The Temple of Dawn(Wat Arun)
Rising majestically on
the western bank of the Chao Phraya River, the Temple of Dawn can be reached
from Arun Amarin Road in Thonburi or by boat from the Tha Tien Pier near Wat
Pho. The present temple was built during the 19th century on the site of the
Royal Chapel of King Taksin, which dates from the 17th century.
Wat Arun's unique feature is its 79-meter pagoda or 'prang', built in the Khmer
style, which can be ascended by a narrow winding staircase for fine views over
the river. The brick-built prangs are covered by plaster embedded with pieces
of broken multi-colored Chinese porcelain. The temple gardens offer respite
from the bustling city streets nearby. The temple's main chapel houses a Buddha
image said to have been designed by King Rama II and a number of impressive
murals dating from the reign of Rama V.
The Temple of Dawn is best viewed from the opposite bank of the river, at
sunset or in the evening when it is illuminated by spotlight. Wat Arun is open
daily from 8.30 am to 5.30 pm and the admission fee is 10 baht. The ferry from
Tha Tien costs only 1 baht.