History & Culture


Thailand's rich history is believed to trace back to the Bronze Age, some 5,000 years ago. Recorded history highlights several periods that mark significant stages in the nation's development, including the Sukhothai Period (1238-1438), the Ayutthaya Period (1351-1767), the Thonburi Period (1767-1782), and the Rattanakosin Period (1782-present). Each of these periods has left a legacy of stunning temples, shrines, palaces, and ancient sites, all showcasing unique Thai architectural styles and lavish design. Unbeknownst to many, Thailand has never been colonized, allowing its culture to flourish uninterrupted. Thai dance, theater, music, and art have all evolved in entirely unique ways over the centuries, and they continue to play a vital role in Thai society today. Visitors seeking a deeper appreciation of Thailand's rich cultural heritage can explore the numerous galleries and museums that house treasures from bygone eras, offering a truly enriching visual experience.

 

History and Culture in Thailand



Sort by
0

The Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew

Bangkok Must See


The Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew really are places you must visit while you are in Bangkok. Both have considerable historical significance and are extremely beautiful places to see. The Grand Palace was built in 1782 by King Rama I who established Bangkok as Thailand’s new capital. The palace was to be bigger and grander than palaces built...

1

Wat Rong Khun

Chiang Rai Must See


Wat Rong Khun is very different to any of temple you are likely to see in Thailand. A lifetime project of artist Chalermchai Kositpipat, the temple has a fine blend of traditional Buddhist art with contemporary themes. The temple is almost entirely white - no other colors are used at all. It is though decorated with small pieces of mirrored glass...

2

Ayutthaya Historical Park

Ayutthaya Must See


The Ayutthaya Historical Park was designated a UNESCO world heritage site in 1991. The park covers the old town of Ayutthaya. Ayutthaya used to be the capital city of Thailand for over 417 years until it was destroyed by Burmese Army in 1767. The Ayutthaya Historical Park consists of temples, palaces and buildings ruined since the Ayutthaya period....

3

Phimai Historical Park

Nakhon Ratchasima Must See


At the height of the Khmer era Nakhon Ratchasima was an important route into the Khmer kingdom. This fact is reflected by Phimai Historical Park. Parts of the park are actually older than Angkor Wat in Cambodia. It features a huge Angkor white sandstone shrine (around 30 meters tall) which is surrounded by smaller pink-colored shrines. The park...

4

Sukhothai Historical Park

Sukhothai Must See


Sukhothai Historical Park is the main attraction in Sukothai Province. Located 12 kilometers from Sukothai town on the Sukhothai-Tak Highway, the Historical Park is a place of ruins and temples although certainly part of Thailand’s heritage, it also regarded as a World Heritage site under the auspices of UNESCO and the Thai Fine Arts...

5

Prasat Muang Sing Historical Park

Kanchanaburi Must See


Prasat Muang Singh is a Khmer town in Kanchanaburi province. It is around 45 kilometers from Kanchanaburi city. Built around the 12th century on the Khwae Noi River, the site was most likely an outpost of the Khmer ‘Muang Singh’ empire that protected the Khmer frontier. It was also likely a centre for trade. Built of...

6

Si Satchanalai Historical Park

Sukhothai Must See


Si Satchanalai Historical Park is located on the bank of the Yom River at Tambon Muang Kao, Si Satchanalai county, only 55 km. from the town of Sukhothai. Some of the key sites to visit inside the park include: - Wat Chang Lom - Wat Khao Phanon Phloeng - Wat Chedi Jet Thaew - Wat Nang Phaya - Wat Phra Si Ratanan Mahatat - Wat Chao Chan Si...

7

Phanom Rung Historical Park

Buriram Must See


Phanom Rung Historical Park is one of the most diverse national parks and certainly one of the most important and most visited Khmer sites in Thailand. Based on Phanom Rung Hill, an extinct volcano that forms a gentle arc across the horizon, the park houses the largest number of Khmer monuments in Thailand. The whole site has been brought back to...

8

Maruekkhathayawan Palace

Hua Hin Must See


Maruekkhathayawan Palace (‘Palace of Love and Hope’) is not often visited by tourists but it is a rare treat for those who do. The palace was built of golden teak by King Rama VI in 1923. The building has been restored to its former glory and features spacious, airy rooms and halls that are naturally cool. Three sections of the building...

9

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep

Chiang Mai Must See


Wat Phra That Doi Suthep is probably Chiang Mai’s most important site for visitors, and certainly its most visible. Wat Phra Borommathat Doi Suthep nestles into the side of Doi Suthep some 3,000 feet above sea level amongst some of the most picturesque scenery you are likely to encounter. Built by King Gue-Na in 1383, the temple houses a...

10

Wat Pho

Bangkok Must See


Wat Phra Chetuphon (locally known as Wat Pho) is famed for the massive ‘Reclining Buddha’ it houses.  At 46 meters long and 15 meters high, this gold-plated Buddha image depicts the Buddha’s passing into Nirvana. It’s highly ornate and a genuine spectacle - genuinely worth seeing. The Buddha image’s eyes and feet...

11

Wat Arun

Bangkok Must See


Wat Arun (or the Temple of Dawn) is probably one of the most recognizable temples in Bangkok, not least because the image of the temple has been published so often. The temple comprises a central tower surrounded by four smaller towers. The central tower is around 80 meters high and as night falls Wat Arun cuts a distinctive silhouette against the...

12

Wat Chaiwatthanaram

Ayutthaya Must See


Wat Chaiwatthanaram is an imposing monastery located in the west of Ayutthaya on the Chao Phraya River. It was built by King Prasat Thong in 1630 and its architecture is similar to that of Angkor Wat in Cambodia and it may have been built to commemorate the King’s victory over Thailand’s neighbor. The temple comprises a main...

