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.
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
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.
IN THE CITY CENTRE
(Tel: 222-0094, 222-6889, 222-2208 or http://www.palaces.thai.net)
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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. -
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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,
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Royal Mansion (Tel: 281-1569, 281-1518, 281-6880 or http://www.palaces.thai.net)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
THE EAST OF BANGKOK
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
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.
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.
THE SOUTH OF BANGKOK
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.
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.
THE WEST OF BANGKOK
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.
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.
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.
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.
THE NORTH OF BANGKOK
Pa-In Summer Palace (Tel: (035)261-044 or http://www.palaces.thai.net)
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.
Sai's Royal Folk Arts and Crafts Centre (Tel: (035)366092,
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.
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
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).
The races are held on Sunday from 12.30-6.00 p.m. at two altermate
Royal Turf Club of Thailand, on Phitsanulok Road, Tel:
Royal Bangkok Sports Club, on Henry Dunant Road, Tel:
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
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
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.
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
following department stores have indoor amusement parks.
Park, Phetkasem Road, Phasi Charoen, (Tel: 454-8500)
Square, Srinakarintara Road, Prawet, (Tel: 721-9444)
City Bang Na, Km.3 Bang Na-Trat Road, Prakhanong, (Tel:
Mall Bang Khae, Phetkasem Road, Bang Khae, (Tel: 454-0061)
Cultural Show & Exhibition
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
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.
exhibition centres in Bangkok are:
Sirikit National Convention Centre, 60 New Ratchadaphisek Road,
Khlong Toei, Bangkok. Call 229-3000-9 or look at http://www.qsncc.co.th
for more information.
International Trade&Exhibition Centre (Bi-Tec), 8 Km.1 Bang
Na-Trat Road, Phrakhanong. Call 749-3939-60 or look at http://www.bitec.net
for more information
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.
International Buddhist Meditation Centre, Wat Mahathat, Tha
Phrachan, (Tel: 623-6326)
World Fellowship of Buddhists, 616 Sukhumvit Soi 24, (Tel:
for the Science of Creative Intelligence, 18th floor, Rajpark
Building, Sukhumvit Soi21, (Tel: 258-3257)
Buddhist Association of Thailand, 58/8 Soi 54 (Soi Thipniyom 2),
Phetkasem Road, Phasi Charoen, (Tel: 413-1706)
of Dhamma, 26/9 Latphrao Soi 15 (Soi Chomphon), (Tel: 511-0439)
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.
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
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.
from Ayutthaya city to its districts
Bang Pa Han
Lat Bua Luang
from Ayutthaya city to nearby provinces
ATTRACTIONS AND PLACES OF INTEREST
PHRA NAKHON SI 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)
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
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.
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
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.
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 :
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.
PRASAT HALL This is the middle building constructed in the same
design as Wihan Somdet Hall. Kings used it to welcome foreign envoys
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
PHUKHAO THONG Located two kilometres northeast of the Grand
Palace, this monastery was constructed in the year 1387 during the
reign of King Ramesuan.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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".
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.
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.
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
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
building inside the palace compound are:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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
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
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
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).
TO AYUTTHAYA & BANG PA-IN
TRAIN : Trains leave Bangkok Railway Station (Hua Lam Phong Rama
IV Road, Tel.223-7010, 223-7020) daily every hour starting from
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
1. Take Highway No.1 (Phahonyothin Road.) then take Highway No.32 to
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
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.
TRIPS TO AYUTTHAYA & BANG PA-IN
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:
BANG PA-IN AND AYUTTHAYA CRUISE
CHAO PHRAYA EXPRESS BOAT
Tel: 222-5330, Fax: 225-3002
Hrs. every Sunday
(including ROYAL FOLK ARTS AND CRAFTS CENTER - BANG SAI)
ORIENTAL QUEEN & AYUTTHAYA PRINCESS
Resv : Tel: 236-0400-9, Fax: 236-1939
attn : ORIENTIAL QUEEN
(going by cruiser and returning by air-conditioned coach or
(including lunch and tour)
RIVER SUN CRUISE
Tel : 266-9125, 234-2250, 233-2877
(going by air-conitioned coach and returning by cruiser)
(including lunch and tour)
Tel : 256-7168-9
(going by cruiser and returning by coach or vice versa)
(including 3 meals, accommodation and tour)
VILLAGE HANDMADE KNIVES
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.
PALM-LEAF HATS AND OTHER PRODUCTS
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.
SAI ARTS & CRAFTS FAIR
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.
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.
SAI LOI KRATHONG
(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.
241-001, 241-608, 241-668
Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Hospital
242-987, 241-718, 241-027
No.1One day trip of Ayutthaya and Bang Pa-In
Bangkok by train from Bangkok Station (Hua Lam Phong) Rama
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
at Hua-Ro Market
Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon
for Bang Pa-In by mini-bus from Chao Phrom Market
Bang Pa-In and visit
- Bang Pa-In Summer Palace
- Wat Niwet Thammaprawat
for Bangkok by bus.
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.
No.2 Two days and one night to Ayutthaya and Bang Pa-In
Bangkok by bus from the Northern Bus Terminal Road.
- Wat Niwet Thamprawat
- Bang Pa-In Summer Palace
for Wat Phananchoeng by boat.
for Ayutthaya Historical Study Centre and Chao Sam Phraya
for Wat Chaiwatthanaram
Visit the Ancient Palace
- Wat Maha That
- Wat Ratchaburana
- Wat Na Phramain
- Phra Mongkhon Bophit Wihan
- Khun Phaen House
in the area ; relaxation at Phra Ram Park
for Chan Kasem National Museum
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
- TAT itself does not operate tours.
