Bangkok Tuk Tuk and Long-tail Boat Experiences

In Bangkok and other parts of Thailand, you will see these strange looking vehicles called “Tuk Tuk” on the street of Bangkok and long-tail boat along the Chao Phraya River. The Tuk Tuk is a 3 wheels opened-air vehicle that are fund to ride. Its local names is “Sam Lor”. The definition of Tuk Tuk is “a three-wheeled motorized vehicle used as taxis” in Thailand. Thai Tuk Tuks have been associated with the society and culture for a long time. Another eye caching vehicle along the Chao Phraya River in Bankgok is long-tail boat. The design of the boat as its name suggest, has a long shape design like Banana with a long propeller. The purpose of the design is to be able to go on shallow water.  The vehicles automatically became the way of life of the people living in Bangkok, and other parts of Thailand as their way of transportation. 

Bangkok Tuk Tuk

There are many different designs of Tuk Tuk vary by the region. The typical design for Bangkok Tuk Tuk looks like the picture below.

Bangkok Tuk Tuk

Bangkok Tuk Tuk 

For Tuk Tuk in other regions of Thailand, they could look like the pictures below.

Thailand Tuk Tuk

Tuk Tuk in other regions of Thailand 

Long-tail boats

A yet iconic boat first created  around 1932-1933 by a civil servant. The boat in the past comparing to the modern day vehicle, is like public bus. When I was young, long-tail boat was used as public boats transporting people around town. Every time I got to take the boat, I was so excited because it was fun to take the boat viewing scenery of both sides of canal and rivers that I cruised along.

Long-tail boat in each region of the country looks different. This is because they have been modified to suite the local situation. For instance, the long-tail boat in the southern region looks like the one in the picture below.

Bangkok long-tail boat

Bangkok long-tail boats

Long-tail at in the southern region of Thailand

Long-tail boat in the southern region of Thailand

Best time to take Tuk Tuk in Bangkok

Morning

For people with first time experience, this might not matter. First time experience is always excited for everyone right? I guess so. It was like me doing it for the first time when I was a kid  going out with mommy taking a Tuk Tuk. For me, my favorite time to take Tuk Tuk would be in the morning and evening. In the morning, the weather is not yet hot. So taking the Tuk Tuk which is an open-air vehicle, will not be hot comparing to afternoon period.

Evening

Doing Tuk Tuk in the evening after sun down would be my best time roaming the street at night on Tuk Tuk in Bangkok. Everything is perfect. No heat. No traffic. Bangkok traffic is horrible during rush hour. If you are struck in the traffics on Tuk Tuk, you can not avoid those pollution from the car. You need to inhale it while in your Tuk Tuk. I do not think this is not the experience you would like to have. I have been in this situation before and know it was not a pleasant experience to have.

You will also experience the beauty of Bangkok at night when the city is light up.

Best time to take long tail boats in Bangkok?

You can ride the boat any time of the day. Staring from sunrise to sundown. These long tail boats will take you along old canals of Bangkok which was once called the Chao Phraya River before the short cut was made. There are no traffic in the river and canals so you do not have to worry about congestion. All you need to do is enjoy the other side of Bangkok that can only be seen by taking the long tail boat only.

Late afternoon

If I have to choose my favorite time to do this long tail boat ride, I would do it in the late afternoon. Late afternoon cruise is my favorite because along those canals I cruise, I will see people hang out near the canal and river. Some are having dinner. Some are just siting, chatting or fishing. It’s a scenery of real local life that I really enjoy it.  However, other time of the day is also nice to cruise the canals and river. I also like it but the late evening would be my top choice.

Bangkok Tuk Tuk Sunset Long-tailed Night Light 

If you are looking for a Bangkok Tuk Tuk tour that has combined these two experiences into one, you might need to check out “Bangkok Tuk Tuk Sunset Long-tailed Night Light.” The tour offers you a mix experience of sunset, Tuk Tuk, long-tail boat, temples, food and market.

In short, I hope this blog about my Tuk Tuk and long-tail boat experience would be helpful for other travelers who plan to visit my hometown, Bangkok in the future. Sawasdee kub.

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You haven’t experienced Bangkok is you haven’t visited Chatuchak Market. At this weekend market, you get to experience the best of Thailand – friendly people, rich culture, and excellent food.

Overview and history of Chatuchak Market

Chatuchak Market was the idea of the late Field Marshall Phibulsongkram, a former prime minister in the 1940s. It was his dream to establish a market in every province in Thailand. This market only settled at its current location in 1982.

For years, Chatuchak was only popular among traders and wholesalers. But now it has reached a landmark status. This weekend market that sits on a 35-acre land receives more than 200,000 visitors weekly. So, it is not only the largest open-air market in Asia but also the world’s largest weekend market.

JJ Market, as the locals call it, has more than 26 sections, and 15,000 stalls. You will find food, art, antiques, jewelry, clothes, furniture, etc. Just about everything is for sale at this market.

Chatuchak Weekend Market

What makes Chatuchak Market unique?

The main selling point of this market is its size. To put it into perspective, 35 acres is the equivalent of 26 football fields. Here you will find anything you are looking for, and other things you didn’t know existed.

Of the 200,000 weekly visitors, only 30% are tourists. A place that attracts so many locals is, without a doubt, awesome.

Why visit Chatuchak Market?

Visit Chatuchak Market for an immersive experience of Thailand’s culture. This is not just a market but also a tourist attraction. As you sift through the stalls, you will come across “made in Thailand” merchandise such as:

  • Woven thatch hats and bags
  • Handcrafted ornaments
  • Woodcarvings
  • Paintings

Also, you can go there for the sole purpose of experiencing Thailand cuisine. The market has endless food stalls serving not only Thai food but also dishes from around the world.

How to get to Chatuchak

You can use one of three modes of transport to get to this weekend market in Bangkok.

  • Taxi: Boarding a taxi is the easiest way to get to the market, especially if you are new to Bangkok.
  • MRT: The MRT is an underground train. Board the MRT at Silom and alight at Chatuchak Park. Then, walk for about two minutes to Entrance 2 of the JJ Market.
  • BTS: The BTS is a sky train. Get off this train at Moi Chit Station, which is near the entrance to the clothing section of the Market.
  • Bus: Catching a bus is the cheapest way to get to the market.
  • Tuk Tuk: Tuk Tuks are a fun way of experiencing Bangkok.

When to visit Chatuchak

JJ Market opens every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

On Fridays, the market opens from 6 pm to midnight.

On Saturdays and Sundays, the market is open from 9 am to 6 pm. Fortunately for shoppers, the traders do not strictly follow the closing time. Most stalls remain open till late into the night.

Of course, the best time to go shopping is early in the morning when the stalls are opening. Most traders believe the first sale is good luck. For that reason, they are more than willing to offer significant discounts.

The market’s website

Visit https://www.chatuchakmarket.org/ for more information about the market. On this website, you will find a pocket guide of the market, tips on how to shop, and other valuable information.

Renowned as one of the most vibrant cities in Asia, Bangkok has something for everyone. So when one says heaps are waiting for getting explored, they’re right! Bangkok has so much to offer whether it comes to visitors or the locals. Have you ever heard about the night markets in Bangkok? If no, then you’re at the right place! In this piece of writing, we’ll take you to the best night markets in Bangkok, which are highly popular among the locals. So, are you ready to explore Bangkok night markets? If yes, then get on the ride to the Bangkok night markets.

‘Are you looking for the best agency for private and custom tours, walking tours, food tours, or Tuk Tuk tours? EXPLORENIQUE is here with unique packages for locals!’

11 Best Bangkok Night Markets For Locals

1. Rot Fai Market, Srinakarin:

Rot Fai Market appeared on the map of Bangkok a few years back with all its glory on Srinakarin Road behind the famous Seacon Square shopping mart. The market is renowned for its vintage and retro goods. You can find all kind of old, new, and used stuff here at highly reasonable rates. But this is not what makes this market famous among the locals. It contains all kind of shops from bars to eating stalls to barbers; you may find a fantastic mixture of traditional, vintage, and hipster markets at a single spot while visiting Rot Fai night market.

