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Bangkok Attractions

Bang Bon

Wat Ratchaburana

This temple is located at the foot of the Rama I Memorial Bridge on the Bangkok side. Built in the late Ayutthaya period by a Chinese merchant, it is otherwise known as Wat Liap and is one of the 3 principal temples of the capital which include Wat Ratchaburana, Wat Ratchapradit and Wat Mahathat. It had been regularly restored since the reign of King Rama I through to the reign of King Rama VII, except in the sixth reign. Some of the temples principal buildings, especially Phra Ubosot the ordination hall which houses mural paintings by Khrua In Khong, were badly damaged by bombing during World War II. The buildings were later restored to their good condition as they appear today.

Open : Daily from 6 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Admission : Free
Tel : 0 2225 1595

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Bangkok Noi

Canal Tours

A voyage through time
Bangkoks history is so closely connected to the waterways. It used to have so many canals that it was often called The Venice of The East. Rattanakosin Island came into existence when King Rama I had the Bang Lamphu Klong constructed to fortify Bangkok.

Cruising along the klongs as the canals are called in Thai, takes you on a journey of contrast back to earlier eras and up to modern Bangkok.
The most popular klong trips start on the Bangkok side of the Chao Phraya River and cross over to the Thonburi side to venture up Bangkok Noi and Bangkok Yai canals. These journeys take you to fascinating places such as The Royal Barge Museum and the colonial-style Thonburi Railway Station.

On the way you will see a different side of life as you pass the homes of the klong-dwellers. Each home seems to have its own boat, be it a small canoe or a hang yao the long-tailed boats powered by car or truck engines and a propeller on a long shaft that acts as bothpropulsion and steerage.

The contrast continues as you pass into idyllic rural pockets where villagers grow fruit, vegetables and orchids which are sent to markets on the long-tailed boats. Youll see children on there way to or from school and saffron robed monks travelling to their klong-side temples. You may even come across Thai women in boats selling boat noodles, drinks, snacks and fruit.
Most organized canal tours take you to a floating market at Taling Chan in Thonburi that operates from 8.30 a.m. until noon. It is usually crowded with other tourists.

How to get there: Tour boats depart from the pier beside the Oriental Hotel, at River City and Tha Chang Wang Luang Pier.

Royal Barge National Museum

The Royal Barge Procession is one of the most spectacular events in the world. It is performed occasionally during the Tod Kathin Buddhist Festival when H.M. The King delivers new robes to the monks at Wat Arun. It was also seen by millions of viewers around the world when it was specially staged for the 2003 APEC Conference in Bangkok and broadcast live to the participating countries.

These ornately decorated boats are maintained by the Royal Thai Navy and docked at The Royal Barge National Museum on Bangkok Noi canal on the Thonburi side.

The most impressive and important boat is the Kings personal barge, Suphanahong which was built in 1911. It is 46 metres in length hewn from a single tree and covered with intricate gilt carvings and colourful pieces of glass. The design is representative of a mythical swan. The crew consists of 54 oarsmen who paddle in time to the rhythmic beat of a drummer.

The Royal Barge fleet consists of 52 vessels. Each is a masterpiece of marine and traditional craftsmanship. They feature a variety of figureheads on their bows, including a sacred Garuda, Hanuman and the seven heads of Naga.

In formation the fleet travels in rows five abreast and more than one kilometer from the leading barge to those at the rear. These are propelled by 2,082 specially trained naval personnel

A visit to The Royal Barge National Museum will give you an insight into the colourful culture of Thailand.

How to get there: by Chao Phraya Ferry cross the river at Tha Pra Chan Pier near Thammasat University to Bangkok Noi (Thonburi) Train Station Pier or by chartered boat from Tha Chang Pier.
Open daily : 9 am. - 5 pm.
Admission : 30 baht
Tel : 0 2424 0004 www.thailandmuseum.com

Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn)

This famous Chao Phraya riverbank landmark diagonally opposite the Grand Palace, is best known for a porcelain encrusted 79 metre central pagoda which sparkles in the sun. The temple can be reached either by Arun Amarin Road or by boat from Tha Tian Pier near Wat Pho.

Open : Daily from 7.30 a.m. - 5.30 p.m.
Admission : 20 baht
Tel : 0 2465 5640

 

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Bangkok Yai

Wat Arun

Make sure you set aside one late afternoon to see and photograph this imposing sight at sunset with the Chao Phraya River in the foreground. These photographs will bring back beautiful memories of Bangkok.

The temple was built during the Ayutthaya period and was originally called Wat Makok after the name of the local village Tambol Bangmakok. It means "Village of Olives".

Wat Arun gets its name from Aruna, the Indian god of the dawn, hence its common name The Temple of Dawn.

The location of the temple is in the area that used to be occupied by the palace of King Taksin who re-established the Siamese Kingdom after the fall of Ayuttaya more than two hundred years ago. The main Buddha image is believed to have been designed by King Rama II.

Wat Arun, often called The Temple of Dawn, is one of the most remarkable visual identities of Bangkok. The imposing Khmer-style prang or tower is 104 metres tall and decorated with bits of porcelain that was used as ballast by boats coming from China. It is surrounded by four smaller prangs. Construction of the prangs were started by King Rama II and completed by King Rama II.

The central balcony is an ideal spot for looking across the river to The Grand Palace and The Temple of The Emerald Buddha.

Each year at the end of the three-month lent period for Buddhist monks, H. M. The King or his appointed representative travels down river in a Royal Barge Procession to present new robes to the monks. This ceremony is called Royal Tod Kathin.

How to get there: Bus routes 19, 57, 83
Open daily: 7.30 am. to 5.30 pm.
Admission fee: Baht 20
Contact: Tel: 0 2465 5640
Website: www.wararun.org

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Chatuchak

Bangkok Butterfly Garden and Insectarium

Situated in the southeastern area of Vachirabenjatas Park (Railway Park), the garden covers an area of approximately 6 rai. It comprises an activity ground, exhibition area, feed breeding room, embryo breeding room, scenic area, insectariums, butterfly garden and Lamphu tree ground. There is a cage covering an area of 1,100 square metres with a large dome of 15 metres high, built from an open framework for good ventilation. The garden area connects to Chatuchak Park and Queen Sirikit Park. It is a natural study room ideal for learning and being a source of information as well as exchange of knowledge about butterflies and insects, their life cycles and being. The garden is open daily except for Monday during 8.30 a.m.-4.30 p.m.

Open : Tue - Sun and public holidays
Admission : Free
Tel : 0 2272 4359-60, 0 2272 4680

Chatuchak Park

This is located at the junction of Phahonyothin and Vibhavadi Rungsit roads. There are nine pieces of ASEAN sculptures that enhance the character of the park.

Open : Daily from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Admission : Free

Chatuchak Weekend Market

This is paradise for bargain hunters. Every Saturday and Sunday, 9,000 individual booths are open selling an infinite variety of goods.

It is just about impossible to go to Chatuchak Weekend Market and not buy anything. There is just about everything that bargain hunters, home makers, pet lovers or just browsers can imagine.

 

Handicrafts are every where including pottery, hand-made glass models of the Royal Barges, fluffy toys, colourful tropical fish, singing birds puppies of many breeds, furniture and lots of new and second hand clothing, shoes, handbags, belts. There is so much on offer that even international home decor wholesales come here to shop.

Music lovers can find unique traditional Thai musical instruments being sold direct by the artisans who have crafted them to make the pleasing sounds.

One rule for all shoppers to observe is bargain, bargain, bargain. This is part of the fun and also gets you the best prices.

Chatuchak Weekend Market has interesting products from all over Thailand as well as things from far off lands.

You should allow the best part of a whole day to explore the many stalls. You never know what you will find. But this is work that will make you thirsty and puckish, so take a break here and there to cool off with a fresh fruit juice or feast on delicious Thai dishes such as Pad Thai, barbecue chicken, noodles and sweets.

How to get there: BTS Skytrain to Mochit Station or Metro to Kamphaeng Phet Station
Bus Routes 3, 26, 27, 29, 34, 59, 77, 96, 112, 134, 136, 138, 145, 502, 503, 510, 512, 513
Open : Saturday and Sunday
Admission: Free

Childrens Discovery Museum

The museum is located inside Queen Sirikit Park and was established under the royal initiative of Her Majesty the Queen, in her realizing the significance of creating a pleasurable learning process for Thai children. Based on the Bangkok Metropolitan Administrations children and family activities, the Childrens Discovery Museum took shape in the form of 3 exhibition buildings and an open-air activity ground covering a total area of 5 rai. The construction was completed in 2001 and undertaken under the project to celebrate the 60th birthday anniversary of Her Majesty the Queen.

The museum offers exhibitions as well as funny activities for children to enjoy and learn about human life, sciences, culture and society, nature and the environment, including an exhibition in honour of Her Majesty the Queen. It is open during 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. on weekends.

Open : Daily (Mon-Fri from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sat-Sun from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.)
Admission : Adult 70 baht, Child 50 baht
Tel : 0 2615 7333 ext. 102, 134, 148 www.bkkchildrenmuseum.com

Queen Sirikit Park

This is situated east of Chatuchak Park on Phahonyothin Road. It was built to commemorate the 60th birthday anniversary of HM Queen Sirikit. A big pool in the park contains three fountains and a fine collection of both Thai and foreign lotuses.

Open : Daily from 5 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Admission : Free

The State Railway Hall of Fame

This is a train museum where steam engines, train models, and miniature trains are exhibited along with the story of world railway systems. It is located on the western side of Chatuchak Park adjacent to Kamphaeng Phet Road.

Open : Sat. - Sun. from 5 a.m. - 12 a.m.
Admission : Free
Tel : 0 1615 5776

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Din Daeng

Santi Chai Prakan Pavilion and Public Park

The Park is on Phra Athit Road on the bank of the Chao Phraya River. It was constructed near Phra Sumen Fort under the cooperation between the Royal Thai Government and the general public to mark the auspicious occasion of the sixth cycle birthday anniversary of His Majesty the King on 5 December, 1999. The spacious area provides a pleasant atmosphere as well as a scenic view of the Chao Phraya River and the Rama VIII Bridge. It is popular among both Thais and foreigners, especially from the nearby Bang Lamphu community.

Open : Daily
Admission : Free

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Don Muang

Don Muang International Airport

Our gateway to the world
The Bangkok International Airport at Don Muang is one of the busiest in Asia handling more than 80 international airlines.

The airport is divided into two sections, namely International and Domestic. The International section has two terminals, Terminal One and Terminal Two. There are signs as you approach both terminals listing the airlines using each terminal.

For international flights, check-in time is at least 2 hours before scheduled departure time. Once inside the terminals, you will find all the facilities you need including restaurants, drink kiosks, foreign currency exchanges, postal services, magazine, newspaper and book sellers, florists and tourist police booths.

After passing through Check-In and Immigration, you enter the Departure Concourse where there are many more facilities as in the public area. Here you will find an amazing selection of duty free items at very reasonable prices.

The airport authority operates a free shuttle bus service between the International and Domestic Terminals.

The Domestic Terminal is equally well appointed with the exception of duty free shopping. Check in time for domestic flights is one hour before the scheduled departure.

