218/220 Charoen Nakhon Rd, Khwaeng Khlong Ton Sai, Khet Khlong San, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10600, Thailand
Like I said, today we are starting our tour at IconSiam. Now, you may be tempted to park and explore, but save that for later. You can always come back.
IconSiam is a destination that exudes unparalleled luxury, cultural richness, and innovation. Its stunning architecture, including the world's largest glass wall, creates a visually captivating experience. The diverse range of high-end fashion, gourmet delights, and unique Thai crafts make shopping a delight. Cultural performances and exhibitions celebrate Thai heritage. The floating restaurants offer a charming dining experience. With a perfect blend of luxury, culture, and innovation, IconSiam stands out as a truly exceptional destination in Bangkok, captivating visitors with its unique offerings.
I like shopping, so let’s talk a little bit more about that.
At IconSiam, you will find an impressive array of shopping options that cater to various interests and preferences. Here are some of the top categories and items to shop for at IconSiam:
High-end Fashion: IconSiam houses numerous luxury fashion boutiques, featuring renowned international brands such as Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Gucci, Prada, and more.
Thai Crafts and Artwork: Explore the Thai Heritage Zone within IconSiam to discover a treasure trove of traditional crafts, artworks, and souvenirs. From intricate handmade jewelry and silk products to unique handicrafts and home decor items, you can take home a piece of Thai culture and craftsmanship.
Gourmet Delights: IconSiam is home to a gourmet supermarket called SookSiam, offering an extensive selection of local and international delicacies.
Tech Gadgets and Electronics: Technology enthusiasts will be delighted by the range of cutting-edge gadgets available at IconSiam.
Beauty and Skincare: IconSiam features an impressive range of beauty and skincare brands, including luxury cosmetics, skincare products, and fragrances. Whether you're looking for renowned international brands or seeking out local Thai beauty products, you'll find an extensive selection to choose from.
These are just a few highlights of the diverse shopping options at IconSiam, where you can indulge in luxury fashion, unique Thai craftsmanship, gourmet delights, cutting-edge technology, beauty products, and home decor, ensuring a delightful and fulfilling shopping experience.
Remember, we are NOT shopping right now! We are gonna go find some temples. Now remember, some roads to the temples can be blocked to vehicles. That’s ok because you will want to come back and explore these magnificent masterpieces later. Please follow your navigation.
วัดกัลยานิมิตร Khwaeng Wat Kanlaya, Khet Thon Buri, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10600, Thailand
Wat Kalayanamit Woramahawihan holds a rich historical significance in Bangkok. The temple was built during the Ayutthaya period, dating back to the late 18th century. It was established by King Rama III to honor his mother and served as a center for religious and cultural activities. Throughout its history, the temple has undergone renovations and expansions, showcasing a blend of architectural styles from different periods.
Today, Wat Kalayanamit Woramahawihan stands as a testament to Thailand's enduring spiritual heritage and serves as a place of worship, attracting visitors with its cultural and historical importance.
Located along the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok, is a magnificent Buddhist temple that exudes tranquility and grandeur. The temple's main attraction is the colossal seated Buddha image known as Phra Buddha Trai Rattana Nayok, which stands at an impressive height of 15 meters.
The image is adorned with intricate golden detailing and radiates a serene aura that captivates visitors. The temple's architecture showcases a beautiful blend of Thai and Chinese influences, featuring ornate decorations and vibrant colors.
With its peaceful atmosphere and stunning architectural features, Wat Kalayanamit Woramahawihan offers a serene escape from the bustling city, inviting visitors to immerse themselves in the beauty of Thai religious art and culture.
Please head back to the main road and turn right.
34 Thanon Wang Doem, Khwaeng Wat Arun, Khet Bangkok Yai, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10600, Thailand
Wat Arun Ratcharararam, or Wat Arun, has a fascinating history that dates back several centuries. The temple's origins trace back to the Ayutthaya Kingdom, but it underwent significant renovations during the early 19th century. It was King Rama the second who commissioned the reconstruction of the temple, and later King Rama the third added the iconic prang, giving Wat Arun its distinctive appearance.
Over the years, the temple has undergone various restorations, keeping its cultural and historical significance intact. Today, Wat Arun stands as a testament to Thailand's rich architectural heritage and serves as a revered site for both locals and visitors alike.
