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The temple is on the western bank of the River Chao Phraya, directly opposite of Wat Pho and can be accessed either by Amarin Road or by boat from Than Tien Pier, which is near Wat Pho. This pier is located at the southwest corner of the Grand Place and from here you can find boats that take off frequently. You can get to this pier from other piers or take a taxi or bus.
There are many places you can stay that is relatively close to the Wat Arun Temple in Bangkok. Below we’ve listed a few hotels you can stay at. Take a look:
1. Sala Rattanakosin Bangkok
This is one of the best places to stay in Thailand which is close to the Wat Arun Temple, The Grand Palace and Wat Pho. It is a clean and modern hotel which also provides an excellent view of the Wat Arun Temple and War Pho. It has its own bar and restaurant along with a rooftop restaurant and bar. The price is a bit high but reasonable for the quality.
2. Royal Rattanakosin Hotel
This hotel is just 1.8km away from the Temple of Dawn and is an ideal hotel for people travelling under a budget, the hotel is also close to the Main Street Hefang road and is convenient located. Though the rooms might be a bit smaller, the place is clean and the service is good. Make sure to reserve a room before embarking on your Thailand trip.
It is recommended to take at least an hour to tour the Wat Arun Temple. Here’s a couple of things to do near Wat Arun Temple that you’ll enjoy:
1. Central Prang: Enjoy a bird’s eye view
You can climb the Central Prang if you want to, though it is a bit steep. Once at the top you can see the Chao Phraya River, the Wat Pho and the Grand Palace, which is on the other side of the temple. Make sure to carry your binoculars, or you can buy one at the entrance of Wat Arun Temple. Take a lot of pictures of the scenic views.
2. Buddha Murals: Seek prayers
You can enter the ordination halls to view the Buddha image and the murals. Since this temple is for Buddha worship there is a Wat Arun temple dress code that you will have to follow. You can pick up cover ups at the entrance if you are not dressed accordingly. Get a complete tour of the Buddha Murals to understand the history of the place.
Wat Arun Temple is an amazing and beautiful place which you can visit if you want to learn about Thailand’s history and see the beautiful architecture. This is a family-friendly visit and it is recommended to visit the temple at least once on your trip to Thailand. We bet that you’ll have the time of your life.
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