Destination Guide

Bangkok Ayutthaya ChiangMai ChiangRai Sukhothai
Kanchanaburi Pattaya HuaHin Phuket Ko Samui

Bangkok occupies a total area of 1,568 kilometres. It is situated on a flat alluvial plain devided by the Chao Phraya River. Composed of about 50 districts (Khets), it is home to one-tenth of the country's population. Thon Buri, a former capital, is now a district under hte administration of the Bangkok Metropolis.

Bangkok was established as Thailand's capital in 1782. Over the next two centuries, it developed in many ways reflecting the modern dynamism; however, its ancient glories were well maintained, especially in the old areas around the Grand Palace. Today, Bangkok has become the principal gateway and prime tourist attraction for both domestic and international travellers.


Public buses are olentiful and cheap, with a minimum fare of 3.50 baht to most destinations within metropolitan Bangkok. Airconditioned blue buses have minimum and maximum fares of 6 and 16 baht respectively. Orange airconditioned buses charge 8 - 18 baht. Airconditioned microbuses charge a flat fare of 20 baht all routes. A Bus Route Map is available at bookshops and TAT office.

Hotel and Airport taxis have fixed rates. Taxis cruising city streets are metered. They charge a minimum of 35 baht, for the first 3 kilometres, and approximately 5 baht per kilometre thereafter.

These three-wheeled 'open-air' motorised taxies are popular for short journeys. Fares must be bargained in advance. Minumum fares, for journeys of up to 3 kilometres, are approximately 30 baht.


Grand Palace
(Tel: 222-0094, 222-6889, 222-2208 or
This city landmark should be the first place on any visitor's itinerary. It is a huge compound on Na Phra Lan Road surrounded by high white walls and occupies an area of about a square mile. The royal palace, begun in 1782 when Bangkok was founded as the capital of Thailand, consists of several buildings with highly decorated architectural designs. The royal chapel or Wat Phra Kaeo, situated in the same compound, enshrines the sacred Emerald Buddha image, most revered by the people.

On the right hand side, before entering the palace's inner gate is the Royal Thai Decorations and Coin Pavilion which displays coins and other monetary exchange units used in Thailand since the early 11th century AD, as well as Royal regalia, decorations and medals used in the former royal courts.

The complex is open daily from 8.30 a.m. - 3.30 p.m. Admission fee is 125 baht.(including a ticket to Vimanmek Royal Mansion).
Proper attire is essential.

Sanam Luang
This huge public ground surrounded by the old tamarind trees is in front of the Grand Palace. It is the place where royal cremation ceremonies and some annual events such as the Royal Ploughing Ceremony, King's and Queen's birthdays, and the New Year Festival are held.

At the northern part of Sanam Luang is the Statue of the Earth Goddess. It was built in the reign of King Rama IV to provide public drinking water. On the southeast corner is the City Pillar Shrine or San Lak Muang. The graceful, temple-like structure houses a stone pillar placed there by King Rama I as the foundation stone for the new capital of Bangkok.

National Museum (Tel: 224-1333)
Within the walking distance of the Grand Palace is the one of the largest and most comprehensive museums in Southeast Asia. Bangkok's National Museum houses a vast collection of artefacts found in all parts of the country ranging from neolithic times, Sukhothai, Ayutthaya to the Bangkok period. The complex, also begun in 1782, consists of several old but beautiful buildings of colourful Thai architectural design. The museum is open everyday, except Mondays, Tuesdays, and annual holidays, from 9.00 a.m. - 4.00 p.m. Admission fee is 40 baht per person. Guided tours in English, French, German, and Japanese are provided to visitors on certain days of the week.

National Gallery Museum (Tel: 281-2224)
This museum, located on Chao Fa Road opposite the National Museum, exhibits traditional and contemporary works of art created by Thai artists. It is open to the public everyday except Mondays, Tuesdays, and public holidays from 9.00 a.m. - 4.00 p.m. Admission fee is 30 baht.

Wat Mahathat (Tel: 222-6011, 222-8004)
This old temple was built in the reign of King Rama I. It is located on Na Phrathat Road near Thammasat University. The temple houses Mahachulalongkorn Buddist University, one of the two highest seats of Buddhist learning in Thailand and also offers meditation classes for foreigners. The temple complex is open daily from 9.00 a.m. - 5.00 p.m.

Wat Pho (Tel: 222-0933)
This world famous temple is located on Thai Wang Road next to the Grand Palace. It is one of Bangkok's oldest and largest temples housing the gigantic gold plated reclining Buddha with beautifully inlaid mother-of-pearl soles.Wat Pho is also regarded as the first centre of public education and is sometimes called "Thailand's first university". Mural painting, inscriptions, and staues found in the temple educated people on varied subjects; for example, literature, warfare, archaeology, astronomy, geology, meditation, treatment, and Thai traditional massage. It is open to the public daily from 9.00 a.m. - 5.00 p.m. Admission fee is 20 baht.

Wat Arun (Tel: 465-5640)
Located on Thon Buri side (or the west bank of the Chao Phraya River), the temple can be reached either by Arun Amarin Road or by boat from Tha Tien Pier, near Wat Pho. The most attractive structure in this temple is the 79-metre-high pagoda or "Phra Prang", which is decorated with ceramic tiles and fragments of multi-coloured porcelain. Wat Arun was restored during the brief Thonburi period to be the Royal Chapel of King Taksin. It is called the "Temple of the Dawn", and the most beautful view of it is from the east side of the river at sunset.

Royal Barge National Museum (Tel: 424-0004)
This shed, where several royal barges are displayed, is located near Phra Pin Klao Bridge on Thon Buri side. The barges were used on royal occasions and formerly served as war vessels.The most beautiful barge is "Suphannahong" used by the king only when he made his royal river procession for the Kathin Ceremony, a Buddhist tradition of offering robes to monks, usually during October or November. The unique design and decorative details of each barge should be of great interest to all visitors. The shed is open everyday from 9.00 a.m. - 5.00 p.m. Admission fee is 30 baht.

Wat Ratchabophit
The temple is located on Fuang Nakhon Road near Wat Pho.Built by King Rama V in 1869, it was in keeping with tradition that each monarch constructed a temple to mark his reign. The temple is a mixture of local and western styles, showing an awakening interest in new ideas and a desire to experiment with them. The exterior of the chapel is in Thai style but the interior is decorated in European style.

Pak Khlong Talat
This is a wholesale market for all kinds of cut flowers and vegetables. It is located on Maharat Road near the Memorial Bridge. The colorful flowers and the bustling atmosphere is the charm of this market, especially when the market is crowded in the early morning and in the evening.

Wat Suthat
The temple is located on Bamrung Muang Road. It took 27 years, during the reigns of the first three kings of the Chakri Dynasty, to complete the construction. This temple is famous for the excellent murals created in the reign of King Rama III. The viharn (preaching hall) should be seen for its collection of gilded Buddha images. The temple used to house a huge door with intricate carving, which is the masterpiece of King Rama II and is now kept in the National Museum. The temple complex is open daily from 9.00 a.m. - 5.00 p.m.
In front of the temple is the Giant Swing or Sao Ching Cah where a Brahmanic ceremony had taken place until the early 20th century. Many shops near the Giant Swing stock a very comprehensive range of Buddhist religious supplies.

Wat Thepthidaram
Located on Mahachai Road, the temple was built in the reign of King Rama III with a mixture of Chinese architectural styles. Sunthon Phu, one of Thailand's greatest poets, had resided in this temple during his monkhood from 1840-1842. His residence is now open to the public.

Democracy Monument
This monument, located in the middle of Ratchadamnoen Avenue, was conceived and constructed to commemorate the peaceful changeover from an absolute monarchy to a constitutional monarchy on 24 June, 1932.

Wat Ratchanatdaram
Located on Mahachai Road, the temple was built in the reign of King Rama III in 1846. Loha Prasat, the temple's main attraction, stannding 36 metres high with 37 surrounding spires, is the only one of its kind left in the world. Next to the temple is the area for welcoming an important foreign quest and a memorial statue of King Rama III.

The Golden Mount
Located in the the compound of Wat Sa Ket with the entrance on Boriphat Road, this is an artificial hill topped by a gilded pagoda which is 260 feet in height from its base. Begun by King Rama III and completed in the reign of King Rama IV, the golden mount is one of the most celebrated landmarks in Bangkok's old area and offers a panoramic city view from the top.

Wat Indravihan
Located in Bang Khun Phrom area on Wisutkasat Road, this temple is well known for a huge standing Buddha image call "Luang Pho To". The image, built in the reign of King Rama IV, is 32 metres tall and 10 metres wide. The topknot of the Buddha image contains a relic of Lord Buddha brought from Sri Lanka.

Wat Bowon Niwet
This temple is located on Phra Sumen Road in Bang Lamphu area. Built in 1829, it is the shrine-hall of Phra Phutthachinnasi, a very beautiful Buddha image which was moulded in 1357. Wat Bowon Niwet is one of the most important temples of Bangkok, whose one-time cheif abbot was King Rama IV before he ascended the throne. Other Chakri Kings who had resided here during their monkhood include King Rama IV and King Rama VII, as well as His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

Wat Benchamabophit (Tel: 281-2501)
Also known as the Marble Temple, this temple is on Si Ayutthaya Road near the Chitralada Palace. The main building was constructed during the reign of King Rama V. Its interior is magnifiently decorated with cross beams of lacquer and gold. A large collection of bronze Buddha images lines the walls of the spacious inner courtyard.

Vimanmek Royal Mansion (Tel: 281-1569, 281-1518, 281-6880 or
Located on Ratchawithi Road behind the National Assembly, it is the world's largest building made entirely of golden teak. Removed from Ko Sichang in Chonburi province, it was rebuilt here in 1900 by the command of King Rama V. The mansion has many exhibition rooms, some of which maintain the atmosphere of the past. A guided tour inside the building is provided to visitors. Other buildings in the same compound are also used as museums, and display various items and art objects; for example, H.M. King Bhumibol's photography, H.M. Queen Sirikit's collection of handicraft masterpieces created by rural people, paraphernalia of rank and portraits, old clocks, ancient cloth, and royal carriages.
The compound is open daily from 9.00 a.m. - 4.00 p.m. Admission fee is 50 baht. There are also traditional Thai dancing shows at 10.30 a.m. and 2.00 p.m. Proper attire is required.

Dusit Zoo (Tel: 281-2000, 281-1039)
Dusit Zoo, managed by the Zoological Park Organization, is where visitors can inspect various species of tropical animals. In the middle of the area is a large pond with boat and paddleboat services. It is open everyday from 8.00 a.m. - 6.00 p.m. Admission fee is 30 baht for adults and 10 baht for children.

China Town (Yaowarat)
Bangkok's China Town is an old business centre covering a large area around Yaowarat and Charoen Krung Roads. There are many small streets and alleys full of shops selling all type of goods. The area is always lively and market stalls abound. It has been the main centre for trading by the Chinese since they were moved from their old site some 200 years ago. Nearby is Phahurat Market, one of the city's renowned cloth centres.

Wat Trai Mit
Located at the end of Yaowarat Road near the Bangkok Railway Station (Hua Lam Phong), this temple is known for its famous Golden Buddha, constructed during the Sukhothai Period. The beautiful image of solid gold, is three metres high and weighs five and a half tons. The temple is open everyday from 9.00 a.m. - 5.00 p.m.

Princess Mother Memorial Park (Tel: 437-7799, 439-0902)
This beautiful park is located on Soi 3 Somdet Chao Phraya Road, Khlong San District. It was built near Wat Anongkharam community where Sodech Phra Srinagarindra Boromarajajonani, Her Royal Highness the Princess Mother had resided during her childhood. The park comprises a full scale model of the Princess Mother's house and the old building renovated as exhibition halls displaying the life story of Her Royal Highness the Princess Mother as well as the history of the Wat Anongkharam community.

Suan Pakkad Palace (Tel: 245-4934)
Located on Si Ayutthaya Road near the Phayathai intersection, this used to be the residence of Princess Chumbhot, one of Thailand's leading art collectors. Five traditional Thai houses overlooking a beautifully kept garden house a large collection of Thai arts and antiques. One building displays masks and costumes used in Khon dance performances. It is open everyday from 9.00 a.m. - 4.00 p.m. Admission fee is 80 baht.

Jim Thompson's Thai House (Tel: 216-7368, 612-3744, 215-0122)
This remarkable Thai-style house, was the work of Mr. Jim Thompson, an American who came to Thailand at the end of the Second World War and revived the Thai silk industry. His house, now a museum, is at the end of Soi Kasemsan 2 opposite the National Stadium on Rama I Road. On permanent display are Mr. Thompson's collection of Asian artefacts and many other fabulous antiques. It is open everyday from 99.00 a.m. - 4.30 p.m. Admission costs 100 baht. Volunteer guides explain the collection to visitors.

Museum of Imagery Technology (Tel: 218-5583)
The first camera and photograph museum established in Thailand and Asia, is located at the same building as the Faculty of Science, Chulalongkorn University. Historic photographs and imaging equipment, as well as its technological evolution are collected and displayed. Modern photographic arts, techniques and printing technology are also exhibited. The museum is open on Monday-Friday from 10.00 a.m. - 3.30 p.m. Admission fee is 100 baht each.

Pasteur Institute or Snake Farm (Tel: 252-0161-4)
This interesting spot is located at the corner of Henri Dunant and Rama IV Roads west of Chulalongkorn Hospital. It is a section of the Thai Red Cross, where one can have cholera, smallpox, and typhoid inoculations, as well as rabies treatment. The institute has become a popular tourist attraction because of its large collection of live poisonous snakes. It is open from 8.30 a.m. - 4.30 p.m. on weekdays and 8.30 a.m. - 12.00 a.m. on holidays. The extraction of venom from the snakes is demonstrated at 11.00 a.m. and 2.30 p.m. on weekdays, and at 11.00 a.m. on holidays Admission fee is 70 baht per person.