Bangkok Night Market: Rot fai Night Market

2. Rot Fai Market, Ratchada

Located behind the Esplanade Cineplex, Rot Fai Ratchada market is the subsidiary or addition to the original night market at Srinakarin road. But what makes this market locals favorite are three factors. First, the market offers similar goods and other stuff sold by vendors on the stall. Secondly, the market is a hub for foodies, like this one among the Bangkok night market, offer traditional Thai food with a twist. So if you want to try the traditional Thai cuisine with some twist, then this is the place you must visit. Thirdly, the market offers a large variety of bars from fine dining ones to the bit noisy ones to accommodate all kind of crowd.

Bangkok night market; Rot Fai Market, Ratchada

3. Indy Market, Pinklao

Across the river, in the Thonburi district Indy market is relatively a new addition in the Bangkok night markets. The market caters the shopping and outing cravings of the locals as this is not yet famous as other Bangkok night markets. The Indy market offers a wide variety of food and crafts to entertain the locals from 6 PM to 12 AM. You can find an array of food stalls with pubs and bars to cater to the youth.

4. Liab Duan Ramintra Night Market

If you ask about one of the best night markets in Bangkok, then Liab Duan night market in Ramintra is by far the one. In Thai, Liab Duan means the market by the highway, and yes, there is a highway near the market. Similar to other Bangkok night markets, this market gains its limelight in the evening. With thousands of stalls and vendors selling all kind of crafts and product, you can find anything from old car stereo to used boots. The vendors are mostly the teen of Thailand who is exploring their entrepreneur skills under the hot lights and narrow streets.

์Night Markets in Bangkok. 4. Liab Duan Ramintra Night Market5.   Hua Mum Night Market

Opened in September 2015, Hua Mum Night Market is little known by the foreigners and is the main buying and selling point for the locals. The market offers a variety of food, desserts, shopping options, and fashion accessories. Stalls at Hua mum Market are not sheltered and thus provides a comfortable view. You can find a massive variety of Thai cuisine and bars to sit and relax. Moreover, the market offers all kind of fashion accessories at highly reasonable rates.

Hua Mum Night Market

6. Southern Market, Sai Tai Center Market

Want to explore a unique night market in Bangkok? Then we bet you must not miss the Sai Tai Center market. This market, akin to other markets, offers food delicacies and drink while shopping your heart out there, is a unique container zone you are going to witness. In the container zone, there is a row of containers having two stories for food and vendors. The market also offers an open market view having a side of the market without any shelters. So eat and drink to your appetite the yummiest Thai cuisine.

7. ArtBox Night Market

Are you looking for the best night markets in Bangkok? Here comes ArtBox Night Market! It’s somewhat a new, hip, and incredibly cool pop-up market. Here visitors can find several stalls which are housed in big shipping containers. Once you visit it, you’ll have a cool hipster-kind of a vibe of it. The best thing about this market is it focuses on local artists and hand-made items. So, you can find an array of quality, hip, and extraordinary hand-made clothes, shoes, handbags, jewelry, and gadgets there.

ฺBangkok night markts

8. The Owl Market

Are you feeling hungry? No problem, if hunger strikes midnight and you wish to eat local street food in Bangkok, then here come the Owl Market. It’s considered as one of the best night markets in Bangkok for food. At Food Square, you’ll find a variety of mouth-watering food stall where can ravine on local Thai Cuisine until you’re full! This market opens from 3 PM to 12 midnight.

Owl Night Market

9. Saphan Phut Night Market

Every evening when the sun goes down, the life at Saphan Phut wakes up. From t-shirts to jeans and shoes, you can find all kind of apparels and fashion items at highly affordable rates. You can find fantastic deals on the new and second-hand items. It’s best to save a handsome amount while shopping your heart out.

9. Saphan Phut Night Market

10. Chang Chui Creative Park—Day And Night Market

Want to know about the best night markets in Bangkok? It’s here to give you a compact view of Bangkok’s urban and modern side. Are you looking for the Bangkok night markets with fine dining options? And decent stalls? Go to Chang Chui Creative Park and witness the most intense and whacky art pieces made with recycled items.

Chang Chui Creative Park

Chang Chui Creative Park

11. Green Day Night Market

Located at the corner of the great Chatuchak market, green day market is a haven for university students. It’s the best for those who are looking for relatively reasonable shopping space as compared to its high-end neighbour. Your find the vintage flea market as well as bars and drinks spot to give your night a high end. Grab your favorite delicacy while wandering around the market, and who knows you might end up having few items for yourself?

Greeday Market

Final Verdict

The opening of late-night markets have given a massive boost to the Bangkok economy and also offering a great tourist treat for the visitors to explore the real Bangkok. The Bangkok night markets provide the locals with a reasonable place for shopping the daily items. These markets offer a sort of a unique experience for the tourists to explore the bustling life of Bangkok night markets. From fresh markets to wholesale markets, these night markets are the lifetime experience by showcasing every sort of items from the new one to the vintage one.

Museums are places you will find the history, artifacts, knowledge and other interesting things about those local cultures. Some of them are niche and unique representing an interesting story about one aspect of a subject or culture. In Bangkok, there are many Bangkok museums exhibiting the local culture, the history of Thailand and unique perspectives about subjects. Here is a list of Bangkok museums that will be helpful for you to choose which museum to visit.

Bangkok museumSiriraj Medical Museum. Photo credit: http://boonbudnet.com/

Bangkok National Museum

It is located in the area of the Bowonsathan Mongkok Palace or Wang Na (The Front Palace) in the first reign. It is the museum that displays Thai national history, art history and archaeology since the primitive age to the Rattanakosin period. Furthermore, there are art works expressing ethnology such as ancient objects, gold ornaments, silver ornaments, ancient cloth, actor’s mask, grand shadow play, and royal chariot.

This museum is very special because the exhibition buildings are ancient remains including the throne hall and palace. The Phuddhisawan Throne Hall is the architecture in the first reign of which Phra Phuddasihing, and an ancient stature of Buddha with Lanka has been placed there. Furthermore, there are beautiful mural paintings, small throne halls, Thai pavilions such as Sala Longsong, Sala Mookkamat, Mangala Pisek Throne Hall, Eak-alongkod Throne Hall, Patihan Tassanai Throne Hall, all of which reflect the uniqueness of the Rattnanakosin Period.

Remark:

The museum is located close to the Grand Palace and the Temple of Emerald Buddha which is within a short walking distant. Thus, for those travelers who plan to visit the Grand Palace and the Temple of Emerald Buddha, this museum will go well with your itinerary.

Location:

Na Phra That Rd., adjacent of the Thammasat University, opposite to the Sanam Luang.

Open: Wed-Sun 09.00 – 16.00 (closed on Monday, Tuesday and Public Holidays)

Fee: Foreigner 200 THB

Website: www.finearts.go.th

Museum Siam

The Museum Siam, or the National Discovery Museum Institute, is located in a hundred year old building which once was the headquarters of the Ministry of Commerce. Museum Siam is a modern museum with its distinct style of exhibition. by incorporating interactive multimedia andd valuable information, the exhibitions arranged at the museum narrate important topics interestingly. The learning becomes joyous and informative, as we could say that it is one kind of ‘edutainment’.

There are four kinds of exhibitions at Museum Siam: Permanent Exhibitions, Temporary Exhibitions, Moveable Exhibitions, andd special Exhibitions. One of the most interesting ones is the Permanent Exhibition named ‘riang Kwam Pra Ted Thai’ (Narrating Thailand), which brings us back to the early period of Suvarnabhumi, the rise of Siamese Kinddom and the birth of modern Thailand, by relaying reliable information in a comprehensive tone.

Location:

Sanam Chai Rd., close to the Wat Pho.

Open:

Tue-Sun 10.00 – 18.00

Fee:Foreigners 300 THB, get 50% discount for a group of 5 people onward.

Website:

www.museumsiam.com

Pipit Bang Lamphu

This is the Treasury Department project in restoring the Kurusapa building and inaugurated in 2014. The two exhibition zones are divided according to the building layout. The modern building in the front acts as an introductory chapter telling the Bang Lamphu story that reflects the historical background and establishment of the city and the district.