13

Wat Phra Mahathat

Ayutthaya Must See


Built in 1374 at the start of the Ayutthaya era, Wat Mahathat is an impressive temple ruin originally constructed to house Buddha relics that mysteriously appeared to an early Ayutthayan king. Although the Burmese destroyed much of the temple, it is a great place to experience an unusual feel of derelict simplicity. The temple’s main...

14

Huay Mongkol Temple

Hua Hin Must See


Huay Mongkol Temple is situated 10 kilometers South of Hua Hin in the village of Tub Tai. Wat Huay Mongkol is home to the largest statue of the immensely popular Buddhist monk Luang Pu Thuat who was famed for his ‘miracles’. Luang Pu Thuat lived some 400 years ago. The attraction is the biggest statue perched atop a pavilion just...

15

Big Buddha

Koh Samui Must See


Big Buddha is one of must see places when you visit Koh Samui. This 12 meter high Buddha statue named “Phra Buddha Kodom” sits a top of a small hill. Probably it is the first thing you will see from the air when arriving at Samui Airport. Built in 1972, Big Buddha is on the site of Wat Phra Yai (Phra Yai Temple). Inside of the temple...

16

The Royal Palace / Wat Mahathat

Sukhothai Must See


The Royal Palace is in the centre of old Sukothai. This is a large site covering around 160,000 square meters containing two main compounds and completely surrounded by a water moat. The first of the main compounds is Noen Phrasat (the Royal Building), a site containing a stone inscribed by King Ramhamhaeng. The second is Wat Mahathat,...

17

Wat Hua Wiang

Mae Hong Son Must See


Located next to Mae Hong Son market, Wat Hua Wiang is a temple with a large compound featuring a large Burmese-style bronze Buddha image as its focal point. The compound also features a two-storey building with a multi-tiered tower and although the temple’s buildings are a bit dilapidated, this adds to its appeal. In addition, the temple is...

18

Wat Phra That Doi Kong Mu

Mae Hong Son Must See


Burmese-style Wat Phra That Doi Kong Mu is located around 1,500 meters up Doi Kong Mu hill. The temple is famous for its view of the valley it overlooks. In the morning visitors can look out over mists and fog that accumulate in the valley below. This is one of the ‘iconic’ views of Thailand you often see on postcards and it is a...

19

Morgan Village

Phang-Nga Must See


Located on the small island of Koh Surin Tai live the ‘Morgan Sea Gypsies’ – a seafaring tribe that has a number of communities in countries around the Andaman Sea (particularly Indonesia where some believe they come from). Stemming from a long lineage of seafaring peoples, the Morgan have a spoken language called Yawi but, of...

20

Jim Thompson’s House

Bangkok Must See


Of all the players in Thai history, Jim Thompson is probably the most mysterious. An American serviceman attached to the O.S.S., he settled in Thailand after the Second World War and was fascinated by the art of hand silk weaving. Thompson put his efforts into revitalizing what was fast becoming a forgotten craft and played a major part in the...

21

Wang Chang Ayutthaya Lae Phaniat

Ayutthaya Must See


There are more than 100 elephants in Wang Chang Ayutthaya Lae Paniad. Visitors can watch elephant shows, being near an elephant and riding an elephant. For elephant ride program, the well-trained elephants will take the tourist around the city to Ayutthaya’s historical sites. Wang Chang Ayutthaya Lae Paniad is located to the north side of...

22

Bang Pa-In Palace

Ayutthaya Must See


Bang Pa-In Palace comprises a collection of buildings of various ages and various architectural styles surrounded by a lake. Originally built by King Prasattong in Ayutthaya era, Bang Pa-In was the places for the kings in the Ayutthaya period to visit and enjoy, but it was let unoccupied when Bangkok became the capital. Its importance was...

23

Dan Kwian Earthenware Village

Nakhon Ratchasima Must See


Known as the ‘land of ceramics’, Dan Kwian is Nakhon Ratchasima’s main ceramics center. Previously an area where bull-carts would stop on their way to nearby Khorat, generations of Dan Kwian residents have been involved in making the local pottery which is famed for a rough texture and a rust-like color. The geographic...

24

Phuket Old Town

Phuket Must See


Phuket Old Town has a group of buildings which were reminiscent of European architecture. The beginning of the tin boom in the 19th century led to construction of many fine mansions and shops that are still well preserved. The architectural style, typical of the region, is described as Sino-Portuguese and has a strongly Mediterranean character. At...

25

Bridge over the River Kwai

Kanchanaburi Must See


For many foreign visitors the Bridge on the River Kwai (Saphan Mae Nam Kwae) is probably one of the most famous of Thailand’s attractions. A simple black iron bridge spanning the Kwai Yai River, it has no special features, nor is it impressive in terms of size or design. What is important about this bridge is its history - a history that has...

26

Wat Phra That Khao Noi

Nan Must See


Wat Phra That Khao Noi is located on the top of Khao Noi hill, two kilometers west of the town. The hill is 800 feet high. The temple has a white chedi and a huge walking Buddha statue overlooking the hill below. The recent temple buildings may look nothing special, but from the top of the hill, easily accessed by a road, one can see, side by side...

27

Phra That Si Song Rak

Loei Must See


Located on a hill by the Man River and built in 1560 on the border of the Ayutthaya and Lang Xang Kingdoms, Phra That Si Song Rak symbolizes the resolve of the kings of these two kingdoms not to invade each other’s territory and to join forces against Burmese invaders. The temple was built in a style similar to that found in Laos and has a...

