Visit Museum and Park in Bangkok
Here is listed of many nice places to visit in Bangkok, except the cinema, shopping malls. You can take some easy day for relaxing in the centre of Bangkok... I shared some nice place that you can visit, and if I missed some place, please suggest me. I hope this information will give you some idea for where you can be relax in Bangkok... Have a nice day.
Lak Meuang (City Pillar)
The City Pillar is across the street for the eastern wall of Wat Phra Kaew at the southern end of Sanam Luang. This shrine encloses a wooden pillar erected by Rama I in 1782 to represent the founding of the new Bangkok capital city and a shorter companion was added under Rama IV. Rama V built the sheltering pavilion. The taller pillar originated from a chaiyapreuk (Cassia laburnum or 'tree of victory') that was cut down in effigy, following the Burmese sacking of Ayutthaya in 1767. Through a series of Buddhist-animist rituals, the felling of the tree empowered the Thais to defeat the Burmese in a series of battles. Thus it was considered an especially talismanic choice to mark the founding of the new royal capital. Two metres of the pillar's 4.7m total length are buried in the ground.
The spirit of the pillar- Phra Sayam Thewathirat (Venerable Siam Deity of the State) is considered the city's guardian deity and receives the daily supplications of countless worshipers. Some of these worshipers commission classical Thai dancers to perform lakhon kae bon (propitiatory dances) at the shrine between 11am and 4pm daily. The offerings include severed pig's heads with sticks of incense sprouting from their foreheads.
Sanam Luang (Royal Field), just north of Wat Phra Kaew, is the traditional site of royal cremations and for the annual Ploughing Ceremony in which the king of facially initiates the rice-growing season. The most recent ceremonial cremation took place here in March 1996, when the king presided over funeral rites for his mother. Before that the most recent Sanam Luang cremations were held in 1976, without official sanction, for Thai students killed in the demonstrations of that year. A statue of Mae Thorani, the earth goddess (borrowed from Hindu mythology's Dharani), stands in a white pavilion at the northern and end of the field. Erected in the late 19th century by King Chulalongkorn, the statue was originally attached to a well that provided drinking water to the public. Before 1982, Bangkok's famous Weekend Market was regularly held at Sanam Luang (it's now at Chatuchak Park). Nowadays the large field is mostly used as a picnic and recreational area. A large kite competition is held here during the kite-flying season (mid-February to April). Sanam Luang is hub for several bus lines, including No. 30, 32, 47 and 53.
On the western side of Sanam Luang, the National Museum (Thanon Na Phra That; admission 40 Baht; open 9.00am-4.00pm Wed-Sun) is the largest museum is Southeast Asia and excellent place to learn about Thai art. All periods and styles are represented from Dvaravati to Ratanakosin and English-language literature is available. Room 23 contains a well maintained collection of traditional musical instruments from Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Indonesia. Other permanent exhibits include ceramics, clothing and textiles, wood carving, regalia and weaponry. The museum buildings were built in 1782 as the palace of Rama I's viceroy, Prince Wang Na. Rama V turned it into a museum in 1884.
In addition to the exhibition halls, there is the restored Buddhaisawan (Phutthaisawan) Chapel. Inside the chapel (built in 1795) are some well-preserved original murals and one of the country's most revered Buddha images, Phra Phut Sihing. Legend says the image came from Sri Lanka but art historians attribute it to 13th century Sukhothai. Free English-language tours of the museum are given by volunteers on Wednesday (Buddhism) and Thursday (Thai art, religion and culture). These guided tours are excellent. The tours are also conducted in German (Thursday), French (Wednesday) and Japanese (Wednesday). All tours start from the ticket pavilion at 9.30am. The Museum is serviced by bus No. 30, 32, 47 and 53.
Royal Barges National Museum
The royal barges are long, fantastically ornamented boats used in ceremonial processions on the river. The largest is 50m long and requires a rowing crew of 50 men, plus seven umbrella bearers, two helmsmen and two navigators, as well as flagman, rhythm keeper and chanter. The barges are kept in sheds (admission 30 Baht; open 9.00am-5.00pm daily), on the Thonburi side of the river. The sheds are next to Khlong Bangkok Noi, near Saphan Phra Pin Klao (Phra Pin Klao Bridge). Suphannahong, the king's personal barge, is the most important of the boats. Made from a single piece of timber, it's the largest dugout in the world. The name means 'Golden Swan', and a huge swan head has been carved into the bow of the barge. Lesser barges feature bows carved into other Hindu-Buddhist mythological shapes such as naga (mythical sea serpent) and garuda (Vishnu's bird mount).