Whereas the rear wooden building which is the highlight of the project and hosts the permanent exhibition telling the Bang Lamphu story especialy the olden colorful days that once it was a prosperous area and an important commercial center. It is also a center of multi-ethic grougs, art and culture especially that of the entertainment, fashion and food. There are mock-up of local popular food shops ranging from the coffee shop, Nopparat clothing shop and also that of the historical ‘trok’ (alley) such as Trok Kianniwas. Also there is a mock-ups of symbolic cork tree (Lamphu tree) both the old and the new ones which related to the origin of the name and the continuation of legends of Bang Lamphu.

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Location:

Phra Sumen Rd., close to Suan Santi Chai Praka.

Open:

Tue-Sun 10.00-18.00

Fee:

100 THB

Website:

www.facebook.com/pipitbanglamphu

Coin Museum Thailand

In Bang Lamphu area not far from Pipit Bang Lamphu, there is “Coin Museum Thailand” that you can visit. The museum is also under the Treasury Department of Thailand. It exhibits the history of the Thai coins, the medium of exchange which has been used in the Thai economic system. The museum gives information about  cultural and economic history of Thailand from the early period to the present by telling coins’ stories. One of the museum’s remarkable is the 4D animation on 360 widescreen which present the content realistically. It is the first museum in Thailand using the technology.

Nitasrattanakosin

The museum is located in the first Ratchadamnoen building next to Chetsadabodin plaza. The museum provides a concise Bangkok history as its motto says “Values of the era in a day”. The museum consists of nine exhibition halls that display various exhibitions on the history of Rattanakosin Bangkok in many aspects; art, culture, commoners and courtiers’ way of life such as entertainment, royal ceremonies, urban legends etc., architectures of important temples, and royal duties of nine Chakri kings. There is also a temporary exhibition hall available for academia and private institutions.

Location:

Next to Chetsadabodin Plaza

Open:

Tue-Sun 10.00-19.00. The tour session starts every  20 minutes between 10.00-17.00

Website:

www.nitasrattanakosin.com

King Prajadhipok Museum

Only a few minutes walk from Nitasrattanakosin, you will find King Prajadhipok Museum which is located near Panfa Leelard Bridge, the Neo-Classic building with domes and towers, decorated with Greco-Roman bas-relieves was built late in Rama V’s reign in 1906. It is the Department of Public Works and, Urban and Country Planning’s preservation site. Now it is converted to the King Prajadhipok Museum to display the personal collections of King Prajadhipok and Queen Rambai Barni as well as showcase photos, documents of royal family history and important events in Thailand from that time period.

Location:

At Panfa intersection

Open:

Tue-Sun 09.00-16.00

Fee:

None

Website:

www.facebook.com/kingprajadhipokmuseum

Suan Pakkad Palace Museum

Wang Suan Pakkad or Suan Pakkad Palace was the residence of Chumbhotbongs Paribatra, Prince of Nakhon Sawan and his wife. The residence is open to the public, and organized as a Museum by the Chumbhot-Pantip Foundation. The museum consists of a group of eight traditional Thai houses connected by bridges. Each house is an exhibition hall, displaying artefacts from all around the world. The museum is organized into Ban Chiang Museum, Khon Museum, and Silpa Nitas Marsi Exhibition Hall in Chumbhot-Pantip Gallery. Moreover, in Ho Khian, the house next to the lawn southward, there is the biggest Gilded Black Lacquer collection from the Ayutthaya Period.

Location:

Sri Ayudhaya Rd., close to the Phyathai Hospital 1.

Open:

09.00-16.00

Fee:

100 THB

Website:

www.suanpakkad.com/

Bangkok Folk Museum

With good intention, Ajarn Waraporn Surawadee, the owner of the house, decided to turn it into a museum containing valuable objects of her mother for later generations to study. The buildings were built with rare antique wood and have been kept perfectly. The various items in many rooms narrate how the middle class Bangkokians lived before and after the period of WWII. Later, the owner donated the museum to the Bangkok Metropolitan Authority, it became the pilot project of ‘One District, One Museum’ policy.

Location:

Charoen Krung Rd. Soi 43

Open:

Wed-Sun 10.00-16.00

Fee:

None

M.R. Kukrit Pramoj’s House Museum (Ban Soi Suan Phlu)

M.R. Kukrit Pramjo moved into this house in 1960. There are five Thai-style teak touses in different sizes, each of which M.R. Kukrit received from different occasions. For example, the big house in the middle was bought from Giant Swing area. Two others in central-Thailand-style houses were received from Pak Hai District, Ayutthaya. Among these Thai buildings are Bird Tower and the Buddha Tower. There were balconies which linked each of these buildings together. Apart from them is a big pavilion which was used for many activities. M.R. Kukrit was extendingthe buildings on his property for thirty years before his death in 1995. Now the Fine Arts Department has registered this place as a Historical Site, in the Important People’s Home catergory. M.R. Kukrit Pramjo’s House Museum has been under the care of the Kukrit 80 Project, a royal project by Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn.

Location: Soi Phra Pinij, South Sathorn Rd.

Open:

10.00-18.00

Fee:

Adult 50 THB

Website:

www.krukritshousefund.com

Remark:

Please contact in advance for arrangement.

Jim Thomson House Museum

The Thai house compound on Khlong Saen Saeb was home to James H. W. Thompson or commonly known as Jim Thompson, the silk tycoon who made Thai silk globally renowned. The compund is made from teak wood. It was constructed in 1959 by unting six Thai houses relocated from various parts of central Thailand. After Thompson disappered the house was converted to a museum to display his own private collection. He had collected south-east Asian artifacts since the time they were neglected, especially Siamese and Burmese Buddha statues which are the majority of his collection. he also loved Thai paintings and made a huge collection of painting on various materials such as cotton, paper, and wood. The effort to preserve his house and his collection received honor from the Association of Siamese Architects.

Location:

Soi Kasemsan 2, Rama 1 Rd.

Open:

09.00-17.00

Fee:

Adults 200 THB. Under 22 years 100 THB. Under 10 years Free

Website:

www.jimthompsonhouse.com/

Plai Noen Palace Museum (Wang Plai Noen)

Somdet Phra Chao Boromma Wong Thoe Chao Fa Chitcharoen Krom Phraya Naritsaranuwattiwong (Prince Narit), who was hailed by UNESCO as the great craftsman of Siam, built the palace for temporary residence to recover his health. It is the two-story Thai conventional style stilted building with large space underneath. The plan was designed to shelter the houses from sunbeam, which is different from usual design tradition of Thai house.

Location:

Rama 4 Rd., near the MRT Khlong Toei Station.

Remark:

Please contact in advance for arrangement. Tel. 02 249 4280

Ruen Ratchada Bodin

The Ruen Ratchada Bodin is one of three Thai-golden-teak-houses including Ruen Tan Chao Phraya (Non-reyal Duke House), Ruen Ratchada Bodin and Ruen Silpa Nitas. The Thai style house was built and enlarged with parts of the old Thai style house by contractors in the Ayutthaya Period. It is a museum in the Bodindecha (Sing Singhaseni) school. The Thai style house and school were named after Bodin Decha Non-royal Duke who was an important army leader in the early Rattanakosin period. He was good at military strategy, diplomatic relations, politics and economics. Ruen Ratchada Bodin exhibits a glorious biography of the school, important persons and the history of all branches of the school. Nowadays, the Bodindecha (Sing singhaseni) school is famous and there are many branches in Bangkok and other provinces.

Location:

In the area of Bodindecha (Sing Singhaseni) School, Ramkhamhaeng Rd. Soi 43/1.

Fee:

None

Remark:

Please contact in advance for arrangement. Tel. 02 538 3964, 02 538 2573.

Prasart Museum

Since a number of works of art and precious antiques were smuggled out of Thailand, Thai people have less chance to see exhibits of cultural heritage. Mr. Prasart Wongsakul began to gather and collect antiques for ten years and then he founded ‘Prasart Museum’ in order to be a learning resources and heritage of descendants. There are several interesting things in the museum including the Red Palace that is a Thai style house duplicated from the Tamnak daeng (Red Palace) in the Bangkok National Museum, Lanna Pavillion, European style building and garden with rare plants from Thailand and foreign countries.

