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Wat Arun - One of Bangkok's Must-Visit Temples

Wat Arun - One of Bangkok's Must-Visit Temples

If you're ever visiting Bangkok, Wat Arun should be on your list of places to visit. Situated on the west bank of the Chao Phraya river, Wat Arun is one of the most iconic temples in Thailand. In this blog post, we'll be doing a virtual tour of the place, but do take note that these photos do not do much justice. It's very much different when you are physical there marveling at the architecture and beauty of the temple.

How to Get to Wat Arun Temple
To get to Wat Arun, you can take a ferry from the pier near the Grand Palace (or any other dock off points). For those who have access to the BTS, you may drop off by the Saphan Taksin station. From there, you can take a 3-minute walk to reach the pier. There is a guide as to what specific color of the flag you'll hail. In our case, we rode the one bearing the Orange Flag.

Orange Flag Boat in Chao Phraya River, Bangkok
Riding the ferry along the Chao Phraya is already a tourist activity in itself, so practically you'll be hitting two birds with one stone

Inside Chao Phraya River Express Boat - Bangkok, Thailand

Riding the ferry is not only convenient, but it also offers a great view of the river and the city. Along the way, you'll pass by several other sights and landmarks, such as the Royal Barges Museum and the Wat Pho temple complex. The Royal Barges Museum houses a collection of beautifully crafted boats that were once used by Thai royalty. Meanwhile, the Wat Pho temple complex is home to the famous reclining Buddha statue, which is over 46 meters long and 15 meters high.

Various landmarks can be seen along the stretch of the Chao Phraya River
Various landmarks can be seen along the stretch of the Chao Phraya River

Iconsiam Mall by the Chao Phraya River
The newly built Iconsiam is also visible on your way to Wat Arun

Wat Arun Pier Sign, Chao Phraya River

Docking at the Wat Arun Pier
There is a dedicated stop/pier for Wat Arun, so it's very much convenient really to take the ferry for it. You will be able to recognize that you've reached your destination through this sign.

Walking toward the entrance of Wat Arun Temple from the pier

Once you arrive at Wat Arun, you'll see why it's such a popular destination. The entrance fee to Wat Arun is 100 THB for foreigners and 50 THB for locals. The temple complex is made up of several structures, with the centerpiece being the Khmer-style tower. This tower is over 70 meters tall and is decorated with colorful pieces of Chinese porcelain and seashells. It's truly a sight to behold!

Ticket to Wat Arun Temple (April 2023)

A brief information on Wat Arun Temple
The temple has a long and fascinating history. It was originally built in the 17th century, and it has undergone several renovations and expansions over the years. The temple was once known as Wat Makok, but it was renamed Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn) by King Taksin in the late 18th century.

Wat Arun Temple in Bangkok

Renz Cheng in Wat Arun, Bangkok, ThailandRenz Cheng in Wat Arun, Bangkok, Thailand
Every corner inside Wat Arun is picturesque, it's up to you what you'll put onto the canvass

When is the best time to visit the temple?
One of the best times to visit Wat Arun is early in the morning, as the temple is bathed in the soft light of the rising sun. It's a peaceful and serene time to explore the temple grounds and appreciate the intricate architecture and beautiful views. Another practical reason why you must go as early as possible is to avoid the scorching heat of the sun during its peak hours. Given that there are not much shade in the area, prepare to be exposed to lots of Vitamin D from the sun.

Wat Arun Temple landscape photography

Preparations needed prior to visiting Wat Arun
To make the most out of your visit to Wat Arun Temple in Thailand, there are a few preparations that you should consider. Firstly, it is recommended to dress modestly and wear comfortable shoes, as the temple grounds are expansive and require a lot of walking. Additionally, as Wat Arun Temple is a sacred site, visitors are expected to dress conservatively. For women, you can't wear clothes that expose your shoulders, belly and back. Hence, you may want to bring a shoal with you to cover. If not, you will not be granted entrance, but nowadays they are providing rentable shoal, so it's no longer a major concern.

It is also important to note that photography is allowed, but only in designated areas. Lastly, to avoid crowds, it is best to visit early in the morning or late in the afternoon. Regardless as to what time you'll visit, apply moderate sunscreen on your face and body. Bring a hat as well to reduce excessive sun exposure. 

There are several pockets/areas around Wat Arun that reveal marvelous shrines and architectural facet
There are several pockets/areas around Wat Arun that reveal marvelous shrines and architectural facet

If you feel like taking a shelter from the heat intensity, there are cafes and stores inside and within the vicinity of the temple. I recommend the one that you'll find under a hut-like structure. They offer coffee and, of course, Thai Milk Tea. 

Up close photo of the intricate architecture of Wat ArunWat Arun Coffee's Refreshing Thai Milk Tea

Renz Cheng with Thai Milk Tea, circa April 2023Renz Cheng with Thai Milk Tea in Wat Arun Temple
This is me enjoying this refreshing Thai milk tea in Wat Arun Temple. I just love Thai milk tea!

The Thai Milk Tea inside Wat Arun is of course inflated at 60 THB (as of April 2023), which is 15 THB higher than what you'd normally pay in Cha Tra Mue. Regardless, it was worth it in that special moment because, hey, I was drinking my favorite drink in Wat Arun.

Wat Arun Photography, Bangkok, Thailand

Wat Arun is a good starting point to hop onto other temples
It's actually smart to lump the temple-hopping into one day because from Wat Arun, the two other famous temples: (1) Wat Pho's Reclining Buddha and (2) The Temple of the Emerald Buddha, are just within close proximity. However, I was already beat during that time, and I couldn't bear more heat exposure. Hence, I just took a couple of last photos through the help of my friend, Emil. Afterwards, we went to Iconsiam to chill down. I'd just visit the other temples when I go back to Thailand, because that is a certainty. 

Renz Cheng in Wat Arun TempleRenz Cheng in Wat Arun Temple

Overall, Wat Arun is a must-see attraction for anyone visiting Bangkok. Its unique architecture, rich history, and stunning location make it one of the most memorable temples in Thailand.

Wat Arun Temple
158 Thanon Wang Doem, Khwaeng Wat Arun, Khet Bangkok Yai, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10600, Thailand

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