One of the best times to see the fleet in action on the river is during kathin, the royal ceremony where robes are presented to monks, at the end of phansaa (the Buddhist Rains Retreat, ending with an October or November full moon) when new robes are offered to the monastic contingent. You must pay an additional 100 Baht if you want to take photos. The easiest way to to the museum is by the cross-river ferry from Tha Phra Chan to Tha Rot Fai (the Roman-script sign says 'Railroad station'). The museum is just across the canal from the train station but the closest bridge is the elevated highway. Walk along the street parallel to the railway tracks past the fruit market until you come to a set of stairs that leads to the elevated highway over the canal. Once on the other side, sign will direct you through a labyrinth of concrete walkways that pass a poor housing area and eventually lead to barge sheds. You can also get there by long-tail boat during a one-hour tour (600B). Boats can be chartered from any pier on the Bangkok side of the river or you can join a guided tour (800B) with Chao Phraya Express Boat.
This large, Art Deco monument-four highly stylish angel wings arranged in a circle at the intersection of Thanon Ratchadamneon Klang, Thanon Din So and Thanon Prachatipatai was erected in 1932 to commemorate Thailand's momentous transformation from absolute to constitutional monarchy. Italian artist Corrado Feroci designed the monument and buried 75 cannonballs in its base to signify the year BE 2475 (AD 1932). Before immigrating to Thailand to become the nation's 'father of modern art', Feroci designed monuments for Italian dictator Benito Mussolini. In recent years 'The Demo' has become a favorite spot of public demonstrations, most notably during the antimilitary, pro-democratic protest 1992.
Vimanmek Teak Mansion
Originally constructed on Ko Si Chang in 1868 and moved to the present site in the Dusit Palace grounds in 1910, this beautiful L-shaped, three-story mansion (Phra Thi Nang Vimanmek; admission 100 Baht, free with Grand Palace ticket; open 9.30am-3.15pm daily) contains 81 rooms, halls and anterooms and is said to the world's largest golden teak building. The staircases, octagonal rooms and lattice walls are nothing short of magnificent but in spite of this, the mansion retains a surprisingly serene and intimate atmosphere. Vimanmek was the first permanent building on the Dusit Palace grounds. It served as Rama V's residence in the early 1900s, was closed in 1935 and reopened in 1982 for the Ratanakosin bicentennial. The interior of the mansion contains various personal effects of the king, and a treasure trove of early Ratanakosin art objects and antiques.
English-language tours are held every half-hour between 9.30am and 3.00pm. The tours cover around 30 rooms and last an hour. Smaller adjacent buildings display historic photography that document the Chakri dynasty. Vimanmek is towards the northern end of the grounds, which also contains Abhisek Dusit Throne Halls, Royal Elephant Museum landscaped gardens and stage for traditional dancing shows (at 10.30am and 2.00pm). As this is royal property, visitors wearing shorts or sleeveless shirts will be refused entry. Bus no. 70, 72 and 510 will drop you at Thanon U-Thong Nai, Thanon Si Ayutthaya and Thanon Ratchawithi respectively.
Abhisek Dusit Throne Hall
Originally built as a throne hall for king Rama V in 1904, this smaller structure (admission 50 Baht; free with Grand Palace ticket; open 9.30am-4.00pm daily) is typical of the finer architecture of the era. Victorian-influenced 'gingerbread' architecture and Moorish porticoes blend to create a striking and distinctly Thai exterior. The hall houses an excellent display of regional handiwork crafted by members of the Promotion of Supplementary Occupations & Related Techniques (Support) foundation, an organization sponsored by Queen Sirikit. Among the exhibits are cotton and silk, malaeng thap (collages made from metallic, multicolored beetle wings), dam-ascene and nielloware and basketry. There is a souvenir shop on the premises. As at Wat Phra Kaew and Vimanmek, visitors must be properly dressed. SeeVimanmek Teak mansion earlier for directions to Abhisek Dusit Throne Hall.