Erawan Shrine
Located on Ratchadamri Road, the shrine devoted to Phra Phrom, a Hidu god, is greatly revered by people. Laced flowers and small wooden elephants as well as Thai dancing performances are always offered to the statue by grateful devotees.

Khamthieng House (Tel: 661-6470-7)
This is a classic northern-style teak house, originally constructed in Chiang Mai more than 200 years ago and donated to the Siam Society by its owners and reconstructed in Bangkok. It is located at 131 Soi Asoke (Soi 21) Sukhumvit Road. A very large variety of Thai flora can be seen in its garden. Also on display are items used daily by Thai farmers and fisherman. It is open daily except Sundays and Mondays from 9.00 a.m. - 5.00 p.m. Admission fee is 100 baht.

Science Centre for Education (Tel: 392-5951-9)
Situated next to the Eastern Bus Terminal (Ekamai) on Sukhumvit Road, This is an exhibition center on a variety of scientific knowledge including astronomy, communication technology, and biology. Visitors can also enjoy seeing an interesting aquarium, a computer world, a planetarium, as well other devices created for fun and education. The museum is open daily except Mondays and public holidays from 8.30 a.m. - 4.30 p.m. Admission fee is 30 baht for adults and 15 baht for children.

Ban Chang Thai
This house is where Thai puppets are made and displayed. It is situated on Soi 10 Ekkamai Road off Sukhumvit Road. Thai puppet shows are held occasionally. Call 391-3807 for more information.

Philatelic Museum (Tel: 271-2439)
The museum is on the 1st floor of the Metropolitan Postal Bureau behind Sam Sen Nai Post Office, Saphan Khwai area. It is open on Tuesday - Saturday from 9.00 a.m. - 4.00 p.m. There is no admission fee. Thai and foreign stamps of the past are on display. The collections of post books in both Thai and foreign languages are available at the library. Stamps and accessories for stamp collection are on sale.

Hall of Railway Heritage (Tel: 243-2037-9)
This is a train museum where steam engines, train models, and miniature trains are exhibited along with the story of world railway system. It is located on the western side of Chatuchak Park adjacent to Kamphaeng Phet Road. It is open to the public only on Sundays from 5.00 -12.00 a.m.

Thai Labour Museum
Located near the Makkasan Railway Station, Nikhom Makkasan Road, this small museum exhibits labour history of Thailand from the past to present. It is open on Wednesday - Sunday from 10.00 a.m. - 5.00 p.m.


Prasart Museum (Tel: 379-3601, 379-3607)
This museum is at 9 Soi 4 A, Krungthep Krita Road off Srinakarintara Road, Bang Kapi, Bangkok. It houses a vast collection of artefacts from prehistoric to Bagkok periods. The imitation of some beautiful Thai architecture is scattered within the museum complex. Prasart Museum is open everyday except Monday from 10.30 a.m. - 3.00 p.m. Admission fee is 500 baht each. Please contact the museum prior to visit.

King Rama IX Royal Park (Tel: 328-1385-7)
The 200-acre park on Si Nakharin Road commemorates His Majesty King Rama IX's 60th birthday in 1987. It comprises extensive botanical gardens, and a building displaying the works and life of King Rama IX. Admission fee is 10 baht.

Safari World (Tel: 518-1000-19)
This is located at Km.9, Ram Indra Road, Minburi. The area of 170 acres is divided into 2 parts : the Safari Park and the Marine Park. The Safari Park has a large varity of wildlife in natural habitat. Visitors can drive their own car, or have a look from Safari World's coach. In the Marine Park, visitors can enjoy performances of well-trained animals like dolphins, birds, seals, and monkeys. Safari World is open daily from 9.00 a.m. - 5.00 p.m. Admission fee is 400 baht for adults and 300 baht for children.


Crocodile Farm (Tel: 703-4891-5, 703-5144-8)
This large farm with over 60,000 fresh and saltwater crocodiles is some 30 kilometres from Bangkok in Samut Prakan Province. Other creatures including trained elephants, gibbons, lions, and snakes are also found here. The exciting crocrodile wrestling show is performed every hour. There is also a Dinosaurs Museum where various species of life-size creatures of dinosaurs and their skeletons are on display. The compound is open daily from 7.00 a.m. - 6.00 p.m. Admission fee is 300 baht for adults and 200 baht for children.

Ancient City (Tel:224-1057, 226-1936)
This is the world's largest outdoor museum which consist of gigantic sized replicas of famous buildings, monuments, and temples found in all parts of Thailand. Visitors can travel around by private car in the area of 280 acres, which is approximately the geographic shape of Thailand. The Ancient City is located at Km. 33 on Sukhumvit Road, Samut Prakan Province. The compound is open daily from 8.00 a.m. - 5.00 p.m. Admission fee is 50 baht per person.


Thai Human Imagery Museum (Tel: (034)332109, 332607, 332061)
Located at Km.31 Borom Ratchonnani Road on the way to Nakhon Pathom, the museum house life-like sculptures, created by a group of Thai artists after 10 years of their intensive study and hard work. These breathtaking human figures with various characteristics and the replicas of important people are displayed in many sections such as the Great Buddhist Monks, Former Kings of the Chakri Dynasty, and One Side of Thai Life. The museum is open to the public from 9.00 a.m. - 5.30 p.m. Admission fee is 200 baht.

Rose Garden (Tel: 295-3261-4)
This popular tourist attraction is 32 kilometres west of Bangkok on Phetkasem Road. Situated by the Tha chin River, it boasts large, beautiful, and well-maintained gardens. In the resort, there is a Thai Cultural Village where an attractive show commences daily at 2.45 p.m. There is for instance, Thai folk dancing, Thai boxing, sward fighting demonstrations, and an elephant show. Admission to the show is 300 baht per person. The resort is open daily from 8.00 a.m. - 6.00 p.m.

Samphran Elephant Ground & Zoo (Tel: 284-1873, 284-0273)
Just only 1 kilometre before the Rose Garden, this 60 acre farm is another interesting attraction housing many different wild animals and thousands of crocodiles. Fascinating performances such as Crocodile Wrestling, Magic Show, and Elephant Theme Show commence everyday at 12.45 a.m. and 2.20 p.m. with additional shows on holidays at 10.30 a.m. This farm is open daily from 8.00 a.m. - 5.30 p.m. Admission fee is 300 baht for adults and 200 baht for children.

Damnoen Saduak Floating Marketing
This popular attraction is some 80 kilometres west of Bangkok via Samut Songkhram province, accessible by regular bus from the southern Bus Terminal. Everyday hundreds of vendor boats crowd the market area in the early morning till noon. Visitors can also travel around by boat to see local villages, and the way of life of the people in the countryside.


Bang Pa-In Summer Palace (Tel: (035)261-044 or
This is some 30 kilometres south of Ayutthaya, or a 1 hour drive from Bangkok. Built in the reign of King Rama V, the palace consists of various styled buildings. Thai, Chinese, Italian, and Victorian styles predominate. A Thai pavilion in the centre of a small lake is regarded as one of the finest examples of Thai architecture. Visitors can take either a bus or a train from Bangkok to the palace. The ground is open everyday from 8.00 a.m. - 4.00 p.m. Admission fee is 50 baht.

Bang Sai's Royal Folk Arts and Crafts Centre (Tel: (035)366092, 366252)
Covering an area of 114 acres, the Centre is located 40 kilometres south of Ayutthaya. Farmers from Ayutthaya as well as from other rural areas undergo training in folk arts and crafts here. Visitors can have a glimpse of how farmers in different regions of Thailand live and work, and how their products of art annd craft are produced. These handicrafts including weaving basketry, carving wood, artificial flowers, hand-woven silk and cotton, and miniature Thai dolls are on display and on sale. The compound is open daily (except Mondays) from 8.30 a.m. - 4.00 p.m. Admission fee is 50 baht for adults and 20 baht for children.


Cruising along the Chao Phraya River
A cruise along the legendary Chao Phraya River and some canels on the Thon Buri side is the most pleasant way to explore the city once dubbed "Venice of the East". The majestic charm of the Chao Phraya adds perspective to your exploration of the city's premier attractions. Tourists can book such a tour through travel agents or rent a boat at Tha Chang (Tel: 225-6179) near the Grand Palace, or Tha Si Phraya (Tel: 412-0207) near the River City Shopping Complex.

Thai Boxing (Muay Thai)
Thai boxing is both a sport and means of self defence. Contestants are allowed to use almost any part of their body: feet, elbows, legs, knees, and shoulders, are all weapons. The playing of traditional music during bouts makes for even greater excitement. There are two venues in Bangkok for this type of sport.
Ratchadamnoen Stadium (Tel: 281-4205), on Ratchadamnoen Nok Road, is open every Monday and Wednesday at 6.00 p.m., Thursday at 5.00 and 9.00 p.m., and Sunday at 4.00 and 8.00 p.m.
Lumphini Stadium (Tel: 251-4303), Rama IV Road, every Tuesday and Friday at 6.00 p.m. and Saturday at 5.00 p.m.
Intrnational visitors who wish to learn Thai boxing can contact the Muay Thai Institute, 336/932, Prachathipat, Thanyaburi, Pathum Thani 12130, (Tel: 992-0096-9).

Horse Racing
The races are held on Sunday from 12.30-6.00 p.m. at two altermate turf clubs:
Royal Turf Club of Thailand, on Phitsanulok Road, Tel: 280-0020-9.
Royal Bangkok Sports Club, on Henry Dunant Road, Tel: 251-0181-6.

Shopping in Bangkok is not limited to one or two major streets. There are many areas throughout Bangkok affording ample choices and easy access. The principal shopping areas in downtown Bangkok which boasts many specialist shops, shopping plazas, and department stores include Silom, Siam Square, Ratchadamri, Pratunam, Ploenchit, and Bang Lamphu. The following markets and shops are also recommended:
Chatuchak Weekend Market a large open public ground on Phahonyothin Road, is where people buy and sell a thousand local products including food, clothing, household products, handicrafts, pets, and pot plants. This market is a paradise for browsers and bargain-hunters alike. It operates during the day time on Saturday and Sunday.
Chitralada Shops, founded by the Support Foundation of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit, are the souvenir shops selling quality products of art and craft made by people in rural areas of Thailand. Chitralada Shops in Bangkok are situated in the Grand Palace, Vimanmek Mansion, Banngkok International Airport, and some leading hotels.
Narayana Phand Pavilion, located on Ratchadamri Road, is the official handicraft centre selling items from all parts of the country including Thai silk, ceramics, woodcarving, lacquerware, bronze objects, and Khon masks.
Bangkok Dolls, situated on Soi Ratchataphan (Soi Mo Leng) off Ratchaprarop Road in the Pratunam area, is open to visitors who may inspect and buy Thai dolls everyday except Sunday from 8.00 a.m. - 5.00 p.m. Call 245-3008 for more information.

Amusement Parks

Siam Park City (Suan Siam) (Tel: 919-7017) on Sukhaphiban 2 Road, Minburi, features funtoys, an extensive man-made sea with artificial surf, whirlpools, fountains, waterfalls and towering water slides. It is open from 10.00 a.m. - 7.00 p.m. (weekdays) and 9.00 a.m. - 8.00 p.m. (weekends). Admission fee is 400 baht for adults and 300 baht for children.
Dream World (Tel: 533-1152, 533-1147), situated at km.7 of Rangsit-Ongkkharak Road, houses a European style plaza, miniature land of major world legends, and exciting playing machines. It is open daily from 10.00 a.m. - 5.00 p.m. On holidays it is open until 7.00 p.m. Admission fee including amusement fare is 270 baht per person.

The following department stores have indoor amusement parks.

Future Park, Phetkasem Road, Phasi Charoen, (Tel: 454-8500)

Seacon Square, Srinakarintara Road, Prawet, (Tel: 721-9444)

Central City Bang Na, Km.3 Bang Na-Trat Road, Prakhanong, (Tel: 361-0888)

The Mall Bang Khae, Phetkasem Road, Bang Khae, (Tel: 454-0061)

Thai Cultural Show & Exhibition

Details of current programmes and events can generally be found in Bangkok's major English-language newspapers, namely the Bangkok Post and Nation. The theatres where cultural shows are periodically held are as follows:
National Theatre, on Na Phra That Road next to the National Museum. Call 225-8757-8, 222-1352 for a current programme.
Thailand Cultural Centre, on Ratchadaphisek Road, is a fully integrated venue for social education and cultural activities. Thai Life Permanent Exhibition can be seen on Mondays through Friday from 9.30 a.m. - 4.30 p.m. Call 247-0028 ext. 109 for a current programme.
Chalerm Krung Royal Theatre, on New Road near the Old Siam Plaza. Thai dramas and plays are usually held while Khon or Thai musical dance drama is a speacial event that is staged occasionally. Call 225-8757-8, 222-1325 for more information.
Patravadi Theatre, near Wat Rakhang, Thon Buri. Renowned for its lavish productions, this outdoor theatre has gained popularity through its modern adaptations of classical Asian literature, with each play demonstrating an ingenious blend of various theatrical techniques. Showtime is on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Call 412-7287-8 for a current programme.
Bangkok Playhouse, on Phetchaburi Road. The theatre hosts modern dramas. Call 679-8548, 319-7641-4 for a current programme.

Major exhibition centres in Bangkok are:

Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre, 60 New Ratchadaphisek Road, Khlong Toei, Bangkok. Call 229-3000-9 or look at for more information.

Bangkok International Trade&Exhibition Centre (Bi-Tec), 8 Km.1 Bang Na-Trat Road, Phrakhanong. Call 749-3939-60 or look at for more information

Meditation Centres

Meditation is one of the most popular aspects of Buddhism, practiced regularly by numerous Thais, and laymen as a means of promoting inner peace and happiness. The following are meditation centres which offer a class in English for foreign visitors who wish to find out more about Buddhism and Buddhist meditation.

