city landmark should be the first place on any visitor’s itinerary. It
is a huge compound on Na Phra Lan Road consisting of several buildings
with highly decorated architectural designs. Wat Phra Kaeo in the same
compound enshrines the Emerald Buddha image, most revered by the people.
The complex is open daily from 8.30 a.m. to 3.30 p.m. Admission fee is
Baht125 (including a ticket to Vimanmek Royal Mansion). Proper attire is
huge public ground in front of the Grand Palace is used for royal
cremation ceremonies and other special events including the Royal
Ploughing Ceremony, Celebration of the King’s and Queen’s birthdays,
and the New Year Festival. Other nearby monuments include the Statue of
the Earth Goddess, erected in the reign of King Rama V to provide public
drinking water, and the City Pillar Shrine or San Lak Muang, a temple-like
structure erected by King Rama I.
walking distance of the Grand Palace, this complex was once a palace
consisting of several old beautiful Thai style buildings. It houses a vast
collection of artefacts found in all parts of the country ranging from
neolithic times, Sukhothai, Ayutthaya to the Bangkok period. The museum is
open from Wednesdays to Sundays, 9.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. and closed on
Mondays, Tuesdays, and annual holidays. Admission fee is Baht40. Guided
tours in English, French, German, and Japanese are provided to visitors on
certain days of the week.
on Chao Fa Road, this museum exhibits traditional and contemporary works
of art created by Thai artists. Opening time is similar to that of the
National Museum. Admission fee is Baht30.
old temple on Na Phra That Road was built in the reign of King Rama I. It
houses Mahachulalongkorn Buddhist University, one of the two highest seats
of Buddhist learning in Thailand and also offers meditation classes for
world famous temple is located on Thai Wang Road next to the Grand Palace.
It is Bangkok’s oldest and largest temple. The gigantic gold plated
reclining Buddha with inlaid mother-of-pearl soles is highly revered among
Buddhists. Also regarded as the first centre of public education, or
sometimes called ‘Thailand’s first university’, the temple houses
mural paintings, inscriptions, and statues which educated people on varied
subjects; for example, literature, warfare, archaeology, astronomy,
geology, meditation, medicine, and Thai traditional massage.
on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River, this temple can be reached
either by Arun Amarin Road or by boat from Tha Tien Pier, near Wat Pho. It
was restored during the brief Thonburi period to be the Royal Chapel of
King Taksin. An important structure is a 79-metre-high pagoda or ‘Phra
Prang’ decorated with ceramic tiles and fragments of multi-colored
porcelain. The name of Wat Arun literary means ‘Temple of the Dawn’,
but the most beautiful view of it can be seen from the east side of the
river at sunset.
temple is located on Fuang Nakhon Road near Wat Pho. Built by King Rama V
in 1869, it was in keeping with tradition that each monarch constructed a
temple to mark his reign. The temple is a mixture of local and western
styles, showing an awakening interest in new construction design.
is Thailand’s biggest wholesale market for all kinds of cut flowers and
vegetable. Plenty of flower stalls lining Maharat Road near the Memorial
Bridge offer colourful and bustling scenes every morning.
temple on Bamrung Muang Road is famous for the excellent murals created in
the reign of King Rama III. The vihara (preaching hall) should be seen for
its collection of gilded Buddha images. A huge door with intricate
carving, which is the masterpiece of King Rama II, once belonged to this
temple and is now kept in the National Museum.
front of the temple is the Giant Swing or Sao Ching Cha, where a Brahmanic
ceremony had taken place until the early 20th century. Many nearby shops
stock a very comprehensive range of Buddhist religious supplies.
on Mahachai Road, this temple was built in the reign of King Rama III with
a mixture of Chinese architectural styles. Sunthon Phu, one of
Thailand’s greatest poets, had resided in this temple during his
monkhood from 1840 - 1842.
monument in the middle of Ratchadamnoen Avenue was constructed to
commemorate the peaceful changeover from an absolute monarchy to a
constitutional monarchy on 24 June 1932.
temple is located on Mahachai Road. It houses a spetacular unique styled
structure called Loha Prasat, which is the only one of its kind left in
the world. It stands 36 metres high with 37 surrounding spires. The statue
of King Rama III who built this temple in 1846 is situated next to the
the entrance on Boriphat Road, this is an artificial hill topped by a
gilded pagoda. The mount is 260 feet in height from its base. Begun by
King Rama III and completed in the reign of King Rama IV, it is one of the
most celebrated landmarks in Bangkok’s old area and offers a panoramic
city view from the top.
on Wisutkasat Road, this temple is known for a huge standing Buddha image
called Luang Pho To. The image, 32 metres tall and 10 metres wide, was
constructed in the reign of King Rama IV. The topknot of the image
contains the relics of Lord Buddha brought from Sri Lanka.
important temple is located on Phra Sumen Road in the Bang Lamphu area.
