Saturday, August 19, 2017

Sightseeing : Rattanakosin Island


Historical Rattanakosin:
Rattanakosin Island, traced back to the past, is the area of “Krung Rattanakosin”, the capital of Thailand for more than 200 years ago. It is not only the location of the Grand Palace where the King lived but also Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha) where the Emerald Buddha image, which is the most venerated Buddha image in Thailand, was placed. Besides, the island’s surrounding areas are filled with important places, profound in historical value, and impressive background that truly reflects the glorious traditional lifestyle of Thai people ranging from high-ranking royal members to ordinary people in the ancient time.

Attractions in Ko Rattanakosin Island
The Ko Rattanakosin Island area is the oldest part of Bangkok. Located by the river, this is where most of Bangkok’s main historical attractions are, for example Wat Phra Kaew and Wat Pho. These impressive sights aren’t the only things to do in Ko Rattanakosin however, and many of the other sights are within easy walking distance. ‘Ko’ is the Thai word for ‘island’, but this is no longer really an accurate term for this area. It was so named due to Bangkok’s extensive canals in the late 18th century which surrounded the area but nowadays most are filled in and you’d be hard pressed to realize what there used to be while walking or driving around it.

1. Temple of The Emerald Buddha(Wat Phra Kaeo)

The temple is in the outer section of the Royal Enclosure west of the Grand Palace . It was built on the orders of King Rama I along with the Grand Palace and Rattanakosin Island , and is built as a temple in a Royal compound like Wat Sri Sanphet in Ayutthaya . It has no resident monks.

The Emerald Buddha (Phra Putta Maha Mani Ratana Patimakorn or Phra Kaeo Morakot): This is a Buddha image in the meditating position in the style of the Lanna school of the north, dating from the 15th century AD. King Rama I brought it from Vientiane , and it is considered to be the most important Buddha image in the country.

Model of Angkor Wat: King Rama IV had this built by Phra Samphopphai when Cambodia was under Siamese control. The model was recreated in plaster at the behest of King Rama V to celebrate the first centenary of the Royal city.

Prasat Phra Thepidon: This four-square prang originally called “Puttaprang Prasat” was built in the reign of King Rama IV. Inside are statues of Kings Rama I-King Rama VIII, to which the public pay their respects on Chakri Day, April 6, every year.

Mondop: This structure stands behind Prasat Phra Thepidon, and was built in the reign of King Rama I. Inside is a cabinet holding the Buddhist scriptures beautifully decorated in mother-of-pearl.

Balcony: This can be compared to the temple wall. The murals inside tell the Ramayana story in its entirety. On the columns of the balcony are stone inscriptions of the verses describing the murals.

Phra Sri Ratana Chedi: Built in the style of Wat Sri Sanphet in Ayutthaya , this chedi is to the west of the Monhop. Inside is a small chedi with relics of the Lord Buddha.

Phra Atsada Maha Chedi: This group of eight chedis stands in front of the temple. It was built in the reign of King Rama I and dedicated to the heavens. Six of the group are outside the balcony, two are inside. Each has its own name.

Yaksa Tavarnbal (Gate-keeping Giants): Six pairs of mythical ogres stand at each gate of the Balcony. These are the main Giants of the Ramayana.

Hor Phra Khanthan-rat: Standing in the estern corner of the balcony, this is where the Phra Puttakhanthan-rat figure is enshrined. It presides over the Royal rain-making ceremony and the ceremony of the first rice planting. Inside are paintings by the mural artist Khrua In Khong.

Hor Phra Ratcha Karamanusorn: Inside this structure are 34 Buddha images in various positions, built by command of King Rama III and dedicated the kings of Ayutthaya and Thonburi.

Hor Phra Ratcha Pongsanusorn: Built in the reign of King Rama IV, this is the location of the Buddha image of the reigning King of the Rattanakosin Era. Inside are murals of Royal chronicles of Ayutthaya by Khrua In Khong.

Hor Phra Nak: Situated behind the temple, this traditional Thai building roofed with glazed tiles contains the ashes of the Royal family.

2. Temple of Down (Wat Arun)
Formerly Known as “Wat Chaeng”. This temple has existed since the Ayutthaya period. When the King of Thonburi relocated the kingdom from Ayutthaya to Thonburi City. He determined the temple to be in royal vicinity. Housing the Emerald Buddha brought from Wiangchan. Vastly renovated in Kingdom Rama II’s reign, it is regarded as King Rama II’s individual temple. Upon its completion, the temple was royally titled “Wat Arunratchawararam” or “Wat Chaeng”. The interesting landmark is the gigantic stupa, 82 meters in height and 234 meters in width. The temple was first built in the reign of King Rama III and was completed in King Rama IV reign. Later its name has been changed to”Wat Arunratchawararam”, considered the royal temple of Woramahawihan class or formally Known worldwide as “Wat Arunratchawararam Woramahawihan”.

