Landmarks Walk in Bangkok, Bangkok (Self Guided)

Before modern times, Thai sculptors focused exclusively on creating images of Buddha, leading to Thailand being one of the world's best locations for Buddhist art. By the end of the 19th Century and the beginning of the 20th Century, Western fashions had begun to influence classical Thai art forms, particularly architecture and sculpture. Take our tour to see the top landmarks of the Thai capital.
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Landmarks Walk in Bangkok Map

Guide Name: Landmarks Walk in Bangkok
Guide Location: Thailand » Bangkok (See other walking tours in Bangkok)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 7
Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 8.0 km
Author: valery
1
Chinatown Gate

1) Chinatown Gate (must see)

The history of Bangkok's Chinese community dates back to the time when a group of Chinese traders resided at the land where the grand palace stands today. Chinatown is a lively district in Bangkok that runs along Yaowarat Road from Odeon Circle, where a huge ceremonial Chinese gate distinctly marks the entrance, up to the Ong Ang Canal which marks the outer boundaries of the royal district. Chinatown is a place which can easily be explored on foot. It is one of the best places to buy gold as Yaowarat Road is all lined with many gold shops.

Built in 1999 as part of the celebrations of King Bhumibol Adulyadej's 72's birthday, Chinatown Gate is often called Odean Gate after the Odean cinema which used to stand nearby. The words on the gate say "Sheng Shou Wu Jiang" which means "Long Live the King". During Chinese New Year celebrations the gate becomes the center of activities where people come to make their offerings.

Chinatown Gate is the entrance to many sites, a brief description of which is given below:

Wat Traimit, a small temple, is home to the world's largest five-ton-plus solid gold Buddha image. Tien Fa Charity is a small charity and clinic run by the Tien Fa Charitable Foundation. Sampaeng Lane, Chinatown's original main street, is now a small narrow alley. Crowded with shops selling mostly inexpensive household items and a very old Chinese pharmacy, this is definitely worth a look. Wat Mangkon Kamalawat is the Chinese-Buddhist temple which becomes the center of festivities during important festivals such as Chinese New Year and the vegetarian festival. Wat Kanikaphon, founded by a former Madame who owned a brothel, is a small temple with some interesting details. Li Thi Miew Temple is one of the more open and accessible of many Chinese temples in Chinatown. Wat Chakrawat is one of the three biggest monasteries in Bangkok that houses some very unusual buildings as well as a few crocodiles! Phahurat Market is home to a large number of fabric and wedding stalls. It is really a small community center for Sikhs and other immigrants from the subcontinent. The Old Siam is a shopping center where you will find tourist-friendly western and Thai restaurants and fast food outlets.

In short, Chinatown Gate gives you the visa to enter into a whole new world to explore and enjoy!

Tip:
Plan ahead so you can visit the top spots and leave room in your stomach for the unexpected – but be sure to eat where the locals are queuing.
This is a great place to find good bargains, from fabrics to dry goods, to teas and fish.
Bring small bills and an umbrella, as heavy rains can catch you off guard.
2
Memorial Bridge

2) Memorial Bridge

The Memorial Bridge connects the Phra Nakhon and Thonburi areas. Construction started in December 1929 and the bridge opened on April 6 1932, marking 150 years of the Chakri Dynasty. The bridge is usually known as Memorial Bridge, although locals also call it Phra Phutta Yodfa Bridge after the emperor of the Chakri Dynasty.
3
King Rama I

3) King Rama I

This large memorial was erected along with the nearby Memorial Bridge to celebrate 150 years of the Chakri Dynasty, an era which is commemorated to this day. Designed by Prince Naris, architect Silpa Bhirasri engraved it in bronze. King Rama I, who is also known as King Puttayodfa, was the first emperor of the Chakri dynasty. Born in March 1736, he ruled Thailand until April 1782.
4
October 14 Memorial

4) October 14 Memorial

On October 14, 1973, one of the biggest and most dishonorable demonstrations ever to have happened in Thai history took place in Bangkok when half a million people gathered at the Democracy Monument to demand an end to the autocratic regime of the so-called "Three Tyrants". They were protesting against the arrest of political campaigners and continuing military dictatorship. Military and police attacked this student-led protest killing hundreds of protestors. Ultimately the regime was toppled and Thailand became a constitutional monarchy.

In the sad memory of those who died on that gloomy day, a monument known as October 14 Memorial was erected not far from the Democracy Monument. The memorial is in the form of a conical structure rising from a rectangular pedestal. It is a small granite amphitheatre encircling an elegant modern dome-shaped Buddhist shrine bearing the names of some of the dead. Photographs and a narration of the ten-day protest are written on the back wall.

