Walking Bangkok: Central Rattanakosin
During January 2017, TAT Bangkok released a series of eight Walking Maps for Bangkok in the Thai language. Even though they promised an English version, I have the opinion that some of the places marked on the map are only of interest to Thais. So, I used their map as an inspiration to work on my own maps. This one is based on “Walking Bangkok Map 5: Central Rattanakosin”. As you can see in the photo above, this is centered around The Giant Swing and Wat Suthat.
LIST OF PLACES ON WALKING TRIP ONE:
Rommaninat Park,สวนรมณีนาถ,13.74921 100.50267
Wat Suthat,วัดสุทัศนเทพวราราม ราชวรมหาวิหาร,13.75121 100.50109
The Giant Swing,เสาชิงช้า,13.75182 100.50129
Monk Supply Shop,,13.751963 100.502100
Bangkok City Hall,ศาลาว่าการกรุงเทพมหานคร,13.752838 100.501561
Brahmin Temple,โบสถ์พราหมณ์,13.75241 100.50059
Sam Phraeng Community,,13.75193 100.49758
Prince Nara Palace,,13.75251 100.49742
Sanphasatsuphakij Gate,ประตูวังสรรพสาตรศุภกิจ,13.753222 100.498388
Shrine of the Tiger God,ศาลเจ้าพ่อเสือ,13.75386 100.49834
Wat Mahan Pharam,วัดมหรรณพาราม,13.75474 100.4993
WALK ONE: This first walk starts at Rommaninat Park which used to be the site of the Bangkok Remand Prison. There are eleven stops along the way. Highlights include the sign for Bangkok’s real name which is in the Guinness Book of Records, remains of a palace from the 19th Century, and the second largest golden Buddha image in Bangkok.
(1) Rommaninat Park used to be the Bangkok Remand Prison but was converted into a park in 1993. Parts of Bangkok Remand Prison still remain. This includes section of the wall, guard towers, the administration block, and one cell block. There is a Corrections Museum in the park, but it’s closed for renovation. The park is open from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m.
(2) Wat Suthat is one of Bangkok’s hidden gems. As it is less popular among tourists, stepping into Wat Suthat is like you are leaving the bustling world behind and now in a peaceful heaven. The main ordination hall sits at the center is where the sacred Phra Sri Sakayamunee Buddha image, relocated from Wat Mahathat in Sukhothai, is enshrined. It is one of the largest ordination halls in Thailand with a 72.25-meter-high ceiling, completed with stunning wall murals. Surrounding the ordination hall is Phra Wiharn Khot terrace where 156 beautiful Buddha statues are displayed. The temple is open from 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. There is an entrance fee of 20 Baht for foreigners.
The (3) Giant Swing sits between Wat Suthat and Bangkok City Hall. This 21-meter, maroon-colored swing is a Brahman religious structure built in circa 1784 from teakwood. In the old days, it was used as part of Tri Yampawai, a Brahman rite of which priests swing themselves in order to pay homage to Shiva God to celebrate his annual visit to the earth. The rite was cancelled in 1935 as there were a number of unexpected accidents while conducting the rite. The current Giant Swing was built in 2006 with teakwood from Phrae province.
WALK TWO: The second walk starts at the 14 October Memorial on Ratchadamnoen Avenue. This walk includes a couple of museums. Highlights include the Metal Castle and the Golden Mount. It finishes in the monk bowl community.