The International Buddhist Meditation Centre, Wat Mahathat, Tha Phrachan, (Tel: 623-6326)

The World Fellowship of Buddhists, 616 Sukhumvit Soi 24, (Tel: 661-1284-7)

Association for the Science of Creative Intelligence, 18th floor, Rajpark Building, Sukhumvit Soi21, (Tel: 258-3257)

Young Buddhist Association of Thailand, 58/8 Soi 54 (Soi Thipniyom 2), Phetkasem Road, Phasi Charoen, (Tel: 413-1706)

House of Dhamma, 26/9 Latphrao Soi 15 (Soi Chomphon), (Tel: 511-0439)

Thai Traditional Massage

This therapeutic and highly soothing form of massage purportedly evolved from rishis (forest-dwelling Brahmin hermit asetics) who relieved the physical stress of extended periods of meditation by adopting certain postures. Wat Pho is the best known centre for massages and massage tuition. Call 221-2974 for more information.



The Ancient of Ayutthaya, or Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, The Thai capital for 417 years, is one of Thailand's major tourist attractions. Many ancient ruins and art works can be seen in a city that was founded in 1350 by King U-Thong when the Thais were forced southwards by northern neighbours. During the period of Ayutthaya being the Thai capital, 33 kings of different dynasties ruled the kingdom until it was sacked by the Burmese in 1767.
Ayutthaya is 76 kilometres north of Bangkok and boasts numerous magnificent ruins. Such ruins indicate the Ayutthaya was one of Indo-China's most prosperous cities. Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya city, has been included in UNESCO's list of world heritage since 13 December, 1991.
Ayutthaya covers 2,556.6 square kilometres, and is administratively divided into 16 districts(Amphoes). It is conveniently accessible due to good roads and a short distance from Bangkok.

Distance from Ayutthaya city to its districts

Amphoe Tha Rua 60 kms.
Amphoe Nakhon Luang 20 kms.
Amphoe Bang Sai 45 kms.
Amphoe Bang Ban 10 kms.
Amphoe Bang Pa-In 17 kms.
Amphoe Bang Pa Han 13 kms.
Amphoe Phak Hai 29 kms.
Amphoe Pha Chi 35 kms.
Amphoe Lat Bua Luang 65 kms.
Amphoe Wang Noi 20 kms.
Amphoe Sena 20 kms.
Amphoe U-Thai 15 kms.
Amphoe Maharat 25 kms.
Amphoe Ban Phraek 53 kms.

Distance from Ayutthaya city to nearby provinces

Bangkok 76 kms.
Ang Thong 31 kms.
Saraburi 63 kms.
Suphanburi 53 kms.



AYUTTHAYA HISTORICAL STUDY CENTRE Located on Rochana Road, this centre is a national research institute devoted to the study of Ayutthaya, especially during the period when it was the capital of Thailand. The Centre is responsible for the museum of the history of Ayutthaya, which exhibits reconstructions from the past. The Centre also supports an information service and a library containing historical materials about Ayutthaya.
The Centre is open everyday from 9.00-16.30 hrs., official holidays from 9.00-17.00 hrs. For more details please contact Tel: (035) 245-124 (Addmission fee : 100 Baht)

CHAO SAM PHRAYA NATIONAL MUSEUM This is on Rochana Road, opposite the city wall. It houses various antique bronz Buddha images and famous carved panels. A receptacle at the Thai Pavillion contains relics of Lord Buddha and objects of art more than 500 years old. The museum also has a substantial collection of local artifacts.
The museum is open everyday except Monday, Tuesday and national holidays from 9.00-16.00 hrs. (Admission fee : 10 Baht). For more information Tel: (035) 241-587

KHUN PHAEN HOUSE Khun Phaen 's Thai-style house conforms to descriptions in a popular Thai literay work. Khun Phaen's house is near Wihan Phra Mongkhon Bophit.

FORT AND FORTRESS AROUND THE CITY The forts along the city wall and outer circle fortresses as found in the historical records include Pom Mahachai, Pom Phet, Pom Ho Ratchakhru, Pom Chidkop, Pom Champaphon, Pom Yai, etc. They are mostly situated at waterway intersections.

PALACES AND BUILDINGS There were three palaces in Ayutthaya: Grand Palace, Chankasem Palace or the Front Palace, and Wang Lang or the Rear Palace. In addition, there were many other palaces and building for royal visits located outside the city area of Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, such as Bang Pa-In Palace at Amphoe Bang Pa-In and Nakhon Luang Building at Amphoe Nakhon Luang.

GRANG PALACE Currently called "Ancient Palace", the residential palace of every king was located close to the city wall of Ayutthaya. A road passes by from Chankasem Palace, which is two kilometres away to the north. Important buildings inside the Grand Palace compound are :

WIHAN SOMDET HALL The top of this hall has been decorated in a unique style of architecture called Prang. It has longer space in front and rear gabled rooms, and shorter space in the side gabled rooms. It was surrounded with a three-sided cloister and utilized for various royal ceremonies such as coronations. This was the first building over constructed in Ayutthayya to be affixed with gold leaf.

SANPET PRASAT HALL This is the middle building constructed in the same design as Wihan Somdet Hall. Kings used it to welcome foreign envoys and visitors.

SURIYAT AMARIN HALL A four - gabled roof building constructed in the same design as Wihan Somdet Hall. Kings used it to welcome foreign envoys and visitors.

CHAKKRAWAT PHAICHAYON HALL With a three - gabled roof, it is on the inner eastern city wall in front of the Grand Palace. It was used to viiew processions and military practice.

TRIMUK HALL This is located behind the Sanphet Prasat Hall. It is believed to have been the residential area of the consort members and is also the royal relaxing place in the garden.

BANYONG RATTANAT HALL Formerly known by the name of 'Phra Thinang Thaisa', it is located in the back compound of the Grand Palace on an Island in a pond. It has four - gabled roof architecture.

WAT PHRA SI SANPHET This important and most outstanding monastery is located in Grand Palace compound like Wat Phra Si Ratanasatsadaram (Wat Phra Kaeo) of Bangkok. Used as a residential palace, it became a monastery in the reign of King Ramathibodi I. When King Borom Trai Lokanat commanded new living quarters built, this residential palace was given to be a temple area, thus originating Wat Phra Si Sanphet: The royal chapel does not have any monks and novice inhabitants.

WIHAN PHRAMONGKHON BOPHIT Phra Mongkhon Bophit, a large bronze cast Boddha image was originally enshrined outside the Grand Palace to the east. King Songtham commanded it to be transferred to the west, where it is currently enshrined and covered with a Mondop. Later in the reign of Phra Chao Sua, the top of the Mondop was burnt down by a fire due to a thunderbolt. Then, the King commanded a new building be built in the form of a big sanctuary (Maha Wihan) to cover the image in lieu of the former Mondop. During the second fall of Ayutthaya, the building and the image were badly destroyed by fire, the one currently seen was renovated but does not have as beautiful craftsmanship as the previous ones. The open area east of the Sanctuary (Wihan) was formerly Sanam Luang, where the royal cremation ceremonies took place (This prectice is now held at Sanam Luang, the Phramain Ground of Bangkok.

WAT PHRARAM This monastery was situated outside the grand palace compound to the east. King Ramesuan commanded it built on ground, where the royal cremation ceremony for his father King U-Thong, took place. A big lagoon is in front of this monastery. Its original name was "Nong Sano", it was changed to be "Bang Phraram" or currently Phraram Public Park.

WAT PHRA MAHATHAT Located in front of the Grand Palace to the east near Pa Than Bridge, it was constructed in the reign of King Borm Rachathirat I.

WAT RATCHABURANA This monastery was located near Pa Than Bridge opposite Wat Mahathat. King Borom Rachathirat II (Chao Sam Phraya) commanded two pagodas built on the ground where Chao Ai and Chao Yi engaged in single hand combat from elephant's back, and both were killed. Later, he established a Wihan combined with the pagodas and upgraded it to be monastery.

SUAN SOMDET Situated on U-Thong Road to the southwest of the city, is a big public park offering various plants referred to in Thai literature and archaeological sites.

CHANKASEM or FRONT PALACE On the bank of Pasak River, this palace was built during the reign of King Maha Thammaraja , the 17th Ayutthayan monarch, for his son's residence(King Naresuan). Like other ruins, the palace was destroyed by the Burmese and lift unrepaired for a long time. King Mongkut of the present Chakri dynasty ordered reconstruction of this palace for use as a residence during his occasional visit to Ayutthaya. Some of the more interesting site are:

CITY WALL AND GATE They were newly constructed by the command of King Rama IV. The original foundation of the city wall has since been found through excavation, thus revealing that the original area was much more spacious than what is currently seen.

PHLAPPHLA CHATURAMUK This wooden four-gabled roof pavilion is near the east gate of the palace. Originally, a residential place of King Mongkut during his visit to Ayutthaya.

PHIMAN RATTAYA HALL A group of buildings located amidst the compound of the grand palace, which once served as government offices and the Provincial Administrative Building for several years.

PHISAI SANYALAK HALL This is a four storey high tower located close to the western side of the Grand Palace. It was originally constructed during the reign of King Narai the Great, but was destroyed during the 2nd fall of Ayutthaya. It was reconstructed according to the original foundation in the fourth reign. King Rama IV used the Tower to observe the stars.
The palace is now used as a national museum. It has been decorated for demonstration of antiques such as Chainaware, ancient weapons, King Rama IV's personal things for daily life, Buddha images, sculptures and votive tablets of different times. The museum is open everyday from 9.00-16.00 hrs. except Monday, Tuesday, and national holidays.

WAT SENASANARAM This ancient monastery named "Wat Sua" is behind Chankasem Palace. The main attractions are two Buddha images: Phra Samphuttha Muni, the principal image enshrined in the Ubosot, and Phra In Plaeng enshrined in the Wihan; both were transferred from Vientiane.

WAT SUWANDARAM RATCHAWORAWIHAN is the monastery within the royal compound, located to the southwest on the edge of Pom Phet, an ancient fort. First, it was called "Wat Thong". Established in the Ayutthaya period, the monastery was extended and restored several times during the reigns of Chakri kings. The mural paintings on the upper part of the inside wall of the Ubosot depict the gathering of the deities, and on the lower part, the jataka stories of Wetsandon, Temi, and Suwannasam are described.
The front wall shows a picture of the Buddha subduing evil. Within the Vihara, there is a picture of the bravery of King Naresuan the Great, which is a masterpiece of serveral copies found in many places.

WANG LANG OR THE REAR PALACE This palace is located close to the western city wall of Ayutthaya (in the vicinity of the present location of the distillery plant of the Excise Department). It was originally the garden where the king made a visit from time to time. There was only one residential building in the entire area. King Maha Thammaracha commanded more buildings to be built in the area to mark it a palace which would be the residence of King Ekathosarot . Later on, this rear palace was only the residence of royal family members, so now no one can see the important items.

CHEDI PHRA SI SURIYOTHAI , the memorial for the first heroine in Thai history, is located in Ko Muang to the west.Among various places of interest within the Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Historical Park, this ancient place is of much importance as a proof of honour that ancient Thai society gave to Thai women.
Phra Si Suriyothai was the royal consort of Phra Mahachakkraphat. In 1548, only 7 months after being crowned as king he was challenged by a Burmese attack under the supervision of Phrachao Tabeng Chaweti and his warlord, Burengnong. The Burmese army intruded into the kingdom through the Three Pagoda Pass in Kanchanaburi and came to set up military camps around the royal compond. During the fighting on elephant back, Phra Mahachakkraphat faced danger. Phra Si Suriyothai, clad in a warrior's suit, interrupted the fighting with the intention to provide assistance for her husband. She rode her elephant in the way of Phrachao Prae, a Burmese commander, and was cut to death by his sword. After the end of the war, Phra Mahachakkraphat arranged a funeral and established the cremation site to be a temple named "Wat Sopsawan".
In the reign of King Rama V, there was a quest for the historical sites as mentioned in the Royal Chronical. The exact location of Wat Sopsawan was identified with a large indented stupa which was renamed by King RamaVI as Chedi Phra Si Suriyothai.
In 1990, the government assigned the Fine Arts Department and the National Security Command to restore the chedi, which had deteriorated over time. Fortunately, on 20 May 1990, some antique objects were found such as a white rock crystal Buddha image in the posture of subduing Mara, a chedi replica, and a golden reliquary. These ancient objects were brought to be under the care of the Chao Sam Phraya National Museum.

SI SURIYOTHAI PARK is located within the area of the Ayutthaya liquor plant adjacent to Chedi Phra Si Suriyothai. On its total area of 5 rai, there is a common building, a Somdet Phra Si Suriyothai pavilion, a mound with marble Semas (boundary stones of a temple) aged over 400 years where the fragmented parts of Buddha images taken from Wat Phutthaisawan were buried, etc. The Liquor Distillery Organisation, who sponsored the construction of the park, wished to devoted all good deeds in transforming the former inner part of the royal compound to all of the late kings who used to live here before. King Rama IX graciously named the park "Suan Si Suriyothai" on 25 May, 1989. Then, the park was conferred to Her Majesty Queen Sirikit on the eve of Her 60th birthday anniversary. The park opens daily for the public from 9.00-17.00 hrs.

WAT LOKKAYASUTHA This monastery is over a kilometre behind Wat Suanluangsopsawan adjacent to Wat Worachettharam. Accessible by the road inside the compound of the Distillery Plant, or through the road behind the Phlapphla Trimuk (three-gabled roof pavilion), it is in the area of the Ancient Palace passing Wat Woraphot and Wat Worachettharam going to the site of the large reclining Buddha, made of brick and covered with plaster, approximately 29 metres long. Many large hexagonal pillar ruins near the image are believed to be the ruins of the Ubosot.

WAT KASATTRATHIRAT WORAWIHAN is the monastery located outside Ko Muang, opposite Chedi Phra Si Suriyothai, on the bank of the Chao Phraya River. Its former name was Kasattra or Kasattraram. It is an ancient temple of the Ayutthaya period with a main Prang(stupa) as its centre.

