Temple Hopping in Bangkok: Wat Arun

The population of Thailand is over 90% Buddhist and there are thousands of temples in Bangkok alone. You could spend days in the city temple hopping! However, some of these sacred places are more grandiose than others, and more worthy of your precious time. Helpful hint: Wat is the Thai word for temple.

Quick facts about Wat Arun:

*Entrance fee is 50 baht, cash

*Opening hours 8:30-5:30

*Dress code enforced, cover legs and shoulders


Also known as temple of the dawn, Wat Arun is a visible landmark across the Chao Phraya River from Bangkok’s old town. It’s a quick trip from Wat Pho, but quite the adventure all the same. The ferry terminal is at the dead end of the block leading from Wat Pho towards the river. I almost thought I was going the wrong way because it was quiet, and there was a narrow wooden bridge like market.

It is the entry way to the terminal, where a ferry sits waiting to cross the river, and come back again. It’s only 4 baht to cross over, the boat waits until it’s full which didn’t take more than ten minutes or so.

The ride is quick and you can see your destination before even setting off.

Catch a glimpse of the skyline when you hit the center of the river.

When you hop off follow the crowds or your own line of vision to the striking temple.

Built in 1656, Wat Arun is one of the oldest temples in the city and used to house the emerald Buddha before it was relocated to the Grand Palace.

It has one of the highest prang towers in the country, over 200’ – dizzying to look up upon.

Exorbitant amounts of angles make every view unique, a wild optical illusion.

Closely scrutinize the walls and see that they are decorated with Chinese porcelain in floral motifs.

Most of the crowd centers around this area, but if you walk around the complex there are other treasures to find. Reflect on a lotus flower.

Find the garden that will make you feel like Alice in Wonderland.

Spy a tender moment between mother and baby.

These quieter areas are no less magnificent.

Away from the major prangs golden details gleam.

This temple is worth crossing the river for, it’s actually half the fun (and super easy).

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