A museum is also constructed as an extension of the 14 October 1973 Memorial. Photos of the October revolution are on display behind the memorial. These photos are a thrilling record of the riotous days in October 1973 showing thousands of protestors gathering at the Democracy Monument, the brutal military response, demonstrators running for their lives and jumping into canals, the bravery and boldness as some fought back using buses to block tanks and the catastrophic result. 

The 14 October 1973 Memorial serves as a harsh memento of a bleak period in Thai political history. Every year on 14 October, services are held at the memorial to commemorate the occasion and the sacrifices of those brave young men and women who stood up and achieved democracy at the price of their blood, flesh and lives.
5
Democracy Monument

5) Democracy Monument

The Democracy Monument was built in 1939 to commemorate the 1932 coup that changed the face of Thai politics forever. The 150-year-old absolute monarchy came to an end and Thailand changed to a constitutional government. Corrado Feroci, an Italian immigrant invited to Thailand by King Rama VI to develop a Western-style art tradition, designed the Monument in 1924. He stayed in Thailand, became a Thai citizen changing his name to Silpa Bhirasri. The monument has four curved columns arching inwards. Each column stands 24 m high to signify the 24th of June, date of the revolution. The winged-shaped columns signify freedom and rights of the people. The original 1932 constitution is housed in a pedestal at the center. The six swords on each door represent the six major policies of the Peoples' Party. The Democracy Monument has been an important place for democracy movements and demonstrations throughout Thai political history. In October 1973, a massive public protest against the military dictatorship of Field Marshall Thanom Kittikachorn took place here to demand the release of 13 students arrested by the military. In May 1992 further bloodshed took place at the Democracy Monument and Ratchadamnoen Avenue when demonstrators rallied against General Suchinda’s regime and military attacked the protestors again. Known as Black May 1992, that day witnessed another tragedy being added to the Thai political history after which General Suchinda left his office. In the two decades between 1973 and 1992, the area around the Democracy Monument saw three major upheavals resulting in a bloodshed. Today, the Monument symbolizes hope that there would be no more bloodshed to be witnessed.
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King Rama V Statue

6) King Rama V Statue

King Chulalongkorn or King Rama V, one of the most legendary figures in the history of Thailand's monarchy, was a generous king. He eradicated various social evils including slavery from the Thai kingdom. Because of his friendly manners, he established amiable relations with the European royalty and other neighboring countries. During his rule of 42 years, he played a revolutionary role in paving the way for a modernized Thailand.

A living memory of this great king is present in Bangkok in the form of his equestrian monument near the Dusit Palace. The monument depicts King Rama V riding an elegant stallion standing high on a pedestal. In fact, it was the first statue built in honor of any Thai king. Sculpted in bronze and erected to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the coronation of the King, the statue was cast in Paris and was completed in 1908. Public raised a huge fund worth a million baht for the establishment of the monument. King Rama V inaugurated the monument himself. Just two years after that, the king died quite tragically in October 1910. People celebrate his death anniversary even today and gather near the statue to show their gratitude towards their former monarch. After his death, his son King Rama IV established Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, in honor of his father, with the remaining funds.

Many Thai people consider the statue of Rama V as an object of worship. On Tuesday, the day when the king was born, the whole place was full of devotees who visit the statue for good luck and prosperity. According to them, those who seek their blessings from the King get their prayers answered in the form of good fortune, especially in business. Many people visit the statue daily to pay their obeisance to the king and to light candles and incense sticks at the site. Followers also present brandy to the king.

Thais deeply respect this monument and can be seen praying and paying homage to the great king all the year round.
7
Chitraladarahotarn Palace

7) Chitraladarahotarn Palace

This striking palace is situated on the Rama V Road in Dusit. Around the building you'll notice some eye-catching man-made lakes enveloped by walls. Every corner has a fountain decorated with baroque stylings drawn from legends, a reflection of the refined taste of Thailand's leaders. Nowadays it's not just a palace but is also home to an agricultural study station and even some farms and factories.

Walking Tours in Bangkok, Thailand

Create Your Own Walk in Bangkok

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Bangkok Old City Walk

Bangkok Old City Walk

The ideal way to start a trip to Bangkok is to get a glimpse of its busy backstreets and to gape at its grandest holy places. Why not start your sightseeing in Krungthep, where you will see pretty squares, thronged streets and impressive temples. Then you can roam the backstreets and get a peep at the local street markets. You can also make a stop at a great local Thai restaurant that's...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.8 km
Chinatown Walking Tour in Bangkok

Chinatown Walking Tour in Bangkok

One of the city's brightest, most vibrant and interesting districts, Chinatown is packed with some of the best tourist spots in Bangkok including great museums and amazing temples. See the top sights with our Chinatown Walking Tour.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.9 km
Places of Worship Walk in Bangkok