WAT CHAIWATTHANARAM Another monastery that is located on the bank of Chao Phraya River, on the west of the city island. King Prasat Thong commanded it built. The great beauty has been reflected from the main stupa and its satellite stupa along the gallery, an architecture influenced by Khmer. Travelling can be made by river from Chankasem Palace. A long-tailed boat services is available at 300-400 baht for a round trip, consuming about one hour.

WAT PHUTTHAISAWAN is the monastery situated on the river bank opposite Ko Muang to the south. Travel by car along the route Ayutthaya - Senna to the west of Ko Muang. After passing the bridge in front of Wat Kasattrathirat, turn left to Wat Chaiwattanaram. Follow the direction signs, you will find a left turn to Wat Phutthaisawan. This monastery was built in the area where King U-Thong moved to establish his city. The area was first known as Wiang Lek, named after the royal palace of King U-Thong. The most interesting part of Wat Phutthaisawan is the great principal Buddha image; its style is of the early Ayutthaya Period.

MU BAN PROTUKET is the Portuguese village located in Tambon Samphao Lom, on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River and to the south of the city. The portuguese were the first Europeans who travelled to trade with the Ayutthaya kingdom. In 1511, Al Fonco de Al Buquerq, the Portuquese governor to Asia, dispatched a diplomatic trooupe led by Ambassador Mr.Du Arte Fernandes to Ayutthaya during the reign of King Ramathibodi II. After that, some portuguese came to the kingdom ffor different purposes: trade, military volunteers in the Ayutthaya army, or on a religious mission. They built a church as the centre of their community and to serve religious purposes.
Presently, some traces of former construction have been found at the village site. At the ancient remains of San Petro, a Dominican church, some antique objects were excavated together with human skeletons such as tobacco pipes, coins, and accessories for a religious ceremony.

WAT PHUKHAO THONG Located two kilometres northeast of the Grand Palace, this monastery was constructed in the year 1387 during the reign of King Ramesuan.

ELEPHANT KRAAL PAVILION The pavilion, utilized as the royal seat to witness the elephant round up, is located 4 kilometres from the city along Highway No.309. The outlook is a big cage surrounded with logs having, from the front centre, fencing lines of 45 degrees spread out to both sides far away into the jungle area. Around the kraal itself, is an earthen wall with bricks to the height of the pillar's top. Behind the kraal and opposite the front fencing line, is the pavilion housing the royal seat. The Kraal currently seen was renovated in the year 1957.

WAT NA PHRAMEN The former name of this monastery was Wat Phra Merurachikaram. Located on the bank of Khlong Sabua opposite the grand palace, the date of construction is unknown. The Ubosot design is of very old typical Thai style. The most interesting objects are the principal Buddha image, fully decorated in regal attire, and another image make of black stone in the small Wihan.

WAT KUDIDAO Located in front of the railway station to the east, this old monastery has beautiful work with better craftsmanship than many other temples, but it has deteriorated to a high degree.

WAT SAMANAKOT Located near Wat Kudidao, it was renovated by Chao Phraya Kosa(Lek) and Phraya Kosa(Pan) during the reign of King Narai the Great. The main attractionis a large Prang having an unusual outlook different from the others. It is believed to imitate the design of Chedi Chet Yot of Chiang Mai.

WAT YAI CHAIMONGKHON or WAT CHAO PHRAYA THAI This monastery constructed in the reign of King U-Thong is located outside the city to the southeast in the same direction as the railway station; one can see its large pagodas from far away. King Naresuan the Great commanded the pagoda built to celebrate the victory of his sing-handed combat on the elephant's back. He also aimed at a huge construction to match the large pagoda of Wat Phukhao Thong, and named it "Phra Chedi Chaiyamongkhon".

WAT PHANANCHOENG This monastery located south of Phra Nakhorn Si Ayutthaya has no record as to its date of construction or the person causing its construction. It existed before Ayutthaya was founded as the capital. The principal image in the Wihan called "Phrachao Phananchoeng" was built in A.D.1325; it is made of stucco in the attitude of subduing evil; considered beautiful, it is most revered bby the inhabitants of Ayutthaya.

JAPANESE VILLAGE This is located 1.5 kilometres far from Wat Phanancheong in Tambon Ko Rien. There is an additional building of the Ayutthaya Historical Study Centre, where the foreign affairs of Ayutthaya Period are on exhibition.


PRASAT NAKHON LUANG Situated on the east bank of Pa Sak River, Tambon Nakhon Luang, it was used as the royal accommodation during trips to the Buddha's Footprint Shrine and Lopburi. It is assumed to have been constructed during the reign of King Songtham, but was improved to be a brick and plaster acommodation during the reign of King Prasat Thong.


BANG PA-IN PALACE This palace is located in Tambon Bang Len, Amphoe Bang Pa-In, 18 kilometres south of Ayutthaya. It lies 58 kilometres north of Bangkok by rail, 61 kilometres by road. To access to Bang Pa-In from Ayutthaya, one can go by Phahonyothin Road and make a right turn at Km.35 for another distance of 7 kilometres to Bang Pa-In Palace. The palace is open to the public everyday from 08.30-16.00 hrs. Admission fee is 50 baht per person. For more information Tel: 224-3273 or (035) 261-044
Originally, Bang Pa-In was a riverine island. When Prasat Thong become the Ayutthaya king (1630-1655), he had the Chumphon Nikayaram Temple built on his family estate. Later, he had a palace built on a lake in the middle of the island where he could periodically reside.
The palace, surrounded by a lake 400 metres long and 40 metres wide, and the Chumphon Kikayaram Temple, are all that remain of King Prasat Thong's construction work at Bang Pa-In.
Bang Pa-In was used as a country residence by every Ayutthayan monarch after King Prasat Thong. But when the new capital was established in Bangkok, Bang Pa-In ceased to be used and was left unoccupied for 80 years. It was only during King Mongkut's reign (1851-1868) that Bang Pa-In was again visited by kings. King Mongkut stayed there and had a house built in the old palace's compound.
His son, King Chulalongkorn (1868-1910) liked the place, stayed there every year and constructed the royal palace as it is now seen today.

Important building inside the palace compound are:

AISAWANTHIPPHAYA-AT PAVILION A Thai design pavilion in the middle of the pond was built in the reign of King Rama V. Originally built by wood throughout, King Rama VI commanded to change the floor and pillars to be reinforced concrete.

WAROPHATPHIMAN HALL It is north of the "Saphan Sadet" the royal path to and from the river landing. Formerly the two-storey wooden villa was used as both the royal living quarters and Throne Hall. Later during his reign, King Rama V commanded the original one to be demolished and replaced with a European design building to be used as the Throne Hall to receive his subjects for royal ceremonies. In this hall are paintings of the royal historic records, Inao literature, Phra Aphai Mani literature and the Ramayana epic.

PHRA THINANG UTTHAYAN PHUMISATHIAN is a two-storey building located to the east and opposite the pond. It is a piece of elaborate work seen tinted alternately with dark and light greens. Its balcony is similar in design to a Swiss chalet.
Before being destroyed by fire during the restoration in 1938, the whole building was built from wood and decorated inside with mahogany furniture ordered directly from Europe. Other decorative items were precious offering rarely to be found, but forwarded to the capital from satellite towns. A beautiful flower garden surrounded the building.
Now, a concrete structure of the same model has been built to replace the one that was burnt.

THEATRE This theatre was constructed by the royal command of King Rama VI in the compound of his consort's living quarters near the pond in the garden west of Utthayan Phumisathian Hall.

HO HEMMONTHIAN THEWARAT is the stone Prang under a banyan tree nnear the pond within the outer part of the royal compound, where an image of a deity is housed. King Rama V ordered its construction in 1879 to replace an old shrine built by villagers as an offering to King Prasat Thong of the Ayutthaya period.

SAPHAKHAN RATCHAPRAYUN This two-storeyed building on the river bank outside the palace wall was constructed by the royal command of King Rama V. It is in front of Warophat Phiman Hall in the south and was used as the living quarter of the non-consort members.

WITTHUNTHASSANA HALL This hall, constructed in the form of a tower between Utthayan Phumisathian and Wehat Chamrun, is a three-storey building having a spiral staircase leading to the top floor hall. When residing in Bang Pa-In Palace, King Rama V used this hall as the place to get the bird's eye view of the surrounding area.

KENG BUPPHA PRAPHAT is the chinese-style pavilion nearby the garden's pond within the inner part of the royal compound. It was built in 1881 during the reign of King Rama V.

WEHAT CHAMRUN HALL This hall located in the north of the palace, was constructed in the Chinese Emperor style as the royal offering by Phraya Choduk Ratchasetthi(Fak). King Chulachomklao usually made a royal visit during the cool season.

MONUMENT OF QUEEN SUNANTHA This is a 3 metre high hexagonal marble building, situated on the east side of the royal palace. It was constructed to the ashed of the affectionate consort of King Rama V (Somdet Phranangchao Sunantha Kumarirat).

MONUMENT OF PHRA-AKKHARACHAYATHOE PHRA-ONGCHAO SAOWAPHAK NARIRAT AND THREE ROYAL CHILDREN, OR ANUSAWARI RACHANUSON It is the marble relif memorial that King Rama V, with his deep sorrow, ordered to be constructed in 1888 to commemorate his beloved consort (Phra-Akkharachayathoe Phra-Ongchao Saowaphak Narirat) and three royal children who passed away at different times of the same year, 1887. These portraits stand nearby the memorial of Somdet Phranangchao Sunantha Kumarirat.

WAT NIWET THAMPRAWAT is the monastery located to the south of an island in the Chao Phraya River, on the river bank opposite the royal palace. In 1878, King Rama V ordered its construction to have the same architectural style of a Western cathedral. The building and its decorations are of Gothic style and beautified with colourful stained glass. The base ; where the principal image of Buddha and his followers were placed, was designed to resemble the one for the Cross in a Christian church, not a traditional Chukkachi base as seen in general. The window blocks were especially made for curved windows. On the Ubosot wall in front of the principal Buddha image, there is a picture of King Rama V created with stained glass. Situated to the right of the Ubosot is Ho Phra Khanthararat, a shrine where Phra Khanthararat - a Buddha image in the posture of requesting rain, is put for worship. Opposite Ho Phra Khanthararat is another shrine, which is the house of a seated stone Buddha image protected by a seven-headed naga. It is an ancient Buddha image aged a thousand years, built in the Lopburi period by Khmer craftman. This venerated Buddha image is very close to the big banyan tree that spreads its branches to shade the area in front of the Ubosot. Not far from the Ubosot, there is a cluster of stones naturally found in Thailand, which contains the relics of Chaochommanda Chum, a consort of King Rama IV and mother of Prince (Somdet Kromphraya) Damprong Rajanubhab and the members of the 'Diskul' family. From Bang Pa-In Palace, visitors can access the monastery through a cable car that carries 6-8 passengers at a time. The fare depends on the passenger's contributions.

WAT CHUMPHON NIKAYARAM is the monastery located in the front area of Ko Muang, opposite to the train station. It was founded in 1632, by King Prasatthong's command and restored during the reign of King Rama IV.


ROYAL FOLK ARTS AND CRAFTS CENTRE AT BANG SAI With an area of 285 rai(or 14 acres), the Centre is located in Tambon Bung Yai, Amphoe Bang Sai. Farmers from Ayutthaya as well as from other provinces undergo training in folk arts and crafts here. At this centre, you will have a glimpes of how farmers in the four regions live and work; how their products of arts and crafts are produced. The centre is under the Promotion of Supplementary Occupations and Related Techniques (SUPPORT) which was established under Royal Patronage on the 21st July, 1976. Products and activities which can be seen are Fern Vien Basketry, Weaving Basketry, Artificial Flowers, Hand-Woven Silk and Cotton, Silk Dyeing, Wood Carving, Miniature Hand-Modelled Thai Dolls, Furniture Making, Cloth-Made Products, etc. All the products are sold at the Centre and in every branch of Chitralada Store.
In order to get to Bang Sai, one can take a cruiser or take a bus from the Northern Bus Terminal on Phahonyothin Road, or taking Bang Sai -Sam Khok Road, which branches off about 24 kilometres from Bang Pa-In intersection or take Highway No.306 (Nonthaburi - Pathumthani Road.) turn right to Amphoe Bang Sai.
The Centre is open everyday except Monday from 8.30-16.00 hrs. Admission fee is 20 Baht per person. For more information, please contact Tel. (035)366-092 or Tel. 225-8165-8 ext.460 (Bangkok).


BY TRAIN : Trains leave Bangkok Railway Station (Hua Lam Phong Rama IV Road, Tel.223-7010, 223-7020) daily every hour starting from 06.40-22.00 hrs.

BY BUS : Direct air-conditioned buses leave Bangkok every half an hour from the Northern Bus Terminal or Phahonyothin Road. (Tel. 537-8055-6) starting 05.30-19.20 hrs.
And non air-conditioned buses (Tel. 272-5761-5 ext. 117) leave for Bang Pa-In, Bang Sai, and Ayutthaya many times daily from 05.30-19.20 hrs.

1. Take Highway No.1 (Phahonyothin Road.) then take Highway No.32 to Ayutthaya.
2. Take Highway No.304 (Chaeng - Watthna Road.) or take Highway No. 302 (Ngamwongwan Road.) ; turn right to Highway No.306 (Tiwanon Road.), then take Highway No.3111 (Pathum Thani - Samkhok - Sena) and turn right at Amphoe Sena to Highway No. 3263
3. Take Highway No.306 (Bangkok - Nonthaburi - Pathum Thani Road.) then take Highway No.347


Mini-buses can be taken from railway station into the city. Hiring a mini-bus within Ayutthaya costs between 250 and 300 baht/day. For travelling between Ayutthaya and Bang Pa-In, mini-buses regularly leave Chao Prom Market, Chao Prom Road. Starting from 06.30. The fare is about 30 Baht. The trip take fifty minutes.


