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Thailand Trip Itineraries

Hidden Gems

Destination(s): Bangkok

Bangkok has plenty of off-the-beaten-path places and every visit to the city often reveals another secret no matter how many times you've been here. Some of Bangkok's most precious attractions might require some searching, while others might be hidden in plain view. From the a massage school's parlor within Wat Pho to Blue Elephant's Thai cooking school you have a wealth of options that might typically be overlooked. read more about Hidden Gems

Queen Saovabha Memorial Institute and Snake Farm

Queen Saovabha Memorial Institute and Snake Farm

  • 1871 Rama IV Street
  • Pathumwan
  • tel:+66 2 252 0161 x4
  • Visit website
  • Bangkok, 10330
Wat Mahathat

Wat Mahathat

  • 3 Maharat Road
  • Phraborommaharatchawang Sub-District
  • tel:+66 2 222 6011
  • Visit website
  • Bangkok, 10200
Blue Elephant

Blue Elephant

  • 233 South Sathorn Road, Khet Sathorn
  • Kwaeng Yannawa, Blue Elephant Building
  • tel:+66 (0)2 673 9353 / +66 (0)2 673 9354 / +66 (0)2 673 9356
  • Visit website
  • Bangkok, 10120

As if the cuisine wasn't authentic enough at the Blue Elephant, the setting is also traditional -- a Thai house over 100 years old. Though their "Forgotten Recipes" bring some now rare dishes back to life, the chef has a few great creations of his own incorporating some international flair with Thai ingredients. The Blue Elephant is an international chain with the mission of representing gourmet Thai cuisine and they are certainly achieving that goal. Plenty of plants, art and a few waterfalls create a pleasant setting. For a souvenir of a different sort, take home some Thai cooking skills from one of the cooking classes here. read more about Blue Elephant

Siam Society

Siam Society

  • Sukhumvit 21 Road
  • 131 Soi Asoke
  • tel:+66 2 661 6470
  • Visit website
  • Bangkok, 10110

**On November 20, 2009 fire destroyed the offices and shops but only caused some damage to the library. Events in the auditorium continue, but check the website for updates.** The Siam Society makes for an interesting, intellectual stop outside of the typical tourist path. It was founded in 1904 as a result of cooperation between Thai and foreign scholars who dedicated themselves to promoting the study, enjoyment and availability of Thai art, science, culture and natural history. Nowadays, the Siam Society acts as a non-profit organization committed to the same causes as its founders, offering library facilities, an ethnological museum, and various activities ranging from performances to study tours. read more about Siam Society

King Rama IX Royal Park

King Rama IX Royal Park

  • Sri Nakharin Road
  • tel:+66 2 328 1857
  • Visit website
  • Bangkok, 10210
King Prajadhipok Museum

King Prajadhipok Museum

  • 2 Lan Luang Road, Somanas, Pom Prab Sattru Phai
  • tel:0-2280-3413
  • Visit website
  • Bangkok, 10100

In real life Rama VII (King Prajadhipok) was a very small man but he played a major role in Thailand's (then Siam) move from absolute monarchy to a government which allowed greater input from the people. But a 1932 coup, political infighting and the threat of autocratic rule despite the new constitutional monarchy led him to abdicate the throne and live out his life in England. He was a member of the House of Chakri, a son of King Chulalongkorn (Rama V). Housed in the colonial-style Secretariat Building, the King Prajadhipok Museum has three floors: one dedicated to the fascinating Queen Rambhai Barni, the other two to the life of Rama VII and the history of the Kingdom during his reign, the coup of 1932, and World War II.