3. National Museum of Royal Barges
The Royal Barges are not barges in the sense of vessels employed to carry cargo up and down the river. Rather, they are ornately decorated boats with magnificently carved prows that at one time served a military function since Ayutthaya period, but today they are limited to use in state ceremonies and celebrations. The cavalcade is truly massive and consists of a formation of five rows of barges in accordance to the “Pichai Songkram” book.

4. Khao San Road
The Backpacker’s heaven and low price hostels center. In daylight, you can find the suit taylors, souvenir shops, and restaurants available along the street. At night, Khao Sarn Road will turn to the place that can fulfill your passion and Bangkok night life experiences.

5. Ratchadamnoen Boxing Stadium
Thai boxing is considered a sport as well as an defense arts. This artistic sport is found to be unique and one of Thai martial arts. Lumpini Boxing Stadium has been regarded as one with a history as long as Ratchadamneon Boxing Stadium. Fight settings of both Thai and international boxing are regularly held and the champion of this stadium is perceived as if the winner of the Thai boxing championship.

6. Flower Market(Pak Klong Talat)
Pak Klong Talat is a market in Bangkok, Thailand that sells flowers, fruits, and vegetables. It is the primary flower market in Bangkok and has been cited as a “place[] of symbolic values” to Bangkok residents. It is located on Chak Phet Road and adjacent side-streets, close to Memorial Bridge. Though the market is open 24 hours, it is busiest before dawn, when boats and trucks arrive with flowers from nearby provinces

 

Ko Rattanakosin Sightseeing  Tram:
Visitors are encourage enjoying an experience the magnificent architectures and open a new perspective of the of temples, palaces, historical sites, monuments, forts and so forth through a tram journey on the Rattanakosin line. This tram line has been developed purposively for conservation and recollection of the journey in the old time. It provides another atmosphere of Bangkok sightseeing which gives you an opportunity to absorb the historical value.
Moreover, through the tram passageway, you can pay homage to the sacred images in many important temples that rooted back from an early age of Rattanakosin era and also be pleased with restaurants and merchandising shops that are abound along both sides of the street.

(Please Note : Ko Rattanakosin Sightseeing  Tram is no longer available)
Tram schedule starts from 10.00 am to 8.00 pm on Saturday and Sunday

More Information, Please call
Tourism Division, Office of the Permanent Secretary for the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration
17/1 Phra Athit Road, Phra Nakhon Districl Bangkok 10200
Tel: 66-2225-7612-15

Bangkok Sightseeing Tram route:
Rattanakosin Line and tourist attractions

The Rattanakosin tram trip starts at Sanam Luang. You can ask for a ticket at the information counter, right at the corner of Na Phrathat road, opposite to the Silapakorn Fine Arts Department, and at the Democracy monument.

Tram Stop 1: Sanam Luang

The Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha)
When King Chakri (Rama I) accessed to the throne in 2325 B.E.- 1782, He had ordered the establishment of the new capital city on the east bank of the Chao Phraya River. The city’s front faces towards the North while its left side faces the Chao Phraya River. Building structures were virtually made of woods except that the Ubosoth (the main chapel) of Wat Phra Kaew that had been constructed with brick and mortared cement. The Grand Palace was functioning as the royal residence of the Kings in the Chakri Dynasty, from King Rama I to King Rama VIII. Accordingly, in each reign, there was the palace’s restoration and reparation. Each of the Kings also gave royal orders to build new thrones in the palace depending on the appropriation of their reigning periods.

Grand Palace

Grand Palace

Temple of the Emerald Buddha or Wat Phra Kaeo
Over the two centuries, the Royal Temple has been frequented by the Kings of the Chakri Dynasty for merit-making ceremonies. It also house ashes of the previous Kings and their royal families.

Wat Phra Kaeo

Wat Phra Kaeo

Sanam Luang (The Royal Field)
In an early age of Rattanakosin era, local people called this area as “Phra Sumeru field” which means the field area located between the Royal Palace and the Front Palace (starting from Phra Chan road in the present to the old town canal). During summer, this field was used as a place for constructing Royal funeral pyre for the King, the Queen and other Royal members. Its use was later altered for sacred ceremonies and its name was changed to Sanam Luang (The Royal Field). In the reign of King Rama IV, the field’s boundary had been extended, having an oval shape with tamarinds trees planted around the field until present. Sanam Luang is regarded as a common place in city center. It is a place for conducting King’s royal ceremonies and the state’s important annual events. Since 2525 B.E.-1982, Sanam Luang has been developed, improved, and used as a leisure park for the public.

