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Wat Arun
Vacation Travel Guide

The high, Khmer-style tower of the “Temple of Dawn” is one of Bangkok’s most photographed landmarks... at sunset!

The historic significance, ornate design and beautiful views make Wat Arun worth the short ferry trip across the Chao Phraya River from the Grand Palace/Wat Pho. Position yourself on the opposite side of the river at sunset to get a striking photograph of its impressive silhouette against a reddening sky.

The original building was a modest shrine. King Taksin established the capital on the site in the 18th century and built an ornate temple for the sacred Emerald Buddha statue. When he saw it was the first building to catch the morning light, he named it “Temple of Dawn”; “Aruna” is the Indian god of dawn and “wat” means temple. In 1782, King Rama I moved the capital to the other side of the river and took the statue with him. The temple’s Khmer-style towers were added by his two successors in the early 19th century.

The four-corner pagoda, or “prang,” is an architectural representation of mythical Mount Meru, the center of the world in Buddhist cosmology. Get up close to see the tiny pieces of porcelain and colored glass that give the roof its shine. Climb the stairs part way up the spire for a view across the city. On your way out, check out the statues of monkeys, demons and incarnations of Buddha. Head inside to see the golden Buddha with the ashes of King Rama II interred at its base. Also worth a look are the murals featuring depictions of the spiritual teacher Prince Siddhartha encountering the different stages of life.

Wat Arun is one of the few Bangkok highlights on the western side of the river. The temple is open daily and there is an admission fee. Take the cross-river ferry at Tha Tien pier from the Grand Palace; the ride takes a few minutes and is inexpensive. If you arrive later in the day, remember to stay on the eastern side of the river to watch the sun set behind the temple.

Top things to do in Wat Arun

Top Hotels Close to Wat Arun

Riva Arun Bangkok
Riva Arun Bangkok
4 out of 5
392/25-26 Maharaj Road, Phraborom Maharajawang, Pranakorn, Bangkok
The price is $44 per night from Dec 20 to Dec 21

Located in Bangkok City Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Museum of Siam and Wat Pho. Temple of the Emerald Buddha and Grand Palace are also within ...

4.6/5Exceptional! (482 reviews)

"พนักงานต้อนรับบริการดีมากค่ะ วิวก็ดีเห็นวัดอรุณชัดเจน"…"

Reviewed on Aug 17, 2020

Riva Arun Bangkok
ARUN Riverside Bangkok
ARUN Riverside Bangkok
3.5 out of 5
87-89 Maharaj Road, Phrabarommaharachawaang, Bangkok, Phranakorn
The price is $55 per night from Dec 3 to Dec 4

Located in Bangkok City Centre, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Wat Pho, Grand Palace, and Temple of the Emerald Buddha. Khaosan Road and Wat Arun are also ...

4.9/5Exceptional! (24 reviews)

"Hotel not only meets, but exceeds expectations"…"

Reviewed on Aug 11, 2020

ARUN Riverside Bangkok
sala rattanakosin
sala rattanakosin
4 out of 5
Maharat Road, Rattanakosin Island, Bangkok, Bangkok
The price is $95 per night from Dec 7 to Dec 8

Located in Bangkok City Centre, this boutique hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Wat Pho, Temple of the Emerald Buddha, and Grand Palace. Tha Maharaj and Khaosan ...

4.3/5Excellent! (328 reviews)

"It would be great if the hotel has more security procedures. I found the way to the room is quite public for anyone to get in."…"

Reviewed on Jul 13, 2020

sala rattanakosin
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Top Wat Arun Flight + Hotel Deals

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Best Lodging Options Near Wat Arun

Riva Arun Bangkok
Riva Arun Bangkok
4 out of 5
392/25-26 Maharaj Road, Phraborom Maharajawang, Pranakorn, Bangkok
The price is $44 per night from Dec 20 to Dec 21
Riva Arun Bangkok
ARUN Riverside Bangkok
ARUN Riverside Bangkok
3.5 out of 5
87-89 Maharaj Road, Phrabarommaharachawaang, Bangkok, Phranakorn
The price is $55 per night from Dec 3 to Dec 4
ARUN Riverside Bangkok
sala rattanakosin
sala rattanakosin
4 out of 5
Maharat Road, Rattanakosin Island, Bangkok, Bangkok
The price is $95 per night from Dec 7 to Dec 8
sala rattanakosin
Inn A Day
Inn A Day
3.5 out of 5
57-61 Maharat Road, Phra nakhon, Bangkok, Bangkok
The price is $58 per night from Dec 3 to Dec 4
Inn A Day
Sala Arun
Sala Arun
3.5 out of 5
47-49 Soi Phen Pi Marn, Tha Tien, Phrabarommaharajchawang, Pranakorn, Bangkok
The price is $98 per night from Dec 3 to Dec 4
Sala Arun
Arun Residence
Arun Residence
3.5 out of 5
36-38 Soi Pratoo Nok Yoong, Maharat Road, Rattanakosin Island, Bangkok, Bangkok
The price is $118 per night from Dec 3 to Dec 4
Arun Residence
OB-ARUN House
OB-ARUN House
3 out of 5
295 Thanon Wang Doem Wat Arun, Bangkok-Yai, Bangkok, Bangkok
The price is $59 per night from Dec 10 to Dec 11
OB-ARUN House
The Royal ThaTien Village
The Royal ThaTien Village
2.5 out of 5
392/29 Maharaj Road, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok, Bangkok
The price is $17 per night from Dec 4 to Dec 5
The Royal ThaTien Village
Chetuphon Gate
Chetuphon Gate
3 out of 5
370-372 Soi Pratoo Nokyoong, Maharaj Road, Bangkok
The price is $22 per night from Dec 4 to Dec 5
Chetuphon Gate
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.