Admission is free. Buses 2, 15, 44, 47, 59, 60, 79, 157, 169, 183, 511, 512 pass nearby. Or you can take the Saensaep Canal Express Boat which passes from east to west roughly parallel to the SkyTrain but between Sukhumvit and Petchaburi Road (recommended adventure!). The last boat stop (Phanfa Pier) is right near the museum's intersection at Lan Luang Road, Nakhon Sawan, Ratchadamnoen Nok. Open 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Closed Mondays.
read more about King Prajadhipok Museum

Princess Mother Memorial Park

Princess Mother Memorial Park

  • Soi 3, Somdet Chao Phraya Road
  • Khlong San
  • tel:+66 2 437 7799 / +66 2 439 0902
  • Visit website
  • Bangkok, 10600

Here's a sweet little park off the beaten track. Just a few paces from the west side of the Chao Phraya River is this park and museum dedicated to Somdet Phra Sri Nagarindra, Her Royal Highness the Princess Mother (mother of the current King Bhumibol or Rama IX). She grew up in a simple house near here and inside this museum's grounds is a recreation of that home and the daily-life objects that would have been inside. Two air-conditioned galleries house photos and artifacts from the beloved figure's life but most of the signage is in Thai only. Also on site is a small art gallery that rotates shows every couple of months. Entry to all is free. 


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Siriraj Medical Museum (Forensics Museum)

Siriraj Medical Museum (Forensics Museum)

  • Siriraj Hospital, 2 Phrannok Road
  • tel:02-419-7000 ext 6363
  • Bangkok, 10100

Housed in two buildings of Bangkok's Siriraj Hospital this is the all-encapsulating name of six distinct museums: Ellis Pathological Museum, Songkran Niyomsane Forensic Medicine Museum, Ouay Ketusingh Museum of History of Thai Medicine, Parasitology Museum, Congdon Anatomical Museum, and Sood Sangvichien Prehistoric Museum and Laboratory. Most of these exhibits are not for the weak of heart or stomach but the whole project is a fascinating, unblinking look at the subjects. A macabre and yet educational experience, the Forensic Museum may give visitors the shivers if not a few bad dreams. An entire modern exhibit with an accompanying video (with English subtitles) is dedicated to the 2004 tsunami and the work forensics played in identifying the rapidly decomposing victims. A variety of preserved skulls and other body parts and a few graphic photos show the results of trauma on the human body. Serial killer Si Quey (Ouei), the source of nightmares for Thai parents back in the 1950s, is preserved here in paraffin along with a few others. Seamlessly attached to this section is a brief historical section about Thai medicine and next to that is the pathology museum with its displays of afflicted human organs and tissues. The parasitology section in the room next door exhibits tapeworms and the like as well as the massive preserved testicle of an elephantiasis victim. This room will make you think twice about eating improperly prepared food or going without mosquito repellent. Siriraj Medical Museum is located in the Adulyadaejvikrom Building and is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and charges a nominal fee of 40 baht. Photos are not allowed. An audio tour is available for 100 baht plus a 200 baht deposit. Despite the lack of much English on exhibits and its dated appearance, the anatomy museum is also worth checking out. Founded by a visiting professor in 1927, it displays various dissections and a whole range of fetuses and infants in jars including conjoined twins. This is housed in the Anatomy building and admission is free. Take a river ferry on the Chao Phraya and get off at Pier 10 (Tha Wang Lang). Enter the hospital on the right outside the pier and follow the road straight back into the complex following green museum signs and arrows.
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Wat Pho

Wat Pho

  • 2 Sanamchai Road
  • Phra Borommaharatchawang Sub-District
  • tel:+66 2 222 5910 / +66 2 226 2942 / +66 2 226 1743 / +66 2 225 9595
  • Visit website
  • Bangkok, 10200

Over 200 years old, Wat Pho is one of Bangkok's largest and oldest temple complexes. For an entry fee of 50 baht, visitors can roam the grounds with or without a guide, stopping along the way at numerous notable temples and sites. The most famous of Wat Pho's relics is the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, wherein lies an impressive 46 meter-long gold-plated image of a reclining Buddha. A first grade royal monastery, Wat Pho is also Thailand's oldest learning center and the birthplace of traditional Thai massage. Take a Chao Phraya River ferry to Tha Thien (pier). The Grand Palace is a short walk from Wat Pho. You can also cross the river from the pier to see Wat Arun. Beware that scam artists (often tuk-tuk drivers) will try to claim that the temple is closed for the day. Don't believe it.

[Note: Pho is pronounced with a P like Paul not an F like a Vietnamese noodle soup]
read more about Wat Pho