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Toby Keps

Travelled to 12 countries / regions

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I backpacked across Thailand in winter 2019

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Asia > Thailand > Bangkok > Wat Arun Ratchavararam > Useful Info
Updated on Jan 10, 2020 Useful Info

How to get to Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn) by public transportation

  • Wat Arun is one of the top attractions in Bangkok, and is centrally located across the Chao Phraya River from the Grand Palace. It's one of the most visited landmarks in Bangkok, so getting there is pretty easy
  • There are two ways to get there by public transportation: 1) metro and 2) boat
  • Option 1) By Metro (best option from most parts of Bangkok): User submitted photo of Wat Arun Ratchavararam
  • Bangkok's metro system is made up of MRT (subway) and BTS (skytrain). Here's a small snapshot of the system in central Bangkok. The light green and dark green lines on this map are the BTS skytrains, and the others are MRT subway trainsUser submitted photo of Wat Arun Ratchavararam
  • MRT/BTS train is the best way to get to Wat Arun from most parts of Bangkok, including:
  • Downtown areas like Silom, Siam Center, CentralWorld/CentralEmbassy areas, Sukhumvit, Nana Plaza, etc.
  • Pratunam Market
  • Sathorn areas (except the waterfront neighborhoods where it's better to take a boat)
  • Chinatown (Wat Arun is located about 3.5km from Chinatown)
  • Suvarnabhumi Airport, via the Airport Rail Link which allows you to transfer to the BTS/MRT trains
  • How to take BTS/MRT to Wat Arun: the closest metro stop to Wat Arun is Itsaraphap MRT Station, located here. From there, you walk just 10 minutes to get to Wat Arun complex. Take a look at the map below from Itsaraphap Station to Wat Arun (the blue path is how you should walk; the green area is the temple complex, most of which is free to roam in):

  • Metro fares: varies depending on where you are departing from but generally should not be more than 30-70 baht (US$1-$2.3) from anywhere in central Bangkok. Note that BTS and MRT are two separate systems and if you need to transfer from one to the other you need to buy ticket again. Also neither of these systems take credit cards for payment so must have sufficient cash on you. Check this site for MRT fare calculation and this website for BTS fare calculation
  • Google Maps is the best tool for planning your route, just use it to get directions with the "Transit" option
  • Metro hours: MRT runs between 6am and midnight and BTS runs between 5:15am to 0:15am. So basically anytime Wat Arun is open you will be able to take the metro there
  • Some additional resources:
  • BTS website: https://www.bts.co.th/eng
  • MRT's website: https://metro.bemplc.co.th
  • Metro planning apps: for iOS, for Android


  • Option 2) By Boat:User submitted photo of Wat Arun Ratchavararam
  • Bangkok's Chao Phraya River (the main river that flow north-south across the city) is actually a very busy transportation waterway with lots of passenger boats crisscrossing it everyday
  • Boat is the best way to get to Wat Arun from:
  • Khao San Road
  • Grand Palace (Wat Arun is literally across the river from the Grand Palace)
  • The western parts of Chinatown (the part close to the water)
  • The waterfront part of Sathorn
  • How to take a boat to Wat Arun: there are 3 common types of boat you can take in Bangkok
  1. Chao Phraya Express Boat (http://www.chaophrayaexpressboat.com, Tripadvisor): this is the "public transportation" option of boats and the most popular option with locals and tourists alike due to the low costs and high frequency. You can read more here about how to take the boat. But basically there are numerous piers along the Chao Phraya River, and you just need to go to one of them and pay cash to board. Price is less than 30 baht to Wat Arun, about $1USD. They run between 6am to 7pm, every 10-20 minutes. There are multiple routes identified by the color of the flag on the boat, and to get to Wat Arun you need to take the Orange-flagged boats or the no-flag boats:User submitted photo of Wat Arun RatchavararamThe pier closest to Chinatown is Rachawongse (located here); the pier closest to Khao San Road is Phra Arthit (located here); the two piers closest to Sathorn are Oriental (located here) and Si Phraya (located here)
  2. Hop On Hop Off Boat (https://chaophrayatouristboat.com, Tripadvisor): it's much more expensive than option 1, Chao Phraya Express Boats, at 60 baht ($2USD) for a single-ride, or 200 baht ($6.6USD) for a all-day pass for unlimited rides. Here's a map of the boat's piers along Chao Phraya:User submitted photo of Wat Arun RatchavararamSo you can use the Hop On Hop Off boat to get to Wat Arun from China Town, Khaosan Road (Phra Arthit pier), Grand Palace (Wat Pho pier), and Sathorn. This boat runs between 9am-7pm northward (departing from Sathorn), and 9:30am-7:40pm southward (departing from Phra Arthit), every approximately every 30 minutes. You can buy your ticket at the piers (their website shows you what their ticket counters look like) with cash or online through their website with credit card (but online they only sell the 200-baht day pass)
  3. Cross-river water taxi boats from Grand Palace: if you're going to Wat Arun from the Grand Palace, which is just across the river from each other, there are lots of cross-river boats departing from the pier immediately south of the palace, located right here. I can't remember exactly how much it costs but it's extremely cheap, just 15 baht each way ($0.5USD). These boats are not really branded, just go to the pier and ask them to direct you to the boat to go to Wat Arun


  • Aside from two public transportation methods I wrote above, you can also get there by taxi from anywhere in Bangkok. The downside are the high cost (going from Silom to Wat Arun by taxi costs around 250 baht, equivalent to $8.25USD) and the probability of being stuck in the terrible Bangkok traffic