City Shrine
In the matter of constructing Krung Rattanakosin, King Rama I had an order to conduct the erecting ceremony of the city pillar for, according to the ancient belief, the great fortune. The City shrine is made of Javanese Cassia wood, 108 inches high above the ground and 79 inches embedded into the ground. There was a cover veiling on the top of the gold gilded pillar for retaining the City’s destiny. Nowadays, it is in the responsibility of the War Veteran Organization of Thailand.

Silapakorn Fine Arts Department
Located on Na Phrathat road, the place is the area in front of the Viseschaisri Gate, formerly was the Grand Palace’s entrance. This place used to be the palace of HRH Prince Phrayabumratporapakand, later on, was used as a factory for the 10-groups of craftsman. It was also the office of Fine Arts Department and the “Silp Peerasri” National Museum.
Walking towards Na Phralan road, there are 29 shop houses with western-influenced architectures. These 2-storey shop houses are brick and mortared cement buildings, with the roof in “Pun Yah” style (a Thai pattern of construction of common house without the gable) and roofed with Diamond-cut shape tiles. The building’s front, center, and the end of both sides of the unit were designed to represent a Traditional Thai style shield (Pedement) which was decorated with Lotus shape mortar figure flanked with vase mortar figure, and arch-shape with twin-hinges windows.

Tram Stop 2: Tourism Division, Bangkok
Traveling from the Phra Nakhon side to the Thon Buri side is made by crossing the Phra Pinklao Bridge. In this area, there are has many surrounding tourist spots. By walking back to the direction of the Sanam Luang along the Rajini Road, you will be able to experience several interesting sites.

Phra Nakhon National Museum
This place, located on Na Phrathat road, was formerly the front palace or officially known as the Bovornsathanmongkol palace. It was constructed in 2325 B.E.-1782, during the reign of King Rama I. Later in the reign of King Rama V, the division of Bovornsathan mongkol palace had been aborted. The front Place was therefore inhabitant and the King ordered to relocate the National Museum, then located at Concordia Pavillion (SahaThai Samakhom Pavillion), to this place since 2430 B.E-1887. At present, the National Museum’s galleries are used for the display of ancient objects and other priceless items.

National Theater
Formerly, it was a place to show important Thai Dancing art as well as the traditional Thai and foreign music performance in Bangkok. Nowadays, since there have been more of this kind of buildings constructed, this theater became less popular but there is still regular shows by performers from the Silapakorn Fine Arts.

World War I War Veteran Monument
King Rama VI gave his royal order to build a monument for containing the relic of the war veteran who died on duty during the World War I. The monument’s shape, designed by HRH Price Narisaranuwatthi wong, is applied from the pagoda’s blueprint, which originated from Sriwichai’s architecture called “Chan Ti”. On the 11th of November in every year, which is regarded as the War Veteran day, wreaths are placed at this monument for an honorary of the death of War Veterans.

National Museum (Chao-Fah Art Gallery)
When walking along Pin Klao Bridge towards Chao-Fah road, you will be able to see the National Museum or Chao-Fah Art Gallery. During the reign of King Rama V, this building had been used as the Sitthikarn Mint division where coins were produced until the machine’s condition was unable to function. In 2517 B.E.-1974, the building was renovated for hosting the National Art Gallery which is renamed as the National Museum Art Gallery in 2504 B.E-1961. The building’s ground floor is used as the center of research and displays of traditional art and contemporary arts including paintings, sculptures, and printed pictures. On the upper floor, there is a place for circulating special exhibitions. The outstanding feature of the building is that the buildings are harmoniously featured as groups and linked by compatible and united embroidering on the shield and its roof’s core in western- style arts.

Tram Stop 3: Santichaiprakarn Park

Maliwan Palace
Located on Phra Arthit road, Chanasongkram district. Originally, the old pavilion was owned by Princess Mother “Klin” in the reign of King Rama IV. Later on, King Rama VI built a new pavilion and also gave the name as Maliwan Palace. At present, the building is used as the office of the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations. The building’s feature is smooth, decorated with exotically beautiful mortar figures and wood embroidering at the eaves.

