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Wat Arun, locally known as Wat Chaeng, is situated on the west (Thonburi) bank of the Chao Phraya River. It is believed that after fighting his way out of Ayutthaya, which was besigned by a Burmese army at the time, King Taksin arrived at this temple just as dawn was breaking.
He later had the temple renovated and renamed it Wat Chaeng, the Temple of the Dawn. During his reign (Thonburi Period), Wat Chaeng was the chief temple, and it once enshrined the Emerald Buddha and another important Buddha image, the Phra Bang, both of which had been removed from Vientiane.
The temple has flourished throughout the Rattanakosin Period. The beauty of the architecture and the fine craftsmanship declare its status as a temple of the first grade and one of the most outstanding temples in Thailand. The spire (prang) of Wat Arun on the bank of Chao Phraya River is one of Bangkok's world-famous landmarks. It has an imposing spire (prang) over 70 metres high, beautifully decorated with tiny pieces of coloured glass and Chinese porcelain placed delicately into intricate patterns. Although it is known as the Temple of the Dawn, it's absolutely stunning at sunset, particularly when lit up at night.