Royal Elephant Museum
In the Dusit Palce grounds, along with the Vimanmek Teak Masion and Abhisek Dusit Throne Hall, two large stables that once housed three 'white' elephants- animals whose auspicious albinism automatically made them crown property- are now a museum. One of the structures contains artefacts and photos outlining the importance of elephants in Thai history and explaining their various rankings according to physical characteristics. The second stable holds a sculptural representation of the living royal white elephant (now kept at the Chilada Palace, home to the current Thai king). Draped in royal vestments, the statue is more or less treated as a shrine by the visiting Thai public. Admission to the Royal Elephant Museum is free with admission to Vimanmek Teak Mansion and Abhisek Dusit Throne Hall.
The collection of animals at Bangkok's 19 hectare Dusit Zoo (Suan Sat Dusit; adult 150 Baht / child 50 Baht; open 9.00am-6.00pm daily) includes more than 300 mammals, 200 reptiles and 800 birds, including relatively rare indigenous species such as banteng, gaur, serow and some rhinoceros. Originally a private botanic garden for Rama V, it was converted into a zoo in 1938 and is now one of the premier zoological facilities in Southeast Asia. The shady grounds feature trees labelled in English, Thai and Latin, plus a lake in the centre with paddle boats for hire. There's also a small children's playground.
If nothing else, the zoo is a nice place to get away from the noise of the city and observe how Thai people amuse themselves mainly by eating. There are a couple of restaurants by the lake serve a range of delicious, inexpensive Thai food. A small circus performs on weekends and holidays between 11.000am and 2.00pm. Sunday can be a bit crowded, if you want the zoo mostly to yourself, go on a weekday. The zoo is in the Dusit district, between Chitlada Palace and the National Assembly Hall; the main entrance is off Thanon Ratwithi. Buses that pass the entrance include air-con No. 510 and ordinary No. 18. 28 and 70.
Named after the Buddha's birthplace in Nepal, this is Bangkok's largest and most popular park. It is bordered by Thanon Phra Ram IV to the south, Thanon Sarasin to the north, Thanon Withayu to the east and Thanon Ratchadamri to the west, with entrance gates on all sides. A large artifical lake in the centre is surrounded areas and walking paths- in other words, it's the best way to escape Bangkok without leaving town.
One of the best times to visit the park is in th morning before 7am when the air is fresh (well, relatively so for Bangkok) and legions of Chinese are practicing taijiquan (t'ai chi). Also in the morning, vendors set up tables to dispense fresh snake blood and bile, considered health tonics by many Thais and Chinese. Rowing boats and paddle boats can be rented at the lake for 40 Baht per half-hour. A weight lifting area in one section becomes a miniature 'muscle beach' on weekends. Other facilities include a snack bar, an asphalt jogging track, several areas with tables where women serve Chinese tea. During the kite-flying season (mid- February to April), Lumphini becomes a favoured flight zone; kites (wao) can be purchased in the park during these months. You can get to Lumohini Park via the sky train at Ratchadamri station or bus No. 47.
Jim Thompson's House
For an immersion in authentic Thai residential architecture and Southeast Asian art, visit Jim Thompson's House (Soi Kasem San 2, Thanon Phra Ram I; adult 100 Baht / child 50 Baht; open 9.00am-5.00pm daily). The home's former owner, American silk entrepreneur Jim Thompson, deserves most of the credit for the worldwide popularity of Thai silk. Born in Delaware, in 1906, Thompson was a New York architect who briefly served in the office of Strategic Services (OSS; forerunner of the CIA) in Thailand during WW II. After the war he found New York too tame and so moved to Bangkok. Thai silk caught his connoisseur's eye; he sent samples to fashion houses in Milan, London and Paris, gradually building a steady worldwide clientele.
A tireless promoter of traditional Thai arts and culture, Thompson collected parts of various derelict Thai homes in central Thailand and had them reassembles in the most part assembled in typical Thai style, one striking departure from traditional is the way each wall has its exterior side facing the house's interior, thus exposing the wall's bracing system. While out for an afternoon walk in the Cameron highlands of western Malaysia in 1967, Thompson disappeared and has never been hard from since. That same year his sister was murdered in the USA, fuelling various conspiracy theories to explain the disappearance. Was it communist spies? The most recent theory- for which there is apparently some hard evidence- has it that the silk magnate was accidentally run over by a Malaysian truck driver who hid his remains.
