Cerebral Shangrila

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Bangkok - Travel Diary (Travelogue) - Part II

Tourist Attractions :

KO RATNAKOSIN AREA : Best reached by Taxi. Its quite far from the residential areas such as Silom/Sukhumvit. This area has the following attractions :

Wat Phra Kaew & Grand Palace : A stupendous architechtural achievement .The wat structures are colorful with gleaming stupas & rich marble pediments.Extensive murals depicting scenes from Ramakian (The Thai version of the Indian epic Ramayana) line the inside walls of the compound.The beautiful emerald buddha is also located inside the Palace.The palace is a photographers delight.Its open from 830 to 1130 and from 1300 to 1530hrs.Shorts,slippers are not allowed.

Lak Meuang : The city pillar that is adjacent to the Palace. The Pillar is considered the guardian deity of the city.

Wat Pho : No Superlatives can do justice to this temple.The oldest & largest wat in bangkok, it features the largest reclining buddha (46m long and 15m high).The giant reclining buddha is molded of plaster around a brick core and finished in gold leaf.It illustrates the passing of Buddha into Nirvana.Its open from 8am to 5pm and is a 10 min walk from the Palace.

Wat Arun : The pride of Bangkok, this Wat is named after the hindu god of Dawn, Arun ( Aruna , charioteer of Lord Surya). The missile shaped 82m tall Prang is a wonderful sight to watch. Located just across the River on the Banks, catch a ferry from Tha Tien (behind the Palace) to reach here. Sunrise / sunset is the best time to visit.

THEWET & DUSIT AREA : Take a sky train to Phaya Thai / Victory monument and then take the local buses. This area has the following attractions :

Victory Monument : Erected during the world war II to commemorate the victory.This a tall magnificent monument that is entirely western in its design.

Abhisek Dusit Throne hall : This is a classic example of the fusion of Asian and European architecture. Built by King Rama V after his European visit, there is grandeur everywhere in this Palace.

Vimanmek Teak Mansion : Located in the same complex as the Throne hall, this is supposed to be the world's largest golden teak building. Its a beautiful three storey mansion with octagonal rooms and pervasive serenity.

Wat Benchmabophit (Marble temple): The Carrara white marble makes this look like a ice palace. Serene & beautiful.A great place for meditation and the gardens add to the charm of the place.

Suan Phakkat Palace : Also called the Lettuce farm palace, contains artifacts from the bygone area. Provides a great insight into to the Thai culture and antiques. Located very close Phaya Thai Skytrain station.

CHINATOWN : Best way to reach this area is to take a Subway to Hualamphong station or a Skytrain to National stadium.This area has the following attractions :

Hualamphong Railway station : The main train station of the city was built by Dutch engineers. Looks majestic and has some great restaurants inside.

Wat Traimit ( Golden Buddha) : It houses the impressive three metre tall , 5.5 tonne solid gold buddha image which gleams like no other gold artefact I've ever seen.This temple is open from 8am to 5pm.

SILOM AREA :Best reached by Skytrain / Subway.This area has the following attractions:

Lumbini Park : Sprawling public park with well tended lawns and a lake inside. Best place for nature lovers and joggers and the right time to go is early morning.

Snake Farm : View the venomous snakes inside the glasses and you can also catch the anti-venin milking sessions in the afternoons. 10 mins walk from Sam Yan subway station.

Mariamman temple : Built by Tamil immigrants in the mid 19th century , this is a colorful (yet small) temple for hindu gods. The surrounding area resembles little India with flowers,garlands and Indian restaurants.

Other Places : A few others places worth visiting are the Democracy monument ( In Bangalmphu, a majestic structure that was built to commemorate Thai's entry to democracy), Amulet market ( near Wat Mahathat), Jim Thompson's house ( peep into Thai culture), Bangkok doll factory ( huge collection of dolls) and Ko Kret Island.

P.S : I shall try to post two other posts - one on get-aways near bangkok and another one on shopping & Food in bangkok.


  • Ishu says....

    Wat Pho,Wat Arun,Abhisek Dusit Throne hall & Vimanmek Teak Mansion stands at the top of my mind..Thanks a ton for the wond tri !!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:07 PM  

  • Great itinery of places to go, Loved the Grand Palace, but be careful of the scam of being told "it's closed due to... (armies birthday, some other special occasion)" then being bought around by Tuk Tuk and visiting some other temple then to jewellery shop.
    Also allow plenty of time (like hours) to get back to the airport, we made it by the skin of our teeth"

    By Blogger Geoff, at 3:22 PM  

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