Also known as the Temple of Dawn, it holds a special place in Thai culture and history. What sets Wat Arun apart is its unique architectural design featuring towering prangs adorned with ornate porcelain work. The intricate details and vibrant colors create a mesmerizing sight, particularly when illuminated at sunset.
Climbing the steep steps of the central prang offers stunning panoramic views of the Chao Phraya River and the surrounding cityscape. The combination of its architectural beauty, cultural significance, and picturesque location make Wat Arun truly special and a must-visit landmark in Bangkok.
1093 3 Arun Amarin Rd, Khwaeng Arun Amarin, Khet Bangkok Noi, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10700, Thailand
The Royal Barges National Museum in Bangkok is a captivating destination that showcases Thailand's majestic royal barges. The museum houses a collection of intricately crafted vessels, each with its own unique design and historical significance. These royal barges, used in elaborate ceremonies and processions, are adorned with intricate carvings, gilded details, and vibrant colors.
Among the notable barges on display are the Suphannahong Royal Barge, a symbol of Thailand's monarchy and spirituality, and the Narai Song Suban King Rama IX’s Royal Barge, dedicated to King Rama IX's reign. The Anantanakkharat Royal Barge mesmerizes with its serpent-like design, while the Anekchatbhuchong Royal Barge showcases the regal elegance of Thai culture.
Each barge is meticulously adorned with intricate carvings, golden embellishments, and vibrant colors, representing the exquisite craftsmanship and rich traditions of the Thai royal court. Visiting the Royal Barges National Museum offers a rare opportunity to appreciate these stunning vessels and delve into Thailand's majestic maritime heritage.
We will be crossing over the Chao Phraya River soon, so let’s talk about it. This river is a lifeline that flows through the heart of the city, shaping its identity and providing a unique charm. Also known as the "River of Kings," it has been a crucial waterway for centuries, serving as a transportation route, a source of livelihood, and a cultural symbol. The river's banks are adorned with iconic landmarks such as the Grand Palace and Wat Arun, while traditional wooden houses and bustling markets line its shores.
Cruising along the Chao Phraya offers panoramic views of the city's skyline, showcasing the harmonious blend of historic temples, modern skyscrapers, and riverside life. The river's vibrant energy, cultural significance, and scenic beauty make it an integral part of Bangkok's allure.
77/1 Ratchadamnoen Ave, Khwaeng Wat Bowon Niwet, Khet Phra Nakhon, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10200, Thailand
The Democracy Monument in Bangkok stands as a significant landmark and symbol of Thailand's journey towards democracy. It was built in 1939 to commemorate the 1932 Siamese Revolution, which transformed Thailand from an absolute monarchy to a constitutional monarchy.
Its design features a central pillar adorned with intricate carvings and four surrounding sculptures representing the four branches of the Thai armed forces. The Democracy Monument serves as a reminder of the country's democratic ideals and the importance of the people's voice in shaping the nation's future.
365 10 Phra Sumen Rd, Khwaeng Wat Bowon Niwet, Khet Phra Nakhon, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10200, Thailand
Ahead on your left is the Museum & Library of Abbots, located within the temple grounds in Bangkok. It is a hidden gem for those seeking cultural and historical insights. The museum houses a fascinating collection of artifacts, religious objects, and ancient manuscripts, offering a glimpse into the rich heritage of Thai Buddhism.
Visitors can explore the library's vast collection of scriptures and texts, which are meticulously preserved. The serene ambiance and the wealth of knowledge housed within this museum and library make it a haven for those interested in Thai religious history and literature.
71 Khaosan Rd, Khwaeng Chana Songkhram, Khet Phra Nakhon, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10200, Thailand
Ahead on your right is Wat Chana Songkhram Buddhist temple. With its origins dating back to the Ayutthaya period, the temple holds significant cultural and architectural value. Its prominent features include a stunning central ubosot (ordination hall), intricate murals depicting Buddhist stories, and a peaceful courtyard adorned with ancient trees.
Please follow your navigation. We will be turning left and exploring Khaosan Road. It has earned a reputation as a vibrant and bustling street that never sleeps. This iconic destination is a mecca for budget travelers, backpackers, and tourists seeking a lively atmosphere. Khaosan Road is lined with a plethora of guesthouses, hostels, bars, restaurants, street food vendors, and market stalls.
The street pulses with energy, offering an array of entertainment options, including live music, street performances, and vibrant nightlife. It's a melting pot of cultures, where travelers from all corners of the globe converge, creating a unique and eclectic atmosphere that makes Khaosan Road a must-visit destination for those seeking an unforgettable Bangkok experience.
39 Ratchadamnoen Ave, Khwaeng Talat Yot, Khet Phra Nakhon, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10200, Thailand
Please turn right and follow your navigation. We will be driving alongside the Rop Krung Canal. It’s a historic waterway here in Bangkok, and is one of the city's oldest canals, dating back centuries. The canal played a significant role in the transportation and trade activities of the city. Today, it offers a glimpse into Bangkok's past and is a charming spot to explore, with traditional houses, lush vegetation, and a serene atmosphere along its banks.
6, 7 Thanon Atsadang, Khwaeng San Chao Pho Sua, Khet Phra Nakhon, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10200, Thailand
The Supreme Court building is just across the canal to your right. Next up we’ll be crossing over a bridge.
Ministry Of Defense, Khwaeng Phra Borom Maha Ratchawang, Khet Phra Nakhon, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10200, Thailand
Saranrom Palace, ahead on your right, has a history dating back to the mid-19th century during the reign of King Rama IV. Originally built as a royal residence, it served as a retreat for members of the royal family. Over the years, the palace underwent renovations and became the headquarters of the Royal Household Bureau. Today, it stands as a historic landmark, showcasing a blend of Thai and European architectural styles and preserving its regal heritage.
Sanamluang (Opposite Supreme Court), Khwaeng Phra Borom Maha Ratchawang, Khet Phra Nakhon, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10200, Thailand
On your left is Sanam Luang. It’s a large public square with a significant cultural and historical importance. It has been a gathering place for various royal ceremonies, celebrations, and public events throughout Thailand's history. Surrounded by iconic landmarks such as the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew, Sanam Luang offers a serene and spacious green space in the heart of the city, attracting both locals and tourists seeking a tranquil retreat.
12 Soi Na Phra That, Khwaeng Phra Borom Maha Ratchawang, Khet Phra Nakhon, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10200, Thailand
Look ahead to your right and you will see the National Museum of Bangkok. It’s a captivating treasure trove that showcases the rich history and cultural heritage of Thailand. Located in the former Wang Na Palace, the museum houses a vast collection of artifacts, art pieces, and historical objects that span centuries.
Visitors can explore a wide range of exhibits, including ancient artifacts, intricate royal regalia, religious relics, traditional crafts, and stunning artworks. The museum offers a comprehensive insight into Thailand's diverse cultural traditions, from prehistoric times to the present day. With its beautifully curated displays, educational information, and immersive experiences, the National Museum of Bangkok stands as a testament to Thailand's vibrant past and serves as an invaluable resource for both locals and tourists seeking to delve into the country's rich cultural heritage.
3 Maha Rat Rd, Khwaeng Phra Borom Maha Ratchawang, Khet Phra Nakhon, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10200, Thailand
On your left is the renowned Buddhist temple, Wat Mahathat. Founded during the Ayutthaya period, it is one of the oldest and most significant temples in the city. The temple complex features a striking central prang (tower) and an array of intricately designed pagodas, statues, and buildings.
Wat Mahathat holds great spiritual importance, housing relics of the Buddha and serving as a center for meditation and Buddhist studies. Its historical and cultural significance, coupled with its serene atmosphere, make it a popular destination for locals and visitors alike, seeking spiritual solace and cultural immersion.
Tha Phrachan, Khwaeng Phra Borom Maha Ratchawang, Khet Phra Nakhon, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10200, Thailand
Tucked away down an alley to your right is Amulet Market. It’s a fascinating and unique destination for amulet enthusiasts and collectors. The market offers a vast array of amulets, charms, talismans, and religious artifacts. Visitors can explore the market to find a wide variety of amulets believed to bring good luck, protection, and blessings.
The market is a vibrant and bustling place, where visitors can witness the rich cultural and spiritual traditions of Thailand and discover the fascinating world of amulets and their significance in Thai culture.
Now, I need you to be ready for our next point of interest, or shall I say points? We are heading toward the Grand Palace.
The Grand Palace is an iconic landmark and a must-visit destination for tourists from around the world. It is a sprawling complex that served as the official residence of the Kings of Thailand for over two centuries. The palace showcases exquisite Thai architecture, intricate detailing, and ornate decorations.
If you don’t come back and tour inside the Grand Palace, your visit to Bangkok will have been in vain. Get ready! I’ve got lots to say.