There are no public boats going to Ayutthaya. However, there are several companies that organise excursions to Ayutthaya and Bang Pa-In. For further information, please contact the following companies:

Tel: 222-5330, Fax: 225-3002
08.00-17.30 Hrs. every Sunday
250 Baht/person
(transportation only)
Resv : Tel: 236-0400-9, Fax: 236-1939
08.00-17.30 Hrs. everyday
(going by cruiser and returning by air-conditioned coach or vice versa)
Oriental Hotel
1,550 Baht/person
(including lunch and tour)
Tel : 266-9125, 234-2250, 233-2877
08.20-16.30 Hrs. everyday
(going by air-conitioned coach and returning by cruiser)
River City
1,200-1,300 Baht/person
(including lunch and tour)
Tel : 256-7168-9
everyday (going by cruiser and returning by coach or vice versa)
Charoen Nakhon
5,000 Baht/person
(including 3 meals, accommodation and tour)


Mu6, Ban Aranyik, Tambon Tha Chang, Amphoe Nakhon Luang. Located at Km.78-79 of Highway No.32, turn right.
Mu2, Ban Yai, Tambon Ban Krathun, Amphoe Sena.
Mu5, Ban Yai, Tambon Bang Nangra, Amphoe Bang Pahan.
Mu4, Ban Yai, Tambon Tha Vasukri, Amphoe Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya.
Mu4, Ban Yai, Tambon Ban Mai, Amphoe Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya.


At the end of January
(Bang Sai Arts & Crafts Centre)
The annual fair shows products of H.M. the queen's SUPPORT programme. Visitors will enjoy shopping, and viewing exhibitions and demonstrations of local products from each district of Ayutthaya.
Folk entertainment performances enliven the fair.

April 13
In front of Wihan Phra Mongkhon Bophit
The traditional Thai New Year is an occasion for merry making in Ayutthaya, with religious ceremonies as well as public festivitis. Anyone who ventures out on the streets is likely to get a through soaking , but all in a spirit of fun at the peak of the hot season.

(Bang Sai Arts & Crafts Centre)
Celebrations inlude traditional float (Krathong) and beauty contests, handicraft demonstrations and exhibitions, special events, and krathong launching beneath the full moon.


Area code (035)

City Hall Tel. 241-340
Police Station Tel. 241-001, 241-608, 241-668
Tourist Police Tel. 242-352
Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Hospital Tel. 242-987, 241-718, 241-027
Ratcha Thani Hospital Tel. 335-555-60
Bus Terminal Tel. 335-304
Railway Station Tel. 241-521


Trip No.1One day trip of Ayutthaya and Bang Pa-In

07.15 Leave Bangkok by train from Bangkok Station (Hua Lam Phong) Rama IV Road.
09.00 Arrive Ayutthaya and visit
- Ayutthaya Historical Study Centre
- Chao Sam Phraya National Museum
- Wihan Phra Mongkhon Bophit
- Ancient Palace
- Wat Na Phramain
- Wat Maha That
- Wat Ratchaburana
12.00 Lunch at Hua-Ro Market
12.30 Visit Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon
13.15 Visit Wat Phananchoeng
14.00 Leave for Bang Pa-In by mini-bus from Chao Phrom Market
14.50 Arriving Bang Pa-In and visit
- Bang Pa-In Summer Palace
- Wat Niwet Thammaprawat
17.30 Leave for Bangkok by bus.

Please Note

- Chao Sam Phraya National Museum opens everyday except Monday, Tuesday, and National holidays from 09.00-16.00 hrs.
- Bang Pa-In Summer Palace opens everyday from 08.30-16.00 hrs.

Trip No.2 Two days and one night to Ayutthaya and Bang Pa-In

1st day

07.00 Leave Bangkok by bus from the Northern Bus Terminal Road.
08.00 Arrive Bang Pa-In
- Wat Niwet Thamprawat
- Bang Pa-In Summer Palace
10.30 Leave for Wat Phananchoeng by boat.
12.00 Arrive Wat Phananchoeng
13.00 Leave for Ayutthaya Historical Study Centre and Chao Sam Phraya National Museum.
15.30 Leave for Wat Chaiwatthanaram

2nd day

08.00 - Visit the Ancient Palace
- Wat Maha That
- Wat Ratchaburana
- Wat Na Phramain
- Phra Mongkhon Bophit Wihan
- Khun Phaen House
12.00 Lunch in the area ; relaxation at Phra Ram Park
14.30 Leave for Chan Kasem National Museum
16.00 Leave for Bangkok
17.30 Arrive Bangkok

Please Note

- Leave Bang Pa-In for Wat Phananchoeng by boat is recommended.
- Boat fare is about 400 Baht, (10 seats per boat).
- Tourists who have more time and want to continue their journey to the north and the northeast can take the train directly from Ayutthaya.
- TAT itself does not operate tours.
- This itinerary may be adjusted as appropriate.


Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is Thailand's principal northern province. It is some 700 kilometres north of Bangkok and covers an area of 20,000 square kilometres. The city is located in a fertile valley some 300 metres above sea level.

Chiang Mai was founded as the capital of Lanna Thai (Kingdom of One Million Ricefields) in 1296. It flourished as a major religious, cultural and trading centre until 1556 when a Burmese invasion reduced it to a vassal state. The Burmese were expelled in 1785, whereupon Lanna Thai once again became part of northern Thailand.

Many lowland Thais regard Chiang Mai as being something of a national Shangrai-la, thanks to its distinctive festivals, historic temples dating from the 1300s, arresting scenic beauty, temperate fruits and a crisp, invigorating cool season climate.

The people of Chaing Mai enjoy one of the most distinctive cultural indentities in the whole of Thailand. Largely farmers and artisans, they have their own lilting dialect, their own indigenous handicrafts, their own dances and their own distinctive cuisine, Hilltribes also lend a great deal of character and colour to the crisply beautiful mountainous landscape.


By Bus - The 10-hour journey from Bangkok can be made on airconditioned coaches and non-airconditioned buses originating from the Northern Bus Terminal on Bangkok's Kamphaeng Phet 2 Road (Tel: 936-3660, 937-8055)

By Air - Thai Airways (Tel:1566 or 280-0060) operated daily flights from Bangkok to Chiang Mai and flights from Chiang Mai to other northern Thai cities. Angel Air (Tel:953-1111) operates Bangkok-Chiang Mai and Chiang Mai-Udon Thani flights.

By Rail - The state Railways of Thailand (Tel:223-7010 or 223-7020) operates daily services from Bangkok's Hualamphong Railway Station including a popular overnight sleeper.


Wat Phra Sing Located on Sam Lan Road, this lovely temple dates from 1345 and is one of the focal points of Songkran festivities each April 13-15 when people bathe the revered Phra Phutthasihing Buddha image.The temple compound includes the lovely Lai Kham chapel with its exquisite woodcarvings and northern-style murals, and a magnificent scriptural repository with striking bas relief.

Wat Suan Dok Located on Suthep Road, this temple was build in a 14th century Lanna Thai monarch's pleasure gardens and is a favourite spot for photographers, particularly for striking sunsets. Several of the white chedis contain ashes of Chiang Mai's former royal family. The 500-year-old bronze Buddha image in a secondary chapel is one of Thailand's largest metal images.

Wat Chiang Man Located on Ratchaphakkinai Road, this is Chiang Mai's oldest temple and probably dates from 1296. The temple was the residence of King Mengrai, who founded Chiang Mai, and is noteworthy for a chedi supported by rows of elephantine buttresss, and a small ancient Buddha image, Phra Kaeo Khao.

Wat Ku Tao This temple is near the Chiang Mai Stadium. It is noteworthy for an unusual bulbous pagoda. The structure is decorated with colourful porcelain chips and is believed to represent five Buddhist monk's alms bowls which symbolise five Lord Buddhas.

Wat Chedi Luang Locatd on Phrapokklao Road, this temple is the site of an enormous pagoda, originally 280 feet high, and which was partially destroyed by an earthquake in 1545. At one time, Wat Chedi Luang housed the revered Emerald Buddha image now enshrined in Bangkok's Wat Phra Kaeo. One of Wat Chedi Luang's most striking architectural features is a magnificent Naga staircase adorns the chapel's front porch.

Wat Chet Yot Located on Super Highway, north of the Huai Kaeo Nimmanhemin Roads intersection. This temple dates from 1458. The seven-spired square chedi was inspired by designs at Bodhagaya, the site of the Buddha's Enlightenment in north India over 2,500 years ago, and was built by Lanna Thai architects after visiting the holy site.

Wat U-Mong Located on Suthep Road in a bucolic forest setting, this delightful meditation temple is completely different from Chiang Mai's other major temples. It was built in 1296. The ancient chedi is of particular interest.

Chiang Mai National Museum This is located beside Wat Chet Yot. The museum houses a collection of Lanna Thai works of art, ancient Buddha images, and war weapons. It is open daily, except Mondays, Tuesdays and official holidays, from 9.00 a.m. until noon, and 1.00 until 4.00 p.m.


Chiang Mai-Lamphun Route (Highway No. 106)

Wiang Kum Kam An ancient town founded by King Mengrai is located 4 kilommetres on Chiang Mai-Lamphun route in the area of Amphoe Saraphi. The main historical remains are found in Wat Chedi Liam, Wat Chang Kham, Wat Noi and Wat Kum Kam.

Chiang Mai-Doi Suthep Route (Road No. 1004)

Tribal Research Centre Located in the Chiang Mai University Campus, this contains a permanent cultural exhibition of northern hilltribes. The centre is open, Monday through Friday, from 8.30 a.m. until noon, and from 1.00 to 4.30 p.m.
Chiang Mai Arboretum This is next to Chiang Mai University. The attractively landscaped garden contains many kinds of tripical trees and lovely flowers.
Chiang Mai Zoo Next to the Chiang Mai Arboretum, this artfully landscaped complex occupies the lower forested slopes of Doi Suthep mountain, and contains a fascinating collection of Asian and African mammals and birds.
Huai Kaeo Falls Located near the Chiang Mai Zoo, the cascade provides a delightful ambiance for relaxation and picnics.
Kruba Sriwichai Monument This is situated at the foot of Doi Suthep Mountain.The Monument honours the man whose followers built the first motor road to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep in 1935.
Wat Phra That Doi Suthep This temple is Chiang Mai's most important and visible landmark, and overlooks the city from its forested mountain backdrop. It is 15 kilometres from town, 3,520 feet above sea level, and dates from 1383. The temple is approached on foot by climbing a steep staircase comprising 290 steps. The less energetic may ascend by funicular railcars. The temple's golden pagoda contains holy Buddha relics, and attracts Buddhist pilgrims from all over the world throughout the year.
Phu Phing Palace This is located on the same road, beyond Wat Phra that Doi Suthep, 22 kilometres from town. The royal winter palaces was built in 1962. The lavishly landscaped gardens and grounds are open to the general public on Friday, Saturdays and Sundays and official holidays, when the Thai royal family is not in residence.
Doi Pui Tribal Village This Meo tribal village is some 4 kilometres from the Phu Phing Palace, and offers vignettes of modern tribal life.
Pha Dam (Block Cliff) This area near Wat Phra That Doi Suthep comprises a scenic spot ideal for picnics.

Western Route (Highway No. 1009)

Old Chiang Mai Cultural Centre Located on the road to Chom Thong, the centre stages Lanna Thai cultural performances with a Khan Tok Dinner. Objects d'art are displayed.
Earthenware & Lacquerware Shops These are clustered together, some 4 kilometres from town, on the Chiang Mai-Hang Dong Road.
Wat Phra That Si Chom Thong This temple is 58 kilometres from Chiang Mai and dates from the mid-1400s. The temple houses a collection of bronze Buddha images, and the secondary chapel contains a holy Buddha relic.
Doi Inthanon National Park Doi Inthanon is Thailand's highest mountain and towers 2,565 metres above sea level. Travel 58 kilometres west of Chiang Mai via Highway 107, by regular coach to Amphoe Chom Thonng and thence by minibus to the peak for a futher distance of 48 kilometres.
Complex mountain ranges and a mild climate characterise an area with moist and dense summit forest which is the source of important tributaries of the Mae Ping River, one of northern Thailand's major waterways. Various streams descend, forming beautiful waterfalls throughout the park. These include the Siriphum, Vajirathan, Mae Pan, Mae Klang, and, the largest of all, Mae Ya waterfalls. Meo and Karen hilltribes inhabit the park.
Visiting the Doi Inthanon National Park is possible throughout the year. The best period for viewing waterfalls is May through November. The best period for viewing wild flowers is December through February. The best period for ornithologists is November through March.
For accommodation, contact the national park office at Km.31. Food are available at local shops at km.31.
Ban Rai Phai Ngam This is a village where famous cotton cloth woven in the old style has been long produced. At present the weaver's central gathering is the home of the late National Artist, Pa (Aunt) Sang Da Bansit, who had transferred her knowledge on the weaving process to other villagers. The village is located on the left of Chiang Mai-Hot between km.68-69, about 4 kilometres off the main road.
Op Luang Gorge This picturesque gorge is 105 kilometres from Chiang Mai provincial capital, and is framed by teak forests and mountains.

Northern Route (Road No.1096 off Highway No. 107)

Orchid&Butterfly Farms Major nurseries are located along MaeRim-Samoeng route (Road No.1096) These farms include Sai Nam Phung, Mountain Orchid, and Mae Ram Orchid. Each provide opportunities for visitors admire these exotic year-round blooms. Certain orchid farms also have speacial butterfly enclosures where in exotic species can be seen in their natural environment.

Mae Sa Waterfall This 8-tiered waterfall is 26 kilometres from town and occupies a natural setting among giganic towering trees.

Elephant Training Centres Each morning, at Km.10 on Mae Rim-Samoeng route, some 30 kilometres from town, trained elephants demonstrate their formidable and highly-valued forestry skills from 9.30 until 11.00 am, at the Mae Sa Elephant Training Centre. A jungle tour on elephant back, lasting more than two hours through adjacent forests, is offered after the show. Elephants at work can also be seen at the Pong Yaeng Elephant Centre at Km.19 on the same route, and the Elephant Nature Park at Mae Taman on the Chiang Mai-Fang Road, some 57 kilometres from Chiang Mai.