Smoking is prohibited within all the terminals except in the designated Smoking Rooms.

How to get there: There are many ways to get to and from the airport. There are the special airport buses that travel four routes, one to the Silom Road, second to Sanam Luang area close to Khao San Road, third to Sukhumvit Road and the fourth to Hua Lumphong Railway Station.

The State Railways of Thailand has a railway station across the road from the airport. This can be reached via the pedestrian overhead bridges.

Most hotels operate a limousine service to the airport and of course you can use a taxi.

There are public buses, both air conditioned and non-air conditioned to and from the airport
Bus Routes 29, 59, 95, 510, 513.

National Memorial

It is located on Vibhavadi Rangsit Road slightly beyond Bangkok International Airport. Covering an area of 38 rai, the National Memorial is under the responsibility of the Armed Force Education Department, Supreme Command Headquarters. There are wall paintings depicting historic events in Thai history from the Sukhothai period to Rattanakosin period, replicas of royal decorations, bas-reliefs of the establishment of the city and models recounting historic battles in Thai history.

Open : Mon. - Fri. from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Admission : Free
Tel : 0 2532 1021.

A speaker is available for a group visit but advance contact in writing is required.

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Dusit


Dusit Zoo
Dusit Zoo has a very good collection of animals from around the world. It is ideal for a family outing or just for those who would like to know more about animal behavior.

The Dusit Zoo was established in 1938 and covers an area of 118 rai in the Dusit District of Bangkok. Under the administration of The Zoological Organization under the Royal Patronage of H.M. The King, it welcomes more than 2,500,000 visitors a year. It takes care of over 1,000 birds and nearly 2,000 animals.

Major sections include a Nocturnal Animals Exhibit where you can see how they live in the night- time environment. The Reptiles and Amphibians Center has more than 70 species.

There is a special Childrens Zoo where youngsters can have contact with small animals that are of interest to children.

You can learn about animal behavior at the Animal Presentation area including how they live in their respective environments. Visitors can witness and experience the animals in person.

For more fun, there is Playland where children can really enjoy themselves on amusement rides. There are other more sedate rides available on the lake.

How to get there: Bus routes 18, 28, 70, 108, 510, 515, 539, 542 Open : Daily from 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.Admission : Adult 100 baht, Child 50 bahtTel : 0 2281 2000, 0 2282 7111-3 www.zoothailand.org

 

The Ananda Samakhom Throne Hall
The Ananda Samakhom Throne Hall is the beautiful white building facing the Royal Plaza where the statue of H.M. King Chulalongkorn ( Rama V )stands.

In 1906, His Majesty commissioned the construction of a new Throne Hall within the grounds of the Dusit Palace. The name Ananda Samakhom was taken from a previous building that had deteriorated and was no longer usable. The foundation stone was placed by His Majesty King Chulalongkorn on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of his ascension to the throne.

The design and construction was supervised by Chao Phraya Yommaraj, with a team of Italian architects, engineers and painters. It took nine years to complete the building, which is designed in Italian Renaissance style. The exterior is decorated with marble imported from Carrara in Italy.

As beautiful as the exterior is, it is the exquisite paintings inside that really take your breath away. These paintings, by Mr. C. Riguli and Prof. G. Chini, trace the history of the Chakri Dynasty from Kings Rama I to Rama VI.

The north side dome is painted to depict King Rama I on his return from a battle in a neighbouring country, while the eastern dome has paintings of Kings Rama II and Rama III and their support for the arts.

How to get there:
Bus routes 70, 72, 503

Open : Daily from 9.30 a.m. to 4 p.m. (except public holidays) Admission : 50 baht (proper attire is essential)Tel : 0 2628 6300 ext. 5119 - 5121 www.palaces.thai.net .

The Equestrian Statue of King Rama V the Great
Established in 1908 in the reign of King Rama V with a fund raised by the Thai people, the statue was cast in Paris by a French craftsman. The remaining fund was spent by King Rama VI on the establishment of Chulalongkorn

University, which was named after King Rama V.

Open : DailyAdmission : Free

The Press Museum
Located in the same building as the Press Association of Thailand on Ratchasima Road, Dusit district (opposite Suan Dusit Rajabhat University), this is the first museum to have been established to enhance press occupation and be a source of study and information as well as valuable historical data about the Thai press from past to present. The exhibition is displayed through modern information technology. The first portion presents the press in the past by imitating the working atmosphere of reporters represented by wax models. Next are the political, economic as well as social roles of the press and biographies of outstanding personalities such as Dr. Bradley, Prince Narathipphongpraphan, M.R. Kukrit Pramoj, Kularb Saipradit, Malai Choopinij and Isra Amantakul. There are also images of King Rama IV founder of Thailand's publishing business established to publish declarations and royal gazettes, the first newspaper for Thai people and King Rama VI a press king who granted freedom for newspaper publication. The museum features an exhibition on newspapers and magazines and provides a library service, as well.

Open : Mon. - Fri. from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. (Advance contact is required)

Admission : FreeTel : 0 2669 7124 6 Fax : 0 2241 5929 www.thaipressasso.com

Vimanmek Palace

An outstanding example of 19th century architecture. While admiring the craftsmanship of the carpenters, you will travel back through time to gain a rare insight into the lifestyle of royalty.

Vimanmek Mansion, the principal building in the palace compound, was built for King Rama V on land he named The Dusit Garden located between Padung Krungkasem and Samsen canals. The completion was celebrated on March 27, 1901 and King RamaV took up residence until 1906. The mansion was originally his Summer Palace, the Munthaturaltanaroj Residence, on Sri Chang Island. It was dismantled and re-built at the present location under the supervision of HRH Prince Narissaranuwaddhiwongse.

The three-storey Vimanmek Mansion is the largest golden teak building in the world, built in an architectural style that reflects European influences. There are two right-angled wings, each 60 metres long and 20 metres high. The section where The King resided is octagonal and has four storeys. The mansion has 81 rooms, halls and ante-chambers.

Following King Rama V moving to Amporn Satarn Mansion in 1906, Vimanmek Mansion was un-occupied until 1925 when King Rama VI gave permission for his wife, HRH Indharasaksaji to take up residence there. She stayed there until his death.

For the next 50 years it was used as just a storage area for the Bureau of the Royal Household until 1982 when HRH Queen Sirikit initiated its restoration as a museum to commemorate King Rama V.

Today, there are 31 exhibition rooms. Exhibits include a silverware room, ceramic display room, glassware and ivory display. Some of the rooms have been preserved to retain the atmosphere of the earlier era, particularly the bedrooms, bathrooms and the Audience Chamber. Other buildings in the compound also house displays of various artifacts and precious art objects.

How to get there: Bus Routes 18, 28, 108, 510, 515Opening Hours: Open tothe public everyday from 9.30 am. to 3.15 pm.

Admission Fee: Baht 100. If you have visited The Grand Palace on the same day you will have also received an entrance ticket to Vimanmek Palace which is valid.

Contact: Telephone: 0 2628 6300-9 Website:www.palaces.thai.net

Wat Benchamabophit

To stand at the main gateway and look upon the Monastery of Five Kings is a sight to behold. The perfect symmetry and proportions must inspire admiration of this architectural masterpiece.

Wat Benchamabophit Dusitvanaram is known to foreigners as The Marble Temple as its exterior is clad in Carrara marble. Very talented The Prince Naris, a son of King Rama IV , designed the main building which was completedduring the reign of King Rama V.

The interior crossbeams are decorated with lacquer and gold. The walls of the spacious inner courtyard are lined with a large collection of bronze Buddha images. The canal in front and to the left hand side has ornate bridges.It is advisable to come in the early morning to see local people offering almsto the monks as they do not go outside as monks at other temple do. Stand at the main entrance to the compound and watch the pigeons take flight. If you cant be there at this time, go at sunset when the main doors are illuminated. This is another sight well worth witnessing.

How to get there: Bus routes 72, 503

Open : Daily from 6 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Admission : 20 Baht Tel : 0 2281 2501, 0 2628 7947

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Huai Khwang

Siam Niramit

Situated on Thiam Ruammit Road off Ratchadaphisek Road, about 100 metres from the Thailand Culutral Center.

Siam Niramit is a one-of-a-kind cultural theme complex offerring a world-class spectacular performance in a 2000-seat theatre.

The 80-minute show features 3 stories of Thailand's cultural heritage: Journey Back into History, Journey Beyond Imagination: The Three Realms and Journey Through Joyous Festivals, with the magic of state-of-the-art technology and special effects.

The show starts nightly at 8 pm. but visitors should arrive at 7 pm. to join a free guided tour to a Thai village in the compound. Restuarants and souvenir shops are also available.

Tickets cost 1,500 baht per person.

Contact Siam Niramit at Tel: 0 2649 92222 Fax: 0 2649 9200 for reservations. Click www.siamniramit.com for details and click www.thaiticketmaster.com for online booking till 30 december 2005.

Thai Life Permanent Exhibition Hall

The Thai Life Exhibition Hall, located at the Thailand Cultural Center, takes you through the different periods of life in Thailand and how the Thai people have struggled and overcame difficulties to remain an independent.

The exhibition is divided into four main sections and uses a combination of presentation techniques including computer generated images, photography, multi-image slide presentations and puppets.

A video wall with nine screens welcomes visitors as they enter starts the presentation on the history of the Thai people.

This is divided into four areas covering the history of Thai culture, important archeological sites in Thailand, world civilization and the origins of the Thais.

The second sector takes you through Thai settlements concentrating on different cultures, languages and religions presented in the media of puppets and aerial photographs of ancient sites in four regions of the country.

Influences of outside civilization comes in the third section. Some highlights are those of Chinese and Indian traders and the impact they had in social intercourse.

The fourth area takes you through the development of Thailand as a nation from the establishment of The Kingdom of Siam at Sukhothai, the rise and fall of Ayutthaya, the Thonburi period leading on to the present Rattanakosin era under the Chakri Dynasty.

The Thai Life Exhibition Hall is a valuable source of information for all those

who want to know more about Thailand and its people.

How to get there: Subway - Thai Cultural Centre Station.
Bus routes 36, 73, 122, 136, 137, 179, 185, 206, 514, 517
Open : Mon. - Sat. from 9.30 am. - 4 pm.
Admission : Free
Contact : Tel. 0 2247 0028 ext. 4224, 4206-7 www.culture.go.th/once/thainithat

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Klong San

District Klong San

The Princess Mother Memorial Park

A Tribute to Mae Fa Luang, The Mother of us all
When Princess Srinakarin, the mother of King Rama IX, passed away in 1995 it was one of the saddest times in Thailands modern history. This remarkable woman was born a commoner, daughter of a goldsmith in Nonthaburi province and grew up in Thonburi near Wat Anongkharam. Throughout her life, she never forgot her humble beginning and devoted her considerable energy to improving the life of all Thais. The most well-known of her achievements was the establishment of the Doi Tung Foundation to assist the northern hill tribes.


In 1993, King Bumipol Adulyadej expressed his wish to renovate the area around his mother childhood home in Thonburi as thanks to Princess Srinakarin who is still referred to as Mae Fa Luang meaning "The Mother of Us All".

