Bangkok Tour       
 
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The Flower Market (Pak-Klong-Ta-Lad)

The Flower market, or what locals call “Pak-Klong-Talad”  is the biggest flower market in Thailand, which has since become one of Bangkok ’s main tourist attractions.

In the past, we didn’t have irrigation systems. People chose to stay along the riverside to facilitate their living. There were many communities set up along Chaophraya River, and many markets were born accordingly. One of the largest markets is Pak-Klong-Talad, situated right between the old capital and the new capital, near the Memorial Bridge, not too far away from Chinatown.

In the late Ayutthaya period, many foreigners moved to settle down in Bangkok especially the Chinese, who have been here since the Sukhothai period. They also played a very important role in building this large community along Chaophraya River and Chakkrapetch Road , spreading to Maharat Road and encircling the area of Wat Ratchaburana, Rachinee and Suan Kularb Schools . With more than 5 fresh markets in this area, it became the main centre for wholesale and retail agricultural markets in Bangkok .

Why was this market called “Pak-Klong-Talad” when “Klong” means canal, not river? During King Rama I ‘s reign (1782-1809), a canal was dug near Wat Buranasiriamartayaram where a large market was created called “Klong Talad”. This was connected to a smaller canal named “Klong Nai”, previously dug in the reign of King Taksin the Great (1767-1782). United together they eventually became the largest fish market at that time. King Rama V (1868-1910) then moved this fish market to the Wua Lum pong district near Hua Lum Phong. Eventually the market changed to exhibit a vast variety of flowers, vegetables, fruits and spices and has remained this way until now.

During the early hours of the morning, trucks from neighboring provinces and boats on the Chao Phraya River arrive with huge quantities of freshly cut flowers and other fresh goods. Beautiful flowers and leaves are all creatively arranged for religious beliefs, festivals and other purposes. The kaleidoscope of colours and fragrances of the flowers provide an exotic sensory stimulation. Mixing this with the smells of street foods and spices, the hectic pace of locals going about their daily business, and the fumes from the local tuk-tuk’s in and around the market, makes the area an incredibly charming and intriguing place to visit.

This market is available 24 hours. However, the best hours to see this market are at midnight – 2 am and early morning (5am onwards). Walking through the alleyways is the best way to experience the sensory overloadHighly recommended for photographers!!!

 

Available hours : 24 hours daily.

Note : it’s a wet market. Please prepare proper shoes.

 

Prasart Museum

Prasart Museum is a private house located on the eastern outskirts of the city, an unusual open-air exhibition of traditional Asian buildings, collected and re-assembled by Mr Prasart Vongsakul, a wealthy entrepreneur and art lover.

Amazing inspiration started when Mr. Prasart, aged only 12 years old, was so upset that many of Thai treasures were being sold abroad, he vowed to himself that one day he would build a museum for the people.

The result is this eclectic, ever so slightly eccentric assembly of buildings, all replicas of influential Thai palaces, houses and royal residences. Some date as far back as the Ayutthaya and Sukhothai periods.

Highlights include the Red Palace, a re-creation of a Thai-style teak house that King Rama I built for his sister in 1784, and a colonial-style mansion that dates back to the 19th Century and exhibits King Rama V's European tastes. Other interesting structures include a Chedi, Goddess Guan Yin Shrine and a Lopburi style chapel.

It also serves as a centre of education and research for those interested in Thai antiquity. Pieces from the Ayutthaya and early Rattanakosin periods are on display, including several Sukothai Buddha images. Displayed in the teakwood library are a collection of ancient books and manuscripts. It also includes a magnificent selection of benjarong, Thai paintings and cabinets ornately decorated with black and gold lacquer.

Thai pavilions are set amid perfectly manicured lush tropical gardens, which are dotted with Sukhothai period terracotta ceramics. Containing many rare Thai and foreign plants the garden creates a relaxing atmosphere and conveys a feeling of peace and serenity.

Some of these structures have been assembled from the ruins of buildings found all over Asia, but there is no attempt at purist authenticity - the aim is to give a flavour of architectural styles, not an exact reproduction.

The place is rarely visited by mass tourists and admission is by appointment only. It usually requires one to two days notice, but it makes a pleasant day out and is well worth the effort. The tour takes approximately 2 hours and usually accepts a minimum of 2 people.

Opening hrs      :   9:00 – 17: 00 (Tuesday - Sunday)
Admission Fee  :   500 baht/pax  (Minimum 2 pax)
                              For 1 pax group only = 1,000 baht/pax.

Note : Compulsory guided tours available by appointment.

 



The Marble Temple

The Marble Temple or Wat Benchamabopitr as known to foreigners is most stunning displaying the finest thai craftsmanship and architecture influenced by European neo-classical style. It was designed by H.R.H. Prince Narisranuvattivongse, half brother to King Rama V. This first-class royal monastry covers the area of about 12 acres in Dusit District, not too far away from H.M. The King’s Chitralada Palace.

Wat Benchamabopitr was built on the site of an old temple called Wat Laem or Wat Saithong. The origin of this old temple is unknown. In the reign of King Rama III, its name was first mentioned during the war against Laotiane troops led by Prince Anuvoung of Vientiane at the Khorat Plateau in 1826. King Rama III assigned his son, Prince Bibidh, to defend Bangkok by using this temple as a headquaters of the chief commander of the central army’s.

Within a few days, Prince Anuvong’s troops were defeated at the Khorat Plateau before marching down to Bangkok . After the war, Prince Bibidh and his four brothers and sisters restored this temple and built 5 pagodas in the front row (1827-1828) to pay gratitude to the temple.  King Rama IV then decided to rename the temple “Wat Benchabophit” which means the temple of the 5 Princes and Princesses.

In 1898, King Rama V purchased land in the area and removed two old deserted temples in Dusit Garden to construct the royal garden for his enjoyment on weekends. Near the Dusit Garden was Wat Benchabophitr, which King Rama V decided to restore to compensate for the destruction of the two old temples. He renamed it  “Wat Benchamabopitr” meaning the Temple of the Fifth King.

The stunningly beautiful main chapel was constructed from Carrara marble from Italy . Located inside, a bronzed replica of Phra Buddhajinaraja, one of the most sacred Buddha’s in Thailand (The original one is in Phitsanulok Province ). King Rama V had approved and graciously presided over the casting ceremony undertaken in separated pieces. The image was then shipped to have it enshrined in the main Chapel. You can appreciate its tranquillity in the evening. It’s especially beautiful at night when all lit up.


Opening hrs : 9:00 – 17:00 daily.
Admission fee : 20 baht/pax.

Note : Proper dress is required.

 

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