Attractions Beyond the Pier: Oriental Pier

Attractions Beyond the Pier: Oriental Pier
The Oriental pier is not a busy pier. It seems like the only people who get on the Chao Phraya express boat are the Oriental Hotel guests. Indeed, there is much more to see around this hotel. Walking around this area offers a glimpse into the past of Bangkok in the 19th century. The Oriental pier is situated near Charoen Krung road, the city's first paved street. When Khing Mongkut ordered the construction of the road in the mid-19th century, it marked

Attractions Beyond the Pier: Si Phraya

Attractions Beyond the Pier: Si Phraya
Besides BTS sky train and MRT subway lines, both sides of the Chao Phraya riverbanks are prime hotel locations in Bangkok. But what you get from staying near the river is not only a fantastic view but also a sense of Thai history. Si Phraya pier is one of the busiest piers on the Chao Phraya river. The name ‘Si Phraya’ is derived from 4 Phraya (a title of high ranking government officials) who donated the land to build a road to connect with Charoen...

The Thai Spirit House

The Thai Spirit House
Thailand may be known as a Buddhist country. However, Thais had practised animism for centuries even before Buddhism was introduced to the country. Nowadays, animistic rituals, together with Brahmanism and Hinduism, still play an important role in several aspects of their lives. Outdoor spirit house is an epitome of animistic belief commonly seen at houses and business buildings throughout the country. It is believed that the spirit that lives in th...

Riverside Community

Riverside Community
Like many ancient civilizations worldwide, Thais in the past tended to have their settlement near canals and rivers. Their livelihood depended mainly on water for domestic and agricultural use as well as for communication. The significance of the waterways in the way of living of Thai people is obvious in the names of many towns and districts that usually begin with the word "bang", meaning a village settlement or group of shop houses built alo...

Pathum Thani Market

Pathum Thani Market
Frequented by local people, Pathum Thani market is an ordinary fresh market and certainly not on a tourist map. And that makes this riverside market interesting. It is a kind of place where Thai people in the past could buy anything from fresh produce to household goods. The Taste of Thailand Located on the riverbank of the Chao Phraya river, the market was recently renovated but still maintains a vibrant atmosphere, especially in the mor...

Shopping for Good Cause at the Grand Palace

Shopping for Good Cause at the Grand Palace
Thousands of tourists flock to the Temple of the Emerald Buddha and Grand Palace every day. With exquisite Thai architecture, it's one of the most visited tourist attractions in Bangkok, and perhaps Thailand too. It's hard for anyone who comes to Thailand as a tourist to miss a visit at this landmark. Indeed, the place also has a little gem that only a few people know about. It's a great place to showcase and sell traditional Thai handicraft pr...

Saladaeng Village: the Riverside Serenity

Saladaeng Village: the Riverside Serenity
The Mekhala docks at Saladaeng Village Saladang village is located on the riverbank of the Chao Phraya River, in Sam Kok District, Patum Thanee province, north of Bangkok. The Saladang villagers were Mon descendants who migrated from Burma to Thailand during the reign of King Rama II in the early 19-century. Granted residence by the Thai king, they chose to settle along the Chao Phraya River in the area called Sam Kok. They have developed a...

Bangkok’s Oldest Street and a Visit to a Colonial-Style House

Bangkok’s Oldest Street and a Visit to a Colonial-Style House
Charoen Krung is the oldest paved road in Bangkok. Modern buildings may line parts of the road,  but it still evokes nostalgia for a bygone era, and is  thus ideal for a walking tour. The road was built in 1861 following a petition filed by European consuls living in Bangkok.  They complained to King Rama IV that there were no roads on which they could ride in their horse-drawn open carriages to enjoy the fresh air, as was the custom in thei...

The Gothic Buddhist Temple on the Chao Phraya River

The Gothic Buddhist Temple on the Chao Phraya River
Wat Niwet Thammaprawat may be just one of more than 30,000 temples in Thailand, but it is certainly not your typical Buddhist temple. It is distinct from the others not only because it is located on an island in the middle of the Chao Phraya River, but also because it is the only western-style Buddhist temple in the country. In 1878 King Rama V, who is highly respected by Thais for abolishing slavery in his kingdom, ordered the building of t...

Bang Pa In Palace

Bang Pa In Palace
King Rama V (1853 – 1910) was a reformist and experienced traveller, who travelled extensively to India, Singapore and Java  before he turned 20.  So when he converted a derelict palace in Bang Pa In, Ayutthaya, to a summer palace, he did not seem to have a traditional palace complex in mind.  Instead, he restored and added new buildings inspired by different architectural styles from a Swiss chalet to a Khmer shrine. Originally built in the 17th century...