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The village of Thoburi, on the right (western) bank of the Chao Phraya (here in the lower left corner of the map), facing the fortress of Bangkok, during the 1688 Siege of Bangkok.[1]

Thon Buri (Thai: ธนบุรี) was capital of Thailand for a short time during the reign of King Taksin, after the previous capital Ayutthaya was sacked by the Burmese. It is located on the opposite bank of Chao Phraya River, or nowaday Royal Palaces. During Ayutthaya time, Thon Buri was an important garrison town at the mouth of the river.

King Rama I moved the capital to Bangkok in 1782 to the other side of the Chao Phraya River. Thon Buri remained an independent town and province, and was merged into Bangkok in 1972.

Thon Buri stayed less developed than the original Bangkok part of the city, several of the traditional small waterways (Khlongs) still exist there, which are nearly gone on the other side of the river.

In 1950, Bangkok had 1,299,528 people, and the municipality of Thon Buri 403,818.

Thon Buri was Thailand's second largest city proper with around 600,000 residents in 1970. (3 times more than the next largest). No Thai city other than Bangkok since has reached 400,000 residents.

Notes

  1. ^ Jean Vollant des Verquains History of the revolution in Siam in the year 1688, in Smithies 2002, p.95-96

References

  • Smithies, Michael (2002), Three military accounts of the 1688 "Revolution" in Siam, Itineria Asiatica, Orchid Press, Bangkok, ISBN 9745240052.

External links

Coordinates: 13°43′30″N 100°29′09″E / 13.725°N 100.485833333°E / 13.725; 100.485833333


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Bangkok/Thonburi article)

From Wikitravel

Wat Arun
Wat Arun

Thonburi (ธนบุรี) is the west bank of the Chao Phraya river in Bangkok, Thailand.

Understand

After the sack of Ayutthaya in 1767, General Phraya Taksin made Thonburi the new capital of Siam for a chief period of time. Unlike Ayutthaya and Rattanakosin, so many battles had to be fought out that Taksin did not have the time and resources to build a new grand capital. It is hard to believe this was once the country's capital, as little archeological structures remain. While Thonburi may not have the major monuments like other former capitals, the district retained an entirely different identity, as it only was officially incorporated in Bangkok in 1971. Therefore, Thonburi stayed less developed than other parts of the city, and several of the traditional small canals still exist here. The cool and peaceful atmosphere, as well as the traditional Thai way of life with floating vendors and orchard farms, make Thonburi a surprisingly fascinating district.

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History

In the Ayutthaya period, this city was named Thonburi Srimahasamut, known by West merchants as “Bangkok”. At that time, the town centers were on both banks of the Chao Phraya River. However, King Rama I established his new capital Krung Thep (the Thai name for Bangkok) on the east side of the river in 1782. Thonburi remained a separate town before being incorporated into the Bangkok metropolitan area in 1972.

During reign of King Chairajathirat of Ayutthaya, a canal about 8-10 meters (26-32 ft) wide was built by his command as a shortcut connecting the Chao Phraya River in the area near Wat Rakhangkositararam, a royal temple near Siriraj Hospital. The strength of the current eroded the canal banks to undermine. As a result, it became a river while some old parts of the Chao Phraya River were narrower and finally they become two canals: the Bangkok-Yai and the Bangkok-Noi which made that area of Bangkok have outs shape as an island. Consequently, there was a hypothesis that the name Bangkok was originated from “Bangkok” which meant “an island community”. However, for those who inhabited on both sides of the Chao Phraya River banks were the people of the same town (Thonburi).

Archeologically, the town center of Thonburi had long been an old town community located at the Old Palace (the Navy Base at present). It used to be a gateway town being called “Tha Khanon”, which meat “tax collecting port” for foreign merchants who sailed in and out of the country. In 1665, there was a Fort, “Vichaiprasit”, built by the command of King Narai the Great of Ayutthaya at the mount of the Bangkok-Yai canal. It was designed and constructed by French architects and engineers and had 200-300 French soldiers graded it. After the death of King Naria, Phra Phetraja, the King who succeeded the throne had all the French soldiers captured and demolished the fort.

Geographically, Thonburi has an area of only 25 square kilometers (9.7 sq mi). The neighboring province in the North is Nonthaburi, on the West is Nakorn Pathom, the Eastern province is Samutprakran where some parts reach the Gulf of Siam. The East is the Chao Phraya River. Thonburi is in tropical zone; therefore, the weather is hot and humid all year round. Since the land is a delta on the month of the Chao Phraya River, the soil is well fertile, suitable for agriculture. As a result, the old typical careers of the people in Thonburi are agricultures and orchard owner. The land at the mouth of the river where Thonburi is located was once a sea and later became a fertile delta where there are several waterways, which made constructing canals in this area being done easily. Consequently, there are so many canals in Thonburi that this city has been known as “Venice of the East”.

