Not far from old Bangkok, Bang Phlat, another neighborhood located on Thonburi side, is a neighborhood comprising of hidden historic attractions. For certain, the neighborhood is non-touristic area for international tourists. Thus, if you are looking to explore Bangkok hidden history. Bang Phlat would be one of your alternative choices. The following are the attractions that you will find there : Rama 8 Bridge, Rmaa 8 Park, Galyani Vadhana Music Institution, Wat Karuha Bodee, Sala Rong Tham of Ban Poon, Wat Daowadeungsaram, Wat Bowon Mongkhon Ratchawora Vihara, Hatthakam Kloeng Pradap Khon (Khon Ornaments Handicraft) and Bang-or Mosque.
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Saphan Rama VIll is the first asymmetric cable-stayed bridge in Thailand and the world’s fifth–longest bridge. The bridge was built in accordance with the initiative His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej as a traffic relief measure for Saphan Phra Pin Klao and to accommodate traffic between the Phra Nakhon side and the Thon Buri side. Furthermore, it is a connection point in the royal initiative project-the Chaturathit Project (literally means four directions project) for alleviating the capital’s notorious traffic problems. As a royal memorial bridge commemorating King Ananda Mahidol or King Rama VIll, the royal emblem of King Ananda Mahidol was used as the theme for architectural design. The Rama VIlI Bridge instantly became a landmark of Bangkok since its opening in 2002 due to its appearance which combined a harmonius blend of Thai identity and engineering structure of a cable-stayed bridge with the old town environment. The bridge is linked between the Wisut Kasat Rd. (Bangkok) and the Rama 8 Rd. (Thon Buri). You can take bus number 49, 57, 81 to the bridge.
Rama 8 Park
It is the location of the life size royal statue of King Rama VIll, which was designed by the Fine Art Department. The Chalermphrakiet Building beneath the statue is the archive of the King’s life and works. Apart from Suan Santi Chai Prakan, the Rama VIIl Royal Park is one of the few public parks that is located on the banks of Chao Phraya River. As a great landmark, visitors could see all of Rattanakosin’s historic sites in the Phra Nakhon District from the park. The park is close to the foot of Rama 8 Bridge (Thon Buri side).
Galyani Vadhana Music Institution
This university-level music institution located close to Rama 8 Bridge is under the control of Silpakorn University, with its philosophy “spread the knowledge of classical music to the public, develop talented persons in classical music to achieve international recognition”, or its motto “develop talents, create composers, produce musicians to the world”. This institution was founded in 2012 to celebrate Princess Galyani Vadhana, as a patroness of Thai classical music. The Galyani Vadhana Music Institution is different from other music institutions in that it produces great musicians as well as building more listeners. Thus it provides information about classical music to the general public, to make them appreciate and see the value of classical music. This will strengthen and develop classical music in the future.
Wat Karuha Bodee
N. Na Paknam or Prayoon Uluchada, National Artist (Visual Arts) once wrote that the temple’s plan is one of the most beautiful. There is a chedi designed with unique aesthetic.
The hall housed ‘Phra Put Sak Kham’, the golden Buddha image with defeating evil gesture built around 16-18 century.
It once was the Buddha of Lanna Kingdom, and then it was moved to Vieng Chan together with the Emerald Buddha and Phra Bang. Later, King Rama Ill gave the Buddha to Phraya Ratcha Montri Borirak (Phu), the ancestor of the Phamonmontri clan, the builder of the temple. The temple is located on Charan Sanit Wong Rd. soi 42
Sala Rong Tham of Ban Poon
Khun Tip Udomsap, the leader of Ban Poon informed that Luang Wut Thanapu, from the early generation of the family Thanapoom and Darasawat, built Rong Tham and Rong Tan pavilions. They were later demolished-and the new Rong Tan pavilion was rebuilt after it started breaking down. Sala Rong Tham, Ban Poon is a Thai-styled pavilion, with a beautiful wooden pediment. But it is getting older as time goes by.
It is located next to the Ban Poon community which still stands after the Rama VIll bridge project. The pavilion is an old style building, It is located in the middle of a community and used as a centre for meeting, praying and preaching to monks, or used as a funeral place. People in the community call it ‘Sala Klang Ban’ (Home Centre Pavilion). Sala Rong Tham is in Ban Poon Community which is located close to the foot of Rama VIII Bridge (Thon Buri side).
Wat Daowadeungsaram is the temple that is built during the period of King Rama I, by his first concubine Chao Chom Waen or Khuen Seu. The temple’s former name is ‘Wat Krua In’. King Rama Ill later named it ‘Wat Daowadeungs Aram’. It had been continually renovated in many eras. In 1963, Khunying Kalahomratchasena (Mi Panikbutr) donated materials to renovate the temple as a dedication to Lt. Gen. Phraya Kalahomrajasena (Lek Panikbutr). The supreme patriarch was the guest of honor at the ceremony. The outside glass wall and Thai pavilion were later renovated and thus helped the development of buildings inside Wat Daowadeungsaram until today. More new buildings have been built in the temple. Location: Soi Wat Daowadeungsaram
Wat Bowon Mongkhon Ratchawora Vihara
The old temple, formerly known as ‘Wat Ling Khob’ and was reestablished as ‘Wat Bowon Mongkhon’ by Somdet Phra Bowonratchchao Maha Senanurak to be the sacred place for the Mon People. In 1919, it became the temple in Thammayuttika. The temple is famous for Dharma study. Its hall housed the Pang Mara Wichai Buddha (Buddha in gesture of defeating evil) and Hongsa Chedi, the beautiful Mon art, Near the Chao Phraya River located Suan Chalermphrakiet Rama IX (the park in honor of King Rama IX), the public park and sacred ground of the temple. Location: Charan Sanit Wong Rd. Soi 79.
Hatthakam Kloeng Pradap Khon (Khon Ornaments Handicrafts)
Initiated by Sataphon Liengsorn and his wife, who make a living in Wat Thepakorn Community by performing and making Khon. He sees that Khon clothes and performance are beautiful and worth studying. He then opened courses on Khon performance, clothes and accessories making. It became one attempt to conserve traditional heritage and increase job opportunity for those who are interested.
Bang-or Mosque was built by Persian merchants descended from the Sultans of Sulayman rulers of Sonkla in the Ayutthaya period. When Songkla was overthrown this group of merchants decided to migrate to Ayutthaya and Thon Buri. Located near the Chao Phraya River, Bang-or Mosque was built in Rama VI’s period. The building has one level with hipped roof and lime eaves. There are patterned roof terrace and ornaments around the roof. Around the mosque are the delicate gingerbread house and the beautiful old wooden house. Location ; Charan Sanit Wong Rd. Soi 86.
Going around Bang Phlat District, lower inner Thonburi, is certainly a Bangkok offbeat that offers you authentic local experience of Bangkok hidden with interesting attractions. If you are looking for less mainsteam attractions of Bangkok, the district is one of alternative areas in the city for you to consider.
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