Treasure of Bangkok Chao Phraya River

Treasures OF BANGKOK CHAO PHRAYA RIVER

“A DIFFERENT SHADE OF BANGKOK”

Packed to the brim with many delightful sights, alluring charms and a deep-rooted historical connection to the city’s colourful past, the riverside area, also named Thonburi, is indisputably Bangkok’s most prestigious areas. Whilst the majority of visitors that venture this way come to see Thonburi’s star-attraction, the iconic Wat Arun Temple, this ever- developing area has so much more to offer. With untouched local villages hugging the narrow water-ways, fascinating museums and quaint local markets, there’s plenty of interesting, off-the-beaten-path things to do and see. Thonburi has quickly developed in recent decades but visitors still come here for the cool and peaceful atmosphere. The traditional Thai way of life on the canals still exists here, as do the floating vendors and orchard farms. Most of the best spots in Thonburi are quickly accessible from Millennium Hilton Hotel, particularly for those not familiar with Bangkok. So it’s time to ditch that well-worn tourist map using this guide as the vertebral column of your original discovery along Bangkok hidden treasures.

HISTORICAL TREASURES

GRAND PALACE

Every tourist to Thailand has to visit the Grand Palace, whether you’re in to culture big time or not. It’s the go-to stop in Bangkok, and not without good reason. The main accommodation of many of the Thai royals to this day, this sparkling tribute to national royal history makes a superb day out for any tourist. The city’s most famous landmark, the venue was built in 1782 and remains the spiritual heart of the Thai Kingdom.

Distance from hotel

20 min

20 min

BENCHAMABOPH I T TEMPL E (MARBL E TEMPL E ) Tired of all things ancient? Schedule a visit to the very much newer Marble Temple, whose 1899 construction start date makes this something of a newbie on the temple scene. This is a dazzling structure, with a three-tiered roof and an ordination hall of glowing white Italian Carara marble. The structure contains an exquisite Sukothai-style Buddha replica, the original of which is located in Wat Mahatat. Interned in the base beneath it are the ashes of King Chulalongkorn. The courtyard exhibits 52 Buddha images, while behind the cloister is a large Bodhi Tree, bought as a gift for King Rama V from Bod Gaya, the place of Buddha’s enlightenment. 22 min Distance from hotel

GOLDEN MOUNTA I N TEMPL E

Mid-November is one of the best times of the year to visit Bangkok, thanks to the night festival held at Wat Saket, the location of the Golden Mount. Located in the old town, Golden Mount is one temple you can’t miss, thanks to its gleaming gold hilltop chedi visible from far and wide. The hill, which was actually man made and planned during the reign of King Rama I, rewards visitors climbing the 318 steps to the top with glorious 360-degree views of Bangkok’s oldest district.

Distance from hotel

17 min

25 min

TEMPL E OF DAWN

Distance from hotel

15 min

15 min

After a full day of shopping, hop on to a boat to the Temple of Dawn just in time to see the sunset for which this venue is most famous. Be sure to scale one of the temple’s steep stupas to enjoy views of the river, the Grand Palace opposite and beyond. The architecture is spectacular and it’s well worth a visit.

NAT I ONAL MUSEUM OF ROYAL BARGES

Distance from hotel

20 min

15 min

You don’t have to be a local to get sick of Bangkok’s traffic, but you might be interested to learn that it wasn’t always that way! In fact, there was a time in Bangkok when boats were the main mode of transport for all, even royalty. At this museum, discover eight of the country’s most unique and stunning vessels: the Royal Barges. Reserved for

auspicious ceremonies and state occasions like the very rare Royal Barge Procession, they have only ever appeared on the water 16 times in the last 65 years.

THA I NAT I ONAL MUSEUM

Distance from hotel

25 min

15 min

The Bangkok National Museum is the main branch museum of the National Museums in Thailand and also the largest museum in Southeast Asia. It features exhibits of Thai art and history.

TEMPL E OF THE RECL I N I NG BUDDHA (WAT PHO ) Up there in the ‘if you haven’t been to Wat Pho, you haven’t been to Thailand’ category, Wat Pho is one of the largest and oldest temples in Bangkok. Seen as a sparkling complex from the river, Wat Pho is home to more than 10,000 Buddha images, including its largest Buddha image, measuring 160 feet. The temple also features a monastery school and its southern compound is home to practicing monks. 18 min 15 min Distance from hotel

ART & LOCAL LIFE

KLONGS TOUR VEN I CE OF THE EAST

Departure Point: Hotel Pier

Hop on to a long-tail boat and discover the real sights and sounds of the Chao Phraya River as you enter into the complex network of canals there. Expect to see a rare glimpse of traditional Thai life, culture and a very local part of the city. Along the way, explore enchanting wooden homes, Buddhist temples, small family businesses, floating kitchens and more, as you pass the traditional communities that have called the river their home for centuries.

