Wat Arun or Wat Arun Ratchawararam Ratchawaramahawihan is one of the must-see temples in Thailand. The name of the temple can be translated into English that “The Temple of Dawn”. The name comes from the time that King Taksin arrived the temple at the first time. He redecorated the temple. However, the grand pagoda was completed during the reign of King Rama III. You will see the statue of King Rama II because his ash was stored here.
This temple is located on the banks of Chao Phraya River on the Thonburi side. The scene of the pagodas behind the river is one of the most popular Bangkok’s landmarks. Wat Arun looks beautiful from a far distance and very close.
When you enter the temple, you will first see the 2 giants in front of the ubosot. These giants are the characters from Ramayana epic. Inside the temple, you will see the Chinese dolls locating around.
The main attraction of Wat Arun is the grand pagoda and the smaller pagodas around which was decorated by China porcelains. You can climb the grand pagoda, but it is quite steep. For me, it was easy to climb up, but it was not easy to climb down. The view at the highest point was amazing. You can see Chao Phraya River and Wat Pho at the other side of the river.
Here, you can rent traditional Thai costumes to take photos with.
Wat Arun, Wat Pho, and Wat Phra Kaew are in the same area. You can visit all 3 temples in the same day. For me, all are must-see temples.
Update: February, 2014
Location: Tha Wat Arun (Wat Arun Pier). Opposite Wat Pho. Get off the skytrain (BTS) at Saphan Taksin station. Take Chao Phraya Express Boat to Tha Tien. Then, take a cross-river ferry to Tha Wat Arun (only 3 baht).
Dress code: Dress appropriately. Short pants and short skirts are not allowed.
Admission fee: Free for Thais, 50 Baht for foreigner
Opening Hours: The temple is open everyday from 05.00-22.00. The grand pagoda (prang) area is open everyday from 08.00-18.00.
Have you ever been to Wat Arun or any other temples (wats) in Thailand? Share your experience with me in the comments!