Travel Attractions

Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn)

Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn)

Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn)

Quick facts

Wat Arun, known internationally as Temple of Down (full name: Wat Arun Ratchawararam Ratchawaramahawihan) is one of the most important temples in Bangkok. It is also known as Wat Chaeng

It is located on the Thonburi west bank of the Chao Phraya River and its name comes from the Hindu god Aruna.

It’s certainly one of Bangkok’s most beautiful temples, not only because of its riverbank setting, but also because of its unique design in comparison to the other temples in the Thai city. Wat Arun (nicknamed the ‘Temple of Dawn’) towers majestically over the water, partly made up of colorfully painted spires.

Wat Arun is virtually exactly across the street from Wat Pho, making it highly accessible. You can take a riverboat from the Saphan Taksin boat port to Pier 8. A small shuttle boat will take you from one side of the river to the other from here.

It’s no surprise that Wat Arun is regarded as one of Thailand’s most beautiful temples, given the majesty of the architecture and exquisite craftsmanship. The prang (spire) by the Chao Phraya is a world-famous landmark in Bangkok. The magnificent spire reaches a height of almost 70 meters and is exquisitely embellished with tiny pieces of colored glass and Chinese porcelain arranged in intricate patterns.


Half-Day Bangkok Klongs and Wat Arun City Tour

King Taksin envisioned Wat Arun in 1768. He is said to have arrived at this temple just as morning broke after battling his way out of Ayutthaya, which had been taken over by a Burmese force at the time. Later, he repaired the temple and renamed it Wat Chaeng, or Temple of the Dawn. Before the capital and palace were moved to the other side of the river, it was the abode of the Emerald Buddha. The Grand Palace presently has this on display.

The central prang was expanded during Rama III’s reign (between 1824 and 1851) and is today one of Thailand’s most popular tourist destinations. Rama III was also responsible for the spires’ porcelain ornamentation, which glistens in the sunlight.

The temple is a large prang decorated with Chinese white broken porcelain. It was also the highest building in Bangkok – at 88 meters in height, until the emergence of the contemporary skyscraper. It is one of the most famous landmarks in Bangkok and a must-visit.

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Interesting facts about Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn)

Here are some interesting facts about this amazing temple: 

  • The temple’s layout is Khmer style. Typical aspect of this style is a very steep staircase. A steep staircase can be viewed from a religious view as a “stairway to heaven.”
  • The temple is more than 300 years old, but it was not until the 19th century that it got its current look with one central tower.
  • The 4 smaller towers are devoted to the wind god, Phra Phai (also known as Vayu).

Bangkok's Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn) Self-Guided Walking Tour

Safe travels!


Last Updated on October 14, 2021 by Tours Editor @