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Wat Arun Bangkok

Bangkok Attractions | Wat Arun Temple Bangkok
Wat Arun

The legendary Wat Arun Temple Bangkok is an ancient, iconic symbol of Thailand, and one of the most one of the most popular tourist attractions in Bangkok. It is one of the most spectacular landmarks in Bangkok, and its majestic center spire (prang) graces the reverse of the bath coin, and is featured on most of the nation's tourism advertisements.

The Wat Arun Temple Bangkok was so named after Aruna, the Indian God of Dawn. Wat Arun Temple of the Dawn get's its name from the pearly iridescence reflected off the Temple's surface at the first light. The central feature of the Phra Prang of the temple is ornamented with little bits of Chinese porcelain, which were once used as ballast on merchants ships from China. If you are able to, try to get up early to see the dawn as the temple does open at 6.00am. The views across the river to the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaeo (Temple of the Emerald Buddha) are superb.

Wat Arun History

The Wat Arun History is one of the few that predate the rule of the Chakri dynasty, Thailand's present-day royal family. The Wat Arun dates back to the golden era of the ancient kingdom of Ayutthaya (1376-1767). At the time, it was known as Wat Makok, The Olive Temple. In later years, King Taksin changed its name to Wat Chaeng.

During his reign, King Rama II (1809-1824) once again changed its name to Wat Arunratchatharam. He also set about restoring the temple and enlarging the central prang - a project that was completed by King Rama III. The prang was raised to its incredible height - it remains the tallest prang in Thailand to this day. The temple got its final name, Wat Arunratchawararam, from King Rama IV (1851-1868), who was once a monk in the temple.

For a brief period, the Wat Arun was home to the revered Emerald Buddha, before this sacred figurine was permanently enshrined in the Wat Phra Kaeo Temple, in 1784

Mythology of the Wat Arun. The most outstanding feature of the Wat Arun is the temple's central prang, which towers 82 metres into the sky. It is a symbolic representation of Mount Meru, the sacred peak that is believed to be the centre of the universe in Buddhist cosmology. In Buddhist mythology, Mt Meru is also symbolizes the single-pointedness of mind and soul that is the goal of adepts. The temple's four satellite prangs house the images of the Hindu guardian gods of the four directions.

Wat Arun location, hours, dress code

This Wat Arun location is on the western bank of the Bangkok's River of Kings, Chao Praya River in the Bangkok Yai district. The full name of the Wat Arun Temple is Wat Arunratchawararami. It can be reached by taking a cross-river ferry at Tha Tien Pier on Thai Wang Road. It can also be found by crossing the Chao Phaya River by Pinklao Bridge turning left on Arun Amarin Road, going straight ahead, driving past Sirirat Hospital, Navy Office, Wat Kruawan to Wat Arun. Finally you can hop on no. 19, 57 and 83 a buses.

The Wat Arun Temple is open to visitors from 6.00 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. The admission fee is 50 baht for foreigners.

The Wat Arun dress code is the same for the Bangkok Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaeo (Temple of the Emerald Buddha). No midriff, legs are arms showing, so no sleeveless shirts, shorts or tank tops. There is no hat or foot dress code. The prudent dress code style is one of respect.

Luxury Bangkok Hotels near Wat Arun

All the Bangkok Hotels on or near the Chao Praya river will get you easy access to the ancient Bangkok heritage sites. Many of Bangkok's top hotels are right on the Chao Praya river bank and The Mandarin Oriental Hotel Bangkok, Sheraton Royal Orchid Bangkok are 2 of the most famous. There are budget hotels around the Khao San Road district to the north of the Grand Palace Bangkok.

Last Updated: 28 Feb 2012

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