Her original home had no longer existed so owners of some similar buildings in the area gladly donated them to the King for his project.

The Princess Mother Memorial Park has a reproduction of the house where she lived as a child set in open space with beautiful gardens. There are two exhibition halls, the first devoted to her life including signed photographs such as the one of her at the age of 14. The photographs with supporting text chronicle her life and finally her cremation ceremony in 1996.
The second exhibition hall recounts her active life and many achievements in establishing projects. It includes some very personal items such as a Mickey Mouse needlepoint that she made for The King.
A gazebo shelters a statue of the Princess Mother and a small shop nearby sells products manufactured by some of her projects.

How to get there: Bus Routes 6, 43. The park is located on Soi 3 Somdet Chao Phraya Road, Khlong San.

Open : Garden - Daily 6 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Museum - 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Admission : Free

Tel : 0 2437 7799, 0 2439 0902 www.princessmothermemorialpark.org

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Klong Teoy

District Klong Teoy

Benchasiri Park
This compact park on Sukhumvit Road near Soi 24 was built to commemorate the 60th birthday of HM Queen Sirikit in 1992. It features a huge sculpture of commemorative coin illustrating an image of HM Queen Sirikit and 12 pieces of contemporary sculptures including childrens works.

Open : Daily from 5 a.m. - 8 p.m.

Admission : Free

Museum of Thai Pharmacy
The museum is located on the third floor of the Pharmaceutical Association of Thailand under Royal Patronage Building at 40 Soi Santisuk, Sukhumvit 38 Road (diagonally opposite Soi Thong Lo). It was established to publicize traditional Thai medicine from past to present for later generations to learn and treasure. The exhibition is featured by various topics; namely, the Birth of Pharmacy, the Evolution of Oriental Pharmacy and Basic Wisdom, the Evolution of Western Thai Pharmacy and the Evolution of Herbs and Natural Products. The museum is open on weekdays during

Open : Mon-Fri from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. (Advance contact in writing is required for a group visit)

Admission : Free

Tel : 0 2391 6243, 0 2712 1627

Science Centre for Education
Situated next to the Eastern Bus Terminal (Ekkamai) on Sukhumvit Road, this is an exhibition centre on a variety of scientific knowledge. Among the attractions are a planetarium, an aquarium as well as permanent exhibitions of sports science, communication technology and natural environment.

Open : Exhibition: Tue to Sun (except public holidays) from 8.30 a.m. - 4.30 p.m.

Planetariam : 1-hour shows at 11 a.m. and 2.30 p.m. Additional shows on Sat & Sun at 10 a.m. and 1.30 p.m.

Admission : Exhibition and Planetariam - Adult 40 baht, Child 20 baht

Tel : 0 2392 5951-9

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Lumphini

District Lumphini

Thai Boxing
Our most famous sport
Thai kick boxing is a very exciting spectator sport. The agility of the contestants is simply amazing. In Thailand we call it Muay Thai. Its popularity has spread world wide and many young foreign men come to Thailand to train under Thai coaches. Some of these have gone on to become world champions.

Muay Thai is thought to have originated in the early part of the Ayutthaya period as a form of unarmed combat. Competitions were usually staged at temple fairs and were accompanied by a small 3-piece traditional music ensemble.


Each contest starts with the contestants paying respects to their trainers to the accompaniment of the ensemble. When the bout begins, the tempo of the music increases adding an aural enhancement to the frantic action in the ring.

Today it is a professional sport with training camps located in just about every province. For many poor country boys, it is the road from rags to riches. Many professional fighters take on the names of their sponsors. So you will see fighters with the same name as products such as a can of paint. It is all part of the uniqueness of this sport.

Some of the Thai beach resort areas have training camps specifically for foreigners who want to learn the techniques. These camps usually arrange contests between their foreign students and Thai exponents of the sport.

Where to see:
Lumpini Stadium Rama IV Road Tel: 0 2252 8765 Tuesday, Friday Saturday nights at 6.30 pm. and Saturday afternoon at 5.00 pm. Ticket prices Baht 500, 800 and 1,500 for ringside.
How to get there: Subway to Lumpini Station.
Bus routes4, 13, 22, 45, 47, 74, 141

Ratchadamnoen Stadium Ratchadamnoen Nok Avenue Tel: 0 2281 4205 Monday, Wednesday Thursday and Sunday nights at 6.30 pm. Ticket prices Baht 500, 800 and 1,500 for ringside. Discount on Sunday nights.
How to get there: Bus routes 70, 503, 509

Channel 7 Stadium Behind old Mo Chit Bus Terminal near Chatuchak Park Tel: 0 2272 0210 Ext. 205 Sunday 1.45 pm. Admission Fee: Free
How to get there: BTS Skytrain to Mo Chit Staion and Subway to Chatuchak Station
Bus routes 3, 26, 27, 29, 34, 59, 77, 96, 112, 134, 136, 138, 145, 502, 503, 509, 510, 512, 513

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Min Buri

District Min Buri

Safari World
Close encounters with the animal kingdom
This 170 acre park offers many opportunities for fun and excitement as you get close to wild animals roaming free or see others performing tricks.

The main attraction is as the name says traveling through the open spaces where wild animals can be seen in their natural habitat from the windows of a tour coach or your own car. The journey is 8 kilometres and takes about 45 minutes. On the way you will have close encounters with rare and endangered species. One highlight you should not miss is feeding time for the lions and tigers. It will send a chill down your spine.
There are many animals in the underwater world too. Some are very playful and mischievous. They will split your sides with laughter as the sea lions and their friends perform in the Sea Lion Show at Lighthouse Cove.

Add more excitement to your visit on a boat ride through the tropical jungle where hungry crocodiles await and head-hunters have their eyes on you. Beware of the gorillas lurking in the forest. You had better hold on to your seat as the boat moves through the mangroves and thick reeds and shoots down a heart-stopping flume.

All this adventure will probably build up an appetite so you head to the restaurants and kiosks spread throughout the park.
How to get there: Bus routes 26, 60, 71, 96, 501 and go to Safari World by "Song Theaw" mini bus.

Open : Daily from 8 a.m. - 5.30 p.m.

Admission : Adult 700 baht, Child 450 baht

Tel : 0 2518 1000-19, 0 2914 4100-19 www.safariworld.com

Siam Park City
Located in suburban Min Buri on Sukhaphiban 2 Road, this water amusement park contains a man-made sea with towering slides. Satellite attractions include childrens playgrounds, aviaries, an open zoo and a botanical garden.

Open : Mon. - Fri. from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m., Sat. - Sun. and Public Holidays from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Admission : Adult 200 baht; Child 100 baht

Tel : 0 2919 7200-19 www.siamparkcity.com

In addition to the amusement parks as mentioned above, many leading department stores in Bangkok also provide an indoor amusement area such as Fantasia Lagoon at the Mall (Bang Khae) Tel : 0 2454 0061, The Mall (Bang Kapi) Tel : 0 2734 1400-59, Leo Land at Central City (Bang Na) Tel : 0 2361 0888, Seacon Square (Si Nakharin) Tel : 0 2721 8931-33, 0 2721 8888, Future Park (Bang Khae) Tel : 0 2455 0173-5, Imperial World (Samrong) Tel : 0 2756 8217-9, Fashion Island Tel : 0 2947 5000, and so on.

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Nong Klaem

District Nong Klaem

Sunthorn Museum
Situated at 82/10 Sukhaphiban 1 (off Phetkasem Road near Lotus Supermarket), this is an private museum operated by Mr. Sunthorn Chunothaisawat. It houses invaluable antiques from different periods such as BMW Motorcycles in the World War Periods, various kinds and types of old clock, lamps, children toys made out of zinc, Raios, Irons, type writers, Fans and sewing machines which are still being maintained in good condition.

Open : Sat. from 11 a.m.- 5 p.m.

Admission : 200 baht

Tel : 0 2802 0863-4 www.sunthornmuseum.com

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Pathum Wan

Siam Ocean World

A new attractions in downtown Bangkok. Open in December 2005, Siam Ocean World will be the largest aquarium in Southeast Asia. With world-standard exhibits and features, the aqaruim comprises a 270-degree acrylic under ocean tunnel, a panoramic oceanarium with a 360-degree view through a 10.5 metre diametre fishbowl, an 8-metre deep reef tank and a rainforest display. More than 400 species or 30,000 marine animals including Penguins, Blue Ring Octopus, Gray Nurse Sharks, Elephant Nose Sharks, Leafy Sea Dragons and Giant Spider Crab can be seen.

open : daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Admission: 450 bah for adults and 280 baht fro children (80-120 cm.).
How to get there : one can take a BTS sky train and get off at Siam Station.
Contact : Siam Ocean World Tel: 0 2687 2000 Fax: 0 2687 2001 website : www.siamoceanworld.com

Gem and Jewellery Institute of Thailand
Located at the Faculty of Science, Chulalongkorn University Pathumwan, the institute was established to help develop and support the gem and jewellery industry of Thailand. It is dedicated to the collection, preservation, study and display of gems, jewellery and gemological equipment. There are also gem identification services and library.

Museum : open on Mon-Fri from 9 a.m. to 4.30 p.m.
Admission : 100 baht
Contact : Tel. 0 2218 5470-4 ext.24, 0 2652 5252 website : www.git.or.th

Jim Thompson's Museum
This exquisite collection of traditional Thai house stands as a museum to the man who revived the Thai silk industry after the Second World War.

The story of James H.W. Thompson is one upon legends are made. After serving in the U.S.A. armed forces, Jim Thompson settled in Thailand and found the tremendous opportunity to re-establish the Thai silk industry. In recognition of his services to the country, he was bestowed the royal award of The Order of the White Elephant.

The company he founded, Jim Thompson Thai Silk, is recognized worldwide for its brilliant creations.

He was an avid collector of Asian artifacts and antiques and The Jim Thompson's House is possibly the epitome of his collection.

Before his mysterious disappearance in the Cameron Highland in Malaysia in 1967, his house was the talk of the town where he entertained his friends and visitors including the like of Somerset Maugham.

The house sits on approximately a half acre of land on Mahanak Canal. Ban Khrua village where his silk weavers lived and worked. Is just on the other side of the canal. To build the house he gathered 6 original traditional teak structure from different parts of the country and brought carpenter from Ayutthaya who completed the house in 1959.

The gardens are equally impressive with a lush tropical jungle imitatingnature's haphazard beauty right in the center of the city.

Jim Thompsons connoisseur collection of antiques and artifacts is on permanent exhibition, making this a magnificent museum of the lifestyle of the legend.

How to get there: BTS Skytrain to National Stadium Station
Bus routes 15, 32, 39, 53, 59, 70, 80, 82
Open daily: 9.00 am. to 5.00 pm.
Admission fee: Adult 100 baht, Child 50 baht.
Contact: Tel. 0 2216 7368 website : www.jimthompson.com

King Rama VI Statue
Located in front of Lumphini Park, the statue was sculpted by Professor Corado Feroci, or Silpa Bhirasri as he was called by his Thai name, who gave it a final touch on 7 June, 1941. It was open on 27 March, 1942.

Open : Daily
Admission : Free

Lumphini Park
The green zone in the city
This is where businessmen, tourists and Bangkok residents come to jog. Older folks practice their Tai Chi while others just relax in the fresh environment.