BUKRUK WAL L ART WALK

BAAN S I LAP I N ( ART I ST ’ S HOUSE )

Distance from hotel

15 min

5 min

Street art has landed in Bangkok and is transforming the streetscapes of its evolving neighborhoods. In 2016, BUKRUK Urban Arts Festival brought in artists from around the world for a 10-day celebration of public wall paintings, art exhibitions, artist talks, animation and music. The festival itself might be transient but its legacy is not – the wall paintings left behind now puts Bangkok’s skin in the game as a contender for an emerging street art city.

Distance from hotel

21 min

20 min

Getting there is a challenge, but this one’s high on our must-see cultural list. A hidden gem, the Artist’s House is a beautifully restored traditional Thai home on the Thonburi side of the river. The over 200-year-old house offers a glimpse into a bygone era, and is devoted to promoting local artists. It also brings Thai folklore to life, through the puppet shows and dances it hosts there.

SOY SAUCE FACTORY

ART STUD I O

Distance from hotel

17 min

5 min

The Soy Sauce Factory is as funky as its name suggests. A three-floor converted warehouse next to the klong and near to Royal Orchid Sheraton hotel, the venue offers multi-purpose event space with innovative food and drink facilities like a pop- up kitchen and stylish bar. There is also an attractive third-floor private loft-residence overlooking the canal.

MUSEUM S I AM

RAT TANAKOS I N EXH I B I T I ON HAL L ( N I TAS RAT TANAKOS I N MUSEUM)

Distance from hotel

18 min

10 min

This used to be the Ministry of Commerce, but today is a splendid museum which is anything but hum drum. With a ‘play and learn’ motto, the museum cleverly takes visitors on a journey of Thailand’s development from past to present. Each room has a different theme, and a map room and immersive theatre for watching movies about Thailand’s history are also featured.

Distance from hotel

20 min

History buffs will go crazy over this one! A multi-media history museum, the venue takes you back into the past through a series of film, music, computer displays and a guided tour. It’s the go-to place too for a better understanding of the palace, temples and communities in the area.

THA I LAND CREAT I VE & DES I GN CENTER

Distance from hotel

16 min

11 min

You won’t have to travel far for this one! Located right opposite the hotel, this newly opened art and design centre dedicates five whole floors (that’s 9,000 square metres!) to its six different function zones, including a resource center, exhibition gallery, creative co-working space, and three innovative zones – the Creative Business Center, Maker Space, and Material & Design Innovation Center. Entrance is free.

JAM FACTORY

3 min

Distance from hotel

Jam Factory is the new hip place for art lovers to visit. The stunning compound was designed to bookshop, art gallery, dining areas, and architect office. In weekends, please do not forget to stop by for concerts in open-air courtyard or shop for art souvenirs. It’s just at the corner or 200 metres from hotel pier

LOCAL DINING

HERE’S A LIST OF MUST-TRIES THAT HOLIDAY- MAKERS CAN’ T MISS OUT ON: Mango Sticky Rice – Mango sticky rice is a Thai dessert made with glutinous rice, fresh mango and coconut milk. Som Tum – Spicy (the spicier the better!) papaya salad, served with fermented fish and many other ingredients Green Curry – Given its colour from the green curry paste used to prepare it, it is usually served with chicken and is a national favorite. Pad Thai – A casual or street food, this comprises rice noodles, fried with eggs, tofu and other ingredients. Kapao Moo – Minced pork with basil, served on rice. This is a Thai staple, most often served with a fried egg. Tom Yam Goong – Watery or creamy hot, spicy soup, served most often with prawns

SURV I VE THE BL I STER I NG HEAT Remember to protect yourself from Thailand’s relentless sun! When out and about, you’ll need also remember to stay hydrated with lots of water and with delicious local favorites like: Thai iced tea, coconut juice or ice-cream, and nam kang sai (Thai shaved ice), usually served in small bowls with a variety of beans and other fillers. a hat, scarf, shades and sunscreen, and

YOUR CAF FE I NE F I X I S NEVER FAR AWAY

Start the day with purpose, and a little culture thrown in, with a local blend of coffee or tea. Available throughout the day, your caffeine fix is never far away because these local numbers are served just about anywhere you look. There’s no need to be hunting for a Starbucks while in Thailand, thanks to the widely available local coffee, known as Oliang, purchased for a fraction of the price. Unlike the Expresso at Starbucks, Oliang varies from one café to another, and, in addition to coffee, might also contain brown sugar and various grains and seeds like cardamom,

corn, soybean and sesame. Most Thais prefer their coffee with ice, and sweetened with condensed milk and sugar. Thai tea is made from strongly brewed Ceylon tea or the much cheaper and locally made Bai Miang with added food colouring. Like Thai coffee, it’s usually served with ice and sweetened with condensed milk and sugar. Other ingredients might also be mixed in to give the drink a more exotic and refreshing flavor, with possible add-ins including orange blossom water, star anise, crushed tamarind seed and other spices.

F LOW

Lobby Floor

@ Millennium Hilton Bangkok

Flow, where the food is exemplary and the river views spell-binding has lots of gastronomic tastes, from South East Asian favourites to the best of Mediterranean cuisines, perched on a terrace overlooking of the Chao Phraya. Besides, Flow also boasts more than 30 kinds of international cheeses in a buffet style. Accompanying this extensive range of cheeses will be condiments including various exquisite dried fruits, homemade jams and a wide selection of freshly baked breads.