Queen Sirikit Botanic Garden This national botanic garden is located at Km.12 of Mae Rim-Samoeng route and covers an area of 560 acres. It was established in April 1992 in order to gather, to conserve, as well as to strengthen studies and reserch on Thai planets. More than 700 species of plants with the emphasis on Thai Flora have been collected.

Resorts Several pictruesque resorts, with accommodation and dining facilities, offer bucolic rural living on the Mae Rim-Samoeng route and include Mae Sa Valley Resort and Erawan Resort, and the Samoeng-Hang Dong route which includes Lanna Resort, Krisadadoi Resort and Suan Bua Resort. Some occupy hillsides, others secluded valleys.

Taeng Dao Elephant Camp This riverside enclave, at km.56 on Highway No.107, features daily shows of elephants at work, from 9.00 a.m. and offers elephant rides, and opportunities for bucolic river-rafting through largely pristine and tranquil forests, or jungle treks to neighbouring hilltribe settlements.

Chiang Dao Caves Sacred Buddha images occupy the caves of Wat Tham Chiang Dao at KM.72 on Highway107. Caves are illuminated by eletric lights. Deepest recesses can be explored with local guides.

Doi Ang Khang This royal agricultural station situated among beautiful mountainous scenery, provincial capital, 163 kilometres north of Chiang Mai, is a demonstration site for planting and researching flowering plants, temperate fruit trees, vegetables and other crops under the patronage of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

Fang Hot Springs Located at Ban Pin, also 163 kilometres north of Chiang Mai provincial, 50 hot springs occupy a 10-acre forest setting. Three boil continuously with a strong smell of sulphur. Water temperatures at the springs range from 90 to 100 degrees Celsius.

Eastern Route (Road No.101)

Bo Sang Umbrella/Parasol Village The world-famous village is 9 kilometres from town, along a road lined with handicraft-producing factories. In genuine cottage industries, young women manufacture silk and cotton umbrellas and paper parasols which are subsequently hand painted in various animaland floral designs. Generations of Bo Sang families have been engaged in umbrella and parasol making for more than 200 years.

San Kamphaeng Cotton & Silk Weaving Village This equally famous village is located 13 kilometres from town. The village is the major source of all Thai silk and cotton produced in Chiang Mai. The fabrics are woven by local folk on traditional wooden looms, and are sold in a wide variety of plain lengths, plaids, brocades, stripes, prints and checks.

San Kamphaeng Hot Springs This is located 36 kilometres from town amid natural surroundings of trees and verdent hills. The water has a high sulphur content and posseses curative and restorative properties. Accommodation, a swimming pool, dining facilities and segregated mineral water bathing rooms are available. Nearby is Roong Arun Hot Spring Resort which offers bungalows, mineral baths and sumptupous park setting.


Meo, Lisu, Yao, Akha, Lawa and Karen hilltribes live throughout northern Thailand's mountains. They share animist beliefs and honour numerous forest and guardian spirits. Each tribe has distinctive ceremonial attrire, courtship rituals, games, dances, agricultural customs, puberty rites, languages or dialects, aesthetic values and hygienic habits.

Popular 'Jungle Treks', lasting from 2 to 7 days, take visitors through forested mountains and high valleys and meadows, and include visits to remoter high-altitude hilltribe settlements for overnight stays. The best guides are hilltribe youths who customarily speak English, Thai and at least three tribal dialects.

Treks commonly feature travel by foot, sometimes by boat, elephant-back, hourse-back or jeep, frequently a combination of two or three modes of transportation.

Prospective trekkers are advised to shop around companies offering such tours for the best conditions. All treks must be registered with the Tourist Police. This is done for trekker's protection. Avoid companies that do not abide by this law. Visitors are welcome to enquire from the Tourist Police to confirm which tour companies have negative or bad reputations, or vidit the TAT Chiang Mai office to obtain a list of registered travel agents.

Also, avoid narcotics, essentially everything from soft drugs such as marijuana to hard drugs such as opium and heroin both during travel and at hilltribe villages. There are severe penalties for such usage.

Wear sensible clothing to protect your limbs and sleep under a mosquito net at night. Malaria is a real threat, and sensible precautions should be taken to avoid it.

Visitors should remember to

a) Respect hilltribe beliefs and religious symbols and structrures.

b) Dress modestly. Hilltribe people are generally modest. Inappropriate attire may offend them.

c) Ask permission before photographing someone. Some villages do not permit photography.

d) Avoid trading western medicines and articles of clothing. Contributions to their welfare, items such as pens, paper, needles, thread, cloth and materail used for embroidery are perfectly acceptable.

Trek prices are determined by the duration of the trip, transportation modes, meals available and the size of the trekking party. Check directly with the Chiang Mai TAT office office for current information.


Chiang Mai is, quite simply, Thailand's major centre for quality handicrafts. The visitor need merely visit the nearest city emporium or night marget to purchase handicrafts. A major advantage of shopping in Chiang Mai is that the visitor may watch artisans working within the city and in serveral outlying villages, particularly along the Bo Sang-San Kamphaeng road where, in genuine cottage industries, parasols, silk and cotton weaving, jewellery, woodcarving, silverware, celadon, and lacquerware are manufactured, and number among popular purchases.

Major Chiang Mai products include:

Cottons & Silks - First-class Chiang Mai cottons and silks are of incomparable quality. Cottons and silkshave innumerable fashion and furnishing applications. The largest possible selection is available in San Kamphang.

Umbrellas-Parasols - These are inextricably associated with Bo Sang where villagers have been engaged in their manufacture for at least 200 years. All materials, silks, cottons, sa paper (manufactured from the bark of the mulberry tree) and bamboo are produced or founnd locally. Visitors to Bo Sang will see literally hundreds of designs and sizes ranging from the miniature to the gigantic.

Silverware - The finest Thai silverware is exquisite, and is made in Chiang Mai, where certain families have pretised their art for several generations. Traditional skills and a guaranteed content of at least 92.5% pure silver invest bowls, receptacles and decorative items with authentic value. Silver shops are concentrated on Wua lai Road, where silverware artisans and their families live.

Lacquerware - Striking black and gold designs give lacquerware its visual appeal and sheen. This decorative are enhances items made of wood, bamboo, metal, paper and baked clay, in the form of receptacles, ornaments and various souvenirs.

Furniture/Woodcarving - Chiang Mai is a major centre of furniture making. Major woods and materials include teak, rosewood and rattan. Items may be unadorned or, especially with teak and rosewood, artfully carved in traditional or modern designs. Woodcarving is a traditional northern Thai art featured in numerous temples. In recent years, wood carving has increasingly embellished furniture, gracing screens, chairs, tables, beds, indeed anything bearing a wooden surface large enough to be carved. Carved elephants, figurines and tableware number among other popular purchases.

Hilltribe Products - These include silver ornaments, such as bracelets, necklace, pendants and pipes of intricate design, and embroidered items including tunics, jackets, bags, purses, caps, and dress lengths.

Gold Plated Orchids & Butterflies - Orchids and butterflies are preserved and plated with 24-carat gold to creat unusual gift items such as necklace pendants, hairpins and earrings.

Pottery - Chiang Mai is the major centre of Thailand's pottery industry. Prized items include high-fired celadon which is produced in many forms, including dinner sets, lamp bases and decorative items.

Chiang Mai celebrates many annual festivals. Three are particularly lively and lovely. They are the Flower Festival, the first Friday and weekend of every February, Songkran, 13-15 April each year, and Loi Krathong on the full-moon night of the twelfth lunar month, generally in November.

Flower Festival - The 3-day event occurs during the period when Chiang Mai's temperate and tropical flowers are in full bloom and at their colourful best. Festivities include colourful floral floats, parades, music and dancing, and beauty pageants.

Songkran - This festival celebrates the traditional Thai New Year with religious merit-making, pilgrimages, beauty parades, dancing, merriment and uninhibited, good-natured water-throwing.

Loi Krathong - People float away under the full moon, onto rivers, canals and lakes, banana-leaf boats bearing a lighted candle, incense, flower and small coin to honour the water spirits and wash away the previous year's misfortunes.


Chiang Rai

Chaing Rai province covers some 11,678 square kilometres with a population of 1.23 million at an average elevation of 580 metres above sea level, is bordered by Myanmar to the north, and Laos to the north and northeast. The provincial capital is 785 kilometres north of Bangkok.
Chiang Rai was founded in 1262 by King Mengrai and was the first capital of Lanna Thai (Kingdom of a Million Ricefields). The province contains Thailand's northernmost point at Mae Sai, is well known for its crisp mountain scenery, and hilltribes, and falls within the region known as the Golden Triangle, the area where the borders of Thailand, Myanmar and Laos converge.


By Bus - The 11-hour journey from Bangkok can be made on airconditioned coaches and non-airconditioned buses originating from the Northern Bus Terminal on Bangkok's Kamphaeng Phet 2 Road (Tel: 936-3666, 936-2852 for further details).

By Air - Thai Airways (Tel: 1566 or 286-0060) operates daily flights between Bangkok and Chiang Rai.


King Mengrai the Great Monument This is located on the city outskirts, beside the northern road to Mae Chan, and honours the monarch who founded Chiang Rai in 1262.

Ku Phra Chao Meng Rai Situated in Wat Ngam Muang, on Ngam Muang Hillock, this stupa contains King Mengrai's ashes and relics.

Wat Phra That Doi Chom Thong This ancient hilltop pagoda overlooks the Mae Kok River and predateds the founding of Chiang Rai as the capital of Lanna Thai.

Wat Phra Sing This temple, on Singhakhlai Road, is a fine example of Lanna Thai religious architecture. The Phra Buddha Sihing image now housed in Chiang Mai's Wat Phra Sing was formerly enshrined here.

Wat Phra Kaeo Located behind Wat Phra Sing, this temple is said to have been the original place where the Emerald Buddha now enshrined in Bangkok's Wat Phra Kaeo (Chapel of the Emerald Buddha) was enshrined.

Hat Chiang Rai Located 5 kilometres from the city, this scenic riverside area and promenade is a recreation area for local inhabitants.

Mae Kok River Known in Thai as Maenam Kok, this scenic 130-kilometre long waterway runs through the heart of Chiang Rai. The river is a major transportation artery from neighbouring Chiang Mai province, especially the town of Tha Ton (180 kilometres north of Chiang Mai provincial capital), from whence long-tailed boats make the 3-4 hour journey every day at 12.30 PM (Chiang Rai-Tha Ton: 10:30 AM). The river passes several hilltribe settlemments and elephant camps from where jungle treks originate.

Khun Kon Forest Park Waterfall Located 30 kilometres south of Chiang Rai provincial capital, along Routes 1211 & 1208, the 70 metre high Khun Kon Waterfall is the highest in the province.



Hot Spring Located 8 kilometres from Mae Chan, along Route 1089, this complex has hot mineral water and bath-house facilities. Accommodation is also available.

Hilltribe Development & Welfare Centre 15 kilometres along the route to Doi Mae Salong, the centre aids and administers local hilltribe settlements. Hilltribe handicrafts, including woven cloth and silverware, are on sale.

Doi Saen Chai 5 kilometres beyond the Welfare Centre, this Akha hilltribe village can be reached solely by 4-wheel drive vehicles.


Doi Mae Salong Located some 40 kilometres from Mae Chan, along Route 1089, a mountaintop settlement known as Santi Khiri is home to descendants of Chinese Nationalist soldiers who fled to, and settled in Thailand, in 1940. Mountainside plantations of coffee, and fruit orchards, provide scenic variety. The area is particularly picturesque in December and January when Thai cherry trees are in blossom. Accommodation, restaurants and opportunities for horse riding and trekking number along major attractions.
60 kilometres beyond Doi Mae Salong via Ban Thoetthai is Doi Hua Mae Kham where a large Lisu hilltribe village is located. During December, the area is dotted with yellow wild sunflower called Bua Tong.

Doi Tung This northernmost Thai mountain contains several scenic spots, including the Doi Tung Royal Villa, the Mae Fa Luang Garden, the mountaintop Wat Phrathat Doi Tung which affords a spectacular view of the surrounding area, and contains Buddha relics, and various hilltribe villages in natural settings.

Pha Mi Akha Village This picturesque village is one of the most accessible Akha settlements in Chiang Rai province, and is located on the way to the summit of Doi Tung.


Mae Sai This border town faces Myanmar across the Mae Sai River, and is located 62 kilometres north of Chiang Rai on Highway No.110. Numerous shopping opportunities exist for popular Thai, Burmese and Chinese goods.

Khun Nam - Nang Non or Lagoon of the Sleeping Lady Located 12 kilometres before reaching Mae Sai Community Centre along a 2-kilometre spur Road, natural rock formations resemble a reclining female to give the tree shaded area its name.


Chiang Saen This riverside town facing the Mekong River is 30 kilometres from Mae Chan via Highway No.1016, predates Chiang Rai and is famous for a special style of Buddha image.

Chiang Saen National Museum This petite museum exhibits local objects d'art, including Chiang Saen-style Buddha images and Lanna Thai artefacts. The museum is open on Wednesdays - Sundays from 9.00 AM until 4.00 PM, except national holidays.

Wat Phra That Chedi Luang This ancient 88-metre high brick pagoda, next to the museum, is the tallest religious monument in Chiang Rai.

Wat Pa Sak Located outside the city walls, some 200 metres from the Tourist Service Centre, this deserted temple, with ornamental stucco motifs, is regarded as being one of the most beautiful examples of Lanna architecture in northern Thailand.

Wat Phra That Chom Kitti This hilltop temple has a pagoda containing a Buddha relic.

Wat Phra That Pha Ngao Located 4 kilometres along the Chiang Saen - Chiang Khong Road, this temple's hilltop pagoda offers a spectacular view of the Mekong River and Laos.