Lumphini Park was originally an open field called Sala Field, the private property of King Rama VI. In 1925 he donated it to the nation as the first public park. The name Lumphini comes from the birthplace of Lord Buddha. The park was used as a fair ground and as the site for The Siamrath Phiphithapan Trade Fair held to promote Thai products.
Covering an area of 58 hectares, Lumphini Park has so much to offer visitors right in the center of the city. The lush, green lawns are ideal for family picnics, while the two lakes have paddle and rowing boats for rent. Throughout the park there are vendors selling cool drinks and snacks. For the literary minded, there is a public library located within the park. Another way to exercise the brain is to sit at one of the many tables that are used for playing oriental board games such as checkers and Chinese chess.

During the cooler months of the year, December and January, there are free concerts titled Sundays in the park. These concerts feature a whole range of musical entertainment from The Bangkok Symphony Orchestra to rock bands, traditional ensembles and Thai country music called Luk Tung. The performances start at 5.00 p.m. and seating is on mats on the grass. Theearly bird gets the best position.
How to get there: BTS Sky Train to Saladaeng Station, Subway to Lumphini Station.
Bus routes 4,13, 22, 45, 47, 141
Open : Daily 5 am. - 8 pm.
Admission : Free

Museum of Imaging Technology
The first camera and photograph museum established in Thailand and Asia, is located at the same building as the Faculty of Science, Chulalongkorn University on Phaya Thai Road. Historic photographs and imaging equipment, as well as its technological evolution are collected and displayed. Modern photographic arts, techniques and printing technology are also exhibited.

Open : Mon - Fri from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Admission : 100 baht.
Contact : Tel : 0 2218 5581-3 website : www.chula.ac.th

Queen Saovabha Memorial Institute (Snake Farm)
The Queen Saovabha Memorial Institute is a popular attraction for both tourists and scientists, right in the heart of Bangkok. Here you can see some very venomous snakes actually doing good for the community.

Thailand is the habitat for many varieties of venomous snakes as well as harmless species. Under the auspices of the Thai Red Cross Society, the snake farm was established and officially opened on November 22, 1923 to extract venom from the snakes in order to study and develop anti-venom serum to treat snake bite victims.

The poisonous snakes that are indigenous to Thailand are cobra, king cobra, banded krait, Russell's viper, some pit vipers and sea snakes. These venomous snakes are provided by Thai farmers who are also snake catchers by profession. The snake farm pays them according to species and size.

The normal procedure for extracting the venom is through the use of a glass receptacle with a membrane cover. The snake handler holds the snake just behind the head and places the glass receptacle for the snake to bite into the membrane. The venom flows into the glass receptacle. The venom is then used to make the vaccines.

Visitors can see the extraction of the venom at scheduled times and wander through the breeding and holding areas to see the venomous snakes close at hand.How to get there: BTS Skytrain to Saladaeng Station, Subway to Samyan Station
Bus routes 4, 45, 47, 50, 67, 74, 76, 141, 501
Open : Mon. - Fri. from 8.30 a.m. - 4.30 p.m., Sat., Sun. and Public Holidays from 8.30 a.m. - 12 noon.
Venom extraction : Mon. - Fri. at 11 a.m. and 2.30 p.m. holidays at 11 a.m.
Slide presentation in English : 30 minutes before venom extraction.
Admission : 70 Baht
Contact : Tel. 0 2252 0161-4

Shopping Street - Siam Square to Chidlom
Bangkoks Fashion City

This is the major shopping area of Bangkok. It is very popular with tourists and Thais, particularly young, fashion-conscious Thai girls. The area started to develop around Siam Square in the late sixties when Chulalongkorn University utilized its land bank adjacent to the university.

Since then, it has continued to progress with new shopping centers being built even now. Starting from the Pathumwan junction it stretches all the way to Wireless Road.
The original development, Siam Square, is particularly popular with university students and young Thais who have just started their business careers. There is a well-used phrase on mobile phone calls Meet you at Siam. Opposite Siam Square is Siam Center which was the first western-style air-conditioned shopping complex in Thailand. Now this area has many other shopping complexes.

The next section in this area is around the Ratchadamri and Ratchaprasong intersection where there are a selection of 5-star hotels and major shopping complexes catering for the more up-market shoppers. Many of the worlds leading fashion designers have boutiques in this locale.

The Central World Plaza is the largest complex in this area and the site for Bangkoks New Year Countdown celebrations. During the cooler months of November to January, the major breweries sponsor the setting up of beer gardens on the plaza in front.
The last point on this Fashion City map is Central Chidlom, another upmarket department store. This is at the Chidlom and Lang Suan intersection. Soi Lang Suan has many condominiums and a variety of restaurants and bars catering to the more affluent members of society.

How to get there: Skytrain to Siam or Chidlom Stations
Bus routes 2, 15, 16, 21, 25, 29, 34, 40, 45, 47, 50, 54, 73, 79, 93, 141, 163,204, 508, 511, 513

Suan Lum Night Bazaar
A fun place to shop and dine

The Suan Lum Night Bazaar is a great place for an inexpensive night out that offers fabulous shopping, restaurant or food court dining, live entertainment and a superb choice of beers.

The shopping area is well laid out with neat streets lined on both sides with shops selling clothes, handicrafts, souvenirs, and a myriad of other items. There are alleyways between the main streets, which are crammed with smaller stalls offering great bargains. You'll be pleasantly surprised at what you might find here.
Spread throughout the complex, are many restaurants and bars. The range of cuisine is quite extensive including Thai and Chinese seafood, Indian, Japanese and German.

As you wander along the main street, you'll see The Joe Louis Puppet Theatre. This is truly unique. This is a puppet theatre presenting performances of the Ramakien. With three puppeteers manipulating each puppet. They are in full view of the audience and even come off the stage.

The main attraction at Suan Lum Night Bazaar is the huge beer garden andfood court covering an area about the size of two football fields. On three sides there are stall selling a delicious variety of food cooked before your eyes. There are also beer stalls on the right hand side offering all the local beers, many imported brands and some local brews from micro breweries in Bangkok and Chiang Mai.
The center piece is a large stage where the latest local and foreign hit songs are performed by a variety of singers with their back up dancers. Great entertainment for free. All the food and drink stalls operate on a coupon system so it is easy to keep track of your spending.

How to get there: Suan Lum Night Bazaar is on the corner of Wireless andRamaIV Roads. There is a Subway Station at Lumpini and the nearest BTS Skytrain station is Saladaeng.
Bus routes 4, 13, 14, 17, 22, 43, 45, 46, 47, 50, 62, 76, 109, 115, 116, 149, 173

Sukhumvit Road
Where the foreigners live and hang out

Sukhumvit Road runs all the way from the railway crossing at Ploenchit to the Cambodian Border in Trat. But the section from the first soi to Soi 55 is the one relevant to this presentation as it has much to offer visitors and locals alike.

There are restaurants all the way along Sukhumvit Road and in just about every side street. These cover just about every cuisine known to man. The area around Soi Nana at the beginning of Sukhumvit Road has many restaurants, particularly those serving Middle Eastern and Indian cuisine. This area is also well-known for its lively bar scene.
There are many hotels ranging from 5-star to cheaper establishment in the area from Soi Nana to Asoke Road. There are also a variety of international fast food restaurants as well as those serving French, Italian, Japanese and Korean in addition to Thai and Thai-Chinese meals. Another street of bars, Soi Cowboy, is just past Asoke Road.

The restaurants and hotels continue up Sukhumvit Road and all the side streets. There is a beautiful park, Benchasiri Park, just before you reach The Emporium, yet another high class shopping center. The condominiums in this area have a high number of expatriate Japanese families residing here, so there are more Japanese restaurants and bars in this locale. Some call it Little Tokyo.
Soi 55, also known as Soi Thonglor, is another street of restaurants and shops catering to the well-to-do. Opposite the entrance to Soi Thonglor on Sukhumvit Road, is a small soi that fills up at night with a multitude of food vendors and their carts serving supper into the early morning.

How to get there: BTS Skytrain has many stations. Subway Sukhumvit Station Bus routes 2, 23, 25, 38, 40, 48, 71, 98, 501, 508, 511, 513

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Prawet


King Rama IX Park

Enhancing the quality of life
King Rama IX Park is an expression of gratitude from the people of Bangkok to H.M. King Bumibol Adulyadej on the occasion of his 60th birthday in 1987.

The 200 acre park is Thailand's first comprehensive botanical garden, providing a relaxing environment. It has six distinct areas, each with its own specific theme.

The Garden of the Great King or Uthayan Maharaj, symbolizes the Sovereign Grace and Majesty is the first and most important area.

Area two is the botanical garden where research is conducted on varies types of flora and the knowledge gained is passed on.

The Reservoir at area three is named Traphang Keo and truly exemplifies His Majestys efforts to mitigate flooding in Bangkok as it adds to the effectiveness of the project he has proposed.

The Rommaniya Garden" in area four is an open garden with miniature reproductions of Thailand's natural heritage including mountains and other geological features.

Area five is an open field for use for entertainment and festival purposes. It is called Sanam Rasdara which means Royal Ground.

There are mixed jungle and wetlands providing habitats for fish and waterfowl in area six.

In addition to these main areas, there are also seven international miniature gardens that were created with the assistance of experts from each of the countries represented.

How to get there: Bus routes 145, 206, 207
Open : Daily 5 am. to 5 pm.
Admission : 10 Baht
Tel : 0 2328 1395

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Phaya Thai

District Phaya Thai

Philatelic Museum
Remember the days before fax, internet and sms messages when all correspondence was placed in an envelop and taken to the post office where you bought stamps and stuck them in the top right hand corner of the envelop? If it was urgent, you paid a little bit more and the man put an Airmail sticker in the top left hand corner.

The Philatelic Museum takes you through the history of the postal service in Thailand and the world. There are displays of all the Thai stamps and First Day Covers up until today. There is also a collection of stamps from around the world.

The postal service keeps evolving as new technology and logistics systems emerge. But for most of the people of Thailand and the world, it is still an essential service. Who doesn't look forward to opening the mail? And who is not intrigued when they see a stamp from a foreign land?

The Philatelic Museum is the place to visit for stamp collectors and all who have an interest in postal services.

How to get there:
Bus routes 8, 26, 27, 29, 34, 38, 96, 97
BTS Skytrain to Saphan Khwai station.

Opening times : Tuesday to Saturday 9 am. - 4 pm.

Admission fee : Free

Tel : 0 2271 2439

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Phra Nakorn

Khon Masked Dance at Sala Chalermkrung Theatre
Khon is Thailand's classical masked dance that is regarded as one of the most refined of performing arts. It was originally limited to the royal court. Performances are extremely expensive to produce, requiring lavish costumes, elaborate masks and headgear, and stage accessories that require highly skilled craftsmen to create. The scenes performed in the traditional Khon are taken from the Ramakien, a series of significant episodes in Thai literature based on the Indian epic of classical mythology the Ramayana that greatly influenced the literature of almost all nations in Southeast Asia.

Khon at Sala Chalermkrung is performed every Thuesday, Friday and Saturday at 8.30 pm. Tickets cost 1,000 baht and 1,200 baht. Call Sala Chalermkrung at Tel: 0 2224 4499 or Thaiticketmaster at Tel: 0 2262 3456 or visit www.thaiticketmaster.com for reservation.

Bang Lamphu
One of the oldest parts of town
Bang Lamphu district has become famous over recent years due to the emergence of Khao San Road as the popular destination for the worlds young budget travellers. The area has an interesting history as it is located in the Rattanakosin Island area.

It gets its name from the lamphu trees that used to grow here. This tree has vertical roots and is a favourite gathering spot for fireflies. The canal that makes Bang Lamphu part of Rattanakosin Island was dug during the reign of King Rama I and has had many names including Klong Ong Ang because there used to be a community here making the big earthenware pots called ong.
The first palace was built here by Princess Chakjesda, a relative of King Rama I. Although the palace has now gone, a small part of a wall remains on Phra Sumen Road, opposite the hexagonal-shaped Phra Sumen Fort. This fort is one of the original 13 constructed to defend Bangkok.

Bang Lamphu has been the location of many of the major events in Thailand's recent history. The Democracy Monument on Ratchadamnoen Klang Road has been the rallying point for many political movements. There is a house on Phra Arthit Road, where Pridi Banomyong lived when he established the Seri Thai organization to fight the Japanese occupation during World War II.
Today, Bang Lamphu is an interesting mix of buildings built over a century ago in the colonial style side by side with modern buildings and shop houses. It is well worth a visit to what is possibly Bangkok's first suburb.

Bank of Thailand Museum

Bank of Thailand Museum is located in the Bang Khun Phrom Palace, one of the splendid historical sites in Bangkok with artistic beauty in architectural designs and decorative arts. The Palace has a long history tracking back to nearly one hundred years. It was originally a royal residence of H.R.H. Prince Baripatra Sukhumbhand, a son of H.M. King Chulalongkorn and H.M. Queen Sukhumala Marasri, and was a government office for a period of time until 1945, when it became the office premise of the Bank of Thailand and was renovated to house the Bank of Thailand Museum in 1992. The opening ceremony of the Museum was graciously presided over by H.M. the King and the Queen on January 9, 1993.

The main objective of the Museum is to preserve Thai currency, one of our important cultural heritages, as well as to stimulate the research and study on the history and evolution of Thai currency. The exhibitions started from the prehistoric medium of exchange the ancient currency, used in different eras up until the present day. In addition, it also highlights the roles and responsibilities of the Bank of Thailand, the governors, as well as the history of Bang Khun Phrom Palace and H.R.H. Prince Baripatra Sukhumbhands life. The exhibitions compose of 14 rooms such as:
Ancient Coins Room: The exhibition in this room dated back to the prehistoric era when medium of exchange such as shells or beads were used as money until the introduction of coins, including Funan coins, Dvaravati coins, Sri Vijaya coins, as well as Lanna and Lanchang money, which had been used before the Kingdom of Thailand was found.

Pot Duang Room displays Pot Duang coins, circulated from Sukhothai period up to the reign of King Rama V of Rattanakosin period, as well as their methods of productions.
Thai Coins Room displays Thai flat coins which were initiated by King Rama III up to the present day.
Thai Banknotes Room displays the evolution of the Thai paper money from the first issuance of paper money called Mai in King Rama IV reign through the issuance of banknotes series circulated in the present day, including the commemorative banknotes issued on special occasions.
Gold and Commemorative Coins Room displays commemorative gold coins, silver coins, nickel coins, gold bond, as well as gold bullions which are used as currency reserves.
Bank of Thailand 60th Anniversary Room displays the history, the roles and responsibilities of the Bank of Thailand as well as the important events of the Bank, in chronology.
Baripatra Memorial Room displays the life, works, activities, and the talents of H.R.H. Prince Baripatra Sukhumbhand.

Admission requirements:
1. Free admission.
2. Please dress respectfully and take off shoes before entering the Bang Khun Phrom Palace Building.
3. Visitors should not touch exhibited items and display cases.
4. Photography is not permitted inside the Museum.
5. Smoking is strictly prohibited.
6. Food and beverages are not allowed in the Museum.
7. Avoid making excessive noise during the visit.

How to visit the Museum
The museum is open for pre-arranged group visitors from 9.30 a.m. 4.00 p.m. Monday to Friday. Please contact the Museum at least one week in advance at

The Bank of Thailand Museum
273 Samsen Road, Bang Khun Phrom,
Bangkok, 10200
Tel. 0 2283 5286, 0 2283 6723, 0 2283 5265
Fax. 0 2283 5283

Khao San Road
Where the worlds young travellers meet.
Khao San Road is a favourite crossroads for the young travellers on a budget. It has evolved over the last two decades from just one small hostel providing low-budget accommodation become one of the worlds most well-known destinations. It has been featured in many movies and television documentaries.

During the day, Khao San Road is the scene for back-packers looking for a cheap room while others are arranging transport to their next destination in Thailand or overseas. Some will be just chatting with friends over a cup of coffee or a bowl of noodles.
At night, it turns into a lively thoroughfare lined with street stalls selling cheap clothes, handicrafts, souvenirs and thousands of other items. The lights are on at the many bars where the travellers tell tales of the days adventures and discoveries and the plans for tomorrow. Khao San Road is not just for foreign travellers, many young Thai people like to hang out there, including members of the TV and film production industries.

The location is very convenient for visiting the many tourist attractions on Rattanakosin Island. It is just a 10-minute walk to Sanam Luang and The Grand Palace.

During April when Thais celebrate the Songkran Festival, Khao San Road becomes a fun-filled battleground as everyone, Thais and foreigners indulge in splashing each other with water.
The area is also well-known for the wide variety of inexpensive food. This ranges from spicy Thai Tom Yum Gung soup to the ever-popular banana pancake.

How to get there:
Bus routes 3, 9, 32, 64, 39, 44, 53, 59, 503, 509, 511

King Rama I the Great Memorial
Built in commemoration of Bangkoks 150th anniversary celebrations in 1932, the monument is situated at the foot of Pathom Boromrachanuson or Rama I the Great Memorial Bridge on the Bangkok side. King Rama I was the first king in the Royal House of Chakri and founder of Bangkok as the capital of the Kingdom of Siam, as Thailand was formerly known. He was born in Ayutthaya, one of Thailand's former capitals, on 20 March, 1736, accessed to the throne on 6 April, 1782, and passed away 27 years later.

Open : Daily

Admission : Free

King Rama III Memorial
The monument was built by the Fine Arts Department in 1990 near the Royal Reception Pavilion in front of Wat Ratchanatdaram on Ratchadamnoen Road. The bronze statue, half larger than life size, is seated on a throne. The surrounding area is decorated with beautiful plants, with the Royal Reception Pavilion and three minor pavilions known as Sala Rai nearby.

Open : Daily

Admission : Free

Maenam Chao Phraya
The Chao Phraya River is the most important waterway in Thailand. Boats of all sizes ply this river ranging from huge container ships that berth at Klong Toey Port to small dugouts. Its most recognized water transporters are the rice barges and the long-tail boats. Then there are cross river ferries and the river express boats serving as water-born buses bringing commuters to the city from as far up-river as Nonthaburi.

A cruise on the Chao Phraya River gives you a new perspective on Bangkok as you pass by the imposing Prangs of Wat Arun, the majestic Grand Palace and the Temple of The Emerald Buddha.

You'll see a different side of commerce as huge lines of rice barges are towed by a small tugboat and other barges carrying cargo as diverse as sand and gravel, even soft drinks and beer.

There are a number of ways you can experience life on the river. You can take a voyage on a luxuriously converted rice barge leaving from Bangkok on a leisurely journey all the way up to the ancient capital at Ayutthaya. There are also purpose-built luxury cruisers making the same trip. Or you can see the river life the same way the locals do by catching a river express boat.

There are converted rice barges and Chinese junks that offer lunch and dinner cruises. The evening dinner cruise can be particularly romantic, sipping fine wine at a candle-lit table.

For those who want a more budget-priced journey, there are small river boats that are available for hire by the hour

Monument to the Expeditionary Force
Near a northern corner of Sanam Luang stands a monument to the Thai expeditionary force that fought in the European battlefield during World War I. After war broke out in 1914, Thailand joined the Allied Army to declare war on Germany and sent militia to Europe on 20 June, 1918. Upon their return to Thailand on 21 September, 1919, the ashes of dead veterans were taken to be enshrined here on 24 September, 1919.

Open : Daily

Admission : Free

National Gallery Museum
Situated on Chao Fa Road opposite the National Theatre, the museum exhibits traditional and contemporary works of art created by Thai artists.

Open : Wed-Sun from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Admission : 30 baht.

Tel : 0 2281 2224, 0 2282 2639-40

Pak Khlong Talat
London has its Covent Garden, Paris has Les Halles, Bangkok has Pak Khlong Talat which is the biggest fresh flower market in the city.

The Thai people have a great appreciation for fresh flowers, both for the beauty and the fragrance. This is where those who have time and the florists come to buy their flowers at wholesale prices.

The variety includes roses, daisies and more exotic species such as orchids in every colour and shade imaginable.

Most of the flowers are grown in the neighbouring provinces of Nakhon Prathom, Samut Sakon and Samut Songkram although the best roses come from the cooler climate in Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai.

Unfortunately, the main activities at the market take place late at night and in the early morning but there are flower sellers there all day and in the surrounding streets.

How to get there: Chao Phraya River Express to Pak Khlong Talat Pier.
Bus routes 2, 5, 8, 53, 60,73, 512

Rommaninat Park
This is a public park built on the old prison grounds on Mahachai Road near Wat Suthat. The Corrections Museum inside the park displays instruments of punishment and evolution of punishment in Thailand.

Open : Park - Daily from 5 a.m. - 8 p.m.

Museum - Thu. - Sat from 8.30 a.m. - 4.30 p.m.

Admission : Free

Sanam Luang or Thung Phra Men
A vast open ground situated near the northern wall of the Grand Palace and the eastern wall of the former Viceroy Palace or Wang Na. At the time when Bangkok was first established, the ground was a rice field and was sometimes used as a location for a royal crematorium, Phra Men in Thai. The ground was, thus, otherwise called as Thung Phra Men which means the crematorium ground. In considering that the name was inauspicious, King Rama IV had the ground renamed as Thong Sanam Luang, or the Royal Ground, and the rice farming there cancelled. Later, King Rama V had the Wang Nas eastern wall demolished and the area of Sanam Luang enlarged to cover a total of 78 rai as it does nowadays. The place has been used as the crematorium ground for kings, members of the royal family and nobility, in addition, to being a royal sporting ground. The king also had 365 tamarind trees planted around it.

Open : Daily

Admission : Free

Saranrom Park
Located near the Grand Palace between Rachini and Charoenkrung roads, this park was originally a royal garden in the Saranrom Palace. At the south end of the park is a marble monument dedicated to HM Queen Sunantha Kumareerat and HRH Prince Kannaporn Phetcharat, who died in a boating accident in the reign of King Rama V.

Open : Daily from 5 a.m. - 8 p.m.

Admission : Free

The City Pillar Shrine
According to an old Thai tradition, a city pillar had to be built upon the establishment of a new city. King Rama I had the Bangkok city pillar erected near the Temple of the Emerald Buddha on Sunday, 21 April, 1782, with the citys horoscope inside. The original pillar was made of cassia wood known as Chaiyaphruek, measuring 75 cm. in diameter and 27 cm. high. In the reign of King Rama IV, the old dilapidated pillar was replaced by a new one made of the same kind of wood, measuring 270 cm. high and standing on a base of 175 cm. wide, sheltered by a Prang-shaped shrine as it appears today. The shrine also houses images of protective deities including Thepharak, Chaopho Ho Klong, Phra Suea Mueang, Phra Song Mueang, Chaopho Chetakhup and Phra Kan Chai Si.

Open : Daily

Admission : Free

The Grand Palace
Every visitor to Bangkok should see the magnificent buildings within the Grand Palace compound to get a feeling of the grandeur architectural style.

Since the founding of Bangkok as the Nations capital by King Rama I, The Grand Palace has been the major architectural symbol of The Thai Royal Family. In the present time, The Royal Family resides at Chitralada Palace while The Grand Palace is used for ceremonial purposes.

The main buildings within the Grand Palace compound were built for King Rama V, who was the first Thai King to travel to Europe.

Phra Thinang Chakri Maha Prasat, built in 1877 by King Rama V as his Royal Residence, is the most highly recognized architectural landmark of the Nation. The central Throne Hall, which was formerly used for the reception of foreign envoys, is flanked by reception areas decorated with galleries of portraiture. The central room on the second floor is used as a shrine for the reliquary ashes of Kings Rama IV, Rama V, Rama VI, Rama VII and Rama VIII.

Borom Phiman Mansion was also constructed during the reign of King Rama V. When his son, King Rama VI ascended to the throne, he had it improved for use as his residence. The three succeeding Kings also resided here at one time or another.

The Siwalai Gardens, where the office of The Royal Household Bureau is located, were used for receptions as well as a recreation area for the royal women and children.

Maha Monthien Prasat houses The Audience Hall of Amarin Winitchai where ceremonies of the Court usually take place in front of the throne surmounted by its canopy of nine tiers of white cloth.

How to go there:The most enjoyable route is to take the BTS Skytrain to Taksin Station. From here take a Chao Phraya River Express boat to Tha Chang Wang Luang Pier. It is a short walk from the pier to the entrance to The Grand Palace public entrance.

Opening Hours: Open to the public everyday, except during special Royal Ceremonies, from 8.30 a.m. to 3.30 p.m.

Admission Fee: Baht 250. This also includes admission to Wat Phra Kaeo, The Royal Thai Decorations & Coins Pavilion in the same compound and to Vimanmek Mansion Museum on Ratchawithi Road. Baht 100. for rental personal audio guide in English, French, German, Spanish, Russian, Japanese or Mandarin.

Dress Code: Visitors are required to dress appropriately. Thus the following dress - code (applicable to both ladies and gentlemen) is requested:
1. Shorts, mini-skirts, short skirts, tight fitting trousers, as well as tights can not be worn as outer garments.
2. See-through shirts and blouses, as well as culottes or quarter length trousers can not be worn.
3. Sleeveless shirts or vests can not be worn as outer garments.
4. Sandals (without ankle or heel straps) can not be worn.
5. All shirt sleeves, whether long or short, can not be rolled up.
6. Sweat shirts and sweat pants, wind-cheaters, pajamas and fisherman trousers can not be worn.
Contacts:
Tel : 0 2623 5500, 0 2222 0094, 0 2222 6889
Website : www.palaces.thai.net

The National Museum
A visit to the National Museum reveals the history of Thailand And how people lived during the different periods. It gives you a view through the windows of the past.

The National Museum, located on the opposite side of Sanam Luang to The Grand Palace, was established in 1887 by King Rama V. The foundation collection was previously stored at The Grand Palace. The original building was formerly the palace of a vice-ruler.

King Rama VII placed it under the administration of the Royal Institute of Literature, Archeology and Fine Arts which has evolved to be the Fine Arts Department.

New buildings were constructed in 1967 and other historical buildings relocated to the museum grounds.

The Buddhaisawan Chapel was built in 1787 to enshrine a revered northern Buddha image called Phra Buddha Si Hing. The interior has exceptional murals, while the building itself is a fine example of Rattanakosin religious architecture.

Tamnak Daeng is another building that has been moved to the Museum. This Red House was originally the residence of an elder sister of King Rama I. Furniture and other items from early Bangkok times.

The National Museum collection encompasses a wide range of religious and secular art found throughout the country. Items from pre-historic times, through the Srivijaya, Dvaravati, Khmer Kingdoms and the Sukhothai, Ayutthaya and Rattanakosin periods of Thai history.

These include Neolithic tools, painted pots and bronze objects unearthed in the northeast. Thai Buddhist art exhibits feature images in stone, bronze and terracotta as well as illustrated scripture books manuscript cabinets and votive plaques.

The Museum also has a large collection of miscellaneous items such as Thai and Chinese ceramics, theatrical costumes, palanquins, weapons and assorted items used in royal households.

Guided tours are given free by volunteers in English and French starting at 9.30 a.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Tours are also given in German on Thursdays and in Japanese on Wednesdays of the first & the third week of each month. Guided tours in some other languages can be arranged.

How to get there: The most enjoyable route is to take the BTS Skytrain to Taksin Station. From here take a Chao Phraya River Express boat to Tha Phrachan Pier. Walk straight from the pier to Sanam Luang Park and turn left past Thammasat University to the museum. By Bus No. 3, 6, 9, 15, 19, 30, 32, 33, 43, 53, 59, 64, 65, 70, 80, 84 Air Condition Bus No. 3, 6, 7, 38, 39, 80, 82, 91 Airport Bus No. A2

Opening hours : Wednesday to Sunday from 9.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m.

Admission fee : 40 baht

Contact : The National Museum Bangkok Na Phrthat Rd., Phra Borommaharachawang Sub-district, Phra Nakorn District, Bangkok 10200

Tel : 0 2224 1333, 0 2224 1370 www.thailandmuseum.com

Vimanmek Mansion Museum
This is the world's largest golden teak building located in the compound of the Dusit Palace on Ratchawithi Road. The three-storey royal mansion has 81 rooms, halls and ante-chambers containing fin de siecle royal memorabilia. A guided tour in English is provided to visitors.
Other beautiful buildings in the same compound display various items and art objects; for example, H.M. King Bhumibols photography, H.M. Queen Sirikits collection of handicraft masterpieces created by rural people, paraphernalia of rank and portraits, old clocks, ancient cloth, and royal carriages.

Open : Daily from 9.30 a.m. - 4.30 p.m. Tickets are sold till 3.15 p.m.

Thai dancing shows : Daily at 10.30 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Admission : 100 baht

Proper attire is required

Tel : 0 2628 6300-9 ext. 5119 - 5121, 0 2281 5455, 0 2281 6880 www.palaces.thai.net

Wat Bowon Niwet
This 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 molded in about 1357. This is one of the most important temples of Bangkok, whose one-time chief abbot was King Rama IV before he ascended the throne. King Rama IV and King Rama VII, as well as His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej had resided here during their monkshood.

Open : Daily from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Admission : Free

Tel : 0 2281 2831-3

Wat Intharawihan
It is an awesome feeling to stand before this Buddha image that reaches to the sky at 32 metres tall.

During the reign of King Rama I he suppressed a rebellion in Laos and brought members of the Lao royal family to settle in this area. One of these was Chao Inthawong, who was a devout Buddhist, helped to restore the local temple which is now Wat Intharawihan.

In 1867, Somdej Phra Buddhachan started the construction of this giant Buddha called Luang Pho To, logs and structural steel were used as alternate abutments. After his death in 1872 construction continued until completion in 1927. This spanned the reigns of King Rama IV to King Rama VII.

Luang Pho To stands 32 metres tall and is 11 metres wide. As it faces east, it is best photographed in morning light.

On two occasions, in 1964 and 1967, Their Majesties The King, The Queen and their children covered this statue of Buddha at the Topknot and forehead with gold leaves.

The Topknot contains relics of The Lord Buddha which were donated by the Government of Sri Lanka and placed there in 1978 by H.R.H The Crown Prince Vachiralongkorn.

For Bangkoks Bi-Centennial Celebrations in 1982, the then Abbot, Phra Khru Woraphattikhun carried out restoration including decoration with 24 K golden mosaics from Italy.

Devotees believe that Luang Pho To can bless everyone with success, particularly if they present the head of a mackerel fish, a boiled egg and a lei of flowers.

How to get there: Bus routes 10, 49

Open daily : 8.30 a.m. - 8 p.m.

Admission : Free

Tel : 0 2628 5550-2

Wat Mahathat
This old temple was built in the reign of King Rama I. Located on Na Phrathat Road near Thammasat University, the temple houses Mahachulalongkorn Buddhist University, one of the two highest seats of Buddhist learning in Thailand and also offers meditation classes for foreigners.

Open : Daily from 7 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Admission : Free

Tel : 0 2222 6011; Meditation Centre Tel : 0 2623 5613, 0 2623 6326

Wat Pho

This is possibly the most interesting temple in Thailand as it combines history, medical science and is a center for meditaion and traditional massage training. Its official name is Wat Phrachetuphon Vimon Mangkararam Ratchaworamahawihan, although it is commonly called Wat Po.

Founded during the 16th century, Wat Pho is most famous for the golden reclining Buddha that measues 46 metres and has feet inlaid with mother-of pearl. This is the main attraction that draws visitors to the temple. In more modern times, Wat Pho has gained international recognition as a meditation centre and for the traditional Thai massage that is both practiced and taught here.

Traditionally, temples were the schools as there was no formal education system, with monks providing basic lesson in both spiritual and secular subjects. King Rama III turned Wat Po into a major centre for learning in botany, geography and history.

Bas reliefs around one of the main buildings depict the story of the Ramakian which is the Thai adaption of the Indian Ramayana.

For those interested in traditional Thai medicine, there is a pavilion that serves to both impart knowledge and provide treatment. The walls have marble tablets describing basic anatomy and treatments. In the late afternoon, traditional medicine practitioners are there to dispense herbal mixtures. Nearby, there is a cloister where you can have a traditional Thai massage for a very small payment.

How to get there: Bus routes 1, 3, 12, 25, 47, 53, 60, 82, 91, 501, 508

Open daily : 8.30 a.m. - 5.00 p.m.

Admission : 20 baht

Tel : 0 2222 1969 ; Thai Massage School : 0 2221 3686 www.watpho.com

Wat Ratchabophit
The 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 ideas and a desire to experiment with them. The exterior of the chapel is in the Thai style, but the interior is decorated in the European style.

Open : Daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Admission : Free

Tel : 0 2221 0904, 0 2222 3930

Wat Ratchanatdaram
Located on Mahachai Road, the temple was built in the reign of King Rama III in 1846. Loha Prasat, the temples main attraction, standing 36 metres high with 37 surrounding spires, is the only one of its kind left in the world. Next to the temple is the area for welcoming an important foreign guest and a memorial statue of King Rama III.

