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Attractions > Center > Bangkok > Temples and buildings of cultural interest  

Attractions in Bangkok in Thailand

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Temples and buildings of cultural interest in Bangkok

 
 

The Guardian Demon

Bangkok lakes great pride in its large number of fascinating temples around the capital. The major ones can be found in the Rattanakosin area on the western side of the city. The Rattanakosin area is called an island but has been incorporated into the city. A trip there will allow visitors to see many attractions within a short distance of one another.

The Grand Palace & Wat Phra Kaeo
(The Temple of the Emerald Buddha)

The splendid Grand Palace enclosure is home to many ornate temples and buildings with a variety of architectural styles. Gold leaf, reflective tiling and Buddha images are to be seen everywhere. The magnificent Wat Phra Kaeo, a treasure trove of Thai arts and home to the Emerald Buddha, Thailand's most revered Buddha image, is at the heart of the complex, but there is much else of interest to be seen in the Grand Palace compound, such as the Royal Thai Decorations and Coin Pavilion, where a permanent exhibition of royal regalia, decorations, medals and coins dating back to the early 11th century is on display.
The complex is open daily from 8.30 a.m. to 3.30 p.m. except on special days designated for royal ceremonies to be announced later. The admission fee is 200 baht which includes entry to Vimanmek Mansion and the Coin Pavilion. Visitors are advised that polite and modest dress is essential.
0 2623 5500  ext. 3100
www.palaces.thai.net

The Kinnari
 
Wat Phra Kaeo   Wat Phra Kaeo
The Emerald Buddha
  The Grand Palace

 

Ananda Samakhom Throne Hall

Located on Ratchadamnoen Nok Avenue, this beautiful Throne Hall was built in the reign of King Rama V using marble for construction in the Italian Renaissance architectural style. The ceiling of the dome is highlighted by exquisite fresco paintings of important royal functions during the reigns of King Rama I up to King Rama VI of the Royal House of Chakri. Nowadays, Ananda Samakhom Throne Hall is primarily used to hold important royal and state ceremonies. Recently, the Hall welcomed leaders from many countries participating in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) 2003 hosted by the Royal Thai Government. The Hall opens only on the 2nd Saturday of January (Children's day). However, the outdoor portion is open daily from 9.30 a.m. to 4.00 p.m.

Ananda Samakhom Throne Hall

 

Wat Mahadhatu

Located across the street from Wat Phra Kaeo on the west side of Sanam Luang, Wat Mahadhatu, known as the Temple of the Great Relic, is the national centre for the Mahanikai monastic sect. The temple houses Mahachulalongkorn Buddhist University, one of the two highest seats of Buddhist learning in Thailand and offers meditation instruction in English for interested visitors. The temple is open daily and admission is free. For more information on the Meditation Centre.
0 2222 60 11.

 

 

Vimanmek Mansion

Vimanmek Mansion

This is the largest golden teakwood building in the world, built in 1901 by King Chulalongkorn the Great (Rama V) as a royal residence. It is located behind the National Assembly Building. The 3-storey mansion contains 81 rooms, halls and Antechambers. It was renovated and extensively restored by the order of H.M. Queen Sirikit to house priceless treasures and a collection of late 19th and early 20th century royal memorabilia.

Situated on the east wing of Vimanmek Mansion is Abhisek Dusit Throne Hall, a one-storey teak building built in the reign of King Rama V. The Hall is now Thailand's first handicraft museum where Her Majesty the Queen collects handicraft masterpieces, created by members of her SUPPORT Foundation. In the museum, visitors will find handicrafts such as nielloware, Thai silk with various unique designs, Liphao basketry made from finely split jungle vines like beautiful trays and handbags studded with jewels in different designs such as the green metallic wings of an indigenous beetle.

Near the entrance to Vimanmek Mansion is the Royal Carriage Museum with splendid examples of ancient horse-drawn carriages.

Vimanmek Mansion is open daily from 9.30 a.m. to 3.30 p.m. Tickets are available until 3.00 p.m. There are Thai classical dance performances at 10.30 a.m. and 2.30 p.m. Admission is 100 baht. For visitors with a ticket to the Grand Palace, admission is free. Golf car rental is 400 baht per hour. Polite and modest attire is required.
0 2280 5928
www.vimanmek.com

Rachadamneon Avenue   Abisek Dusit Throne Hall   Vimanmek Mansion

 

Royal Elephant National Museum

This is the first building on the right when entering the Vimanmek compound, containing a life-like model of the white elephant. The myth and legend of the white elephant began in Southeast Asia - The Land of the White Elephant. In the story of the Lord Buddha, the white elephant is connected to fertility and knowledge. On the eve of giving birth to the Lord Buddha, his mother dreams that a white elephant comes to present her with a lotus, a symbol of purity and knowledge.