Even though Thonburi was the capital city for only 15 years, this place had long been an old city community which was economically important because it was also a tax collecting gateway town. It has also been a fertile land for agriculture. Moreover, Thonburi has long been a multi-cultural community of different ethnic groups of people: the Chinese, Mon, Indian, Japanese and Dutch merchants since the Ayutthaya period. One of this distinguished proof is a Dutch Warehouse in Bang Pakok district, being called New Amsterdam.

Chao Phraya Express Boat Map
Chao Phraya Express Boat Map

By boat

The easiest way to get into Thonburi is by boat. The Chao Phraya Express Boat goes up and down the river for 13 baht. Sometimes it's necessary to buy the ticket before embarking the boat, but you can also buy tickets inside. If going north from Sathorn Taksin pier (from either Silom or Sukhumvit), the first pier on the Thonburi side is Wang Lang. It's the easiest point of entry as all express boats stop there and the Bangkok Noi area is one of the busiest in Thonburi. If you're going south from Phra Arthit pier (from Khao San Road), Wang Lang is the second pier on the Thonburi side. When you're heading for the Royal Barge National Museum, disembark at the Phra Pinklao Bridge pier.

There are also numerous ferries crossing the river from the Rattanakosin and Silom sides. Many Bangkok commuters make use of these ferries, as they quickly cross the river for only 3 baht. If you're visiting Wat Arun, head for Tha Tien pier at the Rattanakosin side and embark the Wat Arun ferry service. Other notable ferry services are the Tha Chang-Wang Lang line (from the Grand Palace area to Wang Lang Market) and the Tha Phra Chan-Wang Lang line (from Thammasat University to Wang Lang Market).

By skytrain

Most travelers will visit Thonburi as a day-trip from Khao San Road, Sukhumvit or Silom. After nearly ten years of delays, the BTS Skytrain connection to Thonburi finally opened in May 2009. But the only two stations on the Thonburi side (Wongwian Yai and Krung Thonburi) aren't near anything particularly interesting. The best way to get into Thonburi is by getting off the Skytrain at Saphan Taksin station, near the end of the Silom Line, and take the Chao Phraya Express Boat up the river north.

By bus

Getting into Thonburi by bus is rather complicated, so only take bus travel as a last resort. However, bus travel is necessary to reach a few destinations, such as the Taling Chan Floating Market. If heading there, take bus 79 from Ratchadamnoen Klang, which is near the Democracy Monument in the Khao San Road district. Make sure you take the bus into the right direction (crossing the river) and ask fellow passengers when the stop is coming or you might get off the bus either too soon or too late.

Get around

Thonburi is a vast district, and getting around it can give you a headache. The area can hardly be explored on foot, as sights are spread far off throughout the district. Also, most of the main roads are heavily congested with commuters and the area is lacking foot bridges over its numerous canals. This is why most travelers go for a canal tour (see the Do-section). But this doesn't mean the area cannot be experienced on your own at all — most of the roads can be walked on, and footbridges do exist, just don't say you haven't been warned.

See

Wat Arun

The Temple of Dawn (Wat Arun), Wangderm Road, on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River, next to the Navy base. Open from 7AM–5PM. 50 Baht (for foreigners). The highest rank Royal temple is the “most visited” tourist attraction in Thonburi. Easily accessible by a short ferry hop from the Rattanakosin side and hence covered in the Rattanakosin article.

The magnificent pagoda called Phra Prang Wat Arun. Overlooking the Chao Phraya River, it is not only the symbol of Thonburi, but is also a world-famous landmark and one of the most photographed places in Thailand. Thousands of international tourists visit this temple everyday, mostly by boats early in the morning before taking boat trip along the canals to the floating markets and orchards.

The “Prang or pagoda was originally built during the Ayutthaya period and was rebuilt again in the reign of King Rama I. It was completely finished in the reign of King Rama III of the Rattanakosin period. The 67 meter-tall main Prang, surrounded by four direction smaller ones is beautifully decorated with colorful Chinese porcelain pieces. From the main Prang corridor, one can clearly see the view of the Grand Palace, Wat Pho and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha across the river.

The temple, being rebuilt in late Ayutthaya period, was firstly named Wat Makok, and later changed into Wat Chaeng (Temple of the Dawn). It used to be the Royal temple situated on the same compound of the Original Palace, however with no monk’s residence during the reign of King Tak Sin (1767-1782), and once housed the Emerald Buddha. Beside the famous Prang, be sure to take a look at the main chapel, the image hall, the Chinese style bell tower, and the open pavilions overlooking the river.

There is a pier next to this temple opposite Tha Tien pier in Bangkok. Those who are interested in chartering boats to the canals in Thonburi, are able to find some boats here.