Open : Daily from 8 a.m.- 5 p.m.

Admission : Free

Tel : 0 2224 8807, 0 2225 5749

Wat Ratchapradit Sathitmahasimaram
Situated to the north of Saran Rom Park, the temple is relatively small and covers a total area of approximately 2 rai. It was built in the reign of King Rama IV who intended it to be a temple in the Dhammayutika Sect as well as to be one of the 3 major temples as required by an old tradition to be situated within the capital. The place was originally a royal coffee plantation in the reign of King Rama III. With his personal donation, King Rama IV bought the plantation and had a small temple constructed there, naming it Wat Ratchapradit Sathitthammayutikaram. Later, he had the name changed to Wat Ratchapradit Sathitmahasimaram. A place of interest in this temple is Phra Wihan Luang - the royal image hall - which houses mural paintings depicting The Royal Ceremonies over 12 Months and legend of the solar eclipse phenomenon.

Open : Daily from 8 a.m.- 6 p.m.

Admission : Free

Tel : 0 2222 0855

Bangkok Dolls & Museum

Wat Suthat and the Giant Swing

A visit to Wat Suthat Thep Wararam, situated almost in the center of old Bangkok, gives you an opportunity to see both the Giant Swing and one of the first-class Royal temples. The surrounding area is also worth exploring as there are many shops selling religious items.

The building of the temple was commissioned by King Rama I, the founder of Bangkok, in 1807. Its location in the center of Rattanakosin Island. This was in keeping with the Buddhist belief that it is like Mount Phra Sumeru being the center of the universe. Phra Sri Sakayamunee, the principal Buddha image, was moved from Wat Mahathat in Sukhothai to be placed in Phra Wihan Luang in Wat Suthat in 1808.

Wat Suthat is surrounded by an impressive wall 1.94 metres high and 0.85 metres thick. There are a total of 15 doorways leading into the temple compound. Within the temple grounds the most important building is the Phra Wihan Luang which is the Royal Temple. The mural paintings, covering all the interior walls are some of the finest to be seen anywhere. Each has stone inscriptions describing the pictures.

Surrounding the Royal Temple is Phra Wihan Khot terrace which is really impressive with 156 Buddha statues, mostly in the seated meditative attitude called Smathi.

The chapel, Phra Ubosot at Wat Suthat is possibly the most beautiful in Thailand and is also the largest measuring 72.25 metres in length and 22.60 metres in width.

There are four pavilions (sala) within the compound that are elevated to the height of the temples walls. These are used for various royal functions and for viewing the previous functions at the Giant Swing in front of the temple.

The annual ceremony was held up until the 1930s but was discontinued to the high fatality rate as young men tried to swing high enough to grab a sack of gold on a pole about 25 metres in the air.

How to get there: Bus routes 12, 15, 42, 73, 96, 508

Open daily: 8.30 am. to 9.00 pm.

Admission fee: Baht 20

Contact: Tel: 02 224 9845
Website: www.watsuthat.org

Wat Thepthidaram
Located on Mahachai Road, the 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 monkshood from 1840 - 1842.

Open : Daily from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Admission : Free

Tel : 0 2222 5067

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Pom Prap Sattru Phai

King Prajadhipok Museum
It was during the reign of King Prajadipok as King Rama VII that Thailand changed from an absolute monarchy to a constitutional monarchy. This museum presents the life and tumultuous times of The Kings reign.
The building, constructed in 1906, was initially an imported clothing store called John Simpson Store designed in the Neo-classical style by Charles Beguelin, a French-Swiss architect. It later became a hardware store and then headquarters of the Public Works Department.
The museum has nine permanent exhibition halls covering various subjects in a sequence.The first hall introduces you to the line of succession under the Chakri Dynasty from King Rama I up to H.M. King Rama IX, the current King.
King Prajadipoks life before his accession to the throne in the second hall, informs about his youth, education, ordination, marriage and government service.
His coronation is shown in photographs and royal activities in areas of national development and foreign relations are shown in the next exhibits.
The preparations for and the celebrations marking the 1932 150th anniversary of the founding of the Chakri Dynasty are next.
1932 was the year of the turning point in Thailands political history when under pressure from a political party,the King consented to the change from an absolute monarchy to a democratic constitutional monarchy.
The Conferment of The Constitution exhibit hall informs you about the Kings prior intent to bestow upon the nation a constitution.
King Prajadipoks personal effects are displayed including items on films, music, sports and writings, revealing his personal tastes. The final exhibition shows his life after abdication and his final years in England.
The King Prajadipok Museum is a very informative source of information on Thailand during this significant period.

How to get there: Bus routes 2, 15, 39, 44, 47, 60, 79, 511, 512. Saensaep Canal Express Boat service to Phanfa pier.
Opening times: Tuesday to Sunday and public Holidays from 9.00 am. to 4.00 pm.

Admission fee : 40 baht

Tel : 0 2280 3413-14, 0 2280 3445-6

Email : kpm@kpi.ac.th

Website : www.kpi.ac.th/museum

Wat Sa Ket and The Golden Mount
This landmark, on the only hill in Bangkok, is of great significance for all followers of The Lord Buddha. 320 stairs take you up to the top for panoramic views of the Rattanakosin Island.

The Golden Mount is on a man-made hill with a diameter of 500 metres and soars 100 metres to the sky. There was a small chedi on this site and after it collapsed, King Rama III commissioned the constructed of a much larger one which was completed during the reign of King Rama V.

In 1877, King Rama V brought the Buddha relic in the custody of the Royal Chakri family from the Grand Palace to the Royal Pavilion at Wat Saket. It was then enshrined in the in the pagoda on top of the Golden Mount.

Two decades later, Marquis Curzon, the British Viceroy of India, presented more Buddha relics near the Nepalese border to King Rama V. These were enshrined in a bronze pagoda in 1899 and installed on the top of the Golden Mount.

The temple, Wat Saket, was built during the reign of King Rama I and is the location for a festival each November that includes a climb to the top of the Golden Mount.

How to get there: Bus route 15, 37, 47, 49

Open daily : 7.30 am. - 5.30 pm.

Admission : 10 baht

Tel : 0 2621 0576

Wat Suthat and The Giant Swing
Located on Bamrung Muang Road, this temple is noted for its superb 19th century murals in the main chapel. The distinctive Giant Swing outside the temple was once used in Brahmanic ceremonies long since discontinued. Nearby shops stock a very comprehensive range of Buddhist religious supplies.

Open : Daily from 8.30 a.m. - 9 p.m.

Admission : 20 baht

Tel : 0 2221 4026 Fax : 0 2222 6935 www.watsuthat.org

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Ratchatewi

Bangkok Dolls & Museum
Bangkok Dolls have won several awards for their creations. A single-storey workshop and Doll Museum in the Chandavimol family compound at 85 Soi Ratchataphan (Soi Mo Leng) in Bangkoks Makkasan district is the magnet for several visitors who wish to inspect these miniature creations in all their wondrous variety.

Open : Mon - Sat from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Admission : Free

Tel : 0 2245 3008

Geological Resource Museum (Minerals and Rocks Museum)
Located on the first floor of the Emerald Building next to the Department of Mineral Resources on Rama VI Road, the museum is attached to the Bureau of Geological Survey, Department of Mineral Resources, and was established in 1948. It exhibits minerals, rocks, fossils as well as ancient tools made from minerals and rocks in 3 sections: 1. Geology, featuring the Earth, plate movements, earthquakes, minerals and rocks, geological surveys, ground water and fossils; 2. Mineral Resources, displaying specimens of gemstones and precious stones, uses of minerals, mineral fuels, petroleum and minerals from abroad; 3. Special Exhibition, currently showcasing dinosaur fossils in Thailand. The museum is open on weekdays during 9 a.m.-4.30 p.m. Admission is free but advance contact in writing addressed to the Director-General of the Department of Mineral Resources is required.

Open : Mon to Fri from 8.30 a.m. - 4.30 p.m.

Admission : Free

Tel : 0 2202 3669, 0 2202 3670 Fax 0 2202 3754 www.dmr.go.th

Pratunam
Pratunam is one of the older shopping areas in Bangkok that has a highly-deserved reputation among bargain shoppers.

Passing through the area, you will see many shops on the main roads. But the real activity is in the market hidden behind the stalls and shops. Here youll find a huge variety of low cost clothes, fashion accessories, shoes, watches, electronic gadgets and all sorts of souvenirs. It is usually very congested as there are many eager shoppers looking for their bargains.

Pratunam is the location for Thailand's tallest building, the Baiyok Tower. This is the major wholesale center for the garment trade. It is very popular with minor and major international traders, particularly those from Africa. There is even an African restaurant nearby.

Bargain hunters looking for good deals on computers, accessories and software flock to Pantip Plaza, which is now known throughout the world for its low prices.

How to get there: Bus routes 2, 11, 23, 60, 62, 72, 93, 140, 511, 512

Suan Pakkad Palace
A visit to this exquisite collection of traditional Thai homes, set in beautiful gardens, gives you an insight into the appreciation of art and gardening by members of the Royal Family.

Named after the cabbage patch (Suan Pakkad) which used to occupy this land, it was built as a weekend resort by HRH Prince Chombhotpong Paripatra of Nagor Svarga and his consort, Mom Ratchawong Pantip. They took up permanent residence there after World War II.

The compound contains seven traditional houses that display the diverse art collection assembled by these connoisseurs. Images of the Thai Royal Family, model boats, drums and religious artifacts are displayed in House 1.

The reception area of House 2 exhibits personal items such as ivory boxes and bowls inlaid with mother-of pearl. Lovers of Thai musical instruments will be impressed by the collection in House 3 which also has a palanquin, nielloware and ceramics.

Princess Chumbhots extensive mineral collection is on show in House 4, while House 5 has examples of Ban Chiang pottery. The Sukhothai era is depicted with ceramics, earthenware utensils and figurines in House 6.

The theatrical aspect of Thailand is on display at the Khon Museum is House 7. This exhibit includes Khon masks, costumes, accessories and a model of a troupe performing the Ramakien.

Other displays and exhibitions are in the Lacquer Pavilion and the Marasi Gallery which also has an information system on Ban Chiang art and culture.

How to get there: Bus routes 14, 17, 38, 77
BTS Skytrain : Phaya Thai station.

Open : Daily from 9 am. - 4 pm.

Admission : 100 baht

Tel : 0 2245 4934, 0 2246 1775-6 www.suanpakkad.com

Thai Labour Museum
This museum is located at the former office of the State Railway of Thailand Labour Union on Nikhom Rotfai Road, Makkasan, Ratchathewi. It exhibits a historical background of Thai labour in 7 rooms: Room 1, slave labour and corvée system the foundation of ancient Thai society presenting the history of Thai labour since ancient times; Room 2, Chinese coolies - early hire workers - featuring their way of life; Room 3, labour and the country's reforms in the reign of King Rama V a major transitional period in Thai history; Room 4, labourers and the 1932 Revolution labourers before and after the revolution; Room 5, from World War to the Cold War Thai labour under critical situations during World War II and the Cold War; Room 6, from the 14 October uprising to the economic crisis life of Thai workers during the pro-democracy period, women and child labour, truck drivers and boxers; Room 7, labour artist Chit Phumisak dedicated to Chit Phumisak, a significant thinker and intellectual. The exhibition in each room is displayed through various media such as television, slides and computer, which make it more interesting and easier to understand. The museum also provides a library service with books and research reports about labourers and computer training for workers.