28

Wat Phra Kaew

Chiang Rai Must See


Wat Phra Kaew was known as Wat Pa Yeah (Temple in the Golden Bamboo Forest), because it was in fact surrounded by bamboo forest. Its name was changed to Wat Phra Kaew in 1977 after its chedi was struck by lightning revealing the Phra Kaew Morakot (emerald Buddha statue) within. Wat Phra Kaew is famous throughout Thailand as the original home of the...

29

Wat Phumin

Nan Must See


The city of Nan’s most famous wat (temple) is renowned for its cruciform ubosot which was constructed in 1596 and restored during the reign of Chao Ananta Vora Ritthi Det (1867-1875). It is the only temple which was built on the back of two immense snakes sculpture. Each of the four entrances is preceded by a small corridor topped by a finely...

30

Wat Phra Si San Phet

Ayutthaya Must See


Built in the reign of King Boromtrilokanath, Wat Phra Sri San Phet was the biggest temple in the area at its peak and is historically very significant. The temple is situated in a compound that was originally used as a royal palace and home to a number of kings during the Ayutthaya period. The design of the temple inspired the design of the Emerald...

31

Wat Phananchoeng

Ayutthaya Must See


This monastery is located just south of Ayutthaya city on the east side of Chao Phraya River. Strangely, there is no record of when it was built or who built it; however, it is known that it was already built at the time Ayutthaya was established as capital. The principal feature of the temple is its Wihan called "Luang Phor Phanan Choeng" (or "Sam...

32

Kanchanaburi War Cemetery

Kanchanaburi Must See


Although the Bridge on the River Kwai (Saphan Mae Nam Kwae) has become a symbol of the brutality of the Second World War, the War Cemeteries are evidence of its effect. Kanchanaburi has two cemeteries with the graves of captured prisoners of war, the Chung Kai Allied War Memorial and the Kanchanaburi Allied War Cemetery. Chung Kai Allied War...

33

The JEATH War Museum

Kanchanaburi Must See


If the cemeteries bear witness to the carnage of the ‘Death Railway’, the JEATH Museum bears witness to the suffering of those that fell during its construction. The ‘open-air’ JEATH (Japan, England, Australia, Thailand and Holland) Museum was built in 1977 by a Thai abbot in the style of the huts used to imprison prisoners...

34

Hellfire Pass Memorial Museum

Kanchanaburi Must See


Hellfire Pass is a 500 meters long and 26 meters deep section of rock that was dug out by Prisoners of War intended to allow the ‘Death Railway’ to continue its route from Bangkok to Rangoon. Soldiers were forced to remove the rock using no more than picks, hammers and their bare hands. Of the 1,000 Australian and British soldiers who...

35

Wat Yai Chaimongkon

Ayutthaya Must See


Wat Yai Chaimongkon is located near the main Ayutthaya ruins and a short distance from the walls of Ayutthaya. It is famed for an impressively large statue of the Reclining Buddha inside the temple compound. Built by King U Thong (Ayutthaya’s first ruler) in 1357, the temple is also known as "Chao Phaya Thai Temple" and has a large Chedi...

36

Wihan Phramongkhon Bophit

Ayutthaya Must See


Wihan Phramongkhon Bophit contains one of the largest bronze Buddha images found in Thailand and also houses numerous smaller images. Destroyed by the Burmese in 1767, the temple was returned to its former glory through renovation in 1956. The temple has a lot of historical significance and was the original site for Royal cremations; a practice...

37

The National Museum

Bangkok Must See


For people interested in getting a good feel for the history of Thailand, the museum is very much a ‘must see’ destination. Initially established as a building within the palace area in early Rattanakosin era, the building underwent a number of transformations before becoming what is now called the National Museum in 1887. Housing a...

38

The National Theatre

Bangkok Must See


Thailand’s National Theatre predominantly shows Thai Classical drama and features performances of Khon - drama where players wear traditional Thai masks. These are truly wonderful productions; extremely ornate costumes, excellent lighting – everything you could want. You can see exhibitions of Thai classical dancing and music on the...

39

Chiang Saen

Chiang Rai Must See


Chiang Saen is a town located right next to the Mekong River. The town itself is quite ordinary except for its ruins - ruins that provide archaeological evidence of Chiang Saen’s former glory as a 14th-century city kingdom. The town is literally littered with temples (36 in total), fortresses, moats, Buddha images, remnants of city walls and...

40

Doi Mae Salong

Chiang Rai Must See


Doi Mae Salong in Chiang Rai is very reminiscent of parts of China and much of the area’s history has a strong Chinese connections. When the Communists took over mainland China in 1949, remnants of the Nationalist Chinese army fled to the Thai-Burmese border. In 1961 they were driven into Thailand and some settled own on Doi Mae Salong...

41

Golden Triangle

Chiang Rai Must See


Golden Triangle is in Chiang Rai Province, in the far north of Thailand. It was an expansive area taking in parts of Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar. In the past, the region was famed for opium cultivation in exchange with gold. In Thailand, Golden Triangle is located 28 Km from Mae Sai district. It’s the area where Khong River and Ruak River...

42

BorSang village

Chiang Mai Must See


Borsang Umbrella and Thai Handicraft Village are usually approached as a single trip and often on an organized tour. Borsang Umbrella and Thai Handicraft Village offers a wide range of Thai handicrafts but is most famed for its parasol umbrellas. These umbrellas have made the small village of BorSang famous and in many respects the umbrellas have...

