Places to Visit in Bangkok – With a Twist

Places to Visit in Bangkok – With a Twist

There are plenty of places to visit in Bangkok and exploring on foot is a great way to experience them. Of course, you could take a taxi, bus or skytrain, but you’d miss all that the lively streets of the city have to offer. Plus, you’ll find some interesting things along the way. I’ve lived in this wonderful city for 4 years now and I have visited most of the popular attractions, so when I am out, I search for different things to write about and take photographs of. So, if you’re in town, explore to your heart’s content and, if you feel like it, see if you can find these cool statues dotted around the city.

If you’re at Wat Arun, it’s fun to scamper up and down the steps of the main temple, but I found this Buddha statue through a red door. This one is the Alms Collecting Buddha or Begging Buddha and it represents compassion and caring for others. If you’re up early enough, it’s usual to see bare-footed, orange-robed monks collecting food from people all over the country. Just to be clear, the Buddha never begged for anything, the people gave him food, and now people continue to do this as a way of making merit to allow good karma into their lives.

Wat Arun sits on the banks of the Chao Phraya River – it’s better to go there, so you can see how the 5 prangs of the temple have been artistically decorated with seashells and pieces of coloured porcelain which sparkle in the sunlight. The views from the other side of the river aren’t bad either!

Places to visit in Bangkok
Alms Collecting Buddha or Begging Buddha at Wat Arun

This Buddha statue is in Benjakitti Park – right in the heart of the city – and it represents the Meditation Buddha, the Serenity Buddha or the Calming Buddha. You’ll notice the gold sculpture is triangle-shaped which means stability and many people who are seeking peace and calmness will sit in front of the statue and meditate. Whether you’re into meditating or not, Benjakitti Park makes for a welcome break from all the chaos of the busy streets nearby.

Places to visit in Bangkok
Meditation Buddha, the Serenity Buddha or the Calming Buddha in Benjakitti Park

This cool little statue sits in the middle of a lily pond, surrounded by potted plants and miniature trees, in the gardens of M.R Kukrit’s Heritage Home. The home of Thailand’s 13th prime minister, it really is very pleasant to wander around the grounds, surprisingly peaceful considering its location in busy Sathorn. It might not be up there on your to-do list, but I guarantee it’s worth the effort of finding it.

Places to visit in Bangkok
Gardens and statue at M.R Kukrit’s Heritage Home

Head to Chulachomklao Fort, in Phra Samut Chedi District, and you will find this splendid statue of King Chulalongkorn (King Rama V) in naval uniform. It’s the first thing you’ll notice when you arrive at the fort – built to protect Thailand from invading European countries. As well as this cool statue, you’ll find a gun park, an underground bunker with several disappearing guns, and the H.T.M.S.  Maeklong. Also, don’t miss the mangrove walkway with its resident and totally nonchalant monkeys.

Places to visit in Bangkok
King Rama V Statue at Chulachomklao Fort

This huge Buddha statue represents the Earth Touching Buddha or Calling the Earth to Witness Buddha and it sits on the shores of the Chao Phraya River opposite the small island of Koh Kret, in Nonthaburi. With legs crossed, left hand resting on its lap, and right hand pointing towards the ground, this statue depicts the moment when the Buddha attained enlightenment. In his efforts, he was tempted by the demon, Mara, so he meditated all night to fight her off. It worked, and he called the Earth Goddess to witness his success.

The best way to see Koh Kret is to walk or cycle along its pathways through local villages. Shop at the colourful market or you could try your hand at pottery – not as easy as it looks, but you’ll come away with your very own creation as a souvenir.

Places to visit in Bangkok
Earth Touching Buddha or Calling the Earth to Witness Buddha opposite Koh Kret, Nonthaburi

On the junction of Rama IV Road and Silom Road, you’ll see this impressive statue of King Vajiravudh (King Rama VI), dressed in ceremonial uniform, at the entrance to Lumpini Park. The statue was built by Italian architect, Corrado Feroci, in 1941 and pays tribute to the king who donated a piece of land, called Sala Daeng, to be used as a public park. There is a lake and a jogging track and it’s a popular place for people to spend time as the sun goes down. There’s wildlife too – around 30 species of birds and a few dinosaur-like water monitors.

Places to visit in Bangkok
King Rama VI at Lumpini Park

Get off the BTS at Ratchathewi and walk back towards the Bangkok Art and Cultural Centre and you’ll come across this four-headed white-elephant statue which forms part of the Chaloem La 56 Bridge or Hua Chang (Elephant-Head Bridge) as the locals like to call it. The bridge was built to celebrate the 56th birthday of King Rama V. The bridge crosses the Saen Saep Canal where you can either walk along the pathway with loads of cool and colourful graffiti or take a boat in either direction to explore the city some more – traffic free!

Places to visit in Bangkok
Elephant Head Bridge

This mammoth statue of King Rama I sits on the banks of the Chao Phraya River near the Memorial Bridge. The statue was designed by Prince Naris and made by Corrado Feroci in 1932 to commemorate the king who established Bangkok as the new capital of Thailand in 1782. From here, Yodpiman river walk is nearby where you can catch the ferry over to Thonburi or wander around the streets of Little India for delicious Indian snacks and a lively market.

Places to visit in Bangkok
King Rama I Statue near Memorial Bridge

Not far from Sathorn, in Bang Kho Laem district, is Asiatique The Riverfront – an open air mall, with loads of shops and restaurants, which really comes alive in the evenings. Asiatique is located on the former docks of the East Asiatic Company and they established the first international port to support incoming and outgoing trade. It’s there you’ll find these three bronze statues, looking out across the river, representing maritime activity from years ago. There are other similar statues nearby as well as a World War II bomb shelter, warehouses dating back to 1907, and a reproduction of the very first electric tram from the nineteenth century.

