Bangkok Tourist Attractions, Landmarks & Sights
Built in traditional Thai architecture mixed with European designs, The Grand Palace complex, once the official home for the Kings of Siam, is unquestionably one of the Thailand's major tourist highlights. The King still uses the Grand Palace for certain ceremonial occasions and the regal flavor within its enormous royal grounds is still evident. Visit the Royal Funeral Hall and the Royal Coronation Hall.
The main centerpiece of the complex however is the 45 centimeter Emerald Buddha. Carved from just one piece of Jade it is the holiest and most revered religious object in Thailand. The Emerald Buddha is housed within Wat Phra Keow, which is a very ornately decorated building whose roof tiles reach up into the sky.
Hotels near Grand Palace
Jim Thompson's House, Bangkok
Despite the name, Jim Thompson's House is one of the best-preserved
examples of the traditional Thai house in the city. Once home to the
American silk entrepreneur Jim Thompson, this remarkable house-cum-museum
accommodates Thompson's vast collection of antiques and artworks from all
over the Southeast Asian region. Notable items include priceless examples of
blue and white Ming porcelain and 19th century jataka paintings, which cover
the walls of the rooms. Don't miss the headless Buddha figure in the garden,
which dates from the 6th century. This early Dvaravati image is one of the
oldest surviving Buddha statues in the world.
Hotels near Jim Thompson's House
Temple of the Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho), Bangkok
This large and extensive temple neighbors the Grand Palace
enclave on Thai Wang Road and contains a gigantic gold plated Reclining
Buddha some 46 meters long and 15 meters high with inlaid mother of
pearl soles. The temple is also regarded as the first center of public
education and is sometimes called Thailand's first university.
It is open to the public daily from 9.00 a.m.-5.00 p.m.
The traditional massage and herbal medicine school at Wat Pho, home
of the 46-meter-long reclining Buddha, was established in 1795. The school
currently takes up two adjacent buildings in the eastern section of the
temple compound. Both buildings have around a dozen long, low wooden beds
that have thick padding and are large enough for two masseuses and their
patients at a time. Lying on the beds are people of every age and
affliction, either students being taught a new technique or patients seeking
Hotels near Wat Pho
Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaeo), Bangkok
Wat Phra Kaeo was built in 1782 on the orders of King Rama I
along with the Grand Palace and Ratanakosin Island. It is a royal temple
built within the Grand Palace compound therefore there is no resident monks.
The temple is a treasure house of Thai arts, and houses the Emerald Buddha,
the most revered Buddha image in Thailand.
High on its golden altar made of gilt carved wood, the Emerald Buddha wears
one of three seasonal costumes. This lanna style Buddha image is in a seated
position in the attitude of meditation. The Emerald Buddha was first found
in 1434 while covered in stucco. Years later, the stucco started to crumble
away and several miracles occurred, giving the Buddha a reputation for
bringing good fortune. The statue had since traveled to different part of
the region depending on the power center of the time. Chao Phraya Chakri,
who later became King Rama I, brought the image back to Thailand in 1778.
Today, thousands of worshippers pay their respects in front of the statue.
Hotels near Grand Palace
The first museum in Thailand was established at the Grand Palace to
include the private collection of antiquities of King Mongkut (King Rama IV,
1851-1868). The first public museum in Thailand was founded in 1874 by his
son, King Chulalongkorn (King Rama V, 1868-1910). The collection included
his personal art objects and antiquities, mounted stuffed animals purchased
in Europe and the United States, skeletons, rocks and minerals.
In 1926, King Prajadhipok (King Rama VII, 1925-1934) established the
Royal Institute of Art, Literature and Archaeology. The Bangkok Museum, then
under the supervision of the Royal Institute, was reorganized into a museum
of art and archaeology and moved to the "Palace to the Front" or "Wang Na"
which has been the palace of the Prince Successor. The collections devoted
to cultural heritage were enlarged and the museum became the Bangkok
Webpage National Museum Bangkok
This is The Worlds Biggest Weekend Market selling practically everything
under the sun, from the smallest nails, to foods, trendy fashions, antiques
intricate wooden carvings, masks from far-off lands, adorable fluffy dogs,
colorful fish of every hue and singing birds.
Most stalls only open on Saturdays and Sundays though Jatujak Plaza, the western section is open daily. In the north west corner is the J.J. Mall, with three floors of assorted oddments as well as eateries.
Hotels near Chatuchak Market
Royal Barges National Museum, Bangkok
dry dock, where several royal barges are displayed, is located on Klong
Bangkok Noi off the Chao Phraya River not far from Phra Pin Klao Bridge.
These barges were used on Royal and government occasions and formerly served
war vessels. One of the most beautiful and well-known barge is "Suphanahong''
used by the King only, now replaced by the "Narayana Song Suban Rama IX" as
the King's Royal Barge. Royal Barges will be used for the Royal river
procession for the Kathin ceremony a Buddhist tradition of offering robes to
monks, usually during October or November. The Royal barges proceeded during
the Rattankosin Bicentennial celebrations. The unique design and decorative
details of each barge should be of great interest to all visitors. The shed
is open to the public every day from 8.30 am-4.30 pm.
Hotels near Royal Barge Museum
Temple of the Golden Buddha (Wat Traimit), Bangkok
The architecture of this wat is not really worth a visit, it is the Golden Buddha statue inside that attracts people. Made of solid gold the statue is some 3 meters high and weighs 5½ tons. The story behind it is most interesting. The statue was made in the Sukhothai period (13th to 15th century), but no one knows when exactly and where. Obviously to camouflage the actual value of the statue in one of the many wars against invading enemies, the statue was covered with plaster - and was forgotten. Probably all monks that knew about the plaster were killed. The statue later was moved to a temple in Bangkok, still regarded as a work made of plaster. Only in the 1950's, during repair works at the temple, the plaster was damaged and gold came to light underneath. Since then the statue is one of the main attractions in Bangkok.
Hotels near Temple of the Golden Buddha (Wat Traimit)
Vimanmek Mansion / Vimanmek Palace, Bangkok
The world's largest teakwood building, Vimanmek Mansion was built as a royal residence in the first few years of the 20th century. It was only used for a few years before it fell into disuse and was practically forgotten until the early eighties. It was rediscovered by Her Majesty the Queen and turned into museum reflecting the Thai heritage from the dramatic reign of King Rama V.
From a single restored building in the 1980s, the Vimanmek Mansion Museum has grown to include more than 20 restored structures of the old Dusit Palace displaying everything from ancient artifacts of Thailand's pre-history to contemporary photographs donated by His Majesty the King. Its now become a large complex of museums where the buildings themselves form part of the "collection" on display.
Hotels near Vimanmek Palace
Suan Pakkad Palace Museum, Bangkok
The Suan Pakkad Palace is the first museum in Thailand where the owner, their Royal Highnesses Prince and Princess Chumbhot of Nagara Svarga, decided to convert their private residence, built in the traditional Thai style opened in 1952 , is located on 6 Rai on Sri Ayudhya Road, Bangkok, containing their Royal Highnesses Prince and Princess Chumbhot of Nagara Svarga's collection of antiquities, which has been passed down through successive generations. The Suan Pakkad Palace is a combination of fine arts and ancient artifacts from the era of H.R.H. Prince Paribatra Sukhumbandhu, son of His Majesty King Chulalongkorn, Rama V and Her Majesty Queen Sukhumala Marasri.
There are groups of 4 traditional Thai houses with the covered hallway between them. Houses 5 to 8 are located along the west side of the property. The Lacquer Pavilion stands in the main garden to the south of the compound. The Ban-Chiang Museum [Thai Heritage] and Marsi Gallery are in the Chumbhot-Pantip Centre of Arts.
Hotels near Suan Pakkad Palace
The Marble Temple (Wat Benchamabophit), Bangkok
This beautiful royal temple of white Carrara marble is well-known to the foreigners as "Marble Temple". This royal temple was built at the turn of the century under the reign of King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) in 1899.
The main bot (chapel) is a prime example of modern Thai architecture. It employs European style such as stained glass windows. The interior of the main building is magnificently decorated with cross beams of lacquer and gold. The courtyard behind the Bot exhibits 53 Buddha images (33 originals and 20 copies), representing famous images and styles from all over Asia, Thailand and other Buddhist countries.
Hotels near Wat Benchamabophit
The Golden Mount (Wat Saket), Bangkok
Wat Saket’s major feature is the Golden Mount, dating from the 1800. It is an artificial hill topped by a gilded pagoda which is 260 feet in height from its base. Begun by King Rama III and completed in the reign of King Rama IV, the golden mount is one of the most celebrated landmarks in Bangkok’s old area. The golden Chedi houses relics of Buddha and affords visitors who climb its 318 steps a panoramic view of Bangkok from the top.
Wat Saket is easily recognized by its golden Chedi atop a fortress-like hill near the pier for Bangkok's east-west klong ferry. The wat was restored by King Rama I, and 30,000 bodies were brought here during a plague in the reign of Rama II. The hill, which is almost 80 meters high, is an artificial construction begun during the reign of Rama III. Rama IV brought in 1,000 teak logs to shore it up because it was sinking into the swampy ground. Rama V built the golden chedi to house a relic of Buddha, said to be from India or Nepal, given to him by the British. The concrete walls were added during World War II to keep the structure from collapsing. All around the Wat are the accommodation where the monks live and go to school.
