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Wat Arun—The Temple of the Dawn

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Translated to mean "The Temple of the Dawn," the Wat Arun complex is a huge, active monastery. At the heart of Wat Arun are the five stupas, or towers, each pointing towards the heavens. Originally decorated with the broken china that served as ballast for river barges, the stupas are colorful and wonderfully eclectic. For the more adventurous travelers, it’s possible to climb to the top of the central stupa for amazing views of the city.

The first time I visited six years ago it started raining so we sought shelter under one of the temple awnings. It was a magical moment sitting there contemplating the meticulously constructed towers. Hands down, my favorite spot in all of Bangkok is this riverside temple.

Wat Arun is located on the west side of Chao Praya River opposite Tha Thien Pier. It's open from 8:00 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. and requires a nominal entrance fee.

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by Matt Long
AFAR Local Expert
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