43

The Bridge Over the River Kwae

Kanchanaburi Must See


For many foreign visitors the Bridge on the River Kwai (Saohan Mae Nam Kwae) is probably one of the most famous of Thailand’s attractions, but probably the country’s least spectacular. A simple black iron bridge spanning the Khwe Yai River, it has no special features, nor is it impressive in terms of size or design. What is important...

44

Long Neck Karen Villages

Mae Hong Son Must See


To some it can be a strange experience visiting a group of people as a tourist attraction. People visit to see woman wearing heavy brass rings which make their necks appear very long. The reason for this behavior is lost in history, but some believe the rings saved women from attacks by tiger. Whatever the reason, lots of people venture out to the...

45

Doi Pui

Chiang Mai Must See


Doi Pui (1658 meteres above see level) is a part of Doi Suthep-Pui National Park. Doi Pui Peak has a cold weather all the year. Bird watching is an activity here where more than 300 species of birds live. There’s an area for tent camping that can accommodate up to 250 visitors. 4 Km from the National Park office, there is a Phu Ping Palace...

46

Phra Yai Temple (Big Buddha Temple)

Pattaya Must See


Established in the 1940s, Phra Yai Temple, often referred to as the Big Buddha Temple, proudly hosts the largest Buddha statue in the region. This colossal statue stands tall at 72 feet 9 inches and spans an impressive width of 40 feet 9 inches. Within the temple, one can find a standing Buddha image and a daily Buddha statue.

47

Hilltribe Research Institute Museum

Chiang Mai


The Hilltribe Research Institute was founded to increase awareness of the northern hilltribes that inhabit the mountains of Chiang Mai and other provinces. The museum offers a range of exhibits covering all cultural aspects of nine Hilltribes: the Akha, Lahu, Lisu, Yao, Hmong, Karen, Lua, Khamu, and H’tin. It also provides information on the...

48

Hilltribe Museum and Education Centre

Chiang Rai


Hilltribe Museum and Education Centre is run by a nonprofit organization called the Population and Community Development Association (PDA) with the intention of teaching people about the hilltribes and strengthening the their position in Thai society. The centre exhibits local crafts, all of which are for sale, and also provides information through...

49

Wat Chedi Luang

Chiang Mai


Wat Chedi Luang’s main significance is that it housed the Emerald Buddha for a short time before the relocation to Bangkok’s Wat Phra Kaew. The temple was built 600 years ago and at the time boasted a huge ‘chedi’ that dominated the skyline. However, either an earthquake or King Taksin’s assault on Burmese invaders...

50

Wat Chiang Man

Chiang Mai


Wat Chiang Man is reportedly the oldest temple in Chiang Mai and established by the city’s founder, King Mengrai, some 700 years ago. Although an important temple, it is relatively small and is not located on the main tourist routes. It is though impressive and warrants a visit if you have the time. There are a number of small buildings in...

51

Wat Phra Singh

Chiang Mai


Wat Phra Singh (Full name: Wat Phra Singh Woramahaviharn) was built in the fourteenth century by King Phayu and was originally called Wat Li Chiang Phra. The buildings that can be seen here today are from the 1800s and have been recently restored. The temple is famed for housing a revered Buddha image (Phra Phutthasihing) which plays a central...

52

Doi Hua Mae Kham

Chiang Rai


Doi Hua Mae Kham is home to a number of hill tribe villages along the Thai Burmese border. Although the inhabitants of these villages are predominantly of the Lisu tribe, a number of Akha, Hmong, I-Ko and Muser also live there. Visits can be made to the tribes and it is also possible to purchase their handicrafts and other homemade items. Visits to...

53

Chonnabot Silk District

Khon Kaen


Located 60 kilometres southeast of Khon Kaen, Chonnabot is famed for its world-renowned ‘Mudmee’ brand of Thai cotton and silk. The brand name comes from the unique process involved in producing the area’s silk and cotton – a method that involves tie dying the fabric strands before they are woven. The whole town is involved...

54

Shell Cemetery

Krabi


The 75 million-year-old Shell Cemetery in Krabi province has some of the oldest shellfish fossils on earth. Although not immediately impressive - the site looks as though it houses a number of concrete blocks - closer inspection proves more rewarding. The blocks you see are in fact thousands of shells stuck together to form a solid mass about 200...

55

Khantoke Dinners

Chiang Mai


A very popular activity in Chiang Mai is attending Khantoke Dinners and Cultural Shows. There are a number to choose from and they feature a selection of traditional dances and performances unique to the area. Shows include Fon Lep (or ‘Finger Dancing’), Fon Thean (or ‘Candle Dancing’) and Ram Dab (or ‘Sword...

56

Wat Chong Kham / Wat Chong Klang

Mae Hong Son


Given their close proximity, these two temples in Mae Hong Son are usually approached together. Both are found on southern Chong Klang Lake and when the sun reflects their images onto the water the effect is awe inspiring. Wat Chong Kham is an old temple built in 1827 by the Thai Yai of Burma. The temple houses pillars covered in gold and a large...

57

Pak Thong Chai Silk Village

Nakhon Ratchasima


Despite this age of high technology and automation, it is a little known fact that the bulk of silk produced in Thailand is spun by hand in silk villages using traditional techniques. Pak Thong Chai is one such village entirely dedicated to the production of fine silks and silk products.  The quality of its products has given Pak Thong Chai...

58

Wat Chalong

Phuket


Of the 29 Buddhist monasteries in Phuket, Wat Chalong is the largest, the most important, and probably its most ornate. The architecture is typical of Thai temples and the design emphasizes bright colours. The main building has three floors. As with many temples, Wat Chalong is visually quite dazzling. The murals on the temple’s walls are...