Built in 1829, it is the shrine-hall of Phra Phutthachinnasi, a very
beautiful Buddha image which was moulded in 1357. King Rama IV used to be
a chief abbot of this temple before he ascended the throne. Other Chakri
Kings who had resided here during their monkhood include King Rama IV and
King VII, as well as His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
known as the Marble Temple, this temple is on Si-Ayutthaya Road near the
Chitralada Palace. The main building was constructed during the reign of
King Rama V. Its interior is magnificiently decorated with cross beams of
lacquer and gold. A large collection of bronze Buddha images lines the
wall of the spacious inner courtyard.
on Ratchawithi Road behind the National Assembly, this is the world’s
largest building made entirely of golden teak. Removed from Ko Sichang in
Chonburi province, it was rebuilt in the Dusit Palace in 1900 by the
command of King Rama V. Many rooms currently maintain the atmosphere of
the past. A guided tour is provided to visitors.
of the buildings in the same compound are now used as museums. The
outstanding one is Abhisek Dusit Hall, which exhibits H.M. Queen
Sirikit’s collection of handicraft masterpieces created by rural people.
The other displays various items and art objects including H.M. King
Bhumibol’s photography, paraphernalia rank and portraits, ancient cloth,
clocks, and royal carriages.
compound is open daily from 9.00 a.m. - 4.00 p.m. Admission fee is Baht50.
Proper attire is required. Traditional Thai dancing commences daily at
10.30 a.m. and 2.00 p.m. Call 282-7111, 281-6880 for more information.
zoo is managed by the Zoological Park Organisation. It houses various
species of tropical animals, including 300 mammals, 1,300 birds and 190
reptiles. There is a pond where visitors can enjoy paddling a boat. The
area is pleasant and shady, and is suitable for a picnic. It is open
everyday from 8.00 a.m. - 6.00 p.m.
China Town is an old business centre covering a large area around Yaowarat
and Charoen Krung Roads. There are many small streets and alleys full of
shops and vendors selling all types of goods. It has been the main centre
for trading by the Chinese since they were moved from their old site some
200 years ago. Nearby Phahurat or Indian Market is one of the city’s
renowned cloth centres.
at the end of Yoawarat Road near the Bangkok Railway Station (Hua Lam
Phong), this temple is known for its famous golden Buddha image
constructed during the Sukhothai Period. The beautiful image of solid gold
is three metres high and weighs five and a half tons.
on Si Ayutthaya Road near the Phayathai intersection, this used to be the
residence of Princess Chumphot, one of Thailand’s leading art
collectors. Five traditional Thai houses overlooking a beautifully kept
garden display a large collection of Thai arts and antiques. It is open
everyday except Sundays from 9.00 a.m. - 4.00 p.m. Admission fee is
Thompson’s Thai House
remarkable Thai-style house was the work of Mr. Jim Thompson, an American
who came to Thailand at the end of the Second World War and revived the
Thai silk industry. His house, now a museum, is at the end of Soi Kasemsan
2 opposite the National Stadium on Rama I Road. On permanent display are
Mr. Thompson’s collection of Asian artefacts and many other fabulous
antiques. It is open everyday from 9.00 a.m. - 4.30 p.m. Admission costs
Baht100. Volunteer guides explain the collection to visitors.
of Imagery Technology
is the first camera and photograph museum established in Thailand and
Asia, which shares the same building with the Faculty of Science,
Chulalongkorn University. Historic photographs and imaging equipment, as
well as its technological evolution are on display. Modern photographic
arts, techniques and printing technology are also exhibited. The museum is
open only on Thursdays from 10.00 a.m. - 4.00 p.m. Admission fee is
Baht100. Call 218-5581-2 for more information.
Institute or Snake Farm
interesting spot is located at the corner of Henri Dunant and Rama IV
Roads west of Chulalongkorn Hospital. It is a section of the Thai Red
Cross, where one can have cholera, smallpox, and typhoid inoculations, as
well as rabies treatment. The institute has become a popular tourist
attraction because of its large collection of five poisonous snakes. It is
open from 8.30 a.m. - 4.30 p.m. on weekdays and 8.30 a.m. - 12.00 a.m. on
holidays. The extraction of venom from the snakes is demonstrated at 10.30
a.m. and 2.30 p.m. on weekdays, and at 10.30 a.m. on holidays. Admission
fee is Baht70.
on Ratchadamri Road, this shrine of Hindu God is very revered by many
people who come to pay homage and beg for blessings. Laced flowers and
small wooden elephants as well as Thai dancing performances are offered to
the statue by grateful devotees.
is a classic northern-style teak house, originally constructed in Chiang
Mai more than 200 years ago and donated to the Siam Society by its owners
and reconstructed in Bangkok. It is located at 131 Soi Asoke (Soi 21)
Sukhumvit Road. A variety of Thai flora can be seen in its garden. Also on
display are items used daily by Thai farmers and fishermen. It is open
daily except Sundays and Mondays from 9.00 a.m. - 5.00 p.m. Admission fee
is Baht70. Call 661-6470-7 for more information.
next to the Eastern Bus Terminal (Ekamai) on Sukhumvit Road, this is an
exhibition centre on a variety of scientific knowledge. It houses an
interesting aquarium, a computer world, a planetarium, as well as many
devices created for fun and education. The compound is open daily except
Mondays and public holidays from 9.00 a.m. - 4.00 p.m. Admission fee is
Baht40 for adults and Baht20 for children.
Barge National Museum
shed, where several royal barges are displayed, is located on Khlong
(canal) Bangkok Noi off the Chao Phraya River not far from Phra Pin Klao
Bridge. These barges were used on royal occasions and formerly served as
war vessels. It is open everyday except annual holidays from 8.30 a.m. -
4.30 p.m. Admission fee is Baht30. Visitors can rent a boat at Tha Chang
Pier near the Grand Palace to visit the museum and observe the way of life
along the canal.
Mother Memorial Park
beautiful park, in honour of Her Royal Highness Princess Sri Nagarindra or
King Rama IX’s mother, is located on Soi 3 Somdet Chao Phraya Road,
Khlong San District. It was built near Wat Anongkharam community where she
had resided during her childhood. A full scale model of the Princess
Mother’s original house has been constructed. There are two exhibition
halls displaying the Princess Mother’s life story as well as the history
of this old community. The park is open daily from 9.00 a.m. - 4.00 p.m.
the famous breeds of Siamese cat, the white pure Maeo Khao Mani, with the
dominant feature of diamond eyes, has been favoured through history by
Thai royalty and the elite. In an old Thai-style house on Boromarajajonani
Road, a number of diamond-eye cats are bred and shown to visitors. Every
cat of this kind has one light blue coloured eye and one that is amber.
Valuable amulets called ‘Phra Somdet’ and antiques are also on
is on the 1st floor of the Metropolitan Postal Bureau behind Sam Sen Nai
Post Office, Saphan Khwai area. It is open from Tuesdays to Sundays during
9.00 a.m. - 4.00 p.m. There is no admission fee. Collections of Thai and
foreign stamps as well as post books are on display. Stamps and
accessories for stamp collection are on sale.
large open public ground on Phahonyothin Road is where people buy and sell
a thousand local products including food, clothing, household products,
handicrafts, pets and pot plants. The market is a paradise for browsers
and bargain-hunters alike. It operates on every Saturday and Sunday. From
Wednesdays to Fridays, the ground becomes a wholesale market for various
kinds of plants.
of Railway Heritage
is a train museum on the western side of Chatuchak Park adjacent to
Kamphaeng Phet Road. Steam engines, train models, and miniature trains are
exhibited along with the story of world railway systems. It is open only
on Sundays from 5.00-12.00 a.m.
private museum is on the outskirts of Bangkok, at 9 Soi 4, Krungthep
Kritha Road, Bang Kapi District. It houses a vast collection of artefacts
from the prehistoric to Bangkok periods. Replicas of some beautiful Thai
architecture are constructed within the complex. The museum is open on
Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 10.00 a.m. - 3.00 p.m. Admission fee
is Baht300. For advance reservation, call 379-3601, 379-3607.
Rama IX Royal Park
200-acre park on Si Nakharin Road commemorates His Majesty King Rama
IX’s 60th birthday in 1987. It comprises extensive botanical gardens,
and a building displaying the works and life of King Rama IX.
is located at Km. 9 Ram Indra Road, Minburi District. Within an area of
170 acres, the park house a large variety of wildlife in natural habitat.
Visitors can drive around the area, or have a look at wild animals from
Safari World’s coach. There are also performances of well-trained
animals like dolphins, birds, seals, and monkeys. It is open daily from
9.00 a.m. - 4.30 p.m. Admission fee is Baht400 for adults and Baht300 for
near Soi 62, Phahonyothin Road to the north of Bangkok, this is a
sartorial art centre which exhibits the evolution of both Thai and
international folk costumes. Miniatures of Thai communities and some
social activities contribute to more understanding of the Thai traditional
culture. Advance reservation is necessary. Call 532-2733-4, 531-2013 for