The Five Star Vagabond

Super travel tips, all road tested by David Herd. I'm an Australian guy who moved to Thailand in 2011 & still travel the world as often as possible.

Wat Arun Bangkok Temple

December 11, 2013 by David Herd

The Temple of Dawn

Wat Arun Bangkok Temple

Wat Arun Bangkok Temple

Wat Arun Bangkok Temple is known as the Temple of Dawn on the Thonburi west bank of the of the Chao Phraya river.

The temple derives its name from the Hindu god Aruna, often personified as the radiations of the rising sun. Wat Arun is among the best known of Thailand’s landmarks and the first light of the morning reflects off the surface of the temple with pearly iridescence.  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.

Undergoing some Maintenance

Wat Arun Bangkok Temple

Wat Arun is quite fascinating, I found it every bit as interesting as the Grand Palace.  For foreigners, the temple charges an entrance fee of 50 baht. Wat Arun figures in one of Thailand’s most colorful festivals, the Royal Kathin and the king travels down in the Thai royal barge procession to present new robes to the monks after their three-month lent period.

Colored Porcelain

The main feature of Wat Arun is its central prang (Khmer-style tower) which are encrusted with colorful porcelain. This is interpreted as a stupa-like pagoda encrusted with colored faience. The height is reported by different sources as between 66.8 m (219 ft) and 86 m (282 ft).

You can climb up the temple, I didn’t.  😕

Wat Arun Bangkok Temple


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Even Monks need a mobile phone.

Wat Arun Bangkok Temple


It seems a little out of character, I always thought the monks had few possessions.

Did you see that Monk with a mobile phone?

Wat Arun Bangkok Temple

I saw nothing, & I’m not saying a word, & I can’t hear you.  😆

Golden Buddha Wat Arun Bangkok Temple

Wat Arun Bangkok Temple


Wat Arun Bangkok Temple of Dawn is really worth visiting, along with the Grand Palace as well.

Even Buddha’s need maintenance.

Wat Arun Bangkok Temple

Like any good painter he has lined the wall with newspaper to stop the paint splashing.

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Phra ubosot ordination hall.

Wat Arun Bangkok Temple

A phra ubosot  or short bot  is a building in a Buddhist Wat. It is the holiest prayer room, also called the “ordination hall” as it is where ordinations take place. The term ubosot, shortened to bot in Thai colloquial speech, is derived from the Pali term uposathagara, which refers to a hall used for rituals on the uposatha days — the Buddhist Sabbath, which falls four times a month on the full moon, new moon, and eighth day after each.

Phra ubosot

Wat Arun Bangkok Temple

An ubosot stands within a boundary formed by eight sema stones which separate the sacred from the profane, and thus differs from a viharn. The sema stones actually stand above and mark the Luk Nimit, stone spheres buried at the cardinal points of the compass delineating the sacred area. A ninth stone sphere, usually bigger, is buried below the main Buddha image of the ubosot. Both ubosots and viharns typically house Buddha images. The entrance side of most ubosots face east. Across from the entrance door at the end of the interior is the ubosot’s largest Buddha statue.

Wat Arun Bangkok Temple.

Wat Arun Bangkok Temple


Everything is beautifully manicured at Wat Arun Bangkok Temple of Dawn.

Wat Arun Bangkok Temple of Dawn

Wat Arun Bangkok Temple

Wat Arun Bangkok Temple of Dawn is a very imposing structure.

Thanks for visiting my Wat Arun Bangkok Temple photo blog.

Unbelievably, there are over 31200 Buddhist temples spread around Thailand. In Thai these are called wat. One of these, the Wat Arun or the Temple of Dawn, is named after Aruna, the Indian God of Dawn. Sitting majestically on the Thonburi side of the Chao Phraya River, the legendary Wat Arun is one of the most striking riverside landmarks of Thailand. Despite the name, the most spectacular view of the glittering monument can be seen from the east side of the river at sunset, when the spires of Wat Arun make an impressive silhouette against the skyline.

This Wat or Buddhist temple is an architectural representation of Mount Meru, the center of the world in Buddhist cosmology. In the mythology of Tibetan Buddhism, Mount Meru is a place that simultaneously represents the center of the universe and the single-pointedness of mind sought by adepts. Thousands of miles in height, Meru is located somewhere beyond the physical plane of reality, in a realm of perfection and transcendence. The four-corner prang of Wat Arun, which house images of the guardian gods of the four directions, reinforces this mystical symbolism.

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