Wat Arun or "Temple of the Dawn" is located on the Thonburi west bank of the Chao Phraya River. The full name of the temple is Wat Arunratchawararam Ratchaworamahawihan (วัดอรุณราชวรารามราชวรมหาวิหาร). Wat Arun is named after Aruna, the Indian God of Dawn. The Wat Arun is considered one of the most well known of Thailand's many landmarks. Wat Arun is best seen from the opposite bank of the river; it glistens in the sunlight during the day and stands dark and noble at dawn or dusk.

The outstanding feature of Wat Arun is its central prang (Khmer-style tower). Begun in 1809, it may have been named "Temple of the Dawn" because the first light of morning reflects off the surface of the temple with a pearly iridescence. Steep steps lead up to two terraces. The prang is described by the Tourism Authority of Thailand as 104m high, while most other sources quote figures around 80-85m. The corners are surrounded by 4 smaller satellite prangs. The prangs are decorated by seashells and bits of porcelain which had previously been used as ballast by boats coming to Bangkok from China. The presiding Buddha image, cast in the reign of Rama II, is said to have been moulded by His Majesty himself. The ashes of King Rama II are buried in the base of the image. Around the base of the prangs are various figures of ancient Chinese soldiers and animals. Over the second terrace are four statues of the Hindu god Indra riding on Erawan.

   
   

LocationWat Arun
วัดอรุณราชวรารามราชวรมหาวิหาร

No. 34, Arun Amarin Road, Kwang Wat Arun, Khet Bangkok Yai, Bangkok.

Website: www.watarun.org
Open everyday: 8.30am to 5.30pm

Due to it's location, the most common way to get to Wat Arun is across the river. The Tha Tien express boat pier, at the southwest corner of the Grand Palace/Wat Phra Kaew, near Wat Pho. Buses that go near Tha Tien are ordinary buses 1, 25, 44, 47, 62 and 91 which stop no Maharat road.

By car, the nearest way is to cross chao Phaya River by Pinklao Bridge and turn left on Arun Amarin Road. Go straight ahead, drive pass Sirirat Hospital, Navy Office, Wat Kruawan and another Navy Office, Wat Arun is on your left hand-side.

Buses to Wat Arun are numbers 19, 57 and 83.

Admission Fee is 50 Baht for foreigners, while entry is free for Thai citizens.

Information correct as of March 2011.