The statuesque pagoda of Wat Arun, or The Temple of Dawn, on the bank of Chao Phraya has always been the most remembered scene of Bangkok’s skyline for ages. It is believed that Wat Arun was built during Ayutthaya era and is better known from its other name: Wat Chaeng, which means the Temple of Dawn.
The temple was redecorated for the first time when King Taksin relocated the capital city from Ayutthaya to Thonburi in 1767, and built a palace near where the temple is. Wat Chaen or Wat Makok was officially renamed in the reign of King Rama II as Wat Arun Ratchatharam (means Temple of Dawn) but the grand pagoda wasn’t completed until the reign of King Rama III. During the reign of King Rama IV, he ordered to move the royal ash of KIng Rama II to store here, as well as refurbished and redecorated several structures of the temple. When the renovation completed he renamed the temple Wat Arun Ratchawararam (also means Temple of Dawn), which is the temple current official name.
The main highlight of Wat Arun is undoubtedly the grand pagoda, or prang in Thai. Influenced by Khmer-style pagoda, the 67-meter-tall pagoda is made of cement covered by million pieces of China porcelains. It is surrounded by four smaller pagodas.
Wat Arun is also involved in the Royal Barge Procession as the temple is where the king would travel by river to deliver new robes to the monks at the end of the Buddhist Lent period.
Opening hours: Daily, 8.30 am. to 5.30 pm.
Admission: 20 Baht
Contact: Arun Amarin Rd., Tel : 0 2465 5640, website : www.watarun.org
Getting there: Bus routes 19, 57, 83. Wat Arun pier