Location:

Krungthep Kritha Rd. Soi 8 Alley 14

Open:

Tue – Sun. 09.00-17.00.

Fee:

1,000 THB, 2 persons or more 500 THB each.

Remark:

Please contact in advance for arrangement.

Thai Bank Museum

As the first bank of Thailand with more than a hundred years of history, the Siam Commercial Bangk Public Limited (SCB) has archived a large number of historical documents and materials, worthy of exhibition. The narratives, concerning historical and monetary topics of bangking in Thailand, are partitioned to four zones; The Evolution of Money, The Evolution of Banking, The Prototype of Thai banks, and Siam Commercial Bank’s Advance to the present. Apart from interesting topics, the museum utilized multimedia creatively in the exhibitions. In some part, there is an interaction mode within the simulated surroundings and visions could be informed realistically. There is also the Ratchaharudaya Archives and library for academic purposes.

Location:

Thai Bank Museum Building. Ratchadapisek Rd.

Open:

Mon-Fri. 10.00-17.00. Close on National Holiday

Fee:

None

Website:

www.thaibankmuseum.or.th

Royal Thai Air Force Museum

The museum was established in 1952 to collect, preserve, and restore different airplanes and other equipment used by the Royal Thai Air Force as well as rare and interesting aviation equipment received frim foreign Air Force comrades. Anyone who is fasinated by these old flying machines can also learn the history of Thai aviation in this museum. some models are the last of their kind and restored into perfect condition such as bulky Vought Corsair V-93s, one of two remaining in the world Tachikawa Ki-36, and first plane designed and built in Thailand, the Paribatra.

Location:

In the area of Royal Thai Air Force, Phahonyothin Rd.

Open:

08.30-16.30. Close on Thai Army’s Day 25 Jan and public holidays.

Khun Luang Rit Narongron Museum

The museum is situated on the rit Narongron school Premises.  It was originally the house of Khun Luang rit Narongron (Jek saengmanee). The museum building was built in 1923 during the reign of King rama VI. The museum is a two story structure that’s half Thai and half European architecture, embelished with decorative motifs of a combination of eastern and western artistic styles. The prominent feature of the building is a teak winder staircase without a center pole.

Location:

Soi Uwittaya, Phet Kasem Rd. Soi 4

Open:

Mon-Fri 08.30-16.30. Close on National Holidays.

Royal Thai Naval Dockyard Museum

The museum was established to commemerate the 7th cycle Birthday Anniversary of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej in 2011; to serve as a center for learning and knowledge in history, and development and industry of shipbuilding in Thailand. The exhibit features shipbuilding such as the process and technology of warship building, ship repair and maintenance, intellectual heritage of artisan, protetion of national sovereignty over the sea, development of royal naval dockyard, including the building of Narai Song Suban Royal Barge as well as the repair and preservation of the royal barges. Furthermore, the exhibit aslospresents His Majesty the King’s intelligence, creativity and royal grace regarding shipbuilding such as the initiative to build coast guard vessels. The museum is situated in the Naval Dockyard Department and it has been selected by the Association of Siamese Architects under Royal Patronage to receive the 2014 Excellence Award in Architectural Conservation, in the category of institutional and public building.

Location:

In the area of the Royal Thai Navy Headquarters, Arun Amarin Rd.

Open:

Mon-Fri 09.00- 16.00 (Close on National Holidays)

Fee:

None

Remark:

Please contact in advance for arrangement.

National Royal Barge Museum

Formerly it was a dock or a store of the ceremonial barge under the responsibility of the Bureau of the Royal Household and Royal Thai Navy. During WWII, Bangkok Noi was targeted and parts of the dock and the barges were destroyed. Later BRH and the Royal Thai Navy ordered the Find Arts Department to repair the destroyed barges.

Presently some parts of the barges are still shown in the museum as a memorial fo the War. The Royal Barges are important with a long history. They were delicatedly created by the country’s great artists. For its importance, the Find Arts Department registered it as a National Heritage and uplifted the dock to the National Royal Barge Museum in 1974 to reserve this precious heritage for the next generation.

Location:

At the bank of Khlong Bangkok Noi, Arun Amarin Rd.

Open:

09.00-17.00 (Close on New Year and Songkarn Holidays)

Fee:

Single ticket-foreigner 100 THB

Package ticket-foreigner 350 THB including the entrance fees to the National Museum, the National Royal Barge Museum and the National Gallery)

Website:

http://www.nationalmuseums.finearts.go.th.

Siriraj Medical Museum

Museums in Siriraj Hospital were established purposefully.  for medical students to study, analyze and practicee in their training course. Currently, there are six museums that open to the public: “Congdon Anatomical Museum”, established in 1927 by Prof. Edgar Davidson Condon from Rockefeller Institue. The exhibitions include more than two housands objects, such as fetus in development phases, abnormal bodies, etc.; “Ellis Pathological Museum”, Sood Sangvichien Prehistoric Museum & Laboratory” exhibits human evolution, “Songkran Niyomsane Forensic Medicine Museum” exhibits the crime-related topics, forensic tools, evidences from well-known cases, Parasitology Museum exhibits venomous animals and parasites, and Siriraj Phimukhsthan Museum which established on the occation of Siriraj Piyamaharajkarun Hospital opening.

Siriraj Phimukhstan Musum

Siriraj Phimukhsthan Museum is a new museum of Siriraj Hospital, which was built by thoroughly converting and reconstruction of the Bangkok Noi Train Station. At first sight, the museum welcomes visitors with trasitional ticket booth classic in style. The interior exhibits history and evolution of medicine in Thailand. Although it is the hospital museum, apart from exhibitions regarding history of the hopsital and development of medical treatment, there is an exhibition which narrates and informs the local history, insighful and complete in its contents. The narration relays its message through a ruined fortress, an ancient wooden boat, as well as many artifacts, all of which were discoverd by the time of the construciton of Siriraj Piyamaharajkarun Hospital. Because the site of the hospital was once the Bowon Stanpimuk Palace or Wang Lang (the Rear Palace), the exhibition thus includes all of the historical traits into its contents to enhance the realistic presentations.

Location:

In the area of the Siriraj Piyamaharajkarun Hospital, Wang Lang Rd.

Open:

Wed-Mon 10.00-17.00 (Close on Public Holidays)

Fee:

Foreigner 300 THB including the entrance fees to the Siriraj Medical Museum and Siriraj Phimukhsthan Museum)

Website:

https://www.facebook.com/siriraj.museum

House of Museums

The house of museums was built in 2001. Anek Navikamook is a well-known academic and collector who once said, “collect today, tomorrow it grows old.” Together with his colleagues he established ‘House of Museums’ to collect everyday objects, that came from private collections and donations. House of Museums consists of two buildings. The exhibition inside the hall were designed and planned as row houses in an old market. It narrates Thai urban life from circa 1957. Thee are drugstores, clothes shop, toy shop, barber, convenience shop, cinema, gold shop, gramophone record shop, coffee shop, camera shop, etc., and there is also a reproduction of a floating market atmosphere too.

Location:

Soi Khlong Pho 2, Sala Thammasop Rd.

Open:

Sat-Sun 10.00-17.00

Fee:

Adults 30 THB. Children 10 THB

Erawan Musuem

A private museum founded by Lek Viriyaphan, a Thai bussinesman who spet his own wealth to construct the museum. He also the founder of the renown Ancient Siam and Sanctuary of Truth which are also very interesting and unique to that is worth a visit.

Although the Erawan Museum is not in Bangkok, it’s very easy to travel to and close to Bangkok. The museum can be conveniently reached by the BTS Sky Train from the central part of Bangkok. This is the reason why the museum is included in this list of Bangkok museums.

The museum took nearly 19 years to complete and was open in 2013.  The main highlight of the museum is the largest giant three-headed sculpture made of copper that came from Hindu mythology. The sculpture is 43.6 meter in heights, 12 meters in width, 39 meters in length and weight 150 tons.  The elephant can be seen from a distant.