Phra Arthit House
In approximate area of 2 rais of land, it was formerly the location of the palace for nobles in Bovornsathanmongkol division during the reign of King Rama. Until the reign of King Rama V this place belonged to Chao Phraya Worapongpipat (M.R. Yen Isarasena) who was the minister of the Ministry of Finance. In the reign of King Rama VI, the new house was constructed to replace the old one which was in poor condition. This 2-storey building features a high floating floor above the ground and and its roof with Diamond-Cut shape tiles. The outstanding feature is the summit of the new pavilion’s dome and the terrace that connects two pavilions together. The pavillion’s eaves and ventilators are decorated with wood embroidering. The pavilions are largely shaded with big trees.

Phra Sumeru Fort
Located on the riverbaznk of Chao Phraya river, the end of Bang Lamphu canal or the northern cana surrounding the city. Together with other 14 forts, Phra Sumeru Fort was built in 2326 B.E,-1783. during the reign of King Rama I with a purpose to protect the capital. At present, the only remaining forts are Phra Sumen Fort and Mahakarn Fort. Main features of the fort include the double layers of octagon shape. On the first layer base, with walkway around the base, there are ladders on both sides to access the upper floor. Meanwhile, the wall of the second layer base is in a shape of Se Ma leave. Doors and windows are hollowed in rectangular shapes and ventilating holes are in water drop shape at equal spacing. There are cross-shaped holes around the wall, and a whole roof is structured by wood skeleton with stucco.

Phra Sumeru Fortress

Phra Sumeru Fortress

Kurusapa Publishing
This is the mixed brick and mortared-cement building. Its upper floor is laid by teakwood with Art Deco, which is a popular style during the World War II. The building was designed by Phra Sarojrattananimmahn, who was then a famous architect. The building had been used as publishing house for textbooks and it is the regarded as the first printing school in the country. After the business came to an end, locals who live in Bang Lamphu and surrounding proximities provide their conribution to conserve the building to be used for study purposes and a common place for holding useful public activities. Now, it is under the responsibility of the Treasure department

Wat Sungwetwittayaram
This is an ancient temple existed before the establishment of Krung Rattanakosin. This temple was formerly known as Wat Sam Chin or Wat Bang Lamphu. There is a legend saying that this temple was built by three Chinese lived during the reign of King Rama I. Later on, King Rama III gave his royal order to renovate the temple. The temple’s Ubosoth (Hall) was made of a mixure of brick and mortared cement and composed of five rooms. The front of hapel is decorated with mortared-figures in Chinese-style flowers.

Tram Stop 4:  Kao San road- Bang Lamphu

Wat Chanasongkram
If you walk across Chakkrapong road to the opposite side of Kao San road, you will see Wat Chanasongkram located in the north of Roangmai canal alongside with Chakkrapong road (Seaw Bridge). Formerly, it is located in the middle of paddle field so that it was called as Wat Klang Na. Prince Bovornmaha surasinghanart had reestablished this temple and King Rama I ordered it to be the temple for monks ordained in the Raman doctrine in order to honor of the Raman army in command of the Prince Bovornmahasurasinghanart. Local people usually call this temple as “Wat Thong Pu” based on “Wat Thong Pu” in Ayutthaya era. Later on, since the army had gained their victory over the enemy, the King renamed the temple as “Wat Chanasongkram (The temple of War Victory)”

Wat Bovornniwetviharn
Constructed in the reign of King Rama III, this temple is known to local people as “Wat Bovorn or Wat Bon”. In 2458 B.E.-1942, during the reign of King Rama VI, this temple was included in the same compound with Wat Rung Si, which was then in a very bad condition. At present, this added part is still called “Rung Si Community” This temple is a place that the Kings and other members of the Royal family of Chakri Dynasty got ordained here.

Kao San road
Built in the reign of King Rama V, this road starts from Wat Chanasongkram, cut eastwards through the old soi that had been called as “Troak Kao San”, and ended with Baan Tanao road. The length of this road is approximately 412 meters. Kao San road had been changing a lot from the old community, rich with wood shop houses, to the area full of guesthouses or cheap for-rent rooms for young Western tourists. Furthermore, the businesses related to tourism such as Tour agents, cheap restaurants, book stores and souvenir shops, and so forth have been established. When walking from Kao San road toward Bang Lamphu, you will find the hub of clothing and tailor shops. You can walk further to the back side of Bang Lamphu district to visit other important temples.

Chakrapong Mosque
This is a community of Muslims that migrated from Tani during the reign of King Rama I and settled down in the north of Rattanakosin, an area near to Bang Lamphu canal. People in this community are excellent goldsmiths. They worked as Royal goldsmith during the reign of King Rama V, excel in making rings, ornament and Royal honorary badges. The famous craftsmen are Madam Lek Lorprayoon which currently passed away.

Tram Stop 5: Chao Pho Seure Shrine

Chao Pho Seure Shrine
Located in an area of approximately 2 rais on Tanoun road, Chao Pho Seure sub-district, Phranakhon district. Previously, this shrine was located along Bam Rung Meaung road. It is a big size shrine. There used to be Chinese deity made of gold, weight of 120 baht inside the shrine but it was robbed in the reign of King Rama II. Later on the reign of King Rama V, the roads were expanded and the King ordered Phraya Chotukka rajsetthi to relocate the shrine to Tanoun road.

Wat Mahannaparam
Located on Tanoun road, this temple was built in the reign of King Rama III by Krommameun Udomrat tanarasi (formerly called Prince Thamnop), who was the son of King Rama III. The construction was completed in the reign of King Rama IV and the new name was given as “Wat Mahannaparam”. The Buddha image inside the hall is a Sukhothai-style Buddha image known as “Luang Pho Phra Rung”

Samprang
This refers to Prang Suppasart, Prang Nara and Prang Dhuthorn. It is the hub of more than 100 shop houses that remains the beauty of European architecture. In the old times, this area was formerly an accommodation district of high nobilities. In the area of Prang Suppasart, there is a Palace’s gate’s arch, which was a part of the palace of Prince Suppakit that has been renovated and preserved until present.

Tram Stop 6: Giant Swing- Wat Suthat

Wat Suthatthepwararam
Its former name is Wat Mahasutawat. King Rama I had a vision to build this temple to be the central temple of the city with Vihara as tall as one in Wat Panancherng in Ayutthaya. Inside the hall, there is Phra Srisakkayamuni, the Buddha image that was respectfully invited from the Old City of Sukhothai,. The construction of Wat Mahasutawat was completed in 2390 B.E., during the reign of King Rama III, and was renamed as Wat Suthatthepwararam.
A place of worship or Brahman monastery
King Rama I ordered the construction of this monastery in 2327 B.E-1784. as a place for ceremonies doing in Brahman religious related to the traditional Thai lifestyle. The monastery’s precinct is comprised of three buildings, which are the worship place for the God Siva, Pikanet (Siva’s son) worship place and Narayana’s worship place with an image of Tri-Murati (3 Brahman Gods) installed inside the building.

Giant Swing
Built in 2327 B.E-1784. after a Brahman from Sukhothai name Phra Kru Sitthichai (Kratai) reported directly to King Rama I about carrying out the Brahmanic New Year festival, called Tri Yumpawai, as an honor of the God Siva. This kind of ceremony had been performing since the ancient time. In this festival, it was necessary to swing the swing. Therefore, King I Rama I ordered the construction of Giant Swing of 21.15 meters high. The two pillars are 4.05 meters apart at the topmost and 4.57 meters away at their bottommost. The Swinging had been carried out throughout the subsequent reigns. In the reign of King Rama VII, when the country’s economy declined, the ceremony was discontinued. Giant Swing was repaired many times and the last reparation was in 2550 B.E-2007.

Jiant Swing

Jiant Swing

Bangkok City Hail
Built in 2482 B.E.-1939, the hall is located in the area that once used to be the former Giant Swing market. The building was constructed by concrete which was a popular material during the World War II. There is a symbol of the God Indra, who is a deity that governs groups of gods, riding on the back of the elephant. This image metaphorically symbolizes the people of Bangkok.

Tram Stop 7: Constitutional Monument

Constitutional Monument
Located on the center of intersection on Rajadamnoen Klang road intersecting with Baan Dinsor road, this monument was built in 2482 B.E,-1939. as a memorial place in the event that People Group who revolutionized the country’s administration system on June 24th, 2482 B.E-1939. The monument was also meant for reminding the next generation to realize importance of harmony and everyone’s duty to protect and preserve the constitution as a core of governing the country in Thai democratic system. The monument features a constitution tray made of golden alloy. There are 75 cannons with mouths embedded into the ground around the monument. There are six sacred knifes attached to all of fort’s six doors. Besides, at the bases of the monument’s four wings, there are portraits made from mortared cement representing the revolutionists’ biographies.