Places to visit in Bangkok
Bronze Maritime Statues at Asiatique

Also at Asiatique is the lovely Juliet Love Garden. This statue of Juliet stands, looking somewhat forlornly, in the middle of a small courtyard. The iron fence surrounding the statue has hundreds of padlocks with love messages inscribed forever.

Places to visit in Bangkok
Juliet’s Love Garden at Asiatique

I really love visiting the Bangkok Art and Cultural Centre. No matter what time of year, there are loads of interesting exhibitions and photographic displays. Sometimes, there are one or two sculptures displayed outside on the street. I have no idea what this big-breasted, pointy-eared, warrior-type statue is all about, but it always makes me smile. With its outstretched arm it never fails to catch the attention of people passing by.

Places to visit in Bangkok
Statue outside Bangkok Art and Cultural Centre

Wat Saket, also known as The Golden Mount is a splendid place to visit and if you walk up to the top, you’ll be rewarded with 360° views out over the rooftops of Bangkok.

To get to the top, there are over 300 steps which snake around the hill and, along the way, you’ll find this golden Buddha holding a staff and a parasol – possibly depicting him as he travelled far and wide teaching Dharma. The statue is standing under the forest-green foliage in the middle of a waterfall – the water splashing over the grey rocks is soothing.

Accompanying him are three wise monkeys who “hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil.” The relationship these monkeys have with the Buddha is that he believed the human mind is filled with screeching monkeys – all vying for our attention. The Buddha believed that meditation can quieten the monkeys, so we can live peaceful and calm lives.

Places to visit in Bangkok
Golden Buddha Statue at Wat Saket (The Golden Mount)

Overlooking the Chao Phraya River and Bhumibhol Bridge is this Buddha statue which represents Repelling the Ocean and Preventing Relatives from Fighting. Repelling the ocean relates to when a hermit tried to cause a flood, but the Buddha meditated for as long as it took to stop it. Preventing the relatives from fighting tells the story of when the Buddha’s family were fighting over water, so he raised his right hand which made them stop arguing. Bonus points for finding this statue! Clue – hop on a ferry across the river to Bang Kachao and get exploring.

Places to visit in Bangkok
Repelling the Ocean and Preventing Relatives from Fighting, near the Chao Phraya River and Bhumibhol Bridge

This huge statue of Ganesha, a well-known God in Hinduism, is located in Sri Nakhon Khuankhan Botanical Gardens, in Bangkok’s Green Lung, full of tropical trees and flowers, a large pond, and several walking and cycling paths. It’s a fabulous day out if you’re looking to get into nature and relaxation. Mooshika the rat sits at Ganesha’s feet and, being a rat, they are able to chew their way through anything. A handy partner to have when you are known as the remover of obstacles.

Places to visit in Bangkok
Ganesha at Sri Nakhon Khuankhan Botanical Gardens

Not far from Dusit Park is the noble King Rama V Equestrian Statue. Built in the early twentieth century, this statue was erected to commemorate the king’s coronation. He also contributed much to the modernisation of Bangkok and the cost of the statue was raised by the people themselves to show their gratitude.

Also nearby is Wat Benchamabophit and Bangkok’s Old City with lots of historical sites and temples, bars and restaurants, and hundreds of nooks and crannies just begging to be explored – you could spend the whole day in this area and only just scratch the surface.

Places to visit in Bangkok
King Rama V Statue, near Dusit Park

I hope you enjoy exploring these places to visit in Bangkok as much as I have. Let me know what else you find on your adventures 🙂

 

14 Replies to “Places to Visit in Bangkok – With a Twist”

  1. So many lovely and beautiful statues! The one in the Art and Cultural Center is really a looker! And I like how you photographed the Buddha statue as a center of the suspension bridge. 😉 Do you practice Buddhism yourself? From all religions in the world it is the one I feel most drawn to. And I never knew that the three monkeys also represent the tumble of thoughts vying for our attention – how very appropriate! Do you also meditate in front of one of these statues? Have a fab weekend! xx

    1. Thanks Sarah, there is so much to see here, sometimes the less obvious things are the most interesting – for me anyway! I don’t practise Buddhism, but I like what is aims to teach people. I have learned quite a bit about Thai people and what they believe, it’s very interesting. I have tried meditation in the past, but I am not very good at it, I should try more often, but no I don’t in front of these statues 😉 Do you meditate? Have a fab weekend too 🙂 xxx

      1. I´ve tried meditating a few times, and it´s quite hard at first, but also wonderful when done right! But somehow I tend to forget about it when there´s lots of stress in my life which is totally counterproductive as it would be so good to do exactly then! Also I fell asleep at times too! 😉 xxx

  2. Great write up and photos Gill of many place I’ve never visited in Bangkok.

    I didn’t realise you’ve been living in Bangkok for 4 years – well done, you’ll miss the food but Tapas and Paellas are delicious also. 😉

    1. Thank you Nilla! Time flies, can’t believe I have been in Bangkok for 4 years already! I like Thai food, but I mostly eat western food here when I’m out and I cook for myself a lot too 🙂

      1. Wow, I absolutely love Thai food and can eat it every day for every meal (and have done for months) – I even cook it here in Italy when I can get the ingredients. Think I was born in the wrong country! 😉

        1. I don’t mind eating the same food every day, if I like it, some people have to have something different. Indian and pizza I could eat everyday! Is it easy to get Thai ingredients where you are ? xx

  3. Such energy Gill, I’ve been in BKK for ten years and have only seen a fraction of the sites in your excellent photos.
    I’ve gotta get out more!
    A pleasure to read.
    Mike

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

×
%d bloggers like this: