Things to See
Bangkok Dolls Museum
This museum was established by Khunying Tongkorn Chandavimol in 1956 after completing a course on doll making at the Osawa Doll School in Tokyo.
A part of the workshop is devoted to a private collection of about 400 dolls from around the world grouped in several categories, including Khon dolls, hill tribe dolls, Thai rural dolls and Khon mask miniatures. Admission is free.
Address: 85 Soi Ratchataphan, Soi Mo Leng off Ratchaprarop
Tel.+66 2245 3008
Phaya Thai Palace
The Phaya Thai Palace was been built by King Rama VI, who lived there from 1919 to the last years of his reign. After his death, the palace turned into one of the most luxurious hotels in Southeast Asia, a radio station and a military hospital.
Every Saturday, volunteers give two free guided tours through the palace that take about two hours; they start at 9:30 and 13:30. Technically it is also possible to visit the palace on weekdays, but you must call to make an appointment and pay 500 baht.
BTS Victory Monument, then walk 300 metres west along Ratchawithi Road
Tel. +66 2354 7660
Suan Pakkad Palace
This complex of five Thai-style houses was once the residence of one of Thailand’s leading art collectors, Prince Chumbhot of Nagara Svarga.
It houses an extensive collection of Asian art and antiques, including items from the prehistoric Ban Chiang civilization, and an impressive collection of sea-shells. Admission is 100 THB.
BTS Phaya Thai
Tel. +66 2246 1775(-6) Open daily.
Thai Labour Museum
This museum is located at the former office of the labour union of the State Railway of Thailand. It exhibits the historical background of 300 years of the Thai labour movement.
Modern media are used to present the material, such as television, slides and computers. There is also a library with books and research reports on labour. You must call in advance if you plan on visiting with a group. Admission is free.
Address: Nikhom Makkasan Rd
Tel. +66 2251 3173
This monument was constructed in 1941 by military dictator Plaek Pibulsongkhram to commemorate the 59 Thais who lost their lives in the short and inconclusive French Indochina War.
If traveling north by Skytrain, you’ll be treated to a 180-degree curving panorama of the monument, and this is the best view you can get as actually reaching the base of the monument would require passing through a triple-lane of traffic.
The public restrooms at the major bus stop directly across from the monument costs 2 baht per entry. Admission is free.
Address: Intersection of Phahonyothin Road, Phaya Thai Road and Ratchawithi Road
A six-floor shopping mall devoted to computer gear, famous for its pirated media. The bootleg trade is much more low-key than it used to be, but software and DVDs are still widely available.
It is also a good place for digital cameras, gadgets, printers, MP3-players, etc. Test out whatever you are buying as there are lots of flaky goods here.
If you want to be safe, buy at the official brand stores, though prices are similar as in Western countries (or even higher!). And keep in mind that warranty is only valid within Thailand.
Address: 604/3 Phetchaburi Rd (beside Platinum Fashion Mall)
Tel. +66 2250 1555
Platinum Fashion Mall
A great place for shopping since it is air-conditioned. Many of the 1,000+ shops here are also at Chatuchak Market.
It is good for women as the shops mostly sell clothes, handbags, shoes, accessories, gifts and make-up. Many shops are geared towards export and wholesale.
Address: 222 Phetchaburi Rd (across the street from Pratunam Market)
Tel. +66 2121 8000
The shiny new Pratunam center has four floors of textile and jewelry for retail and wholesale. The first two floors are taken up by OTOP (one tambon, one product) that sells handicrafts from every township of Thailand. For now, a large part of the mall is unoccupied.
Address: Phetchaburi Rd (at the northeast corner of the Phetchaburi Road and Ratchaprarop Road intersection)