14th October Memorial
After the incident of Super Doom day on October 14th 2516 B.E.-1973, the day that the revolution of politic administration system from Coup de tat to the real democracy occurred, from the rioting for grant of the democracy. In this tragic incident there were numbers of the death toll and injured people. As a result of frequent changes in political affairs, it took 28 years to complete the construction of this monument until it was officially inaugurated on 14th October 2544 B.E-2001. The monument was designed in a stupa feature so it is called Stupa Verachon (Hero stupa). The structure is 14 meters high, referring to the 14th day of October. The topmost end of the stupa is bended, referring to the mission of fighting for democracy is still incomplete. The stupa’s base was engraved to exhibit 73 names of the heroes that sacrificed their lives in that incident. Inside the stupa, there is an exhibition of the event on 14th October. There is also a meeting room on the ground floor. Currently, it is under the responsibility of the October 14th Foundation.

Phanpipopleela Bridge
Built in 2449 B.E.-1906 as King Rama V had ordered the construction of this bridge to match with the Makkawanrangsan Bridge located at the end of Rajdamnoen Klang road. The bridge’s slope is very low so that it is almost has the same as the road level. The bridge’s fences comprise a beautiful pattern of bended Iron. The bridge received maintenance for many times. At present, there is no longer the bended iron fence.

Tram Stop 8: Saranrom Garden

The Ministry of Justice
Established in 2435 B.E.-1892 in the reign of King Rama V, in its early days, the Court of Justice was in the Rimgonglahutoat building on Nahubpei road while ministry’s office was at the corner of Na Phrathat road and Rajini road in the district of the former Bovorn palace. In 2483 B.E.-1940,the new building of the Ministry of Justice was constructed at the present location.

The Ministry of Defense
This is a huge 3-storey building with the gabled front. The front terrace is in Roman style of cylinder supporting pillars. The 3rd floor chapel is decorated with sculpturing mortar gilded with golden “Rajawanlop” sign. The building’s main structure is wholly decorated with supporting pillars. Ancient cannons are placed to decorate the building’s front lawn. This place used to be the palace of the son of King Rama I. Later on, it was deserted and became the royal barn. In the reign of King Rama V, there was a royal order to carry out an additional construction. At the time, Chao Phraya Surasakmontri (Jerm Saengchuto) was assigned as the construction inspector.

Saranrom Garden
This is the front area of Saranrom Palace, which was built in the reign of King Rama V in 2417 B.E-1874. Currently, it is used as a public park under the responsibility of BMA. There is also a monument of Queen Sunantakumarirat or Lady Rua Lorn placed in this royal garden.

The Command center of reserve force
This 3-storey building is located on Sanamchai road side connected with Charoen Krung road. Besides the Roman-style gables, other features of the building were copied from western architectures. It had formerly been the royal palace until the reign of King Rama V, when it was used as the military barracks. At present, it functions as the Department of Land Preserving.

Wat Phrachetuphon Wimonmungklaram
When King Rama I had completed the construction of the Grand Palace, the King donated his wealth for renovation of ancient temples located close to the boundary of Grand Palace. The King also ordered the construction of pagoda containing Phrasrisanphet Buddha image which was respectfully invited from Ayutthaya. Later on, in the reign of King Rama III, there was a royal order for renovation of the pagoda to be coated with green mosaic. It was renamed as the “Great pagoda Srisanphechadayan” which was decorated with engraved the poets, both in Ayutthaya era and Rattanakosin era, on the sand-stone plate hanged within the area of Ubosoth. The King also wished to promote this temple to be the university for people. As such, the knowledge from some poets were accompanied by hand-made paintings and sculpturing mortar. Currently, in this temple, there are training courses of the ancient medical science. At the course completion, there is an examination for obtaining the license of proceeding medication issued by the Ministry of Health.

Hor Klong (Drum tower)
King Rama I had ordered the construction of the 3-storey drum tower at front cabin of Wat Pho. The canopy’s tip is approximately over one “Sen” (Ancient Thai unit for measurement, equal to approximately 40 meters) made from red-painted wood, as an imitation of the drum tower in Ayutthaya. Each level of the tower is placed with a drum beaten to give various kinds of signals. On the lower level, a drum named “Yumphrasurasri” was beaten to tell times in days and nights. One the middle level, a drum named “Akkipinart” was beaten to give warnings about fire incidents. On the top level, a drum named “Pikardpairi” was beaten to give warnings when the enemy was approaching the city’s outskirt. In the reign of King Rama V, he ordered the demolition of the drum tower in order to use this land as the royal garden. However, the tower was once again built in 2525 B.E-1982. which is close to the previous location.