The museum building is also beautiful decorated that represents the Underworld, the Earth, and the Heaven in Buddhist cosmology.

The first floor of the building decoratively represents the underworld. The level exhibits ancient artifacts collected by the founder such as ancient tea sets vases and bowls from the Dynasties of Ming and Qing from China. Furthermore, there are many mythical creature statues displayed who are believed to be the guardians of the underworld such as a half Naga-half human.

Next level, the second floor representing the earth. The collections of antique displayed at the level are divided into three types; Thai ceramics, stained glass and potteries made from Western culture. The level is a hot spot for photography with the stained glass as the main background

The top level represents the Mount Meru, the highest place where the Hindu gods live. The mural painting, painted by a German master, depicts the universe in the Buddhist Cosmology. The chamber also exhibits ancients Buddha statues and relics from different period.

If you want to get away from touristic attractions, this museum could be the one you’re looking for.

Location:

99/9 Moo 1, Sukhumvit Road, Bang Meung Mai, Samut Prakan

Open:

Every day from 09.00-18.00

Fee:

Adult 400 THB. Child 200 THB.

Website:

https://www.muangboranmuseum.com

Baan Kudichin Museum

A hidden museum in the Portuguese Community close to Wat Arun in Thonburi showcases you the history of the Portuguese living in the area and their relationship and contribution related to the period of Ayutthaya, Thonburi and Bangkok.

The museum has a small garden on the first level with a small cafe where you can order some drinks and snack especially the Sappayak Bun, a Portuguese snack that you can not find anywhere else in the city.

On the second floor, there are collections of antiques of the locals used in the old day display as well as pictures that depicts the story of the Portuguese.

Going up to the roof, you will be able to photograph the community and the Chao Phraya River in 360′

No admission fee to enter the museum. However, the museum needs fund to keep it running. A little purchase at the cafe would be appreciated.

Bangkok has 50 districts in the city and each district is distinguish and unique in its own culture. The Bangkok  Museums that I wrote here represent their own stories that contribute to the overview picture of Thailand history.  With this list of Bangkok museums, I hope it will help you choose the right museum that suits your goal and itinerary. Have a nice museum day!

 

 

Wat Pho or Wat Phra Chettuphon Wimon Mangkhlaram is the first-class royal temple of King Rama I’s reign, was originally built in the Ayutthaya period, and the King had it restored in 1789. During King Rama III’s reign, the King ordered the inscription of knowledge from old textbooks into the marble plates, then, placed them in the buildings to be the source of knowledge for the public. These plates could be categorized into many disciplines, such as history, religion, medicine and literature. The Wat Pho; therefore, could be regarded as the first university of Thailand. Furthermore, the temple is the house of the most beautiful reclining Buddha in Thailand. In 2011, UNESCO registered 1,440 stone inscriptions of Wat Pho as Memory of the World. There are many fascinating cultural heritage points in Wat Pho; for instance,

Wat Pho attractions including

99 Chedis

Wat Pho is the temple with the most Chedis of Thailand. One of the remarkable is the Four Great Stupas or Phra Maha Chedi of four reigns, the Chinese-Thai style architecture.

Wat Pho, Reclining BuddhaPhoto credit by คุณวรวุฒิ หิรัญยไพศาลสกุล

Phra Vihara Buddhasaiyas

Also internationally known as the Reclining Buddha is the graceful reclining Buddha and the third largest and longest one of Thailand. The image is regarded as the most beautiful reclining Buddha image in the country. There are 108 pearl carvings of auspicious images on the Buddha’s soles, in the Chinese-Thai style.

Reclining buddha

Reclining BuddhaThe most beautiful Reclining Buddha in Thailand

Epigraphic Archives of Wat Pho

It’s the stone inscriptions containing old wisdom and various bodies of knowledge.

Wat PhoPhoto credit: mgronline.com

Wat Pho's stone incriptionPhoto credit: watpho.com

Khao Ruesi Dat Ton (The Mountain of Exercising Hermits)

This is the health garden where there are many hermit statues demonstrating Yoga, movements, and the Thai traditional Physical Therapy manual in the form of graphic poems.

Wat PhoPhoto credit by คุณวรวุฒิ หิรัญยไพศาลสกุล

Phra ra Bian (The Cloister)

The cloister displays Buddha images collected from different regions of the country at the beginning of the King Rama I’s reign. These images are ancients images casted in different periods such as Sukhothai, Ayutthaya or Lopburi.  It’s one of photo hot spots for travelers.

Wat PhoPhra ra Bian

Sala Karn Pa Rien (The Sermon Hall)

The building locally called “Ubosot” which was built in the Ayutthaya Period.

Kam Phang Kaew (The Glass Wall)

The bas-relief images depicting the story of Ramakien, modeled from the grand shadow play in Ayutthaya period.

Wat PhoKam Phang Kaew

Chinese Dolls and Yaksha Wat Pho

The dolls were created by Thai master craftsmen and placed in the temple harmoniously. Yaksha Wat Pho is the legendary creatures with many old tales around them, were cursed and became the stone guardians of the temple. There is also the famous booth embellished with tile depicting a bantam realistically.

Wat Pho, Giant Door GurdiansChinese doll door guardians. Photo credit by คุณวรวุฒิ หิรัญยไพศาลสกุล

Wat Pho, GiantYaksha. Photo credit by watpho.com

Massage pavilions

Wat Pho provides on-site massage service. The service pavilions are located at the east entrance and is rated around THB 450 / hour. The service is always busy but waiting for the service is not that long. However, there are also massage service outside the temple compound that you can use. This massage service is managed by Wat Pho as well. Therefore, you can be certain that you will receive the same quality service as the one offered on the temple ground. To get to the shop outside the temple, you just need to ask the receptions at the pavilion, they will walk you there.

Wat Pho, massageMassage Pavillions at Wat Pho

Opening hours

The temple is open everyday from 08.30-18.30. The admission fee is THB 200 / person with one free bottle of water.

Wat Pho by night

The temple is even more beautiful in the evening when it’s illuminated. This would be my best moment of the day to visit the temple when no tourists are around. Your experience will be totally different from day time visit. Below is what the temple looks like in the evening. If you would like to experience Wat Pho by night, this “Bangkok Tuk Tuk Sunset Long-tail Night Lights Tour” will take you there. You will experience the other side of the temple beauty with knowledgeable guides.

Wat Pho by night

Wat Pho by nightWat Pho by night

Grand Palace

For first time visitors to Bangkok, one of the must-visit attractions is the Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. The attraction used to be the command center of all the kings and government since the early beginning of the Kingdom. Many beautiful buildings and architecture that portray the tradition and culture of Thailand will be found here.  Planning to visit the palace as your first destination is recommend. You will get an overview understanding of the culture through the visit.

When King Rama I ordered the move of the capital to the Phra Nakhon District in 1782, he established the Grand Palace as the new center of the kingdom. Built in the tradition of Ayutthaya palace, it was located near a river and constructed together with the temple inside, in the example of Wat Phra Si Sanphet. In the past, the Grand Palace was the royal house and the palace for the kind to have an audience with his subjects. Presently, it’s utilized for the royal funerals.

The Grand Palace has been the center of Thai art and culture for more than two centuries. It’s the place where many important Thai cultural events took places, and since those were regarded as the model of every branch of Thai art, the Grand Palace became the worldwide famous tourist attraction. Each year, the architecture in the Grand Palace, that reflect the Thai identity, attract millions tourists. The complex consists of Wat Phra Kaew, Dusit Maha Prasat Throne Hall, Aphom Phimok Prasat Throne Hall, Phiman Rattaya Throne Hall, and many more. But the highlight building is the the Chakri Maha Prasat Throne Hall or ‘foreigner with Chada (Thai crown)’, where Thai architectural style is mixed with western architectural style harmoniously.