59

Wat Chaimongkhon (Wat Chao Phraya Thai)

Songkhla


Known locally as ‘Wat Yai’, Wat Chaimongkhon was built 1357 by King U-Thong. The temple features a central pagoda built by King Naresuan. The pagoda is tall enough to dominate the vicinity’s skyline. Originally constructed at the end of the 16th century, the pagoda was built so tall because King Naresuan wanted the temple to...

60

Wat Suan Mokkhaphalaram (Wat Suanmok)

Surat Thani


Wat Suan Mokkhaphalaram (or Wat Suanmok for short) is a temple set in a forest. Apart from its splendid setting, the temple itself is somewhat ordinary, aside from its extraordinary history. It was founded by Thailand’s most famous monk, Ajarn Bhikkhu Buddhadhasa. Ajarn Bhikkhu professed a Buddhism stripped of the mysticism and magical...

61

Sunthon Phu Memorial Park

Rayong


Sunthon Phu Memorial Park is dedicated to Sunthon Phu (1786-1855), recognised as being Thailand’s greatest poet. Originally the location of the poet’s home, the memorial park is an immaculately maintained memorial and a joy to visit. A number of statues of characters from the poet’s work (including the hero of some of his work...

62

Panyi Fishing Village

Phang-Nga


Located off the coast near Phang-nga town is the island of Koh Panyi. Set amongst a series of ‘Karst’ (small limestone islands that have eroded away to create strangely shaped rock), Panyi is a delightful in its own right. However, it has the added attraction of being home to an interesting Muslim Fishing Village.  The village has...

63

Ramkhamhaeng National Museum

Sukhothai


Under auspices of Thailand’s Fine Arts Department, Ramkhamhaeng National Museum features a variety of historical pieces found in Sukhothai and surrounding areas. Antique arts are the main focus of the museum and displays document development during the pre-history of the Sukhothai area and throughout the Sukhothai era. The information...

64

Suwan Kuha Temple (Wat Tam)

Phang-Nga


Know locally as Wat Tam (the cave temple), Wat Suwan Kuha is just that – a temple in a cave! Located in a limestone mountain, Suwan Kuha is part of a large complex of caves with names such as Tam Yai, Tam Jaeng, Tam Meud, and Tam Kaew. Tam Yai is the largest cave (20 meters x 40 meters) in the complex and represents the site’s entrance....

65

Wat Neramit Wiphatsana

Loei


Dedicated to a popular local monk and very reminiscent of some of the larger temples in Bangkok, Wat Neramit Wiphatsana was built for meditating monks and is located on a hill near Phra That Si Song Rak southwest of Loei. The temple’s ordination hall and pagoda are made of laterite and illustrated with murals created by Pramote Sriphrom...

66

Loei Province Cultural Center

Loei


The Loei Province Cultural Center is located in the grounds of Ratchabhat Lori Institute some 5 kilometres from Loei municipality. It provides extensive information on the province, past and present. The centre has three main sections. The first offers a number of slide shows giving a general overview of the province and the lives of the...

67

Wat Pho Chai

Loei


Built in the Ayutthayan period, Wat Pho Chai is one of the more important temples in the area. The focal point of the temple is a much revered bronze Buddha image which shows the Buddha in meditation. The temple also features murals of the Buddha’s 10 former lives which were painted in 1852. Details: There is no entrance fee to this temple...

68

Phra That Din Thaen

Loei


This is without doubt the most unique temple in Thailand - the 200-year-old temple was crafted entirely from soil; brick, concrete nor timber feature in its construction. The temple is highly regarded locally and receives visits from people from many districts in the province and beyond. Its history is somewhat shrouded but a local legend suggests...

69

Ban Na Kraseng Rattan Furniture and Fabric Weaving Village

Loei


Located in Tha Li district of Loei, Ban Na Kraseng makes its living preparing rattan furniture and handicrafts alongside traditionally woven fabrics. These days these activities are driven by the market forces of tourism, but what you see done today is the same as it was done generations past. The rattan furniture produced here is of an extremely...

70

Tai Dam Cultural Village

Loei


The Tai Dam Cultural Village is home to an ethic minority that came to Thailand from Laos in 1905. Their traditional lifestyle has been maintained through their arts and crafts that have translated into the production of souvenirs for visitors to their village. The village centre offers a range of items produced by the villagers and also offers...

71

Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall

Bangkok


The Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall is a former reception hall within Dusit Palace in Bangkok, Thailand. It is now a museum. The Throne Hall is a two storey construction with a large dome (49.5 meters high) in the center, surrounded by six smaller domes. The Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall was constructed in the Italian Renaissance and Neo Classic style of...

72

Hun Lakon Lek at Aksra Theatre

Bangkok


The Aksra Hoon Lakorn Lek is a performance of traditional Thai puppets that takes place at the Aksra Theatre, 3rd floor of King Power Complex Building on Soi Rang Nam. Aksra Theatre is one of the few remaining venues where the Hoon Lakorn Lek puppet performances can still be seen. Aksra has created more than 110 traditional Thai puppets. It...

73

Secret Buddha Garden

Koh Samui


Built in 1976 by a fruit farmer “Nim Thongsuk”, Secret Buddha Garden is located in the hills of Samui Island. The garden took around 15 years to finish. It is a peace and tranquility place in the verdant jungle and rocky hills. Inside the garden is decorated with sculptures depicting both humans and deities in various poses. Getting to...

74

Chiang Mai National Museum

Chiang Mai


Located in the north of the city the museum features a range of displays and exhibits providing details of Chiang Mai’s Lanna era. The museum documents northern Thailand’s pre-history to present times and includes examples of ancient jewellery, kilns from the 14th-century, ancient art and Buddha images alongside weapons of the era. The...