Tram Stop 9: Pak Klong Talad

Pak Klong Talad market
This is an area of the former city’s ditch connected Chaophraya River on the south side of the city. So it has been called as “Pak Klong Talad” assuming that in the reign of King Rama I, this area probably used to be a floating market or fresh market. At present, it remains the most important and the biggest market for agricultural products in Thailand. The market’s features are comprised of shop houses surrounded by the fresh market. Inside the market, the trade is running almost around the clock. This palace is especially a hub of fresh flowers in many kinds and it is regarded as one of the most important market in Bangkok.

The Charoenrad 31 Bridge
This is the reinforced concrete bridge across Klong Lord. The bridge connects together Chakkraphet road and Maharat road that is in front of the Palace police station. It is the first bridge in its “Charoen” series built in the year that King Rama VI ascend to the throne while he was 31 years so that it was named “Charoenrad 31″.
The prominent feature of this bridge is the bridge’s layout, with semi-circle shape edges. Both bridges are decorated with mortar railings depicted in the forms of tigers holding a sacred knife. At the center of bridge’s railings, there is a royal emblem engraved the King’s abbreviation of Vor Por Ror together with the bridge’s name.

Rajini School
This is one of the oldest lady schools in Thailand. The school was formerly known as Sunanthalai School, which was named after the building built in 2463 B.E.-1920 to commemorate the Princess Sunanthakumareerat who passed away from ship-sinking accident. The school has advanced its operations, progressively expanded, and become Rajiini School as it is at present.

Baan Chakkrapong and Green World Foundation
Chakkrapong House was formerly the palace of Prince Julachakkrapong. It is a private residence and, within the house’s area, a location of Riverbooks Publishing and Green World Foundation under the patronage of Her Royal Highness Princess Galayani Vadhana, founded by M.R. Narisara Chakkrapong. The Foundation runs many activities such including a publication of the book “Green World” and the Environmental Research Information Center which provides information available in both Thai and English.

Tram Stop 10: Tha Tien

Tha Tien
Tha Tien used to be the palace of nobilities in the reign of King Rama I. Later on, it was burnt down by fire. After the fire, there was nothing left so people called this place as “Tha Tien”. In the reign of King Rama IV, there were constructions of the Foreign Court and Foreign Accommodation establishment. Tha Tien was an important port for transferring both of people and products, especially when the Grand Palace had been expanded and Taisanom market was included in the Tha Tien Market. Currently, it is a ferry pier to Wat Arunratehawararam and Chao Phraya Express Boat Pier.

Roangmo Pier or Warehouse Pier
Located at the end of the Grand Palace, it is now the location of The Department of Domestic Trade. It is one of the busiest pier for product transportation, especially Royal products. The pier had been progressively developed until it becomes Tha Roangmo Market. Formerly, this area was the rock-grinding mill. It was later renovated and built with wood rafting and subsequently changed to concrete at it is nowadays.

Thai Wang road
This road separates the Grand Palace and Wat Pho. It is used as teh temple proximity boundary like the Palace’s precinct in Thon Buri District. That is, it provides spaces for Royal Ceremonies parade to access along the road around the Grand Palace. This area crowdedly accommodate the houses of nobility, high-raking civil-servants and ordinary people. This area is a good place for trades and merchandising. Moreover, in the reign of King Rama V; the nobilities in that time preferred to build shop houses for rent. As such, total of 58 units of 2-storey shop houses were built along Maharaj road and Tha Tien area. The buildings’ design was influenced by the European Renaissance architectures roofed with the Diamond-cut shape tiles.

Tram Stop 11: Tha Chang Wang Lung

Tha Rajchaworadhit and Rachakitvinitchai Pavillion
In the reign of King Rama I, this place was called Later in the reign of King Rama 11, there was a royal order for the construction of Nam (Waterside) Pavilion. The King Rama IV also ordered the construction of a group of four pavilions comprising the Chalangkanapiman Pavilion, the Thipayasathanthepsatit Pavilion, the Rachakitvinitchai Pavilion, and the Arnongnaisaranrum Pavilion. This group of pavilion was given the names as “Tha Rajchaworadhit” meaning that the great pier of civilian. Currently, the Rajchakitvinitchai is the only one pavilion that remains.

Tha Chang Wang Luang
This port is called “Tha Chang” because it is believed that, in the reign of King Rama I, the pier was a place for bath elephants and for the greeting of the albino elephants. Along the bank, there are ferryboats, fresh market and shop houses of which features are of an ancient buildings built in the reign of King Rama V. Currently, it is under the responsibility of the Crown Property Bureau. These shop houses still remain the beautiful conditions of their old-style architectures.