9 Na Phra Lan Rd, Khwaeng Phra Borom Maha Ratchawang, Khet Phra Nakhon, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10200, Thailand
Here we go! Look to your right and locate the entrance to the Grand Palace. This is where you’ll want to enter when you come back to explore. And you WILL come back to explore.
The history of the Grand Palace in Bangkok stretches back to 1782 when it was commissioned by King Rama I. Serving as the official residence of the Thai monarchs for over 150 years, the palace complex expanded over time with successive kings adding new structures and embellishments.
The Temple of the Emerald Buddha is one of the most sacred and revered Buddhist temples in the Grand Palace. It houses the highly venerated Emerald Buddha which, despite its name, is actually made of jasper and is believed to have been created in India in the 14th century.
The Emerald Buddha is a national symbol of Thailand and holds great spiritual significance. It is considered the protector of the kingdom and is revered as an embodiment of compassion, wisdom, and enlightenment. The statue is dressed in intricate robes that are changed seasonally by the King of Thailand himself during auspicious ceremonies.
The Grand Palace has many other sites in its sprawling complex. Here are some of the notable attractions found within:
Chakri Maha Prasat Hall: This regal building serves as the throne hall and features a blend of Thai and European architectural styles. It is an impressive structure adorned with golden ornaments and intricate detailing.
Amarindra Vinicchaya Throne Hall: Also known as the Audience Hall, it was once the venue for important royal ceremonies and functions.
Dusit Maha Prasat Hall: This majestic structure showcases Thai architectural elegance and was used for royal funeral rites.
Phra Thinang Chakri Maha Prasat: This magnificent hall is the final resting place of Thai monarchs. Its architecture is inspired by European neoclassical design.
Royal Pantheon: An octagonal building that houses statues of past Thai kings from the Chakri Dynasty.
Phra Mondop: A library that preserves sacred Buddhist scriptures and manuscripts.
In addition to these architectural wonders, the Grand Palace complex boasts beautifully manicured gardens, stunning murals, and intricate details throughout. It is a testament to the rich cultural heritage and artistic achievements of Thailand. Visitors to the Grand Palace can immerse themselves in the grandeur, spirituality, and historical significance of this iconic landmark.
25 Thai Wang Alley, Khwaeng Phra Borom Maha Ratchawang, Khet Phra Nakhon, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10200, Thailand
Let’s veer away from the Grand Palace and see some more things! On your left is Saranrom Park, a tranquil oasis amidst the bustling cityscape. This historic park, established in the 19th century, offers respite from the urban chaos with its lush greenery, serene ponds, and vibrant floral displays. Visitors can stroll along its winding paths, relax on benches, or enjoy a picnic under the shade of tall trees. Saranrom Park also houses notable landmarks like the Saranrom Palace, adding a touch of royal splendor to its picturesque setting.
1 Charoen Krung Rd, Khwaeng Wang Burapha Phirom, Khet Phra Nakhon, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10200, Thailand
Sala Chalermkrung is on your right. It’s a historic theater renowned for its cultural significance and contribution to Thai performing arts. Established in 1933, the theater has been a hub for traditional Thai dance, music, and theater performances. With its elegant architecture and grand interiors, Sala Chalermkrung transports visitors to a bygone era.
The theater continues to showcase both classical and contemporary Thai productions, preserving the rich heritage and enchanting audiences with its captivating performances.
38 Unakan Rd, Khwaeng Wat Ratchabophit, Khet Phra Nakhon, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10200, Thailand
How about another park? Ok. One street to your right is Rommaminat Park. It’s a popular recreational space that offers a range of activities for locals and tourists alike.
Spanning over 50 acres, the park features meticulously manicured gardens, tranquil ponds, and shaded pathways perfect for leisurely walks or jogging. It also offers facilities for outdoor sports like basketball and tennis, as well as a dedicated playground for children.
Opposite Benchamarajalai School, Khwaeng Wat Ratchabophit, Khet Phra Nakhon, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10200, Thailand
Wat Suthat, on your left, is an impressive Buddhist building built during the reign of King Rama I in the 18th century. It’s one of the city's most important and revered temples. The temple is renowned for its stunning architectural design, with a majestic red exterior and intricately carved details that showcase exquisite craftsmanship.