Grand PalaceDusit Maha Prasat Throne Hall. Photo credit: royalgrandpalace.th/th/home

Temple of the Emerald Buddha or Wat Phra Kaew

Located in the outer court of the Grand Palace, it’s the capital temple which was constructed according to King Rama I, together with the establishment of the Rattanakosin Kingdom and the Grand Palace in 1782. The temple is classified as the supreme temple, the highest temple class in the country. Beside housing the Emerald Buddha, the temple also houses other important statues, and royal ashes of former kings as well. It was also used for performing the important royal rituals.

One of the most remarkable parts of the visit is worshiping and praying to the Emerald Buddha, the palladium which was sculpted from green emerald, was built-in the Chiang Saen-sukhothai style. The Buddha’s clothes are changed seasonally. Additionally, the gorgeousness of the ubosot, whose walls, arch, gates and windows were decorated grandiosely by  master craftsmen of the early Rattanakosin, also adds to the experience.

In the cloisters, is the world’s longest mural, depicting the story of Ramakien in a series of 178 images with accompanying poems. Here you do not want to miss photographing yourself together with the Guarding Yaksha of Wat Phra Kaew, which is one of the important landmarks of Bangkok.

Emerald Buddha ImageEmerald Buddha Image. Photo credit: royalgrandpalace.th/th/home

Temple of Emerald Buddha Guarding Yaksha of Wat Phra Kaew. Photo credit: royalgrandpalace.th/th/home

Best time to avoid the crowd at the palace

The Grand Palace and the Temple of Emerald Buddha is always crowded everyday since it’s a must visit attraction in Bangkok for first time visitors. But if you want to try avoiding the crowds, try visiting the attraction at its opening hour, lunch time where all tourist leave the palace for lunch and the other less crowded period I found was at the last hour before it’s close.  These moments are the ones that the site has less visitors. So plan well!

Temple of the Emerald BuddhaOrdination Hall of the Temple of Emerald Buddha 

Coming to Bangkok and not visiting the Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha? You will miss the cultural highlight of the Thai tradition. Visiting the attraction with a knowledgeable tour guide will give you an overview history of the Thai culture and enhance your experience.  Our knowledgeable tour guides will  present you a tour of the palace and the temple and you will leave the attraction with much more understanding of the Thai culture.

Dress code

Visiting the palace, it’s required that you wear long pants or skirts with knee length and shirts covering shoulders. Using scarfs to wrap around shoulders would not allowed as well as legging pants.

The Grand Palace’s admission ticket is THB 500 per person and is open everyday from 08.30-15.30. It’s never close but sometime it’s close for some royal ceremonies.  If you’re there and it’s close, well! You’re the lucky one!

Bangkok Attractions

This blog is written to promote the hidden historic Bangkok attractions around the old town with the Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha Image as the center. These attractions in old Bangkok are scattered around the Grand Palace and are located off-the-beaten-track. They are easy to get to from the palace by walking, Tuk Tuk or other public transports such as motorbike taxi. The Bangkok attractions close to the Grand Palace that I would like to talk about are Sanam Luang, Bangkok city pillar shrine, Khlong Khu Mueang Doem, Wat Ratchabophit, Chao Pho Suea Shrine, Sam Phraeng, and Wat Ratchapradit.

Sanam Luang

In 1977, the Fine Art Department registered Sanam Luang as one of the important historic sites in Bangkok. As a public space, it has been bonded with Thais’ lives for more than two centuries. As the capital’s center, it is the space where people from every social class could interact with each other.

Sanam Luang has been utilized for many purposes: it was the place for the royal funeral, and the place for the royal Rice Fiedl ritual in King Rama III’s period. It was also the amusement park; the place for kite flying competitions, horse racing and golf. It was the weekend market where there are goods for sale from toothpaste to warships; the place for family picnics; the platform for delivering political speeches and election campaigns; the center of public transit.

Currently, Sanam Luang is rearranged, scenically cleaned, with open and close times for visitors and only available for royal rituals. Although there are less colorful activities than in its old days, Sanam Luang is still one of Bangkok’s most important sports, since it is the location many historical event of Thailand took place.

Bangkok City Pillar Shrine

One of the closest hidden Bangkok attractions to the Grand Palace is Bangkok City Pillar Shrine. The City Pillar Shrine was built at the same time of the founding of the Rattanakosin Kingdom, more than two centuries ago. It’s very important to perform the ritual of the city pillar in the center of the capital, which is regarded as the strategic location that would bring blessing upon the kingdom. The pillars then became the symbol of security, which people could depend upon spiritually.

For Bangkok, there are two city pillars, which is different from other provinces. Since the first city pillar, built in King Rama I’s period, was ruined in King Rama IV’s period. the King then ordered the new city pillar to be built, moved the old one and put them together in the same place.

There is an appropriate order to worship the pillars. It proceeds from: Buddha Hall, Model City Pillar Buddha, City Pillar Buddha, Hal of Five Guardian Angels and finally, ends by pouring oil for Buddha that corresponds to your birthday, and participating in the exorcising of misfortunes ritual. You would receive the same amount of merits as visiting nine temples. Bangkok City Pillar Shrine is located in the northeast of the Grand Palace.

Bangkok city pillar shrineBangkok City Pillar Shrine. Photo credit: bangkokcitypillarshrine.com

Khlong Khu Mueang Doem (Khlong Lhord)

The capital canal consisted of three canals which was named in King Rama V’s period as “Khlong Rong Mai’, “Khlong Lhord’ and ‘Khlong Tald’. It was built in King taksin’s and King rama I’s period. There are two hundred year old iron woods near the canla on the rear side of Wat Ratchabophit, reflection of the old tradition of planting iron woods in the inner area of the capital.

Khlong Khu Mueang Doem is the location of crafworks from King Rama VI’s period. For example, “Saphan Hok”, the drawbridges that were built in the same model as the bridges in Netherland, “Saphan Charoen Rat 31”, “Saphan Charoen Sri 34” and other bridges, whose names were prefixed with ‘Charoen’ and ended with numbers, are beautiful Western-style plaster-works, and furthermore, there is “Uthokatan”, the plaster shrine, where located the statue of Phra Mae Thorani with drinkable water coming from her hair, which was designed by the maser of the period.

Wat Ratchabophit

Not far from the Grand Palace, you will find another unique Bangkok attraction. One of a kind temple design in the city is secretly hidden, Wat Ratchabophit. The temple’s official name is Wat Ratchabophit Sathit Maha Simaram Ratchawora Maha Vihara. The temple was the last one which was constructed in accordance with royal tradition during King Rama V’s reign. It was planned in the style of the Ayutthaya period, with the blended architectural trait that was nicknamed, ‘Exterior is Thai and interior is Foreigner’. The exterior of the ubosot was decorated with handmade Thai golden glazed tiles, while the interior is decorated with Gothic gold in the same design as the Palace of Versailles. The designs at the arc of gates and windows are regarded as master craftwork.  In the Royal Cemetery, there are chedi, prang and vihara (in Thai, Khmer and European style). One of the remarkable features of the temple is the image of ‘Nai Tawarabala’ (the watchman), which is clothed differently, at the entrances.

Wat RatchabophitWat Ratchabophit’s Ordination Hall 

Sam Phraeng

The three princes of King rama IV once lived in the area. A historic neighborhood in old town. This quarter was a prosperous commercial district during the reigns of Rama V and Rama VI. Taking a walk in this quarter and being immersed in the old town’s atmosphere, and sighting the early Bangkok colonial-influenced buildings are recommended. Walk from “Phraeng Phuthon”, you would find the open ground inside the community. The buildings on Khlong Lhord side are well known as the gathering of musical instruments shops. Beside is “Phraeng Nara” where once was the site of “Pridalai Theatre”, Thailand’s first musical theater and then was utilized as Talaphat Suksa School, the beautiful wooden and lime building,  deserted. The last one, “Phraeng Sapphasat”, which is located near the Tiger God Shrine, located graceful old European arch. There are also a number of good food vendors such as Nattaporn Ice-cream, Chotichit Potchana Restaurant, nodle and pork brain soup, glutinous rice with coconut milk, Thai crepes, roast pork and crispy pork with rice, pa-thong-ko (youtia), etc. Satisfaction is guaranteed.