75

Wiang Kum Kam

Chiang Mai


Wiang Kum Kam is a recently discovered ancient lost city in Chiang Mai. It was flooded and abandoned more than 200 years ago. This ancient city was built in the reign of King Mengrai in 1296. From the discoveries, there are 20 ancient remains in and around Wiang Kum Kam including buildings and temples of Wat Chedi Liam (originally: Wat Ku Kham),...

76

Hua Hin Railway Station

Hua Hin


The Hua Hin Railway Station is remarkable for its architecture, built in the reign of King Rama VI. The station is oldest railway stations. This is Thailand’s most beautiful train station and oldest railway stations. The wooden building used to be a royal pavilion in Sanamchan Palace, Nakhon Pathom province. It was rebuilt at Hua Hin in 1968....

77

Wat Phu Khao Thong

Ayutthaya


Wat Phu Khao Thong is often called "Golden Mount Pagoda" and was built in 1387. The site originally housed a large Mon-style Chedi built by King Hongsawadi of Burma to commemorate his victory in Ayutthaya in 1569. During restoration during the reign of King Boromakot a new Thai-style Chedi was built on the base of the former Chedi. This Chedi can...

78

Sanctuary of Truth

Pattaya


Sanctuary of Truth is an enormous temple-like structure entirely made of wood. The place is filled inside and out with wood sculpture based on traditional Buddhist and Hindu motifs. The Sanctuary was built in the style of the ancient Khmer architecture such as that at Angkor. The whole place is entirely had crafted out of wood. It has four...

79

Wat Benchamabophit

Bangkok


Noted for its construction in Carrana marble, Wat Benchamabophit was built during the reign of King Rama V. Its design is different from many temples in that it utilises stained glass and other aspects more common to western religious structures. The temple houses a number of bronze Buddha images and it is decorated with beams covered in gold leaf....

80

Wat Ratchabophit

Bangkok


Wat Ratchabophit was built by King Rama V in 1869 and displays a variety of western and local influences – the outside of the temple is very much Thai while the interior is more reminiscent of European design. The temple has a large Chedi housing a ‘Lopburi-style’ Buddha image. The doors, windows and internal beams are decorated...

81

Ayutthaya Historical Study Centre

Ayutthaya


Ayutthaya Historical Study Centre is funded by the Japanese Government and dedicated to research into Ayutthaya’s history (focusing on its era as the nation’s capital). The centre houses a museum and provides a range of information alongside a well-stocked library covering all aspects of the city’s history. The displays are very...

82

The Chao Sam Phraya National Museum

Ayutthaya


Chao Sam Phraya National Museum features Thai Fine Arts and Handicraft from the Ayutthaya era. A number of antique Buddha images are on display alongside local relics, carved wooden panels, Thai Buddhist Sculpture and other items from local temples. A good place to visit for those with an interest in the area’s history, but probably best...

83

Wat Ratchaburana

Ayutthaya


Constructed in the 15th century by King Sam Phraya as a memorial for his brothers, Wat Ratchaburana features a Khmer-style tower (or ‘Prang’). The temple was damaged by fire in 1967 and many of the temple’s artifacts were transferred to the Chao Sam Phraya National Museum. The temple does though feature Ayutthayan frescoes...

84

Abhisek Dusit Throne Hall

Bangkok


Completed in 1904, the Abhisek Dusit Throne Hall is situated east of the Vimanmek Mansion. The building saw a number of state occasions when it was part of Dusit Palace, but since being restored by Her Majesty the Queen in 1993, Abhisek Dusit Throne Hall has housed displays of arts and crafts produced through the queen’s Foundation for the...

85

Ban Bat

Bangkok


The daily ritual of monks walking along the Sois of Thailand to collect alms (donations of food) is one image that lingers in the memory of many a visitor to Thailand. Barefoot and dressed only in a saffron coloured robe, the only accessory to the ritual is the large bowl the monk carries. Known as ‘Bat’, these bowls have remained the...

86

Chalermkrung Royal Theatre (Sala Chaloem Krung)

Bangkok


Opened in 1933, Chalermkrung Royal Theatre (Sala Chaloem Krung) specialises in performances of ‘Khon’ – traditional Thai dances of around two hours in duration which carry a storyline based on aspects of Thai history and ancient Thai myths and legends. The theatre was built as a royal project and features high-tech lighting and...

87

Democracy Monument

Bangkok


Commemorating the introduction of constitutional monarchy in Thailand, Democracy Monument has witnessed many of the events that have helped shape the nation. Constructed in 1932 Democracy Monument is located in a roundabout on Ratchadamnoen Avenue – the heart of the Rattanakosin area. The design of the monument has a number of significances....

88

Erawan Shrine

Bangkok


The Erawan Shrine (or San Phra Phrom as it is known locally) was initially meant to be a ‘spirit house’ during the construction of the Grand Hyatt Erawan Hotel in 1953. During construction builders faced a number of problems and under the advice of a spiritual advisor an image of ‘Brahma’ (or ‘Phra Phrom’ - a...

89

The National Gallery

Bangkok


Although probably not immediately recognized as a country of art, a visit to Thailand’s premier art gallery soon explodes this myth. Opened in 1974, the gallery exhibits traditional Thai art (starting around the 17th century) and moves through the ages to contemporary paintings, sculptures and graphic art created by current local artists. The...