TEP BAR

20 min

Distance from hotel

THAI CUISINE A TASTE OF

For a laid back night of local entertainment, food and drink choose Tep Bar, a restored shop-house with plenty of raw appeal. Expect to find potent cocktails mixed with Thai fruits, herbs and spices, and an excellent line of home-infused Thai herbal whiskey. Thai tapas and other local favorites are also available.

Put each stuffing sweets KhanomSai-Sai

Toddy Palm cake KhanomTal

ERR RESTAURANT

Distance from hotel

20 min

10 min

Coconut milk custard KhanomTuay

BAAN KHAN I THA BY THE R I VER @ AS I AT I QUE

Err is an uncompromising fine dining Thai restaurant, and though eating here is not cheap, it is most definitely worth it. Featuring 50s-60s décor, with a successful blend of rustic and classic, the venue is best known for its whole chicken dish, pla som (garlic and jasmine rice cured ocean fish), and pak dong ruam skewers.

Distance from hotel

15 min

20 min

A well-loved brand among foodies, Baan Khanitha has now arrived on the pier at Asiatique, a recently developed riverside attraction. Authentic, flavorsome and always served in generous portions, the venue’s food offerings offer an excellent sampling of the local cuisine. The venue is also accessible by shuttle boat or water taxi.

Distance from hotel

20 min

A step down Khaosan Road is quite an adventure for any traveler. For the more conservative set, you might want to pass! Filled with dozens of girlie and gay bars, but also regular bars, restaurants and even cheap accommodation, the venue offers more than a glimpse into the other side of Bangkok nightlife. If you want to visit, try to do so in a group for greater safety, and always stick to fixed prices. Though not known for its culture, the street also features Buddhist temples, a museum and art gallery.

Distance from hotel

15 min

For oodles of Chinese culture, hop over to the sprawling and ever-bustling Chinatown, known locally as Yaowarat. A trip here can be the most memorable of any spent in Bangkok, and the unending market, selling jewelry, crafts and knick knacks, is quite unique. Expect to be jostled from side to side, as Chinese traders push their way through the narrow market alleys, but worry not, there are plenty of coffee shops to rest and enjoy the delicious noodles and other local fare.

AS I AT I QUE THE R I VERFRONT

Distance from hotel

15 min

20 min

For an evening with a difference, hop onto a river boat at Saphan Taksin, and sail off to Asiatique, one of Bangkok’s more recent riverside attractions. Featuring nightly entertainment, a craft night market and shopping mall, the venue is beautifully laid out, and features 1,500 boutiques and 40 restaurants, not to mention a good selection of bars.

SIT & CHILL

THREES I XT Y @ Millennium Hilton Bangkok

Hotel 31 st floor

Named after its spectacular 360-degree views, the circular ThreeSixty Lounge at Millennium Hilton Hotel offers views to die for from their 32 nd floor. Take in the unmatched river views, the vast city scape and more, as you listen to the live jazz and sip on the venue’s impressive selection of cocktails, wines and beers. Don’t forget to sample the signature 360 cocktail!

3

5

NATIONALMUSEUM OFROYALBARGES

BENCHAMABOPHITTEMPLE (MARPLETEMPLE)

KHAOSAN

DEMOCRACY MONUMENT

5

7

THAINATIONAL MUSEUM

4

MAHARAJPIER

GOLDENMOUTAINTEMPLE (WATSAKET)

THACHANG PIER

NITASRATTANAKOSIN MUSEUM

2

RATTANAKOSIN

1

MILLENNIUM HILTON BANGKOK

GRANDPALACE

BACC

THATIENPIER

TEMPLEOF THERECLININGBUDDHA (WATPHO)

Historical Treasures 1 Grand Palace 2 Golden Mountain Temple 3 Benchamabophit Temple (Marple Temple) 4 Temple of Dawn 5 National Museum of Royal Barges 6 Temple of The Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho) 7 Thai National Museum

6

4

6

3

6

TEMPLEOFDAWN (WATARUN)

CHINATOWN

4

HUALAMPHONG

RATCHAWONGPIER

3

7

2

Art & Local Life on Chaopraya River 1 Klongs Tour 2 Baan Silapin (Artist’s House) 3 Bukruk Wall Art Walk 4 Rattanakosin Exhibition Hall (Nitas Rattanakosin Museum) 5 Soy Sauce Factory Art Studio 6 Museum Siam 7 Jam Factory

BAANSILAPIN (ARTIST’SHOUSE)

MILLENNIUMHILTON BANGKOK

SIPHRAYAPIER

1 7

KHLONG TON SAI

GRANDPOSTAL BUILDING

ORIENTALPIER

BANGRAK

ASSUMPTION CATHEDRAL

KHLONG SAN

SATHORNPIER (CENTRAL)

THONBURI

Local Dining 1 Flow 2 Baan Khanitha by The River @ Asiatique 3 Tep Bar

SATHORN

WATYANNAWA

YANNAWA

4 Err Restaurant 5 Khaosan Road

6 China Town 7 ThreeSixty 8 Asiatique The Riverfront

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