The Legendary American- The Remarkable Career & Strange Disappearance of Jim Thompson (Houghton Mifflin, in 1970), by William Warren, is an excellent book on Thompson, his career, residence and intriguing disappearance. In Thailand, it has been republished as Jim Thompson: The Legendary American of Thailand (Jim Thompson Thai Silk Co, Bangkok). His small but splendid Asian art collection and his personal belongings are on display in the main house. The Jim Thompson Foundation has a table at the front where you can buy prints of old Siam maps and Siamese horoscopes in postcard and poster form. The admission fee goes to Bangkok's school for the blind. The khlawng (canal) at the end of the lane is one of Bangkok's most lively. Beware of well-dressed touts, who will tell you Thompson's house is closed- it's just a ruse to earn a hefty commission from you. Take the sky train to the National Stadium station or the canal taxi to Tha Ratchathewi. From Banglamphu take bus No. 15 and 47.
Queen Saovabha Memorial Institute (Snake Farm)
At this Red Cross research institute (Thanon Phra Ram IV; admission 70 Baht; open 8.30am-11.30am & 1.00pm-4.00pm Mon-Fri, 8.30am-noon Sat & Sun), formerly known as the Pasteur Institute, venomous snakes (the common cobra, king cobra, banded krait, Malayan pit viper, green pit viper and Russell's viper) are milked daily at 11am and 2.30pm weekdays and 11am on weekends to make antivenin, which are distributed throughout the country. When the institute was founded in 1923 it was only the second of its kind in the world (the first was in Brazil). The milking sessions have become a major tourist attraction. Unlike other 'snake farms' in Bangkok, this is a serious herpetologist research facility; a very informative half-hour slide show on snakes is presented before the milking sessions. This will be boring to some, fascinating to others. Feeding is at 3pm. The institute is near Thanon Hanri Dunant.
A booklet entitled Guide to Healthy Living in Thailand, published jointy by the Thai Red Cross and the US embassy, is available here for 100 Baht. You can also get common vaccinations against such diseases as cholera, typhoid, tetanus, polio, encephalitis, meningitis, rabies, small pox, and hepatitis A and B. If you are bitten by a strange animal, this is a good place to come for antirabies serum; bring the animal, dead or alive, if possible. There is also an anonymous STD clinic on the grounds of the institute. To get here, take bus No. 47.
Monk's Bowl Village & Sao Ching-Cha
This is the only one remaining of three such villahes established in Bangkok by Rama I for the purpose of handcrafting bowls (baat). The black bowls, used by Thai monks to receive food alms from faithful Buddhists every morning, are still made here in the traditional manner. Due to the expense of purchasing a handmade bowl, the 'village' has been reduced to the single alley in a district know as Ban Baht (baan baat) or Monk's Bowl Village. About half a dozen families still hammer the bowls together from eight separate pieces of steel representing, they say, the eight spokes of the Wheel of Dharma (which symbolise Buddhism's Eightfold Path). The joints are fused in a wood fire with bits of copper, and the bowl is polished and coated with several layers of black lacquer. A typical output is one bowl per day.
To find the village, head south along Thanon Boriphat, past Thanon Banrung Meuang, then turn left into Soi Baan baht. The artisans who fashion the bowls are not always at work, so it's largely a matter of luck as to whether you'll see them in section. At any of the houses that make the bowls, you can purchase a fine-quality alms bowl from 600-800 Baht. At nearly Sao Ching-Cha (Giant Swing) a spectacular Brahman festival in honor of the Hindu god Shiva used to take place each year until is was stopped during the reign of Rama VII. Participants would swing in ever higher arcs in an effort to reach a bag of gold suspended from a 15m bamboo pole-many died trying. The Giant Swing is about 500m south of the Democracy Monument. Nearby shops on Thanon Bamrung Meuang sell monks's robes and bowls are for sale. Air-con bus No. 508 travels Thanon Bamrung Meuang.