Chiang Saen Lake South of Chiang Saen, along Highway No.1016 (a 2-kilometre trip from the Km.27 marker), this one square kilometre lake hosts migratory waterfowl during the winter months. Birds are seen at their best and most plentiful from November through February.

The Golden Triangle 8 kilometres north of Chiang Saen, this riverside area marks the spot where the borders of Thailand, Myanmar and Laos converge.

Wat Phra That Doi Pu Khao This riverside temple near the Sop Ruak Market, offers a spectacular view of the Golden Triangle's riverine and mountain areas.

Mekong River Trips Boats can be hired from Chiang Saen to travel upstream to, the Golden Triangle, and downstream to Chiang Khong. The trip to the Golden Triangle takes some 30 minutes, the trip to Chiang Khong about 1 hour and 30 minutes depending on river currents and water levels.


Chiang Khong Located 55 kilometres east of Chiang Saen, (and 114 kilometres northeast of Chiang Rai provincial capital), this settlement faces Laos across the Mekong River. Local tour operators can arrange for tourists to visit Laos.

Ban Hat Khrai Marks the Chiang Khong area where the freshwater pla buk catfish, which can attain lengths of 2.5 metres and weights of 300 kilogrammes, are caught between April 18 and early June each year.

Ban Hat Bai 2.5 kilometres along the Chiang Saen - Chiang Khong Road, this Thai Lue community is best known for its hand-woven cotton.


Doi Pha Tang Some 32 kilometres from Amphoe Wiang Kaen (127 kilometres from Chiang Rai provincial capital), this scenic mountain location hosts Chinese, Hmong and Yao ethnic minorities. During January and February, the area is rendered even more picturesque thanks to cherry blossom and mountain mists.


Phu Chi Fa This mountain, 25 kilometres south of Doi Pha Tang, provides scenic views over misty valleys of Laos at sunrise. During February, it is dotted with white wild flowers known as Dok Sieo. Accommodation is available at Rom Fa Thong and Rom Fa Thai villages at the foot of the hill.


Doi Luang National Park This forested park, some 65 kilometres south of the provincial capital, covers an area of 1,170 square kilometres, and extends into areas of Chiang Mai, Lampang and Phayao provinces. A major attraction is the Pu Kaeng Waterfall which is composed of 9 beautiful cascades.


A great many of the tourists visiting Chiang Rai make enquiries about hilltribe trekking. They come looking for adventure and learning experience that will last a life time. The experience of a trek around the northern area usually includes beautiful mountain terrain,wild and steamy jungles, clean rivers, photogenic waterfalls and unusually shaped caves. Visitors can journey to these places by fot, by horseback or on the back of an elephant. Travelling by longtail boats, motorbikes, and jeeps are becoming more and more popular as tour agencies expand their approach to tours and trekking.
There are abundant routes for trekking in Chiang Rai. Each route has its own characteristic. Thus, this makes the activities and cost of each trips different from one another. Please contact TAT local office for more information.

Some useful advice

1. Trekking alone is not recommented. It is much safer to go with the guide of trekking agents.

2. Respect hilltribe's beliefs and religious symbols and structures. Be careful about what you touch. It is better to ask your guide about some do's and don'ts before entering a hilltribe village.

3. Avoid trading western medicines and articles of clothing. Many of the hilltribe people are not familiar with the use western medicines. And by trading clothing you may be adding a new element of dressing and grooming contrary to their own. If you want to give something it should be something to contribute to their welfare, (pens, paper, needles, thread, cloth and material used for various hilltribe handicrafts.)

4. Photographs should be taken in specified areas. Ask before you take a photograph of someone. Some villages do not even permit being photographed.

5. Protect yourself against the nasty little mosquitoes of Northern Thailand. Don't rely only on the use of prophylactic drugs. In Thailand the many different strains of malaria parasites are resistant to many of the drugs on the market. You should also protect yourself by wearing long pants, long-sleeved shirts and thick socks. Also use a strong brank of mosquito repellent when trekking. At night you should sleep under a mosquito net and avoid outdoor activities between dusk and dawn when the little pests are a nuisance.

6. Do not approach the elephants during hot season, and/or when feeding without their handlers(mahouts) present.


King Mengrai Festival This festival is held from January 26 - February 1 every year. The festival features parades, cultural performances and competitions celebrating the founder of Chiang Rai and the Lanna Thai Kingdom.

Songkran Festival Traditional Thai New year celebrations are best seen at Chiang Saen where 4 nations (Thailand, Laos, China and Myanmar) compete in boat races on the Mekong River. Beauty contests and cultural shows are added attractions. The festival is annually held from April 16-18.

Lychee Fair This is held annually in May. Celebrating the province's tastiest fruit, this fair features agricultural displays and exhibitions, local handicrafts, folk entertainment and beauty contests.



Sukhothai which literally means "Dawn of Happiness" with an area of 6,596 sq.kms., is about 427 kms. (267 miles) north of Bangkok, and was founded in 1238. Sukhothai was the capital of Thailand for approximately 120 years.


By Bus
Both air and non air-conditioned buses leave Bangkok for Sukhothai daily from the Northern Bus Terminal, Kamphaeng Phet Road. Tel. 537-8055-6

By Train
There are no trains going directly to Sukhothai. One may travel by train to Phitsanulok and then take a local bus to Sukhothai, some 50 kms. away. Contact Bangkok Railway Station Tel. 223-7010, 223-7020

By Plane
BANGKOK AIRWAYS flies one flight daily at 8.20 hrs. from Bangkok to Sukhothai then on to Chiang Mai. For more information please contact Tel. 229-3456-63

Those with private cars will find it enjoyable to drive from Bangkok by having the opportunity of really seeing rural Thailand. They will travel through a number of provinces: Ayutthaya, capital of Thailand before Bangkok; Saraburi with its temple of Lord Buddha's Footprint; Lopburi with its ancient Khmer temple; Chai Nat with its huge irrigation dam; Nakhon Sawan where major rivers converge to form Maenam Chao Phraya; Phitsanulok with its various attractions; Kamphaeng Phet and Tak with their striking views of hills and rivers.


Sukhothai was the first kingdom of the Thais in this peninsula. Two princes-Pho Khun Pha Muang of Muang Rad and Pho Khun Bang Klang Hao of Muang Bangyang combined their forces and fought the Khmers who commanded an extensive empire throughout this part of the world.
They drove the Khmers out of Sukhothai, a major frontier post of the Khmer Empire, and established it as their capital in 1238. Phi Khun Bang Klang Hao, urged by the people to be king, was enthroned with the royal title of Pho Khun Si Indrathit.
King Si Indrathit had two sons - Pho Khun Ban Muang and Pho Khun Ramkhamhaeng. After his death, Pho Khun Ban Muang succeded him. His brother, Pho Khun Ramkhamhaeng, asscended the throne in 1278 and reigned for forty years. He was Thailand's first great king.
One of Thailand's finest warriors, King Ramkhamhaeng made Sukhothai a powerful and extensive kingdom which included many parts of what are today neighbouring countries. A number of ancient cities paid him tribute.
King Ramkhamhaeng opened direct political relations with China and made two trips to China - the first in 1282 to visit Emperor Kublai Khan and the second in 1300 after Kublai Khan's death.
From the second visit, he brought back Chinese artisans who taught the Thais the art of pottery. Today, the old "Sangkhalok Potteries" are eagerly sought by collectors.
A major achievement of King Ramkhamhaeng was the revision of various forms of Khmer alphabets into a system suitable for writing of Thai words. The alphabet that he invented in 1283 was essentially the same as that in use today.
During his reign, there was prosperity and happiness. There was water in the paddyfields and fish in the water. A stone inscription reads in part,

"This Muang Sukhothai is good. In the water there are fish; in the field there is rice. The ruler does not levy a tax on the people who travel along the road together, leading their oxen on the way to trade and riding their horses on the way to sell. Whoever wants to trade in elephants, so trades. Whoever wants to trade inn horses, so trades. Whoever wants to trade in silver and gold, so trades.".

King Ramkhamhaeng also promoted religion and culture, and through his effects, Buddhism progressed among the people. Inspirational faith gave birth to classic forms of Thai religious arts. Images of the Lord Buddha sculptured during the Sukhothai Era are cultural treasures which impart a feeling of peace and serenity.
A total of eight kings ruled Sukhothai The gradual decline of Sukhothai occurred during the reigns of the last two kings. The end of this first Thai kingdom occurred in 1365 when it become a vassal state of Ayutthaya, a young and rising power to the south. Ayutthaya become the capital of Thailand before Bangkok.


PHRA MAE YA SHRINE This shrine is situated in front of the City Hall and is highly respected by Sukhothai residents. It houses an idol of Phra Mae Ya, a stone figure with a white face and long hair, and dressed as an ancient queen. The idol is about 1 metre high and is supposed to have been built during King Ramkhamhaeng's reign as a dedication to his late mother Nang Suang.

THE SUKHOTHAI HISTORICAL PARK This is located 12 kms. from town on the Sukkhothai-Tak Highway. It is open daily 8.30-16.30 hrs. Admission fee is 20 baht. Ruins of the royal palaces, Buddhist temples, the city gates, walls, moats, dams, ditches, ponds, canals, and the water dyke control system, which was the magical and spiritual centre of the kingdom, are now preserved and have been restored by the Fine Arts Department with the cooperation of UNESCO, not only with a view of fostering Thailand's national identity but of safeguarding a fine example of mankind's cultural heritage. The Tourist Service Centre is near Wat Phra Phai Luang. The centre provides information and facilitates visitors to the Sukhothai-Historical Park, as well as displays models of historical buildings and structures inn old Sukhothai. Places of interest are as follows :-


THE WALL OF THE OLD CITY The city wall is located in the centre of the historical park in Tambon Muang Kao and surrounded by earthen ramparts. The north and the south walls are each 2,000 metres long, where as the east and the west walls are each 1,600 metres long. The walls contain four main gates: Sanluang on the north, Namo on the south, Kamphaenghak on the east, and Oar on the west. A stone inscription mentions that King Ramkhamhaeng set up a bell at one of the gates. If his subjects needed help, they would ring the bell and the King would come out to settle disputes and dispense justice.
Inside the town stands 35 monuments including Buddhist temples and many other structures.

THE ROYAL PALACE AND WAT MAHATHAT The royal palace lies in the centre of the town and covers an area of 160,000 square metres. This area is surrounded by a moat and contains two main compounds; the royal building and the sanctuary in the palace. In the royal compound exists the ruins of the royal building called Noen Phrasat.
Here, the famous stone inscription of King Ramkhamhaeng was found by King Mongkut (Rama IV) in the 19th century together with a piece of the stone throne called "Manangkhasila Asana" King Ramkhamhaeng set up the throne in the midst of a sugarpalm grove where, at his request, a monk preached on Buddhist Sabbath days and the King conducted the affairs of state on other days. This throne was later installed in Bangkok's Temple of the Emerald Buddha.
A sanctuary lying to the west behind the Royal Palace compound is Wat Mahathat. It is Sukhothai's largest temple with a customary main chedi in lotus-bud shape and a ruined viharn. At the base of the Chedi stands Buddhist disciples in adoration, and on the pedestal are seated Buddha images. In front of this reliquary is a large viharn formerly containing a remarkable seated bronze Buddha image of the Sukhothai style, which was cast and installed by King Lithai of Sukhothai in 1362. At the end of the 18th century, the image was removed to the Viharn Luang of Wat Suthat in Bangkok by the order of King Rama I and has since been named Phra Si Sakaya Muni. In front of the large viharn is another smaller viharn which was probably built during the Ayutthaya period. Its main Buddha image (8 metres high) was installed inside a separate building. In front of the southern image, a piece of sculpture called "Khom Dam Din" (a Khmer who come by way of walking underground) was found, and is now kept in the Mae Ya Shrine near the Sukhothai City Hall. On the South stands a pedestal of a large chedi built up in steps, the lowest platform is adorned with beautiful stucco figures of demons, elephants and lions with angles riding on their backs. Mural painting adorn this chedi.

WAT SI-SAWAI Situated among magnificent scenery southwest of Wat Mahathat is Wat Si-Sawai. Three prangs are surrounded by a laterite wall.
Inside the wall, the viharn in the west, built of laterite, is separate from the main prang which was constructed in the Lop Buri or Hindu-style, but the other also constructed beside the prangs are Buddhist viharns. The Crown Prince of that time who later become King Rama VI found a trace of the Hindu sculpture Sayomphu, the greatest Hindu God in this sanctuary. In his opinion, this ruin was once a Hindu shrine, but was later converted into a Buddhist monastery.

WAT TRAPHANG-NGOEN Situated to the west of Wat Mahathat is Wat Thaphaeng-Ngoen with its square pedestal, main sanctuary, and stucco standing Buddha image in four niches. There is a viharn in front, and in the east of the pond, there is an island with an ubosot. This edifice has already crumbled and only its pedestal and laterite columns still remain. Many monuments and magnificent scenery are visible from this location.

WAT CHANA-SONGKHRAM Situated to the north of Wat Mahathat is Wat Chana-Songkhram. Its main sanctuary is a round Singhalese-style chedi. In front of the chedi exists the base of a viharn and behind the former stands an ubosot. Bases of twelve small chedis are also visible. Near Charot Withi Thong Road is a strange chedi having three bases, one on top of the other.

WAT SA-SI Situated near Wat Chanasongkhram is Wat Sa-SI. Around a Singhalese-style chedi is the main sanctuary on an island in the middle of Traphang Trakuan Pond. A large viharn contains a stucco Buddha image. To the south stands nine chedis of different sizes.

SAN-TA-PHA-DAENG OR DEITY SHRINE Situated to the north of Wat Mahathat is San-Ta-Pha-Daeng. This monument consists of only one laterite prang with a staircase in the front. Sandstone Hindu divine object (Lop Buri-style) were discovered here.

