The Temple of the Dawn, known by the proper title of Wat Arun, doesn’t often make the list of must-see attractions in Bangkok because it’s a little out of the way, on the opposite river bank to The Grand Palace. But you can hardly miss it’s awe-inspiring 70 metre tall gold spire sparkling in the night sky as you cruise down the Chao Phraya River.

The spire itself sparkles because it’s made out of gold leaf and small pieces of glass and porcelain. Visiting Wat Arun is a devotion for local Thai Buddhists and climbing the seemingly endless stairs to the top of the spire (which has a great view by the way) is a way of making an extra offering for devoted followers of the Buddha … and keen photographers seem to think it’s a decent religious experience as well.

The best time to visit the Temple of the Dawn is at sunset. It’s a great place to watch the sunset, but you also get to see the spire lit up as the sun falls below the horizon.

If you decide you can’t be bothered adding Wat Arun to your Bangkok itinerary, at least take a quick glance at it … on the back of the Thai 5 Bt coin.

Here’s a video of a climb right to the very top of Wat Arun so you can see what’s special about it. Excuse the wind noises…