Chao Pho Suea Shrine

Located in Sam Phraeng neighborhood another favorite attraction in old Bangkok for the locals is Chao Pho Suea Shrine. (Suea Godfather Shrine). The shrine is known as ‘Tua Lao Yia’ among Thai people of Chinese descent and is an ancient Teochiu shrine. The original shrine was constructed in the reign of Rama III on Thanon Bamrung Mueang and relocated to the current site on Thanon Tanao in the reign of Rama V. The shrine houses various Chinese icons such as Huangtian Shangdi, Chao Pho Suea, Guanyin, Guan Yu, and Chao Mae Taptim. These gods are venerated by Thai and Chinese alike. It is widely believed that whoever venerates gods at the shrine will be blessed with prosperity. The shrine is often crowded by believers, especially during Chinese New Year and the Nine Emperor Gods Festival.

Chao Pho Suea ShrineChao Pho Suea Shrine. Photo credit: Chao Pho Suea Shrine Facebook Page

Wat Ratchapradit

The royal temple of King Rama IV’s reign, even with its small capacity, contained many valuable Thai art and cultural heritage inside. There are the murals depicting the tales of ’12-month Royal Ceremonies’, the other depicting ‘Solar Eclipse’, and the wooden windows embellished with pearl in the style of Nagasaki craftwork, which is rarely seen even in Japan because the aftermath of WWII. Furthermore, there are Pasan Chedi, Tamnak Somdet, ho rakhang, sala rai, etc. Allo of which reflect the distinct architectural style of the period.

In old Bangkok, beside the Grand Palace, Wat Pho and other main attractions, Bangkok has many historic attractions that you can explore on your own. They are within walking distance from the main attractions. For those who are the travelers not tourists who have time to explore the other side of the city, this blog will help you go beyond the typical Bangkok experience and discover the different perspectives of this lovely city. But if you do not have much time and wish to see as much as possible, try our custom private guided tour. Our tour guides can help you navigate the city and make the most out of the time that you have.

Where to Stay in Bangkok?

I am sure this would be one of the very first questions coming up in your mind when planning your vacation in Bangkok. Your eyes will roll over when searching for hotels on those hotel online booking platforms. This blog is written to help you find the right hotel locations for you to stay. From years of experience being a tour guide, I went around the city to pickup my guests. Because of this part of my job, I can share my knowledge about my best areas for hotels in Bangkok to stay. In my opinion, the best areas to stay for hotels in Bangkok would be around Sathorn Pier, Phra Artit Road near Khao San road and hotels along sky trains and subway.

Sathorn Pier

This is a name of a boat pier along the Chao Phraya River. The pier is also known as central pier where “Chao Phraya Express Boats,” and Bangkok sky train (BTS) intersected. This intersection between the sky train and the ferry allows you to commute to both old and new town easily using the transports.

Surrounding the pier, there are many hotels situated nearby. These hotels have shuttle boat services transporting their guests from their hotels to the pier every 10-15 minutes. It’s so convenient for you to get around and avoid unexpected congestion in the city by these modes of transports.

Bangkok hotels along Chao Phraya River

Bangkok hotels along Chao Phraya RiverBangkok hotels along Chao Phraya River

Chao Phraya Express Boat

The ferry starts servicing from 06.00-19.00 every day. The fares range from THB 15-60 per person. There are a few types of ferry services categorizing by flag color; orange, yellow, green and blue flag. To go to old town for the Grand Palace, Wat Pho and Wat Arun etc, you need to take the orange and blue flags.

Chao Phraya Express Boat and Wat ArunChao Phraya Express Boat and Wat Arun

BTS Sky Train

From the pier, you only need to walk for a few minutes to Saphan Taksin BTS Station. There you take a train heading to “National Stadium BTS Station.” The train will take you to the new town where you can explore the modernity of the city.

Beside the transportation convenience, you will get a beautiful scenery of the river while staying at these riverside Bangkok hotels as well.  Where to stay for hotels in Bangkok? Now you know one area to focus your search on “Sathorn Pier.”

Phra Athit Road : old Bangkok

Located in inner part of old Bangkok, Phra Athit Road is another favorite area of mine to stay for hotels in Bangkok. The area is surrounded by the main attractions such as the Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddah, Wat Pho, Golden Mount etc. Along the road, there are several nice and affordable riverside hotels for you to choose from. These hotels are the ones that I prefer to stay.

Phra Arthit Road, BangkokPhra Arthit Road. Photo credit: crownproperty.or.th

Nearby historic attractions

Staying at a hotel here, what I like the most is the ability to easily walk to many important historic sites within 15-30 minutes. Furthermore, in the evening, you can entertain yourself by walking to Khao San Road, the largest Backpacker hub in the Southeast Asia for dinner and evening relaxation such as massage and drinks

Phra Sumen Fort on Phra Artit RoadPhra Sumen Fort on Phra Arthit Road. Photo credit: crownproperty.or.th

Grab is good to get around

Although this part of old Bangkok doesn’t have sky trains or subway yet, I do not think this is a problem. If you want to go to shopping areas like MBK Mall or Chatuchak Weekend Market, I suggest you use “Grab” transport service if you do not want to deal with Taxi meter drivers who refuse to turn on their meter system.

From my experience taking a taxi from this area to MBK Mall (shopping center) at different times of day, I found that the traffic is not congested at all. If you compare it with congested Sukhumvit area, this area is much better for me.

Boat pier nearby

Or if you would like to enjoy more of the city, take “Chao Phraya Express Boat” and transit to BTS Sky Train at Sathorn Pier to go to new Bangkok. There is “Phra Artit Pier” nearby these hotels where you can walk to within a few minutes. With this way of commuting, you can be sure that you will avoid unexpected Bangkok traffic.

Bangkok hotels along sky trains and subways

As I mentioned earlier in the blog about the use of the sky train, any hotels close to the sky train and subway would be my top choice. These hotels will allow you to get around the city using the transport system.

To get to old Bangkok from the area and avoid traffic. You can do the followings.

Take the sky train to Sathorn Pier and transit to the ferry heading to old Bangkok.

Take the sky train and then get off at National Stadium Station and get a taxi or Tuk Tuk to old town. If you do not want to take a taxi or Tuk Tuk, you can do “Saen Saep Boat Service.” You need to walk to “Saphan Hua Chang Pier” to take the boat to old town. From the station to the pier, it will take 10-15 minutes walking. But this way, I do not recommend because it’s more difficult to navigate for first time visitors. Unless, you have a local guide who know the city accompanying you.

Bangkok hotels along sky trainsBangkok hotels along sky trains

My favorite stations

To give you a better idea of where to stay in Bangkok for hotels in the area, I will give you my favorite BTS Stations that you can use to search for hotels nearby.

National Stadium Station

Siam

Rachathewi

Phloenchit

Ratchadumri

Nana

Asoke

Why my favorite stations for hotels to stay?

Beside its connection to the ferry, the stations are centrally located in new Bangkok. These stations are surrounded by shopping malls, various types of restaurants; Thai, Western, Chinese, and Japanese and Korea and other important sites etc. After a long day tour, you can conveniently go to shopping malls and restaurants to spend your evening close to your hotels.

With all these reasons mentioned above, Sathorn Pier, Phra Artit Road, and hotels along sky train and subway would be my choice to stay in Bangkok for hotels.

After reading this blog, I hope you can narrow your hotel search down and be able to focus on the areas that would suite you the most.

However, if you would like to save and maximize your time efficiently in a big city of Bangkok, getting a private guide and customize your itinerary would help you a lot. Check out our custom tour experience or email us at services@explorenique.com for more information.

 

Best Bangkok Floating Markets

Floating market visit is one of the experiences that all first time travelers put on their itinerary when planning to visit Bangkok, Thailand. The market offers unique experience for both local and international travelers. In and around Bangkok, there are many of them for you to put on your itinerary and they’re all good and unique in their own way. However, which one is the best Bangkok floating markets for one day tour? From our tour guide experience and local perspective, Khlong Lad Mayom Floating Market, Taling Chan Floating Market, and Kwan-Riam Floating Market would be our choices.

Khlong Lad Mayom

The floating market is the number one on our list. Our primary reasons why it’s good for one day tour are because of its easy access and location.