KING RAMKHAMHAENG MONUMENT Situated to the north of Wat Mahathat is the King Ramkhamhaeng Monument. The bronze statue of King Ramkhamhaeng sits on a throne named Phra-Thaen-Manangkhasila-Asana with a base relief recording his life.

WAT MAI Situated to the north of Wat Mahathat is Wat Mai. Wat Mai, having a brick viharn as the main sanctuary, is in Ayutthaya style. The columns of the viharn are made of laterite. A bronze image of the Buddha under a Naga, (Lop Buri-style) was found here and is now preserved in the Ramkhamhaeng National Museum.

THE RAMKHAMHAENG NATIONAL MUSEUM The Ramkhamhaeng National Museum was built in 1960 and opened on 25 January, 1964. The museum collection includes gifts from the ex-abbot of Wat Ratchathani and art objects unearthed in Sukhothai and nearby provinces. It is open daily from 09.00-16.00 hrs. Admission fee 30 baht. Tel. (055) 612167

WAT TRAPHANG-THONG Situated to the east of Wat Mahathat is Wat Traphang-Thong. The monastery is located on an island in the middle of a large pond. A ruined laterite Singhalese-style chedi is on the island. In front of it, a new mondop contains the Lord Buddha's Footprint slab that was created by King Lithai in 1390 on Samanakut or Phra Bat Yai Hill. This footprint was removed to the new mondop some years sgo. An annual fair to worship this sacred Lord Buddha's Footprint takes place at the same time as the Loi Krathong Festival.



WAT PHRA-PHAI-LUANG This temple lies about 500 metres north of San Luang Gate. This sanctuary, formerly a Khmer-Hindu shrine but later converted into a Buddhist monastery, is surrounded by a moat. It is second in importance to Wat Mahathat. Inside, there are three prangs like Wat Si-Sawai, but the southern and the central ones have crumbled leaving only the northern one decorated with stucco figures. In front of these prangs are a viharn and a crumbled chedi; the later has a pedestal secorated with stucco seated Buddha images. A mondop contains Buddha images in four postures; sitting, reclining, standing, and walking. They are now all in ruins. A Sivalinga (Phallic emblem of Hindu gods) was unearthed in the compound of this sanctuary.

RUINS OF THE OLD CELADON FACTORY Thuriang Kiln is a site where Sukhothai celadons were made. Kilns exist in an area measuring 100 by 700 metres. Each kiln is divided into three sections; the fire area, the pottery baking oven, and the flue. The pottery found here is usually decorated by three different painted designs on their bottom: a disc, a fish, and a flower. Forty-nine kilns and small edifices are visible. To the north, a pond has been dug into the stone.

WAT SI-CHUM This lies about 1,500 metres north of Wat Mahathat and was originally surrounded by a moat. A square mondop which is the main sanctuary, contains a monumental stucco-over-brick Buddha image in the attitude of Subduing Mara called "Phra Achana.". This buddha measures 11.30 metres from knee to knee.
The mondop is 32 metres square and 15 metres high, and the walls are 3 metres thick. There is a passageway in the left inner wall itself which leads to the above crossbeam. On the ceiling of the passageway are more than fifty engraved slate slabs illstrating Jataka scenes.

OTHER SITES are Wat Sangkhawat, Wat Hin Tang, and Wat Khung Wai.


WAT SAPHAN-HIN This is situated on a hill 200 metres high. A pathway of slate slabs leads to the sanctuary yard.

WAT ARANYIK Wat Aranyik is located near Wat Saphan-Hin. In the Aranyik area, dwelling places for monks(kuti), caves, and the bases of ubosots and viharns line the pathway to the sanctuary.

WAT CHANG-ROP This is situated in the Aranyik area. A chedi is decorated with an elephant emerging from the base. A viharn base and laterite columns are in front of the Chedi.

PHRA-RUANG DAM This earthwork dam was formed to hold back water between Phra Bat Yai and Kiew-Ay-Ma Hills and restored by Thailand's Irrigation Department.. Water from the dam will be used as a reserve whenever the water level in other reservoirs goes down. This dam is refered to in the Sukhothai inscription.

WAT MANGKON A large viharn and a round Singhalese-style chedi are visible. Sangkhalok architectural decorations were found here.

WAT PHRA-YUN This lies some 2,500 metres west of Wat Mahathat. The viharn enshrines a standing Buddha image.

HO-THEWALAI-KASETRA-PHIMAN The palace of the god in the field nearby Wat Pa-Ma-Muang is a square laterite triple-tiered pedestal. Its form resembles that of a mondop and was probably used to install Hindu images.

WAT PA-MA-MUANG The sanctuary of the Mango Grove in an important one referred to in Sukhothai inscriptions. The base of the Singhalese-style chedi and the ubosot still exist.

WAT TUK This lies about 110 metres from Ho-Thewalai. A sqquare window less mondop is the main sanctuary: a viharn and chedis are in front.

Other sites are Wat Chedi Ngam and Wat Tham Hip.


WAT TON-CHAN This is situated outside the southern city wall 1,150 metres away from Wat Mahathat. A brick Singhalese-style chedi enshrines Buddha images in niches. The brick viharn contains a handless stucco Buddha image. Fine votive tablets called Sanaechan are found here.

WAT CHETUPHON A mondop enshrines four Buddha images in different postures: sitting, standing, walking, and reclining. The outer walls of the mondop still retains a section in the form of a slate pillar-balustraded window. There is an entrance to the mondop to the north. Just behind the mondop is a small sanctuary which contains a Buddha image known locally as Phra Si Ariya (Maitreya), the Lord Buddha of the Future.

WAT SI-PHICHIT-KIRATI-KANLAYARAM Wat Si-Phichit-Kirati-Kanlayaram with a round Singhalese-style chedi on a square pedestal and a viharn in front, is surrounded by moats. A broken stone inscription in Pali and Thai was found and might have been inscribed between 1400-1404

Other sites are Wat Ton Chan, Wat Wihan Thong or Wat Thaksinaram, Wat Asokaram or Wat Salatdai, and Wat Mumlangka.


WAT CHANG LOM is located to the north of Chotwithithong Road with a bell-shaped chedi of Ceylonese influence standing as the centre. The chedi is situated on a 3-tiered square base with a platform decorated with a row of elephants seen by their front halves supporting the round chedi.
This type of elephant-decorated chedi is to be seen in many ancient towns of the Sokhothai period; for example, Kamphaeng Phet and Si Satchanalai.

WAT TRAPHANG-THONG-LANG A square mondop is the main sanctuary. In front of the mondop to the east, is the viharn and beyond the viharn stands an ubosot. The outer wall of the mondop is beautifully decorated by stocco figures in niches. The southern side portrays the Lord Buddha flanked by angles decending from Tavatimsa Heaven. To the west portrays the Lord Buddha preaching to his father and relatives. The northern side depicts to episode when the Lord Buddha returned to preach to his wife. These stucco figures, especially those on the south side, are masterpieces of Sukhothai art.

WAT CHEDI-SUNG This is situated near Wat Traphang Thong Lang. The upper part of the chedi is round. The base is constructed in three tiered stages. This interesting Sukhothai type of chedi is of Sivijaya and Singhalese-styles. In front of the chedi stands a small viharn.

Other sites are Wat Hot Phayom and Wat Ko Mai Daeng.


THE RAMKHAMHAENG NATIONAL PARK This exquisite national park with a combined natural and historical background covers an area of 341 square kilometres, and was declared to be a national park on 27 October,1980.
High hills and steep cliffs some over 1,200 metres above sea level, together with fascinating falls, different species to plants and wildlife are some of the major attractions available in this park offered to nature loving tourists or visitors. Futhermore, the archaeological and historical sites with ancient remains and relics make tha park even more attractive, especially for critics and theologians.
To reach the park by road, take Highway No.1 from Bangkok, then at km.414 (20 kms. to Sukhothai) take the left turn along the laterite road for another 16 kilometres till arriving at the park's office. For accomodation, reservations for bungalows and tents can be made through the National Park Section, The Rooyal Forest Department by Tel: 579-5734, 579-7223 or P.O.Box 1 Amphoe Khirimat, Sukhothai 64160.


THE SAWANKHAWORANAYOK NATIONAL MUSEUM It is 38 kilometres from Sukhothai and 2 kilometres further on a road on the left. The museum was opened in 1984, and features sculptural art from various periods; the most interesting being Sangkhalok crockery from the Sukhothai era and Sangkhlalok items retrieved from sunken vessels in the Gulf of Thailand. The museum is open daily except Mondays, Tuesdays, and public holidays, from 8.30-16.00 hrs. Entry fee is 30 baht per person. For more information Tel: (055) 641571


THE SI SATCHANALAI HISTORICAL PARK This is located on the bank of the Yom River at Tambon Muang Kao, Amphoe Si Satchanalai. The ancient town, formerly called "Muang Chaliang" was named "Si Satchanalai" during the reign of Phra Ruang when a new administrative centre was established to replace chaliang. Ruins of 134 monuments have been discovered within the park:

WAT PHRA SI RATTANA MAHATHAT also called Wat Phra Borommathat Muang Chaliang or Wat Phra Prang, is situated 3 kilometres to the south of ancient Si Satchanalai's wall. An immense laterite prang on a square base marks the centre of the temple. A steep staircase in front of the huge prang leads to a room where a reliquary is enshrined.

WAT KHAO PHANOM PHLOENG this is a hilltop temple within the old town of Si Satchanalai. A laterite chedi in the centre, a large viharn or image hall in front, and a small sanctuary behind all lie in ruins. Some laterite pillars and a damaged Buddha image constructed od laterite slabs and coated with mortar are still to be seen.

WAT KHAO SUWAN KHIRI This is also a hilltop temple situated 200 metres away from Phanom Phloeng Hill. A huge bell-shaped chedi on a 5-tiered base marks the centre of the temple. Ruins of a viharn and chedi, and fragments of huge stucco figures lie scattered on the ground. The similarity between some figures here and those at Wat Chang Lom in the old town of Sukhothai leads to the belief that it was King Ramkhamhaeng the Great of the Sukhothai Kingdom who had this temple constructed.

WAT CHANG LOM This is an important monument within the old town of Si Satchanalai. A huge bell-shaped chedi supported by 39 elephants, with 4 of them at 4 cardinal points elaborately decorated, marks the centre of the temple. Above the chedi's base, there are niches enshrining images of Buddha subduing Mara.

WAT CHEDI CHET THAEO This is one of the most beautiful temples in Sukhothai Province. Chedis of different artistic styles and influence were built within the area of this temple. Mural paintings, seriously damaged, are still to be seen in some chedi.

WAT SUAN KAEO UTTHAYAN YAI This is located near Wat Chedi Chet Thaeo with only a dirt road in between. A large image hall lies in remains within this temple. The monastery is also called Wat Kao Hong or the 9 roomed temple.

WAT NANG PHAYA This is famous for its delicate stucco reliefs on the remains of the northwestern wall of the 7 roomed "viharn" or "image hall". The pillars of this viharn are decorated with unglazed ceramic designs. The central laterite chedi is surrounded by lampposts and accessible by a set of narrow stairs.

WAT SUAN KAEO UTTHAYAN NOI This is the only temple within the old town of Si Satchanalai with a brick building in front. The ruins of this temple consist of a whole laterite image hall with a laterite roof.

Si Satchanalai Historical Park is open daily between 8.30-16.30 hrs. Admission is 20 Baht.

THE CELADON KILN SITE STUDY AND CONSERVATION CENTRE This is located at Ban Ko Noi, some 4 kilometres to the north of Si Satchanalai. More than 500 kilns have been excavated up to now. Numerous celadon wares in perfect condition as well as potsherds have been discovered. The kiln is oval in shape with a curved roof and is 7-8 metres wide.
The centre consists of 2 building situated on the kiln aite area with 2 kilns Nos.42 and 61 exhibited on site. There are also exhibitions on artefacts and on the evolution of ancient ceramic wares. The centre is open daily during 9.00-12.00 and 13.00-16.00 hrs. Admission is 20 baht.
To get there, drive for approximately 5 kilometres to the north of Si Satchanalai Historical Park to Ban Ko Noi where the remains of ancient kilns can be seen scattered around. The centre is also accessible by the provincial highway No.1201 from Amphoe Si Satchanalai, a distance of 7 kilometres with the building located on the left.

THE SI SATCHANALAI NATIONAL PARK This has a total area of 213 square kilometres. It covers areas in Amphoe Si Satchanalai and Amphoe Thung Saliam of Sukhothai Province. It was proclaimed a national park on 8 May, 1981.
The park's geography is mainly high, undulating mountains covered by a tropical jungle. Interesting tourist spots in the park include Tat Dao and Tat Duan Waterfalls, about 3 kilometres and 500 metres from the park headquarters, respectively. The park also has a hot spring, Khangkhao Cave, Thara Wasan Cave.
The Si Satchanalai National Park can be reached by car. From Amphoe Si Satchanalai, take the Si Satchanalai - Ban Kaeng - Huai Yuak route for 41 kilometres. Then 5 kilometres before the intersection to Ban Yuak, there is right-hand road which you take for another 2 kilometres to the park headquarters.
The park has accommodation for tourists. For reservations, please contact the National Parks Division, Royal Forestry Department at Tel: 579-5734, 579-7223.


SI SATCHANALAI ORDINATION CELEBRATION or "Buat Chang" is a local event held annually during 7-8 April at Ban Hat Sieo, Amphoe Si Satchanalai. It features a spectacular procession of ordination candidates in colourful costumes on the backs of some 20-30 decorated elephants.

SONGKRAN FESTIVAL is an annual celebration of the Thai New Year, 13 April. The festival was mentioned in the famous stone inscription believed to be inscribed during the reign of King Ramkhamhaeng the Great of the Sukhothai Kingdom.

LOI KRATHONG AND CANDLE FESTIVAL is held annually on the full moon night of the 12th lunar month at Sukhothai Historical Park. Activities during the festival include krathong floating, a fireworks display, and local games and performances amid the glamorous atmosphere of Sukhothai Historical Park.