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Seen on the TAT logo and 10-baht coin, this five-spired landmark has been known as the 'Temple of Dawn' ever since the soon-to-be King Taksin landed by the then Wat Magog at sunrise in October 1767. Briefly home to the Emerald Buddha, Wat Arun features a pair of yaksa (giant) statues, ceramic gables and 120 Buddha images. Don't rush a visit on a canal tour. Instead, access the temple via the public ferry from Tha Tien, and wander the temple grounds for as long as you wish.
Visiting one of Bangkok’s most iconic riverside landmarks provides you with more than just a chance to offer a prayer to Buddha and admire the intricate details that dot the temple’s porcelain-covered pagodas; it also acquaints you with a bit of modern local art—up until January anyway. Wat Arun is exhibiting art installations by renowned local artists for the Bangkok Art Biennale, one of the few venues on the Thonburi side of the river. Our favorite is the eerily beautiful, scarletcolored filtered Across the Universe and Beyond by Sanitas Studio, which is best seen during twilight.