The white elephant is above an ordinary tusker. In Thailand, this creature is sacred as it represents the prosperity of the town. Indeed, the Siamese put fhe white elephant on their new flag. When elephants were no longer so vital for warfare, elephant hunts became less common, and fewer of the rare albino elephants were found. The Siamese king passed a law demanding that any white elephant found in the kingdom had to be presented to the king. He sent out scouting parties and offered rewards. The discovery of a white elephant became a special event, a time for national celebration. In this museum, the visitor can see pictures of elephants promoted to the title of "royal elephants" by past kings. The musem opens everyday from 9.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. Admission is 5 baht. For visitors with a ticket to the Grand Palace, admission is free.
0 2282 3336

 

Wat Pho
(Temple of the Reclining Buddha)

Neighbouring the Grand Palace enclave, this temple is considered the largest in Bangkok. The famous Reclining Buddha, constructed in 1832, is enshrined in this temple. This 46-metre long and 15-metre high gold-plated Reclining Buddha, the eyes and feet inlaid with mother-of-pearlbrings to mind the Lord Buddha's entry into Nirvana. The sole also shows 108 auspicious characteristics of the true "Buddha".

Wat Pho was also the first centre of public education in the Kingdom. Nowadays, it is an important centre for the teaching and administering of traditional Thai massage. Wat Pho is open daily from 8.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. and the entry fee is 20 baht. Modest attire is required.
0 2222 7831, 0 2225 9595
www.watpho.com

Wat Pho  
Wat Pho
  The Reelining Buddha

 

San Lak Mueang
(City Pillar Shrine)

On the southeast corner of Sanam Laung, this shrine houses a city pillar placed there by King Rama I to mark his new capital, Bangkok. It isreputed by many to have the power of granting wishes. The city pillar is made of the wood of "Javanese Cassia" and contains the city's horoscope.

 

Sanam Luang
(Phramen Ground)

Sanam Luang, an oval public area in front of the Grand Palace, is used for various royal ceremonies including Royal Cremations and the Royal Ploughing Ceremony held each May. Located near its borders are several important institutions such as the Fine Arts Department, Thammasat University, Bangkok National Museum and National Gallery.

Sanam Luang

 

Bangkok National Museum

Bangkok National Museum

Near the National Theatre and not far from Sanam Luang, one of the largest and most comprehensive museums in Southeast Asia, the National Museum houses an important and superb collection of artefacts and objects d'art ranging from the Bronze Age to the Bangkok period. The complex consists of several old and beautiful buildings once used as a palace. The museum is open daily from 9.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m., except Monday, Tuesday and national holidays. The admission fee is 40 baht.
0 2224 1307
www.thailandmuseum.com

 

The National Gallery

Located across from the National Museum on Chao Fa Road, this building was once the old Royal Mint and was converted into the National Gallery in 1974. It displays permanent traditional paintings and contemporary paintings by leading Thai artists. There are regular temporary exhibitions.
The admission fee is 30 baht and a package ticket is 80 baht. It opens on Wednesday to Sunday from 9.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m.
0 2281 2224, 02282 2639 Ext. 14, 17
www.thailandmuseum.com

National Gallery

 

The Queen Sirikit Arts Exhibition Centre

The gallery, located on Phan Fa intersection, was established in response to the gracious wish of H.M. the Queen to provide a permanent place for the exhibition of a wide range of visual arts - a public gallery deemed an important means for the promotion of Thai culture and Thai artists as well as younger talents with exceptional skill and obvious pontential. Gallery hours are from 10.00 a.m. to 7.00 p.m. daily (except Wednesday). Admission is 20 baht.
0 2281 5360
www.queengallery.com

Silpakorn University

Beside Sanam Luang is Silpakom University, the first university of art in Thailand. All kinds of art have been passed down from generation to generation, keeping Thailand abreast of changes in modern art.

Professor Silpha Bhirasri (1892 - 1962), an Italian artist serving the Royal Government, committed himself wholeheartedly to developing art education in Thailand. He was the founder of this university.

The University has 4 galleries which display many kinds of traditional and contemporary arts such as paintings, sculptures, graphic designs, and architecture. These works are by students and faculty members. In addition, loading Thai and foriegn artists also have exhibitions here.

Art Galleries

TheArt Gallery of the Faculty of Painting Sculpture and Graphic Design
Gallery hours 9.00 a.m. - 4.30 p.m. from Tuesday to Sunday.
0 2225 8991, 0 2221 0820 : www.bhirasrigallery.com
The Gallery of Silpakorn University
Gallery hours 9.00 a.m. - 7.00 p.m. from Monday to Friday.
0 2221 3841 : www.art-centre.su.ac.th
TheGallery of Art and Design, Faculty of Decorative Art
Gallery hours 10.00 a.m. - 6.00 p.m. from Monday to Saturday.
0 2224 5874
Phra Phrombhichitr Gallery (Architecture)
Gallery hours 10.00 a.m. - 6.00 p.m. from Monday to Saturday.

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