Khlong Lad Mayom Floating Market

Boat vendors at Khlong Lad Mayom Floating Market

Easy access

International tourists who are visiting Bangkok for the first time and not yet familiar with Bangkok transports can easily and conveniently do a round trip taxi to the market on their own. Getting to the market by a taxi is not a problem that travelers (even a local like me) should be concerning with but to get out of the market going to other places from there is a problem that international traveler and the locals need to be concerned. Yes, I say “locals.” Some places in Bangkok do not have many taxi passing by. It’s a problem for the locals as well when there are no taxis passing by that part of the city. But at Khlong Lad Mayom Floating Market, you will find many taxi passing by all day during the its opening hours. International travelers as well as the locals; therefore, can make a round trip to the market with transportation worry-free. By the way, if getting a taxi is not the way you prefer, then I would recommend you do “Grab.” A transport service that is like “Uber.”

Location

The market, additionally, is close to Bangkok main attractions such as the Grand Palace and the Temple of Emerald Buddha, Wat Pho (Reclining Buddha image temple) and Wat Arun (the Temple of Dawn) etc. The market is  approximately 20 minutes away from old Bangkok by car. You can easily add the market to your itinerary mixing it with other Bangkok main attractions.

The location of the market is in Bangkok’ s suburb. The way of life of the locals living around the neighborhood is still traditional. You will experience authentic way of life along canals if you opt for a boat tour there. The boat tour will go along old canals that are used to be the main waterway people traveling around the city. You will experience what Bangkok looks like hundred years ago. Old canal-side communities are one of the highlights for us when visiting Khlong Lad Mayom Floating Market.

The market is situated along Khlong Lad Ta Niao (Khlong in Thai means canals) and divided into 7 areas selling various stuff but mostly food. Along the canals, there will be boat vendors selling fresh local produces such as fruits and vegetable. You will be amazed with various kind of Thai food offered at the market.  In fact, the food here is one of the main magnets that draws the locals people to the market. When you are at the floating market, do not miss the salted-grill fish. It’s one of the most popular dishes at this floating market. You will see that every table, the locals will have this menu on their tables.  This can guarantee you how good the dish is!

Website: https://www.facebook.com/taladnamkhlongladmayom/?ref=page_internal

Opening hour: weekend and holiday from 9 am to 3 pm.

Floating Market at Taling Chan

Another floating market that I recommend is Taling Chan Floating Market. The reasons why I like the market is pretty much the same reasons as I like Khlong Lad Mayom Floating Market. The market comes in the second place on my list is because its size that is smaller than KLMFM. Despite its smaller size, the market is actually closer to old Bangkok than KLMFM but yet still offers unique local experiences in term of atmosphere, food and traditional way of life along canals.

Taling Chan Floating Market

Taling Chan Floating Market: photo by Tourism Authority of Thailand

Traditional music

At the market, it often has a traditional musical band playing traditional musical instrument. This would be interesting for international travelers and really adding to the whole experience while you are there.

In comparison to the Khlong Lad Mayom Floating Market, it has less food stalls but it is good enough for both locals and international travelers to enjoy a wide array of local food originated from different regions of Thailand.

Moreover, if you’re hungry for more floating markets, nearby there is another one name, “Song Klong Floating Market,” waiting for you explore. It’s within a walking distance. Unlike the Taling Chan Floating Market, the market is smaller and quieter with local visitors but I like it because of this reason. The market is in Taling Chan Temple. You can therefore explore the temple and might find some interesting scenes for photography which I did find some last time I visited. If you plan to visit this floating market, I suggest you do this one first before visiting the bustling Taling Chan one. A short visit is good enough in our opinion.

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/TaladNam2Klong/

Opening hours: Weekend from 9 am to 4 pm.

Kwan-Riam: the Floating Market

The market is ranked third on the list is because it’s located the farthest away from old Bangkok. It’s still by the way doable for one day tour with other main attractions on your itinerary. The floating market offer various experiences such as food (lots of food stalls here), canal boat tours, and local performance. What we think is the most highlight of Kwan-Riam Floating Market is the morning food offering to monks along the canal starting around 6 am to 7 am. You can offer monks some food who will be in a boat cursing along canals. This is a monk activity that is hardly seen these days in Bangkok. If you want to experience something unique about the Thai tradition, this would be your opportunity. Moreover, This market has less international tourists than Khlong Lad Mayom and Taling Chan Floating Markets. If your objective is to get away from the tourist traps and surrounded by the locals, Kwan-Riam will be the floating market you’re looking for.

Kwan-Riam Floating Market

Kwan-Riam Floating Market: photo by Tourism Authority of Thailand

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/TaladNam2Klong/

Opening hours: Weekend from 7 am to 6 pm.

Well! Now you know our favorite Bangkok Floating Markets that can easily be on your one day itinerary. So I hope you can make an informed decision which one is suitable for your one day tour. But if you do not want spend time much time planning your Bangkok trip, contact us for our private custom tour experience. With our expertise and experience, we will customize your travel based on your request and preferences.

Have a great day floating!

Growing Up in  Banglumphu, Old Bangkok

As I remembered (30 years ago) when I was a kid, my neighborhood, Banglumphu was once the center of the old Bangkok’s trading area surrounded by historic attractions such as Grand Palace, Wat Pho, Wat Arun, the Golden Mount at Wat Saket and Khao San Road which was quiet back then etc.

The location of the neighborhood, which was believed, has long been a residential area for over 400 hundred years old dated back to the late Ayutthaya Kingdom in the 16th century according to the age of an old temple, Wat Intharawihan, or Wat Bangkhunprom Nok, its original name, located nearby. Temples are another way to indicate the history of local community since they have been used as the center of community for ancient people. This means that wherever this is a temple, there shall be a community.

Banglumphu in the old day was a well known market for the people since it was an important market area located close to Chao Phraya River, one of the most important rivers connecting the country with Gulf of Thailand, which has been used by Thais and oversea merchants for trading and commuting for centuries. Therefore, Banglumphu which is close to the Grand palace, the center of administration back then and other commercial ports along the river, functioned as a product distribution channel selling textiles, clothing, restaurant and street food.

The neighborhood is also the home of royal family and high ranking noblemen who served the Kings of Rattanakosin Era because it is very close to the Grand Palace where the Kings  lived in the past and the Font Palace, the Vice King’s Residence. With a short distance commuting to the palaces, therefore, nobleman and high ranking civil servant were given land by the Kings to live nearby. When I was a kid running around the neighborhood, I saw many big old beautiful houses in traditional Thai house design and many with 18th century European design palaces hidden in back street alleys close to canal and river. These day some of them are changed to modern house and building but many still remain the same.

Additionally, my neighborhood is also home of the traditional Thai Folk song community, traditional dancing performance, gold smith making etc. Over hundred years old passed by, a few families inherit the practice and are preserved and supported by the government.

Khaosan Road is another area in my hometown that is famous for tourists especially for those young backpackers who like to meet and hangout with new friends from around the world. In the Thai language, Khaosan means rice and of course as the name suggested, this street used to be the place selling rice. Thus, the street was named for that reason. The street is  also called the world famous backpackers and has many inexpensive accommodation, restaurants, bars, massage shops and souvenir shops. This street was once the area where civil servants living but after WW I which was when a lot of civil servants were dismissed from the government due to the change of governing regime, many of them moved to Sukhumvit and Thonburi area. Their residences  as a result, were sold to Chinese business men. The street then started to change to commercial trading area.

Another major change to the street and the neighborhood was during Vietnam war when American soldiers based in Thailand visiting the area creating business for the local. This was the start of guesthouse business, restaurants, bars and other relevant business. The local people modified their houses and buildings to accommodate the need of the American soldiers bringing business to the area and its people. Even though, the war was over, these American veterans still came back to visit Bangkok for travelling purpose.

Growing up in Banglumphu is like growing up through the history of Bangkok. Everything I have seen and experienced from my childhood until the present is charming, amazing and unique in its own way and it is even more so when I realize the value of the history written by my ancestors. the history that took hundred years to write. My task from now on is to preserve this history of Banglumphu and Bangkok and present it to the world.