Open : Wed - Sun from 10 a.m. 4.30 p.m. (except Mon Tue and national holidays)

Admission : Free

Tel : 0 2251 3173.

Victory Monument
The monument is situated on Phahonyothin Road. It was constructed in 1941 under the premiership of Field Marshal Plaek Pibulsongkhram in order to praise the heroic deeds of soldiers, policemen and civilians who sacrificed their lives in a dispute between Thailand and France on the demarcation between Thailand and other Indochinese nations. The dispute ended with a compromise being agreed by the two parties, and 59 casualties. Victory Monument was, therefore, established as a memorial to their bravery.

Open : Daily

Admission : Free

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Samphan Thawong

China Town

The largest outside of China
Chinatown is a bustling, crowded area where you can buy just about anything day or night.

The main thoroughfare through Chinatown is Yaowarat Road, which is approximately 1.5 kilometres in length. It was built during the reign of King Rama V. On each side of the road, there is a network of streets and alleys lined with shops selling all sorts of things. In many of these streets, you'll find shops side by side selling the same items.

There is an old fresh food market called Trok Isarnuphap where leading chefs from all over Bangkok shop for the finest and freshest ingredients for their restaurant menus.
The largest outside of China
Chinatown is a bustling, crowded area where you can buy just about anything day or night.

The main thoroughfare through Chinatown is Yaowarat Road, which is approximately 1.5 kilometres in length. It was built during the reign of King Rama V. On each side of the road, there is a network of streets and alleys lined with shops selling all sorts of things. In many of these streets youll find shops side by side selling the same items.

There is an old fresh food market called Trok Isarnuphap where leading chefs from all over Bangkok shop for the finest and freshest ingredients for their restaurant menus.
A visit at night will take you to a food street where you sit on stools watching your meal being prepared, then enjoying the delicious cuisine washed down by tea or a cold beer.

How to get there: Subway to Hua Lamphong station
Bus routes 1, 4, 7, 25, 53, 501

Phahurat Indian Market

This is the place to come to buy fabrics and to enjoy Indian cuisine. Phahurat Market is a small Indian community on the fringe of Chinatown. Most of the merchants are Indian Sikhs who are involved in the textile trade.

They have a unique way of greeting female shoppers, calling each one Khunying which is a Thai royal title similar to the English Lady. Their selection of fabrics is the best in Bangkok, particularly the Indian cottons and silk.

There are many vendors selling ready made goods including shoulder bags which are at unbelievable low prices.

The Indian community in Thailand shops here for the essential wedding gowns and wedding souvenirs.

In every nook and cranny there is someone doing business. This may be selling trinkets, tour packages to India, household items, spices and delicious Indian desserts.

Wander off the main streets and into the many alleyways, you could come across surprisingly good Indian food.

The Thai Sikh community has a major temple, Siri Guru Singh Sabha close to the Phahurat area.

How to get there: Bus routes 7,25,40, 53, 56, 507

Wat Trai Mit

Have you ever seen five and a half tons of gold? Wat Trai Mit, near the Bangkok Railway Station at Hua Lamphong, is home to the famous Golden Buddha which is 3 metres high.

The Golden Buddha is believed to be 700 to 800 years old as it is in the Mara attitude, typical of the Sukhothai era. It was installed at Wat Phrayakrai in the Yannawa area of Bangkok during the reign of King Rama III where it stayed until 1931.

The temple had fallen out of use and was abandoned so the Ecclesiastical Commission had it relocated at Wat Trai Mit. At this time, no one seemed to know that it was made of pure gold.

Then in 1955, Reverend Phra Visutha-thibordee, the presiding abbot at the temple had supervised the construction of the temple building to house the Buddha. When it was being moved into its new position, the covering plaster was damaged revealing what was inside - Buddha image cast in 18 carat gold.

It is believed that the original Golden Buddha was disguised under the plaster covering to hide it from enemies during the Ayutthaya period. Photographs of different stages of the plaster removal are displayed in the Wihan.

How to get there: Metro to Hua Lamphong Station.
Bus routes 4, 7, 21, 25, 501, 511, 513
Open: Daily from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Admission: 20 baht
Tel: 0 2225 9775

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Sathon

Kukrit House

It is difficult to describe the many achievements and talents of Mom Ratchawong Kukrit Promoj, a great grandson of King Rama II, in a limited space. A visit to his home will give you an insight into the life, tastes and achievements of the man who was the 13th Prime Minister of Thailand.

M.R. Kukrit was one of Thailands most interesting characters. He was a noted performer and choreographer of the traditional Thai Khon dance drama, writer of stories that have become Thai classics such as Phai Dang, founder, publisher and editor of the influential Siam Rath newspaper, actor with Marlon Brando in The Ugly American and founder of the Social Action political party, of which he was the leader when he served as Prime Minister from 1974 to 1975. He was a man of impeccable taste which is mirrored in Baan Kukrit his Bangkok home.

The house is set in beautiful tropical gardens with ponds. The architecture is in the Ayutthaya style constructed of teak wood. The main residence building is furnished with antiques such as a lion-leg bed that was used by King Rama II . The library holds books on many subjects, ranging from fiction to philosophy.

There is a smaller house called Ho Kwang, which he used as a private retreat for relaxing and a Thai-style pavilion, with solid teak pillars and furnished in his impeccable taste.

How to get there: Located at Soi Sathon 3, also with access through Soi Narathiwat 7. The nearest public transport is BTS Skytrain at Chong Nonsi Station. Bus routes 22, 62, 77, 162

Open Times : 10.00 am.-17.00 pm. on Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays (not open on in lieu of Public Holidays)

Admission fee : Adult 50 Baht, Child 20 Baht

Tel : 0 2286 8185, 0 2287 2937

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Suan Luang

The Museum of Buddhism Art
Located at 104 Soi 40, Phatthanakan Road, Suan Luang, Bangkok 10250, the museum features a large private collection of Buddha images and is operated by The Foundation of Thais Arts Preservation. The exhibition focuses on the art of Buddha images in accordance with Thai history, with an international standard presentation comprising light, sound (chanting), scent (incense) in an air-conditioned atmosphere. Besides Buddha images and artifacts of different periods, there is also an area allocated to be a shrine as well as museum of Kuan Yin and other major gods of various beliefs in Asia.

Open : Tue. - Fri. and Sun. (Advance contact is required.), Sat. from 10 a.m. - 5.30 p.m.

Admission : 250 baht

Tel : 0 2321 0048-50, 0 2322 2434 Fax : 0 2322 2412

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Ta Ling Chan

Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Anthropology Centre
The Centre became fully functional in 1999 with the necessary buildings, human resources and modern facilities to fulfill its mission. This is divided into academics and services.

On the academic side, SAC conducts and coordinates research, builds an inventory for study and research, develops the data base and acts as an information exchange for both foreign and local institutes and organizations.

The Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Anthropology Centre has a permanent exhibition open to the public four main subjects:

H.R.H. Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Biographic Exhibition displays photographs and artifacts illustrating her life and works including her numerous contributions to the society and culture of Thailand.

Thai Ceramics Collections exhibits ceramics from prehistoric sites such as Ban Chiang and Ban Kao, stoneware from Northeastern Thailand, pottery from Sukhothai and Buddhist tablets from the various historical periods.

Social and Cultural Development in Thailand is the subject of another exhibition, displaying the results of research in social and cultural development. It covers the various regions in Thailand and highlights the social and cultural relationships between various ethnic groups in Thailand and other regions of Southeast Asia.

The Ethno-archaeology Exhibition presents the results of research focused on the comparison of past and present culture.

How to get there: Bus routes 79, 515
Open : Mon - Sat from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Admission : Free
Contact: Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Anthropology Centre (Public Organization) 20 Boromaratchachonnani Road, Taling Chan, Bangkok 10170
Tel : 0 2880 9429
Fax : 0 2880 9332 www.sac.or.th

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Thon Buri

King Taksin the Great Monument
This is an equestrian statue situated at Wongwian Yai Circle on Prachathipok Road. The king is portrayed with his right hand holding a sword, measuring approximately 9 metres in height from his horse's feet to the spire of his hat. The statue rests on a reinforced concrete pedestal of 8.90 x 1.80 x 3.90 metres. There are four frames of stucco relief on the two sides of the pedestal. The opening ceremony of this monument was held on 17 April, 1954 and a homage-paying fair takes place annually on 28 December.

Open : Daily

Admission : Free

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Thawee Wattana

House of Museums
The House of Museums is located at 170/17 Mu 17, Khlong Pho Land, Soi Khlong Pho 2, Sala Thammasop Road, Thawi Watthana, Bangkok 10170. It is accessible by driving along Phutthamonthon Sai 2 Road toward the railway track or Khlong Maha Sawat. At the end of the road, turn left onto Sala Thammasop Road and follow the sign to the museum. The exhibition features a collection of old as well as modern items of various uses of both townspeople and villagers such as toys, books, stationery and kitchen and household utensils, forming a legacy of the past to be inherited by the present. The modern 3½-storey building of 3 chambers covers a total area of 232 square metres. The first floor lends an old atmosphere of shop houses before 1957 including a café, drugstore, barbers, etc. There are rooms displaying alternate exhibitions on various topics, as well. The House of Museums is open during 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on weekends only. Admission fees are 30 baht for adults and 10 baht for children.

Open : Sat - Sun

Admission : Adult 30 baht, Child 10 baht

Tel : 0 2869 6281, 0 1257 4508, 0 9200 2803

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Wattana

Kamthieng House
The Kamthieng House is of great interest to all who have an interest in Thai society. It is the center-piece at the Siam Society, which promotes the preservation of heritage, culture, arts and the environment.

This superb example of Northern Thai architecture is more than 160 years old and has been preserved in excellent condition. It has been handed down through generations of the Nimmanahaeminda family before being generously donated to the Siam Society by Nang Kinhaw Nimmanahaeminda. With the financial support of the Asia Foundation, the house was relocated from Chiang Mai to Bangkok in 1964.

The house is built on wooden stilts with the underneath area used to display a rich assortment of agricultural implements such as plough and harvesting equipment made of wood, reeds and bamboo.

The Kamthieng House is stocked with artifacts that represent the traditional rural way of life. There are beautiful hand-woven fabrics, ornate wood carvings, traditional musical instruments and religious items. This outstanding collection serves as an ethnological museum. This has fulfilled on of the goals of the Siam Society which had it written into the rules when it was formed in 1904.

The Siam Society occasionally grants permission for small receptions for 25 to 30 people to be held in the gardens with the house as a backdrop.

How to get there: BTS Skytrain to Asoke Station. Subway to Sukhumvit Station

Opening time : Tuesday to Saturday (except public holidays) 9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m.

Admission fee : Adult 100 baht, Child 50 baht.

Tel : 0 2661 6470-7

Website : www.siam-society.org

Provided by Tourism Authority of Thailand

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