90

The Royal Carriage Museum

Bangkok


The Royal Carriage Museum houses carriages used for royal processions during the reign of King Rama V.  Situated close to Vimanmek Palace, the carriages are brightly coloured and delicately decorated. They are genuinely splendid and worth visiting if you have the time. However, given its close proximity most people combine a trip here with a...

91

The Siam Society

Bangkok


The Siam Society is a surprisingly little-known outlet for Thai and International culture. Their motto is: "Knowledge gives rise to friendship" which adequately describes the objective of this organisation. Founded in 1904, the society operates under Royal Patronage as a non-profit organization and features information on the arts and sciences of...

92

Statue of King Chulalongkorn (Rama V)

Bangkok


Being so centrally located, the equestrian statue of King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) is well worth a visit. A forward thinking monarch, King Chulalongkorn is revered as the man who elevated Thailand’s status in the world by abolishing slavery and forming strong allegiances with the world’s then ‘superpowers’ - Britain, France,...

93

Thailand Cultural Center

Bangkok


The Thailand Cultural Centre is Thailand’s bastion of all things cultural and all things Thai. Located on Ratchadaphisek Road, it is off the usual tourist route, and if authenticity is your priority, this is a genuine ‘Thai’ experience. The centre opened in 1987 and it houses various auditoria with room enough for 2,000 people. It...

94

Vimanmek Mansion (Vimanmek Palace)

Bangkok


Originally located on Koh Sri Chang, King Chulalongkorn (King Rama V) moved Vimanmek Mansion (Cloud Mansion) to its present location in 1901. The palace has three floors and comprises two buildings at right angles to each other. The ground floor of the palace is brick but upper floors are made entirely of golden teakwood. It is believed to be the...

95

Wat Bowon Niwet

Bangkok


Wat Bowon Niwet is regarded as being one of Bangkok’s most important temples, not least because it was here a number of kings (including Thailand’s current king, King Bhumibol) served their time in the monkhood. The national headquarters of the Thammayut Buddhist sect, the temple was built in 1829 and houses a very ornate...

96

Wat Intharawihan

Bangkok


Wat Intharawihan houses one of the biggest Buddha images you are likely to see – at 32 metres tall and 11 metres wide, it totally dominates the skyline. Construction of this giant Buddha started in 1867 and took to 1927 to complete, spanning the reigns of King Rama IV to King Rama VII. The Buddha’s topknot contains relics of The Lord...

97

Wat Ratchanadda (The Loha Prasat)

Bangkok


Across the street from the Golden Mount, Wat Ratchanadda probably the most unique temple design in Bangkok. Rama III began construction of the ‘Loha Prasat’ in the 19th century but due to its complexity of design, it was completed only recently. Wat Ratchanadda comprises five towers of varying sizes topped by huge iron spikes. The...

98

Wat Saket - Temple of the Golden Mount

Bangkok


Wat Saket is famed for its Golden Mount – a spire that rises some 260 feet into the air from ground level. Nestled on top of a man-made hill, the Golden Mount is a fairly dominant feature in the Rattanakosin area’s skyline. Building of the temple started in the 1800s by King Rama III and the temple was completed by King Rama IV. The...

99

Wat Suthat - the Giant Swing

Bangkok


Built in the early 19th century, Wat Suthat and the Giant Swing are both a little off the beaten track, but well worth a visit if you have the time. You don’t get to see the actual swing these days, only its frame. The swing itself was used for Brahmin ceremonies that no longer take place in modern day Thailand. One such ceremony involved...

100

Wat Traimit

Bangkok


In the Chinatown part of Bangkok lies Wat Traimit – home of a large Buddha image. Rising to only 15 feet, in a land where Buddha images sometimes shoot 32 meters into the air, some people might ask what is so remarkable about a Buddha image that is relatively small compared to others. The answer – this Buddha image is solid gold!...

101

Songkran Miyomsane Forensic Medicine Museum

Bangkok


If you are looking for something different to do, a trip around the Songkran Miyomsane Forensic Medicine Museum will probably fit the bill. Located behind Siriraj Hospital it is a collection of skeletons and remains from criminal cases and forensic experiments. On show are a number of hemorrhaged brains, severed arms limbs, and various parts of the...

102

Ban Prasat Archaeological Site

Nakhon Ratchasima


Ban Prasat Archaeological Site is located at Nong Sung north of Nakhon Ratchasima. The site is considered to be an agricultural-ceramic society 3,000 years ago in prehistoric times. The site is Thailand’s second archaeological site (the first is Ban Chiang) to be set up as an outdoor museum. You can find community which had been living here...

103

Chiang Khan

Loei


Chiang Khan is a small and a calm town located at the border line of Khong River. The town is quiet and people have a simple life style. It has many beautiful temples. The town still has a row of old wooden house, with authentic wood preserved. Some of them are made for accommodation for tourists who want to relax comfortably close to the...

104

Koh Kret

Bangkok


Although officially located in Nonthaburi Province, Koh Kret is reasonably accessible from Bangkok. An island in the middle of the Chao Phraya River, Koh Kret was founded in the Thonburi era and is home to ethnic Mons whose ancestors set up ‘Kwarn Ar-marn’ (pottery village) on the Island after their capital was attacked by the Burmese....

105

Wat Rat Uppatham or Wat Bang Riang

Phang-Nga


Wat Rat Uppatham or Wat Bang Riang , located in Tambon Bang Riang, 11 kilometres from the Thap Put District office on Phetkasem Road. The temple, situated on Khao Lan hill, contains several structures including an elaborate bell-shaped pagoda called Chedi Phutthathambanlue. The hilltop pagoda overlooks surrounding undulating mountains and hills as...