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Bangkok is an old metropolis that has been home to a diverse population of cultures, nationalities and religious beliefs for centuries. While Buddhism is by far the biggest religion, spiritual tolerance has long facilitated the co-existence of other faiths in the Thai capital. In fact, some of the churches are among the most impressive foreign buildings in all of Bangkok. Take our tour to see the...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.4 km
Art Galleries Walking Tour in Bangkok

Art Galleries Walking Tour in Bangkok

Bangkok has an appealing selection of art that includes lively modern expressions and beautiful classical representations. Both public galleries and private galleries with artworks for sale are dotted around the city. Don't leave Bangkok without seeing the city's best galleries in our Art Galleries Walking Tour.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.5 km
Famous Architecture Tour

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Bangkok's varied skyline is a true architectural inspiration, with its unique mix of strange buildings, Italian-inspired designs and modern tall towers. If you take a walk around the city's streets you'll find hidden passageways, regular houses, exhilarating foreign designs and luxurious modern structures. Get the best views of all these sights with our Famous Architecture Tour.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
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Museums Walking Tour in Bangkok

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Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.4 km

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


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Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Bangkok for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Bangkok has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Saving Money with City Passes


To save yourself time and money visiting Bangkok's multiple sights, you may want to resort to the so-called city passes, such as the iVenture Card and Thailand Unlimited Attractions Pass.

A city pass combines all of or multiple Bangkok's top highlights, tours and experiences in one prepaid attractions pass, using which you can save incredible amounts on general admission fees as compared to purchasing tickets separately. Often, a city pass also allows you to skip the lines at major attractions, thus saving you precious time. Some of them you don't even have to pick up but can scan straight on your phone at any of the city's major attractions/museums!

Staying at Walk-Friendly Hotels


Since you're keen on exploring cities on foot (we assume that you are, and this is why you're here), it is important that you stay at a hotel close to the city's major attractions. It saves you time and energy. Here are a few of Bangkok hotels that are conveniently located, but at the same time, also not so ridiculously expensive: The Raweekanlaya Bangkok, Royal Princess Larn Luang, Baan Chart.

Taking Care of Your Feet


To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Bangkok, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device


Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.

Exploring City on Guided Tours


We have a strong bias towards exploring a city on foot, at your own pace, because this is how you get to see things up close with a maximum freedom. You decide how much time you wish to spend at each attraction and don't have to worry about following a crowd. That said, however, we also understand that some of you may want to go with a guided tour. If that is your case, here are some guided tours to consider. Be ready to fork out a bit of money, though, as a guided tour of Bangkok typically costs between around US$30 and US$60 or more per person:

- Board a hop-on hop-off bus to enjoy sightseeing of Bangkok in the comfort of a bus, listening in the headsets to the commentary provided in a variety of languages, and be able get on and off at any of the stops along the route. The ticket is valid for one day (24 hrs) and may be upgraded to 48 hrs (Premium) or 72 hrs (Deluxe).

- Take a 3-hour guided walk along the Chao Phraya Riverside to explore the multicultural diversity of Bangkok's historic communities coexisting on the riverbanks for centuries in perfect harmony.

- Spare half a day, whilst in Bangkok, for a private tour of The Grand Palace complex housing tonnes of historic attractions, including Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha) and many others, led by a knowledgeable local guide.

- No visit to Thailand is complete without savoring local cuisine. Embark on a food tour of Bangkok for a generous dollop of delectable Thai delicacies at some truly unique locations: streets, shops and the hidden gems only the locals know about.

- See Bangkok in a different light from the seat of a tuk-tuk zooming by the city's iconic sites in the cool of the night. This 4-hour night ride will take you to the Chao Phraya River, stopping at several temples, markets and other locations most frequented during daytime.

- Pedal your way around Bangkok on a 4-hour night bike tour to appreciate the city's most spectacular sights in their nighttime ambiance, stopping at each for a bit of rest, watching the surroundings, and learning much about the Thai capital from an informative group leader.

- Explore Bangkok’s suburbia renowned for its lush greenery and traditional crafts. Meet the friendly locals, see the beautiful canal system and a floating market manifesting the local “way of the water” culture.

Day Trips


If you have a day to spare whilst in Bangkok, why not use it to explore some of the out-of-town destinations like Floating Markets and Bridge on the River Kwai, Floating Markets of Damnoen Saduak, Thai–Burma Death Railway Bridge on the River Kwai, Ayutthaya, or Thonburi. For as little as US$40+ to US$120+ per person you will get a chance to discover the highlights of the UNESCO World Heritage sites including centuries-old historic landmarks, see the infamous bridge built by thousands of PoWs during World War Two, get a glimpse of the everyday life on water in Thailand exploring riverside neighborhoods, floating markets, and more. For any of these tours you will be picked up either straight from your hotel or a designated place in Bangkok, and transported either by boat or a private vehicle (whichever is applicable) to the destination of your choice and back again.