This trip to Bangkok is all about the famous tourist spots in this lovely city of Thailand. Besides checking out Asiatique, we also decided to drop by two of Bangkok’s most famous temples, Wat Arun and Wat Pho. So in this first part of the series, I will share with you my experience visiting the magnificent Wat Arun, the Temple of Dawn, in Bangkok. Get ready to revel in the temple’s beauty~! (´• ω •`)ノ

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Journey to Wat Arun via the Chao Praya Tourist Boat

LATEST UPDATE (APR 2024): From 5 April onwards, the Chao Praya Express Orange Line will no longer stop at Wat Arun. This is due to the reopening of the Tha Tien Pier, which was previously closed for renovation. If you are going to Wat Arun, you will now have to take the river-crossing ferry from Tha Tien Pier instead. The Chao Praya Tourist Boat continues to stop at Wat Arun, so if you want direct access to this attraction, that is still an option. (ᵔ◡ᵔ)

Our initial plan was to take the Chao Praya Express (Orange Line) to Wat Arun from the Sathorn Pier. To get to the Sathorn Pier, simply take the BTS Skytrain to Saphan Taksin station. From there, it is a few minutes walk to get to the pier. A lot of people were headed in the same direction, so just follow the crowd if you are scared to be lost! ⸜( ´ ꒳ ` )⸝

Chao Praya Tourist Boat Price

Anyway, our plan was to take the Orange Line, but we ended up taking the Chao Praya Tourist Boat instead. I think we missed the boat, and the next best option was the tourist boat. So after checking with the staff there, we decided to buy tickets to the Chao Praya Tourist Boat. It costs us 30 THB (~1.15 SGD) per person. I honestly don’t think it is too expensive. In comparison to the Orange Line at 16 THB per person, it does sound a bit higher in price.

The Chao Praya Tourist Boat Timetable and the view of the Chao Praya river from the boat

But really, for a slightly more expensive fare, we were guaranteed more space and comfort. I assumed a lot of people were taking the Chao Praya Express; hence the Tourist Boat was less crowded. That being said, a lot of people were also vying for a seat on the open-top deck of the boat, so the upper deck got full pretty fast. I personally think the lower deck seats are fine as well, as long as you get the seats on either side of the boat so you get to enjoy the view during the boat ride. (o・ω・o) All it took was 15 minutes along the Chao Praya River, and we were ready to disembark to explore the amazing Wat Arun, the Temple of Dawn!

The Chao Praya Tourist Boat at the Wat Arun Pier and a view of the interior of the Chao Praya Tourist Boat

Dress Code & Entrance Fee

Similar to a lot of temples in Thailand, you would be expected to dress modestly. You should be wearing clothes that cover both your shoulders and knees. We have seen a lot of people wearing a T-shirt with elephant pants/long skirts or long dresses when visiting the temples. At Wat Arun, they would check your attire before entering the temple compound. Fret not if you are not in the correct attire, as you can rent the cover-ups at the ticket counter.

The ticketing counter and the tickets at Wat Arun, a famous temple in Bangkok

It costs 100 THB (~3.84 SGD) per person to enter the temple. Previously, we had to redeem a bottle of water from the vending machines. For our recent trip there, a complimentary bottle of water was given at the entrance for each person. I guess they know that it can get pretty hot while exploring the temple compound. It was really quite a nice gesture. ( ´ ω ` )

Exploring the Amazing Wat Arun, the Temple of Dawn

Origins of Wat Arun

I am not the best person to share the history of a place, so whatever I have put here is mainly what I have found on Google. (´・ᴗ・ ` ) Wat Arun is named after the Hindu god, Aruna, who is portrayed as having a radiant aura and is associated with the glow of dawn. Hence Wat Arun is also known as the Temple of Dawn. Another beautiful thing about the temple is its location, where it catches the first rays of sunlight at dawn. This brings significance to its name as the Temple of Dawn. ⸜( *ˊᵕˋ* )⸝

The Beautiful Prangs of Wat Arun

The highlight of the temple is none other than the prangs located in the centre of the temple compound. Although the temple has been around for a really long time, the prangs were only constructed later during the reign of King Rama II. The prangs are all adored with thousands of pieces of porcelain which had previously been used as ballast by trading ships arriving in Bangkok. It is really cool when you see them up close. Sometimes I wonder how can something so grand be built during a time when there is hardly any technology. It is just amazingly beautiful. (´ ω `♡)

The central prang and decorations on the prang at Wat Arun, a famous temple in Bangkok

Costume Rental for Memorable Photos

While exploring Wat Arun, we saw a lot of people wearing traditional Thai costumes. A video by our favourite YouTubers, Flora and Note, saw them beautifully dressed up in traditional outfits at this place called Sense of Thai. For our recent trip to Wat Arun again (Nov 2023), we spotted A LOT of traditional outfit rental shops at the back of the temple. We saw one shop offering a package for 200 THB (~7.55 SGD) for a 3-hour rental duration that includes clothes, accessories and hair for ladies. For guys, it is the same price but excluding hairdo. They also offer photography services starting from 1,500 THB (~56.61 SGD) for up to 2 pax for 1 hour. All in all, I think the price is rather reasonable. ( ´ ω ` )

sumi by Barradeen | https://soundcloud.com/barradeen

I asked hubs if he wanted to do something similar. And he said no since Bangkok is just too hot for such stuff. Haha! I mean, I kind of agree, especially since I sweat like nobody’s business these days. I am sure I am going to soak through the outfits man. (´・ᴗ・ ` ) So yeah, you would hardly see me dressed up when travelling overseas since comfort always takes precedence over being pretty. (ノД`)

