Here are some of the famous tourist attractions in Bangkok. For more information please visit the Tourism Authority of Thailand website
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.
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.
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 imitating nature’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.
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 both propulsion 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.
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 67 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.
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.Source: Tourism Authority of Thailand