106

Wat Pa Pradu

Rayong


Located on Sukhumvit Road, Wat Pa Pradu was constructed in the Ayutthaya Period and is one of the area’s leading temples. It features a large reclining Buddha which is over 11 metres long and over 3 metres high. What is unique about the Buddha is that it reclines on its left side rather than the usual right side. This difference makes the...

107

Wat Bupharam

Trat


On Highway No.3 (Sukhumvit) just opposite the Trat Hospital is a turn into Plai Khlong Road which leads to Wat Bupharam , a distance of two kilometres. Built in circa 1648 during the Ayutthaya era, it features the oldest wooden Viharn in the country. The architectural style and the remaining wall murals are of early Rattanakosin influence with a...

108

Wat Mahathat

Bangkok


Built during the reign of King Rama I, Wat Mahathat is an important temple dedicated to the Mahanikai Buddhism which acts as a learning centre (Mahachulalongkorn Buddhist University) for followers in the region. A very large temple, Wat Mahathat looks very much like a school inside but also houses well-kept gardens and a variety of Buddha images in...

109

Wat Samut Khongkha (Wat Pak Nam)

Rayong


Located south of Rayong city centre, Wat Samut Khongkha is a pagoda built on a small island on the Rayong River. The history of the 10-meter-high pagoda is unclear and neither is it really clear how long it has been there. There is an annual festival related to the pagoda with boat races, plays and a range of other types of performance. How to get...

110

Victory Monument

Bangkok


Victory Monument commemorates those who died in national service – policemen, military officers and civilians. The concrete monument has a number of statues representing the services alongside plates commemorating those who died in the Franco-Thai dispute of 1943. Foreign dignitaries lay wreaths here on official visits. Like Democracy...

111

Sirindhron Art Center

Loei


Sirindhron Art Center is the initiative of teachers and pupils at Si Songkhram Witthaya School. The school has particular strength in the area of art of its pupils received a number of awards for their efforts. The art centre is an attempt to give students and members of the public in the area an appreciation of art, especially art in a local...

112

King Taksin Shrine

Rayong


Located at on Taksin Road, about 25 kilometers from Rayong, Wat Lum Mahachai Chumphon is home to the King Taksin Shrine – dedicated to one of Thailand’s great kings. The shrine commemorates King Taksin’s efforts to liberate Thailand from Burmese occupiers - King Taksin rallied soldiers to fight the Burmese after they took control...

113

Phraya Singhanatracha Memorial

Mae Hong Son


As monuments go, this is a fairly nondescript statue which has a certain level of historical significance. Located close to Doi Kong Moo Hill, the memorial depicts Phraya Singhanatracha, whose claim to fame was becoming the first governor of the province in 1874. If you are in the area have a look, otherwise, don’t go out of your way to see...

114

Wat Saranat Thammaram

Rayong


Built in 1944, Wat Saranat Thammaram contains a replica of the Phra Buddha Chinarat of Phitsanulok. In addition, the temple also houses replicas of other major Buddhist monuments - Phra Pathom Chedi, Phra That Phanom, Buddha, Gaya and Phra That Chaiya. How to get there: Wat Saranat Thammaram is located at kilometres 265 on Sukhumvit Highway and is...

115

Wat To Phae

Mae Hong Son


This is a large, ornate Burmese-style (Shan) temple that legend has it was built teak raft builders who worked in the area (the name of the temple is literally ‘temple of raft assembling’!). The temple features a gold coloured, sphere-shaped Vihara and a Burmese-style Buddha image. It also contains a famed Shan tapestry. This temple is...

116

Nan National Museum

Nan


Nan National Museum is a museum located at Pha Kong in Nan Town Municipality which is near Wat Phumin. The Nan National Museum is in the origin palace of the last two feudal lords of Nan. The building was originally constructed in 1903 by Phra Chao Suriyapnong Phalidet, the penultimate lord of Nan to replace his former wooden residence. After the...

117

Khon Kaen National Museum

Khon Kaen


Issan (or northeastern Thailand) was home to a number of ancient civilizations including those of the Ban Chiang, Dhavaravati, Lopburi and Khmer eras. Khon Kaen played an important role in the area’s history and today hosts the Khon Kaen National Museum – a key museum containing artifacts gathered from important archaeological sites in...

118

Siam Niramit

Bangkok


Siam Niramit offers spectacular show of Thai art and culture. With amazing special effects using state-of-the-art technology, Siam Niramit is a quality show that family can enjoy. The performance is about Thailand’s arts and cultural heritage. This spectacular show is performed on the gigantic stage listed in the Guinness World Records. The...

119

Wat Sala Kaew Koo

Nong Khai


Wat Sala Kaew Koo (or Wat Kek) is probably one of the most unique temples you are likely to visit in Thailand. Projecting a heady mixture of Buddhism and Hinduism merged with Brahmanism, the temple is the brainchild of Luang Pu Bunleua Surirat – a monk who lived in Laos prior to coming to Thailand to avoid the communist take over of the...

120

Phraram Ratchaniwet

Phetchaburi


Built by King Chulachomklao (Rama V), Phraram Ratchaniwet is a royal palace comprising a collection of golden teak buildings joined by a series of elevated walkways. The buildings are European in design and the palace was originally used to accommodate officials on state visits. It underwent a number of transformations along the way and has...

121

Phuket FantaSea

Phuket


Costing 3,500 million Baht, Phuket FantaSea is certainly one of Phuket’s most interesting theme parks and has quickly become a tourist destination in its own right. Promising to be the ‘ultimate in nighttime entertainment on Phuket’, Phuket FantaSea is a ‘Las Vegas-style’ show ‘inspired by Thailand’s rich...

Hotel Booking