The Golden Mount, a short but breathtaking climb that's best made in the morning, is most interesting for its vista of old Rattanakosin and the rooftops of Bangkok. Every year in the 12th lunar month (late October to mid-November - for nine days around the full moon) Wat Saket hosts Bangkok's most important temple fair, when the Golden Mount is wrapped with red cloth and a carnival erupts around it, with food and trinket stalls, theatrical performances, freak shows, animal circuses, and other monkey business. People come here at this time to pay respect to Lord Buddha's relics, and to rejoice in the festive occasion. However, at present times, the Golden Mount festival is not as popular as it used to be in the olden days.
Wat Saket is located between Ratchadamnoen Klang and Boripihat road. The temple complex is open from 9:00A.M. - 5:00P.M.
Hotels near Wat Saket
Chao Phraya River, Bangkok
This scenic river, flowing through the heart of Bangkok, offers
convenient boat transportation and sightseeing cruises since many of the
major city attractions are easily accessible from various points along this
Thailand's greatest open zoo and leisure park in Bangkok that offers a wide variety of entertainment for the whole family. Whether it is an exciting safari drive through the picturesque African wilderness settings, an ultimate encounter with our friendly dolphins or an exhilarating fast-paced action stunt spectacular, Safari world has it all.
Bangkok Siam Ocean World
The aquarium is on schedule to open in November 2005 at a total cost of
1billion baht (US$25.6m)
Thailand's first third generation aquarium is located within the Siam
Paragon US$400m retail and entertainment complex.
The aquarium will be the First World Class Aquarium in Thailand.
The size of 2 football fields, Siam Ocean World holds enough water to
fill 3 Olympic size swimming pools.
Parking Space for 4,000 cars
Temple of the Dawn (Wat Arun), Bangkok
Wat Arun, the Temple of Dawn, is one of Bangkok's best know landmark. It stands
on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River in Thon Buri. Wat Arun is best
seen from the opposite bank of the river; it glistens in the sunlight during
the day and stands dark and noble at dawn or dusk. A visit to the beautiful,
peaceful monastery complex surrounding the familiar towers is very
worth-while. These towers, the "Phra Prang," although best known, the only
part of Wat Arun. It also contains narrow lanes; elegant, old white
buildings; shrines, pools of turtles. The monastery has existed for many
years since the days when Ayutthaya was capital of Thailand. It was then
named Wat Mokok, situated in a place called Tumbol Bangmakok. The word
Bangmakok, meaning " Village of Olive", has since been shortened to " Makok".
When King Taksin and his army reached this place to build his new capital
Thonburi, after defeating the Burmese who had sacked Ayutthaya, he arrived
at dawn. He renamed the monastery he found there Wat Jaeng- Jaeng meaning
"clear", "bright" and Construction of the tall prang and four smaller ones
was started by King Rama II 1809-1824 and completed by King Rama III
(1824-1851). The towers are supported by rows of demos and monkeys. Very
steep and narrow steps lead to a balcony high on the central tower. The
circumference of the base of the structure is 234 meters, and the central
prang is 250 foot high.
The central balcony commands an impressive view of Bangkok across the
river. From here one can see the Grand palace, the Temple of the Emerald
Buddha and the spacious Wat Po.
Chinatown Bangkok or Yaowarat was started when King Rama I decided in
1782 to establish the capital on the eastern bank of the Chao Phrya River (see Thailand history).
The Chinese immigrants who were originally settled in what is now the Grand
Palace had to move out to a strip of land two km down the river.
Over the years the settlement grew. Today Chinatown Bangkok or Yaowarat
covers a square bounded by Phadung Krung Kasem Canal to the east, the Ong
Ang Canal to the west, Luang Road to the north and the Chao Phraya River to
the south, an area of about 2 sq km.
The casual visitor to Chinatown would probably only have the time and
energy to cover the main street Yaowarat Road where most of the activities
are concentrated. The other road of interest is Rachawong Road which is off
If you are coming to Chinatown by road the most convenient way to start
your tour of this Bangkok legacy is to take the underground to the Hua Lam
Phong underground station located on the eastern bank of the Phadung Krung
Ancient City (Muang Boran), Bangkok
One of the world’s largest outdoor museums features a 200-acre city with
109 scaled-down copies of Thailand’s most famous monuments and architectural
Muang Boran is quite difficult to get to as a tourist, although coach
tours do operate here. It is south of Bangkok and about a 45 minute ride
away from the centre. But if you can afford the time is a worthwhile change
of scenery. Muang Boran is basically a collection of scaled down replicas of
important monuments and buildings from around Thailand. The park is roughly
shaped like Thailand itself and is better visited by car- you can drive
around the park or take a tour as it is very big.
It is a very interesting day out and gives you a nicely condensed view of
Thai architecture. Maybe due to it's location, the park is also very
peaceful and little visited by the package tourist. If you combine this with
the nearby Crocodile Farm it makes a satisfying day out.