Bangkok's Chinatown (Sampeng), off Thanon Yaowarat and Thanon Ratchawong, comprises a confusing and crowed array of jewelery, and hardware, wholesale food, automotive and fabric shops, as well as dozens of other small businesses. It's a great place to shop as goods here are cheaper than almost anywhere else in Bangkok and the Chinese proprietors like to bargain, especially along Sampeng Lane (Soi Wanit 1).
Chinese and Thai antiques of varying age and authenticity are available in the so called Thives's Market (Nakhon Kasem), but it's better for browsing than buying these days. During the annual Vegetarian Festival, celebrated fervently by Thai Chinese for the first nine days of the ninth lunar month (September to October), Bangkok's China town becomes a virtual orgy of vegetarian food. The festivities are centre around Wat Mangkon Kamalawat (Neng Noi Yee; Thanon Charoen Krung), one of China town's largest temples. All along Thanon Charoen Krung in this vicinity, as well as on Thanon Yaowarat to the south, restaurants offer different vegetarian dishes.
A Chinese population was moved here from Bangkok (today's Ko Ratanakosin) by the royal government in 1782 to make room for the new capital. A census in the area taken exactly 100 years later found 245 opium dens, 154 pawnshops, 69 gambling establishments and 26 brothels. Pawnshops, along with myriad gold shops, remain a popular China town business, while the other three vices have gone underground; brothels continue to exist under the guise of 'tea halls' (rohng chaa), back-street heroin dealers have replaced the opium dens and illicit card games convene in the private upstairs rooms of certain restaurants. Several Chinese-language newspapers are printed and distributed in the district. At the southeastern edge of Chinatown stands Hualamphong station, built by dutch architects and engineers just before WW I. One of the city's earliest and best examples of the movement towards Thai Art Deco, its vaulted iron roof and neoclassical portico demonstrate engineering that was state of the art in its time, while the patterned, two-toned skylights exemplify pure de Stijl-style Dutch modernism.
Examples of Thai Art Deco from the 1920s and 30s can be found along Chinatown's main street, particularly Thanon Yaowarat. Vertical towers over the main entrances are often surmounted with Deco-style sculptures- a replica of the Eiffel Tower, a lion, an elephant, a Moorish dome. Atop one commercial building on Thanon Songwat near Thanon Ratchawong is a rusting model of a WW II vintage Japanese Zero warplane during their brief 1941 occupation of Bangkok; in style and proportion it fits the surrounding Thai Deco elements. Ordinary bus No 53 does a long circuitous route through Chinatown, Phahurat and Banglamphu; it's a good greatest-hits ride but won't get you anywhere in a hurry.
At the edge of Chinatown, around the intersection of Thanon Phahurat and Thanon Chakraphet is a small but thriving Indian district, generally called Phahurat. Here dozens of Indian-owned shops sell all kinds of fabric and clothes. The selection is unbelievable and Thai shoulder bags (yaam) sold here are the cheapest in Bangkok, perhaps in Thailand. Behind the more obvious shop fronts along these streets, in the 'bowls' of the blocks is a seemingly endless Indian bazaar selling not only fabric but household items, food and other necessities. Thanon Chakraphet is well known foe its Indian restaurants and shops selling Indian sweets. One of the best serves north-Indian cuisine ans is justly famous for its tasty selection of Indian breads.
In an alley off Thanon Chakraphet, there's a Sikh Temple (Sri Gurusingh Sabha). Basically it's a large hall, somewhat reminiscent of a mosque interior, devoted to the worship of the Guru Granth Sahib, the 16th century Sikh holy book, which is itself considered to be a 'living' guru and the last of the religion's 10 great teachers. Reportedly the temple is the second-largest Sikh temple outside of India. Visitors are welcome but they must remove their shoes. If you arrive on a Sikh festival day you can partake of the langar (communal Sikh meal served in the temple).
Wang Suan Phakkat
This collection of five traditional wooden Thai houses was once the residence of Princess Chumbon of Nakhon Sawan and before that a lettuce farm, thus the name 'Lettuce Farm Palace' (Thanon Si Ayutthayal; admission 100 Baht; open 9am-4pm daily). Within the stilt buildings are displays of art, antiques and furnishings. The landscaped grounds are peaceful oasis complete with ducks and swams and a semi-enclosed garden.