- This itinerary may be adjusted as appropriate.
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.
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.
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.
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.
TO GET THERE
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Mai-Lamphun Route (Highway No. 106)
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.
Mai-Doi Suthep Route (Road No. 1004)
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
Doi Pui Tribal Village This Meo tribal village is some 4
kilometres from the Phu Phing Palace, and offers vignettes of modern
Pha Dam (Block Cliff) This area near Wat Phra That Doi Suthep
comprises a scenic spot ideal for picnics.
Route (Highway No. 1009)
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
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
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
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
Op Luang Gorge This picturesque gorge is 105 kilometres from
Chiang Mai provincial capital, and is framed by teak forests and
Route (Road No.1096 off Highway No. 107)
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.
Sa Waterfall This 8-tiered waterfall is 26 kilometres from town
and occupies a natural setting among giganic towering trees.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
Route (Road No.101)
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.
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.
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.
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
'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.
commonly feature travel by foot, sometimes by boat, elephant-back,
hourse-back or jeep, frequently a combination of two or three modes
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.
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
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.
should remember to
Respect hilltribe beliefs and religious symbols and structrures.
Dress modestly. Hilltribe people are generally modest. Inappropriate
attire may offend them.
Ask permission before photographing someone. Some villages do not
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
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
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.
Chiang Mai products include:
& 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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
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.
- 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.
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.
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.
- This festival celebrates the traditional Thai New Year with
religious merit-making, pilgrimages, beauty parades, dancing,
merriment and uninhibited, good-natured water-throwing.
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.
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
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.
TO GET THERE
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).
Air - Thai Airways (Tel: 1566 or 286-0060) operates daily
flights between Bangkok and Chiang Rai.
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.
Phra Chao Meng Rai Situated in Wat Ngam Muang, on Ngam Muang
Hillock, this stupa contains King Mengrai's ashes and relics.
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.
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.
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
Chiang Rai Located 5 kilometres from the city, this scenic
riverside area and promenade is a recreation area for local
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.
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.
Spring Located 8 kilometres from Mae Chan, along Route 1089,
this complex has hot mineral water and bath-house facilities.
Accommodation is also available.
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.
Saen Chai 5 kilometres beyond the Welfare Centre, this Akha
hilltribe village can be reached solely by 4-wheel drive vehicles.
MAE FA LUANG
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Phra That Chedi Luang This ancient 88-metre high brick pagoda,
next to the museum, is the tallest religious monument in Chiang Rai.
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.
Phra That Chom Kitti This hilltop temple has a pagoda containing
a Buddha relic.
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.
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
Golden Triangle 8 kilometres north of Chiang Saen, this
riverside area marks the spot where the borders of Thailand, Myanmar
and Laos converge.
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.
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.
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.
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
Hat Bai 2.5 kilometres along the Chiang Saen - Chiang Khong
Road, this Thai Lue community is best known for its hand-woven
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.
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.
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
IN CHIANG RAI
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
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.
Trekking alone is not recommented. It is much safer to go with the
guide of trekking agents.
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.
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
Photographs should be taken in specified areas. Ask before you take
a photograph of someone. Some villages do not even permit being
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
not approach the elephants during hot season, and/or when feeding
without their handlers(mahouts) present.
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.
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.
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
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.
TO GET THERE
Both air and non air-conditioned buses leave Bangkok for Sukhothai
daily from the Northern Bus Terminal, Kamphaeng Phet Road. Tel.
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
BANGKOK AIRWAYS flies one flight daily at 8.20 hrs. from Bangkok to
Sukhothai then on to Chiang Mai. For more information please contact
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
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
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,
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
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.
IN AMPHOE MUANG
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.
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 CITY WALLS
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.
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.
SI-SAWAI Situated among magnificent scenery southwest of Wat
Mahathat is Wat Si-Sawai. Three prangs are surrounded by a laterite
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
THE CITY WALLS
SITES IN THE NORTH
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.
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
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.
SITES are Wat Sangkhawat, Wat Hin Tang, and Wat Khung Wai.
SITES IN THE WEST
SAPHAN-HIN This is situated on a hill 200 metres high. A pathway
of slate slabs leads to the sanctuary yard.
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.
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.
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.
MANGKON A large viharn and a round Singhalese-style chedi are
visible. Sangkhalok architectural decorations were found here.
PHRA-YUN This lies some 2,500 metres west of Wat Mahathat. The
viharn enshrines a standing Buddha image.
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.
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.
TUK This lies about 110 metres from Ho-Thewalai. A sqquare
window less mondop is the main sanctuary: a viharn and chedis are in
sites are Wat Chedi Ngam and Wat Tham Hip.
SITES IN THE SOUTH
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.
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.
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
sites are Wat Ton Chan, Wat Wihan Thong or Wat Thaksinaram, Wat
Asokaram or Wat Salatdai, and Wat Mumlangka.
SITES IN THE EAST
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
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.
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
sites are Wat Hot Phayom and Wat Ko Mai Daeng.
IN AMPHOE KHIRIMAT
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
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
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
IN AMPHOE SAWANKHALOK
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
IN AMPHOE SI SATCHANALAI
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Satchanalai Historical Park is open daily between 8.30-16.30 hrs.
Admission is 20 Baht.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.