The highlight of Wat Suthat is the Phra Sri Sakyamuni Buddha, a beautiful and enormous bronze statue that stands at 8 meters tall. The temple's interior is adorned with stunning murals depicting scenes from Buddhist mythology, creating a serene and contemplative atmosphere. Wat Suthat is also home to the famous Giant Swing, which is just up ahead.
It’s an iconic structure that represents the city's cultural and religious heritage. Standing tall at over 21 meters, it showcases intricate carvings and serves as a symbol of a traditional Brahmanic ceremony. It is a captivating sight and a must-visit landmark in the vibrant city.
609/9, คลองมหานาค, Khet Pom Prap Sattru Phai, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10100, Thailand
We have a few minutes of driving ahead of us before we get to our next point of interest, so I think it is the perfect time to talk about Muay Thai boxing. I mean, why not?
Muay Thai boxing has a long and rich history in Thailand, dating back several centuries. Originally developed as a form of combat for soldiers, it evolved into a popular spectator sport. Over time, it became deeply ingrained in Thai culture, embodying national pride and tradition.
Often referred to as the "Art of Eight Limbs," Muay Thai is a traditional martial art and combat sport originating from Thailand. It emphasizes the use of fists, elbows, knees, and shins, giving practitioners a diverse array of striking techniques. Known for its dynamic and explosive nature, Muay Thai combines physical strength, agility, and mental discipline.
Training involves rigorous conditioning, pad work, sparring, and clinching. Muay Thai matches are highly intense and showcase fighters' skill, strategy, and resilience. With its global popularity, Muay Thai has become a recognized sport, attracting enthusiasts and athletes from around the world who appreciate its rich heritage and exciting displays of combat prowess. So there ya go.
360 Thai–Chinese Friendship Rd, Khwaeng Talat Noi, Khet Samphanthawong, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10100, Thailand
On your left is Wat Traimit. It’s a revered Buddhist temple that houses a magnificent treasure. The highlight of the temple is the Golden Buddha, a solid gold statue weighing 5.5 tons. This exquisite artwork dates back to the 13th century and is one of the largest solid gold statues in the world. Beyond the Golden Buddha, the temple complex features stunning architecture, intricate details, and a peaceful ambiance.
308 Tri Mit Rd, Khwaeng Talat Noi, Khet Samphanthawong, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10100, Thailand
I’m thinking we’ve found Chinatown. The gate kind of gives it away.
Chinatown, also known as Yaowarat, is a vibrant and bustling neighborhood that showcases the rich cultural heritage of Bangkok's Chinese community. With its narrow streets, bustling markets, and ornate Chinese temples, it is a feast for the senses. The vibrant atmosphere is heightened by the aromas of sizzling street food stalls, offering a mouthwatering array of Chinese and Thai delicacies. From dim sum to roasted duck and from exotic fruits to traditional herbal remedies, Chinatown is a food lover's paradise.
As you drive along, look to the left side of the street for side streets and alleyways. These are the passages to get to some of the best markets in Bangkok.
The Old Market, also known as Talat Mai, is a hidden gem that offers a glimpse into the city's past. This traditional market has retained its charm and authenticity over the years. Here, you can find a variety of unique products, from antiques and vintage clothing to handicrafts and traditional Thai snacks. The narrow alleyways are lined with quaint shops and stalls, creating a nostalgic atmosphere. Visiting the Old Market provides an opportunity to immerse yourself in Bangkok's rich history and experience the vibrant local culture that thrives in this charming corner of the city.
Chinatown Market is a vibrant and bustling destination that captivates visitors with its lively atmosphere and diverse offerings. The narrow streets are packed with stalls and shops selling an array of goods, including clothing, accessories, traditional Chinese herbs, spices, fresh produce, seafood, and an impressive selection of street food. The market comes alive at night, with the streets illuminated by colorful lanterns and the aroma of delectable dishes filling the air.
Sampheng Market offers a wide range of items for shoppers to explore and purchase. Some of the popular products you can find there include textiles and fabrics, both traditional and modern clothing, accessories such as bags, hats, and jewelry, household items like kitchenware and decorations, electronics, toys, stationery, cosmetics, and even fresh produce.
Plan on spending some time here, exploring Chinatown and the amazing markets. Speaking of time, we are out of time! That’s right. We have come to the end of our tour. But that doesn’t mean we have come to the end of your explorations! I’ve shown you plenty of places along our route that I’m sure you can’t wait to check out much further on foot.
I can’t wait to take you out on a fabulous UCPlaces tour soon. Until then, so long and happy touring!