November 11, 2018

Bangkok Travel Diary: Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn)

When the desire to travel started to stir in my heart and venturing outside the Philippines became the main focus of satisfying the burgeoning wanderlust that I was nurturing since my college days; the first ever country that caught my attention was Thailand. It was on top of my list but unfortunately it wasn’t the first foreign soil I stepped onto.

So when the opportunity to visit Bangkok became less murky, flights and hotels were booked. Airfare costs was out of the question because it had to be done as this was a longtime plan of mine and of my closest friends. She comes to this side of the world every few years only so "if not now, when?" So together with two other college friends, we found ourselves on a night flight from Siem Reap to Don Meuang International Airport in Bangkok.

I was already tired from that day touring around the temples in the Angkor Wat complex (check out my Siem Reap Travel Diary here) and then waited 5 hours at the airport before flying to BKK. But the moment we landed to Bangkok, my blood stream was full of adrenaline. I decided earlier that night that I will sleep on the way to the hotel, but while inside our Uber ride, I was like a doe eyed deer, I can’t shut my eyes, I enjoyed the view of Bangkok at night during the drive. I told myself it looks so much like Manila but all the signs are in Thai. Somebody pinch me, my dream is now a reality.

After freshening up and unpacking some stuff, we all went straight to bed as we have a very very long day ahead of us in the Land of Smiles. I am pretty sure I didn't get a good night sleep because I was beyond excited. My friends planned our itinerary and computed our transpo expenses and found out the price would just equate or just a teeny tiny above getting Grab or Uber rides around the city so we decided to avail of the latter. We got stuck in Bangkok once in a while but hey we were comfy and we needed the energy for all the walking that we did in BKK.

We had three main reasons why we wanted to visit Bangkok: temples, food and shopping. One might think that after touring temples in Cambodia that we have had enough of temples, but no. Because Bangkok itself houses many well-known and beautiful temples as well. They are pretty much one of the reasons why people flock to this part of Thailand. Within the city, they were able to preserve this structures which in most is not the case. 

Our first stop on our first day (technically) in Bangkok is Wat Arun. Wat Arun Ratchawararam Ratchawaramahawihan or simply Wat Arun is a Buddhist temple in Bangkok Yai district of Bangkok, Thailand, on the Thonburi west bank of the Chao Phraya River. The temple derives its name from the Hindu god Aruna, often personified as the radiations of the rising sun; thus its other name: Temple of Dawn

Wat Arun is among the best known of Thailand's landmark. The first light of the morning reflects off the surface of the temple with pearly iridescence; it also equally beautiful during sunset. Although the temple had existed since at least the seventeenth century, its distinctive prang (spires) were built in the early nineteenth century during the reign of King Rama II.

The main feature of Wat Arun is its central prang (Khmer-style tower) which is encrusted with colorful porcelain. This is interpreted as a stupa-like pagoda encrusted with colored faience. The corners are surrounded by four smaller satellite prang. The prang are decorated by seashells and bits of porcelain which had previously been used as ballast by boats coming to Bangkok from China.

Next to the prang is the Ordination Hall with a Niramitr Buddha image supposedly designed by King Rama II. The front entrance of the Ordination Hall has a roof with a central spire, decorated in colored ceramic and stuccowork sheated in colored china. There are two demons, or temple guardian figures, in front. The murals were created during the reign of Rama V.

Given beauty of the architecture and the fine craftsmanship it is not surprising that Wat Arun is considered by many as one of the most beautiful temples in Thailand. You can climb the central prang if you want but the steps are quite steep and can be a bit tiring. One must keep in mind that although Wat Arun is a very popular for tourists, it is also an important place of worship for Buddhists. So make sure you dress appropriately. Shoulders should be covered and pants and skirts must be atleast knee length or you can bring a sarong or shawl to use as cover up. 

While looking up temples to visit in Bangkok, Wat Arun, was always included in the top 3. In my mind it might be just another must-visit temple by tourists like me. I was less enthusiastic, to say the least, knowing I'll just be scramming my way to avoid the crowd. But as soon as I entered the temple grounds, the prangs and spires, encrusted with colorful porcelain, started to emerged from the distance, growing larger and larger as I approach, I slowly and surely fell in love with its beauty. These photos doesn't even give Wat Arun any justice, as I can't even explain or describe its beauty.

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

post signature
Follow Me:  Facebook | Instagram | Twitter


  1. Absolutely wonderful website! I love the way you present all of this great content and I am also very inspired by your writing style. I want to visit your website again and again and not only I but I believe whoever visits your website once will love to visit it again and again. Your content is so eye catchy and attractive for any user. Wish you a good luck!

  2. I loved touring Bangkok. I was there several years ago but I wasn't as adventurous about food then as I am now :-)


Powered by Jasper Roberts - Blog