Lumpini Park, Bangkok
after the Buddha's birthplace in Nepal, this is Bangkok's largest and most
popular park. The park is bordered by Rama IV Road to the South, Sarasin
Road to the North, Witthayu Road to the East and Ratchadamri Road to the
West, with entrance gates on all sides. A large artificial lake in the
center is surrounded by broad, well-tended lawns, wooded areas and walking
paths. In other words, it is the best outdoor escape from Bangkok without
One of the best times to visit the park is in the early morning. Suan
(Park) Lumpini is a place of moods rather than sights. In the morning it is
full of people exercising. More striking and graceful than the joggers are
Chinese Tai Chi groups, making slow movements to music. The practitioners of
Tai Chi who can be seen in Lumpini Park every early morning (around 5
AM-7:AM) put less strain on their bodies' circulation. Tai Chi is a rather
soft Chinese form of exercise, healthy not only for the body but allegedly
also for the mind.
Along the gates, vendors set up tables to dispense fresh snake blood and
bile considered a health tonic by many Thais and Chinese. Rowing boats and
puddle boats can be rented at the lake.
A weight-lifting area in one section becomes a miniature " music beach"
on the weekends. Other facilities include a snack bar, several areas with
tables and benches for picnics and a couple of tables where ladies serve
Chinese tea. Rest rooms are placed at intervals throughout the park.
Musical shows are sometimes held in this spacious park. The park which is
enclosed by a high wall and locked overnight.. It can be argued whether the
joggers serve their health by doing their practice there as the surrounding
part of town is heavily polluted. Nevertheless, the elaborate jogging track,
complete with stops for weight lifting and special gymnastics, is in use all
day, especially in the early mornings and late afternoons.
Koh Kret Island
A favorite escape from the noise and traffic of Bangkok, Koh Kret is an island in Nonthaburi district, some 17km north of central Bangkok: the island is formed by a westward loop in the Chao Phraya River and a north-south channel, dug in the late 17th Century to improve the river flow. Such was the effect of increased flow that the channel has widened to more than 100m, effectively isolating the island community.
Bung Sam Lan Lake, Bangkok
Sam Lan Lake This Lake is known as "THE MOST FAMOUS LAKE IN THAILAND TO
TARGET SOME OF THE WORLD'S BIGGEST FRESHWATER FISH SPECIES". Bung Sam Lan
Lake is also called "the Temple of the Giant Mekong Catfish". Converted into
a lake from a swamp with 20 acres of water, this lake houses the biggest
freshwater fish. Some of these fish were introduced from the Mekong River
and some were from the Amazon River. Since the opening of this lake 17 years
ago, 35 Amazonian Pirarucu have been introduced in the Bung Sam Lan waters.
Anglers can see them everyday, as these predators like to show up from time
to time during the day; rolling slowly in the water with their big red
scales on their back, this sight is quite a spectacular. By the way, it also
imposes a "catch and release" policy. Bung Sam Lan Lake is a real fishing
paradise that has great facilities and warm Thai hospitality where you will
find comfortable, traditional Thai bungalows with large fishing pontoon,
rigging table and weighing scales. A supermarket and a restaurant service
are open all day and all night. Food can also be ordered and delivered to
your own bungalow. Our sport has the privilege of bringing all varied
passions under one angling roof, but one thing is certain, the angler who
wishes to catch this giant fish can only do so in this kind of lake and Bung
Sam Lan has the reputation for having the biggest catfish in Thailand's
lakes. Also, apart from being known for the biggest catfish in the world, it
is also known for having 2 more of the world's biggest freshwater species -
the Giant Siamese Carp; the world's biggest carp species which can weigh
often over 100kg and the giant of the Giant Predators, the Pirarucu Arapaima
gigas, over 110 kg.
The Ratchada Grand Theatre, with a seating capacity of 2,000 and one of
the world’s largest stages, approximately a third of the width of Wembley
Stadium - big enough to fit in 400 elephants.
Its three-act performance called “Siam Niramit” is a jaw-dropping
experience. It depicts traditional village life but the stage is filled with
a cast of 150 with some 500 costumes, state-of-the art sets, high-tech laser
lights, thunderous sound system, eye-popping visual effects. Built on stage
is a whole village complete with goats and chickens, even a river running
along upstage with a boat gliding by and a man diving into the water.
The senses are overwhelmed by human hustle and bustle, natural calamities
and supernatural activities. A religious festival is enacted throughout the
theater, attended by two elephants in a procession and mythical beings
flying hither and thither. And then there is thunder and lightning, and a
sudden downpour of - what? - rain.
Seconds after the seedlings have been planted in the rice terraces (yes,
they have those on stage, too), the stalks sprout and the blades unfurl
before one’s eyes, and the rice plants start to grow so fast that soon it’s
harvest time and the awestruck audience watches as the grains ripen
goldenly. (Wala kaming masabi.)
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