Shop houses on Maharaj road
These 2-storeyed buildings are in the area of Tha Chang Wang Luang. Built in the reign of King Rama V, they are covered by the “Pun Yah” style (i.e. without gable) roof with Diamond-cut shape tiles. The wall in front of the building is decorated with low-surface mortar sculpture with flowers pattern similarly to lotus. It is also decorated in both sides with mortar vase in the “Kor Song” style. The windows are in a combination of arch and semi-circle shapes. Ventilating windows are beautifully made of wooden embroidery. Ground floor is laid with fantasy pattern tiles. Currently, these buildings become the famous restaurants such as “Thong Heng Li” restaurant and “Phochanarom” restaurant

Tram Stop 12: Tha Prachan and Prachan road

Tha Phra Palace
This palace is located on Na Phralan road in front of the Grand Palace. Currently, it is the location of Fine Arts Department and Silpakorn University. It was built to be a residence of nobility from Tha Chang. Extended to the gate of Visetchaiyasri, there are 3 palaces: West Na Phralan road palace. Central palace and East palace. The West Na Phralan road palace was later known as Tha Phra Palace because its location is close to the gate of Tha Phra or formerly the gate of Tha Chang. This place was a residence of HRH Prince Kasattranuchit (Prince Maen), the King’s nephew who was a son of King Krung Thonburi Prince Narissaranuwattiwong was the last person who lived here. Later, in 2509 B.E.-1966, a part of Tha Phra palace was converted to be the location of Silpakorn University until present. In the reign of King Rama IV, these three palaces were combined to become one palace as a residence for Prince Bumratporapak. Later on, the 10-group craftsmanship was established and the place was changed to the Fine Arts Department until present.
Wat Mahathatyuwaratrangsalit Rachawommahavihara (WatMahathat)
This is the Royal monastery in Master Mahanikai doctrine which the Department of Fine Arts has registered it as an important ancient place of the nation since 2492 B.E.-1949 This old temple has existed since the Ayutthaya era. King Rama I used this temple as a place to revise the Buddhism’s inscription. The King gave the temple a new name as Wat Phrasrisanphet J until in 2346 B.E.-1803 when the temple was renamed Wat Mahathat after the Royal monastery in the Ayutthaya era which was a place for containing the Lord Buddha relic and an accommodation for the Patriarch at that era. In the reign of King Rama V, he ordered the establishment of Bali College in this temple called Mahathat College. The King also ordered the construction of Sunkkiksena Royal College for use in the cremation of Prince Mahavachirunnahidt as well as a place for studying the Advanced Dharma and to celebrate the honorary entitlement of the Crown Prince, who rename the temple “Wat Mahathatyuwaratrangsalit Rachaworamahavihara”.

Amulet Market
Shop houses and small allies in the area of Tha Prachan are the hub of amulet markets for more than 20 years. There are about 200 units of amulet shops and stalls. Apart from Printing amulet, there are also Buddha Images, Minted coins and other accessories that related to amulet collecting including amulet magazines and books.

Tha Prachan and Prachan road
This area is a former palace of Luang Prachak Silpakorn, who later donated the land to the Crown Property Bureau. Currently, under the responsibility of Crown Property Bureau, there is a private company rent the land for ferry boat business connecting the Phra Nakhon side and Thon Buri side with Prachan road linking Tha Prachan is and Sanam Luang.

The Royal Monument of Prince Mahasurasinghanart
Located in front of the Bhodilanka Viraha in an area of Wat Mahathat, this monument was built in 2522 B.E. for a memorial of Prince Mahasurasinghanart who jointly regained the independence of the nation along with King Taksin and King Rama I. The Prince had also maintained Buddhism and established many important temples such as Wat Mahathat, Wat Chanasongkram and Wat Bang Lamphu etc. Underneath the foundation of the monument contained a speck of soil gained from 28 lands that The Prince went to war.

Thammasat University
A group of new academic buildings of Thammasat University (formerly called Thammasat and Politics University) was established in the period of the political revolution. It is considered as a historically important architectural work piece designed by Chitasen Apaiwong. The building that has always been a symbol of the university is the Dome building of which direction faces west to Chao Phraya River.

Source:
Sight-seeing tram around Rattanakosin Island
Bangkok Tourism Division Culture, Sports and Tourism Department
17/1 Phra Athit Road, Phra Nakhon Districl Bangkok 10200
Tel: 0-2225-7612-15 Fax : 0-2225-7615-6 www.bangkok.go.th


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