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Wat Arun

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Wat Arun Ratchawararam Ratchawaramahawihan, or just Wat Arun (‘Temple of Dawn’) is a Buddhist temple located on the banks of the Chao Praya river in Bangkok. This stunning place of worship is also one of Thailand’s best-known landmarks, with thousands of people, including tourists and worshippers, visiting every year.
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4 tips for visiting the Wat Arun

Wat Arun at Dusk | Flickr: Mark Fischer CC BY-SA 2.0
Arrive in style - by boat! Whether you decide to hop off one of the Chao Praya Express boats or take a 5-minute ferry across the river from Wat Pho or the Grand Palace, you’ll get a great view from the water as you approach the temple.
Wat Arun Facade | Flickr: Colin Tsoi CC BY-ND 2.0
Some of the most beautiful shots of the temple can be found at dusk when the reflecting light from sunset makes the facade of the building glow. You can find great spots to photograph Wat Arun at this time on the opposite side of the river.
Wat Arun is a place of worship and you’ll need to dress respectfully, with shoulders and knees covered, in order to enter. Sarongs are available to buy if you’ve left your accommodation without the necessary clothes.
Although Wat Arun is generally less crowded than Wat Pho or the Grand Palace, if you want to avoid the crowds then it’s better to arrive first thing in the morning, before the day trip groups arrive.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Wat Arun?

Wat Arun is a Buddhist temple that served as the royal chapel and formerly housed the Emerald Buddha, one of the foremost icons in the Kingdom of Thailand. Several legends surround its building, including that King Taksin the Great ordered it to be restored after passing it at dawn and seeing the sun glinting off its roof. The present temple was built in the reign of King Rama II, which took place between 1809 and 1824, and the central tower was extended under the reign of Rama III. Although the Emerald Buddha now resides at Wat Phra Kaew, Wat Arun is still an important site for practicing Buddhists. Read more.

What will I see when I visit Wat Arun?

In addition to the beautiful and elaborate facade, you’ll also be able to explore the temple complex. There are smaller shrines throughout the area, surrounded by elaborate gardens and water features. You can also climb the central tower of the temple, which is a fantastic 239 feet (73 meters) tall. Be warned though, the steps are narrow and steep so it isn’t an adventure recommended for those who are claustrophobic or afraid of heights. If you do decide to make the climb, however, you’ll be able to enjoy incredible views of the Chao Praya River, Wat Pho, and the Grand Palace. Read more.

Do you need a guided tour of Wat Arun?

You can definitely visit Wat Arun without a guide since quite a lot of the things to see are self-explanatory. However, if you want more information about the history of the temple, or about the rituals and religious services which take place inside the temple, it is helpful to visit with a local guide who can provide some more context. There are also many day trips that combine several local sites into one outing, and their guides will help you to travel between the different locations as well as giving you an introduction to each one. Read more.

What other attractions or sights can I see near Wat Arun?

The closest attractions to Wat Arun are just across the river. Wat Pho, the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, is directly opposite, while the Grand Palace is slightly upriver. There are also a couple of other, less crowded temples, on the same side of the river as Wat Arun. Wat Hong Rattanaram Ratchaworawihan is a short walk away and has beautiful grounds, and Wat Nak Klang is also worth a visit. If you’re interested in seeing how local people use temples during their daily lives then a visit to one of these smaller sites is bound to be interesting. You can also use Wat Arun as a base to join one of the many river cruises that navigate along the Chao Phraya River and enjoy seeing Bangkok from the water. Read more.

General information

opening hours

Wat Arun is open to the public every day from 8.00 am to 6.00 pm.


Tickets cost THB 100 for non-Thai visitors. Thai citizens can enter free of charge.


Wat Arun
158 Thanon Wang Doem

Bangkok Yai
Bangkok 10600

how to get there

Wat Arun can be reached either via boat, including the Chao Praya River Express boats, or the Tha Tien express boat, whose pier is opposite Wat Arun. You can also take public bus numbers 1, 25, 44, 47, 62, or 91 to Maharat Roat.
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