The diminutive Lacquer Pavilion, at the back of the complex, dates for the Ayutthaya period and features gold-leaf jataka (stories of the Buddha's past lives) and Ramayana murals as well as scenes from daily Ayutthaya life; the building originally sat in a monastery compound on Mae Nam Chaohe Phraya, just south of Ayutthaya. Larger residential structures at the front of the complex contain displays of Khmer-style Hindu and Buddhist art, Bang Chiang ceramics and very interesting collection of historic Buddhas, including a beautiful late U Thong-style image. The place is between Thanon Phayathai and Thanon Ratchaprarop ans is within walking distance from Phayathai Skytrain station.
Siam Society & Ban Kamthieng
The Siam Society (131 Soi Asoke, Thanon Sukhumvit) is the publisher of the renowed Journal of the Siam Society and its members are valiant preservers of traditional Thai culture. A reference library is open to visitors and Siam Society monographs are for sale. Almost anything you'd want to know about Thailand (outside the political sphere, since the society is sponsored by the royal family) can be research here. An ethnological museum of sorts exhibiting Thai folk art is located on the Siam Society grounds in the northern-style Ban Kamthieng (Kamthieng House; open 9am-5pm Tuesday- Saturday). It seems to be under permanent renovation and as a result the usual 100 Baht entry charge has been waived.
Rama IX Royal Park
Opened in 1987 to commemorate King Bhumipol's 60th birthday, Bangkok's newest green area (suan luang raw kao) covers 81 hectares and includes a water park and botanic gardens (admission; 10 Baht; open 5am-6om daily). Since its opening, the latter has developed into a significant horticultural research centre. A museum, with an exhibition on the life of th king, occupies the centre pf the park. Take bus No. 2, 23, or 25 to Soi Udomsuk (Soi 103), off Thanon Sukhumvit in Phrakhanong district, then a green minibus to the park. Alternatively, you can take air-con bus No.145 from the Weekend Market, getting off at the first intersection after the two large shopping malls, Seacon Square and Seri Centre. Turn left and catch either an orange minibus or songthaew for the remaining 10 minute ride.
Theme & Amusement Parks
Just outside Bangkok are a host of artificial tourist attractions that provide either the see-the-whole-country-in-an-hour theme or standard Western-style amusement park, It's often worth booking tickets through travel agencies, if their packages include round-trip transport.
Thirty-two kilometres west of Bangkok, on the way to Nakhon Pathom, the Rose Garden Country Resort (admission 10 Baht; resort & rose garden open 8am-6pm daily, cultural village open 10.30am-5pm daily) encompasses a faux Thai 'cultural village' (with demos of handcrafts, dancing, traditional ceremonies and martial arts). Swimming pools, tennis courts, a 3-hectare lake, elephant rides and a golf course. The 24-hectare garden area boasts 20,000 rose bushes. Tickets for the 2.45pm performances in the cultural village cost 220 Baht. Shuttle buses run between the resort and major Bangkok hotels. There is also a hotel on the premises, should you like th place so much you want to spend the night.
Just 1km north is the 9-hectare Samphran Elephant Ground & Zoo (adult 250 Baht / child 150 Baht; open 8am-5.30pm daily), where you can see elephant 'round-ups' and crocodile shows; a number of other animals can also be observed in zoo-like conditions. There are crocodile wrestling, elephant and magic shows in the afternoon.
Safari World (99 Thanon Raminthra 1; adult 700 Baht / child 450 Baht combo for Safari & Marine Park; open 9am-5pm daily) is a 69-hectare wildlife park said to the largest 'open zoo' in the world. It's divided into two portions, the driver-through Safari Park and the walk-through Marine Park. The 5km Safari Park drive (in air-con coaches or your own vehicle) intersects eight habitats with an assortment of giraffes, lions, zebras, rhinos, monkeys, elephants, orang-utans and other African and Asian animals. A Panda House displays rare white pandas and the Marine Park focuses on trained dolphin performances. It's 45km east of central Bangkok; for public transport catch a No. 26 bus from the Victory Monument to Minburi, then a songthaew to the park. A taxi costs about 3oo Baht and can be arranged at most hotels. Two attractions, Ancient City and the Crocodile Farm, in nearby Samut Prakan Province are often included on lists of popular Bangkok sights.