Me vs the beautifully dressed-up ladies at Wat Arun (*/ω\)

Anyway, without a guide with us, the prangs seemed to be the only attraction for us at Wat Arun. So after walking around the temple for a bit more, we decided to take a break and hunt for food before moving on to Wat Pho! (@´ー`)ノ゙

Very Delicious Fried Pork Rice (ร้านข้าวหมูทอดอร่อยมาก)

Initially, we wanted to visit Mui Lee Chicken and Rice after reading positive reviews about this place. It is just a short walk from Wat Arun, but we just couldn’t seem to find the place. Since it was supposed to close by 1.30 PM and we were already past the time, it might have already closed by then. Sadly, we were left to search for an alternative for our lunch. There were actually quite some restaurants along the way, but nothing caught our attention until we came by this place that sells fried pork rice. A quick search on Google saw many people giving positive reviews for this restaurant. And seeing the number of locals dining here, we were convinced that we needed to check this place out. (๑˃ᴗ˂)ﻭ

A fried pork rice restaurant near Wat Arun, a famous temple in Bangkok

If I never remember wrongly, we had originally ordered one stir-fried basil pork rice and one fried pork rice. But I think there was some miscommunication, and we ended up having two plates of fried pork rice instead. Not wanting to trouble the staff, we decided to just dig into the dish. When in Bangkok, you simply have to try fried pork. Even though the dish looked really simple, it was OH-SO-GOOD! I can’t tell you how much I wanted to have a second plate because it was so delicious! (っ˘ڡ˘ς)

The delicious fried pork rice at the restaurant near Wat Arun, a famous temple in Bangkok

To make it even better, it only costs 30 THB (~1.15 SGD) per plate! If Singapore has this at this kind of price, you bet I would be eating it every day. Haha! Anyway, they have English words on the menu, so you don’t have to worry about the language barrier! I highly recommend giving this place a visit before or after your visit to Wat Arun! ⸜(*ˊᗜˋ*)⸝

Information about ร้านข้าวหมูทอดอร่อยมาก

ร้านข้าวหมูทอดอร่อยมาก

⏰ Opening Hours: 5.30 AM – 8 PM
☎️ Phone Number: +66 86 521 0688

Overall Experience at Wat Arun, the Temple of Dawn

I highly recommend visiting Wat Arun if you have not visited this beautiful place yet. Once we entered the compound, we just couldn’t help being mesmerised by the lovely architecture in front of us. It kind of reminded me of Chiang Mai’s Wat Chedi Luang, which also has its impressive stupa in the centre of the temple ground. With so many temples in Thailand, architecture like that is what attracted people to visit them; hence you would be expecting a crowd to be at Wat Arun. When we were there, there wasn’t an excessive crowd, so we had so much space to move around while exploring the temple compound. I am sure with travel restrictions being lifted almost globally now, it would be crowded like in the past. So be sure to drop by maybe earlier in the day to avoid the crowd and the heat!

A wide view of the prangs and a selfie of husband and I at Wat Arun, a famous temple in Bangkok

As mentioned, after our lunch, our next stop was to visit Wat Pho, which is just across the river from Wat Arun. Check out my post on Wat Pho if you are interested to know about our experience at the oldest temple in Bangkok! (´ ε ` )♡

Information about Wat Arun

WAT ARUN, TEMPLE OF DAWN

⏰ Opening Hours: 8 AM – 6 PM
☎️ Phone Number: +66 2 891 2185

You can find out more about Wat Arun on Facebook

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Useful Travel Resources

Pack your wanderlust, and let’s set sail! I have prepared the following travel resources that you might find helpful to fuel your next adventure. This section will be ever-growing, and if you think there is anything that you want me to add to this list, drop me a message to let me know! ⸜( *ˊᵕˋ* )⸝

BEST Cards to Use for Your Overseas Spending
Want to enjoy seamless spending overseas without the pesky fees? Check out my post on the best cards to bring overseas—the Trust Bank and YouTrip cards!

A Guide to Using Your Multicurrency Cards for Overseas Cash Withdrawal
Feeling stressed about using foreign ATMs? Let me help you navigate overseas ATMs with ease as I share my experience using my Trust Bank and YouTrip cards for overseas cash withdrawals—examples included!

Transform Your Travel with Lounge Access + Cards I Use to Get Free Visits!
Ready to ditch airport stress? Visit my post to discover the magic of lounge access and my go-to credit cards for complimentary lounge visits!

Getting excited about your upcoming Bangkok adventure but not sure what you need? Don’t worry; my all-in-one Bangkok guide has it all, covering everything from cosy stays to delightful dining and more! Need tips on getting around? I’ve got a complete guide on private and public transportation for tourists in Bangkok. And for all you foodies out there, make sure to peek into my dedicated Bangkok food guide to uncover the most delectable spots in town! And if you’re eager for some sightseeing ideas, dive into my posts on Bangkok’s top attractions below! (@´ー`)ノ゙


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