  • Wat Intrawat, Wat Inthrawat road. This temple is located on Thanon Wat Inthrawat road and a canal, in the Bang Phrom section of the Taling Chan district, is up the road from the nearby "open" market in (nearby) Bang Ramat.  edit
  • Wat Kalayanamit, 656 Tesaban 1 Road. Situated on the mouth of Bangkok Yai canal on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River, this temple is popular among the Chinese-Thai community. It is also close to the Kudichin old community and Santa Cruz Church. This Royal Temple was named after Chao Phraya Nikornbodin (Toah Kalayanamit), a noble man of King Rama III who donated his own residence and bought a piece of land to built a temple. Wat Kalayanamit is well known for a large Buddha image named Phraputtatrirattananayok, which is 15.44 meter tall and 11.75 meter wide. The image is also called Sampokong by worshippers of Chinese-Thai descent. Every day during the Chinese New Year festival, this temple is crowded by thousands of the Chinese-Thai visitors. Other interesting items in this temple are the Chinese-style ordination hall, which was the previous residence of Chao Phraya River  edit
  • Wat Kok Poe Ram. A temple located on a side road of Phutthamonthon Sai 1 road, in the Taling Chan district.  edit
  • Wat Poe. a temple located on Phutthamonthon Sai 1 road in the Bang Ramat section of the Taling Chan district, near the Southern Bus Terminal ("Sai Tai Mai").  edit
Wat Prayoon, as seen from the Memorial Bridge
Wat Prayoon, as seen from the Memorial Bridge
  • Wat Prayoon. Beautiful white temple at the Chao Phraya river. It can best be photographed from the Memorial Bridge at dusk or night, when it is illuminated. Before 5PM, you might want to visit the Khao Mor Cemetery next to it, as it is an interesting walk up an artificial hill.  edit
  • Wat Rakhang (Temple of the Bells), 250 Arunamarin Road. -6PM. Formerly known as Wat Bang Wa Yai, it can easily be reached by taking the ferry from Tha Chang pier to Wat Rakhang pier. The front of the building is right on the bank of the Chao Phraya River, and beautifully lit at nighttime. The temple was built during the Ayutthaya period, later it was reconstructed and upgraded as a Royal Temple by King Taksin. The temple was named "Temple of the Bells" due to the discovery of a huge bell at this temple in the reign of King Rama I. This significant second category Royal Temple was the residence of many supreme patriarchs of the Rattankosin period, including Somdej Toah, a highly respected monk in the reign of King Rama V. Things of note are the beautiful mural paintings in the ordination hall, the image hall and the bell tower. Outside is a row of bells lined up. It's said that ringing all of them in a row will bring good luck. Free.  edit
  • Wat Suwannaram, 33 Charansaniwong Road. A big Royal Temple on the banks of the Bangkok noi canal built during the reign of King Rama I and renovated during the reign of King Rama III. Inside are murals depicting the Jutaku, deities and the Buddha image in subduing the mara posture. These works of art of the early Rattanakosin period (19th century) are considered as the best survival mural paintings in Bangkok.  edit
  • Bangkok Noi Museum.  edit
  • House of Museums (บ้านพิพิธภัณฑ์), 170/17 Mu 17, Khlong Pho Land, Soi Khlong Pho 2, Sala Thammasop Road, 08 9666 2008, 08 9200 2803. The House of Museums is located at 170/17 Mu 17, Khlong Pho Land, Soi Khlong Pho 2, Sala Thammasop Road, Thawi Watthana, Bangkok 10170. It is accessible by driving along Phutthamonthon Sai 2 Road toward the railway track or Khlong Maha Sawat. At the end of the road, turn left onto Sala Thammasop Road and follow the sign to the museum. The exhibition features a collection of old as well as modern items of various uses of both townspeople and villagers such as toys, books, stationery and kitchen and household utensils, forming a legacy of the past to be inherited by the present. The modern 3½-storey building of 3 chambers covers a total area of 232 square metres. The first floor lends an old atmosphere of shop houses before 1957 including a café, drugstore, barber’s, etc. There are rooms displaying alternate exhibitions on various topics, as well. adult B30, child B10.  edit
  • 'Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Anthropology Centre (ศูนย์มานุษยวิทยาสิรินธร). Located on Borom Ratchonnani Road beyond the Southern Bus Terminal, this centre is a national institution responsible for systematic gathering processing and servicing of anthropological data scattered throughout the country. A variety of exhibitions on Social and Cultural Development in Thailand, Ethno-Archaeology, Thai Ceramic Collections, as well as the Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn’s Biography can be viewed. Open: Mon- Sat from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Admission: Free, Tel: 0 2880 9429 www.sac.or.th   edit
  • Royal Barge National Museum (พิพิธภัณฑสถานแห่งชาติเรือพระราชพิธี), 0 2424 0004. daily 9AM-5PM. On the mouth of the Bangkok Noi canal, this place displays several Royal Barges, and their ornaments used for waterborne state ceremonies. The ornately carved barges were crafted in the early centuries, taking the form of famous mythical creatures of the Ramayana epic. The most impressive is the Suphannahongse or Golden Swan, the red and gold Royal river procession for the Kathin (robe presenting ceremony) at Wat Arun. To Reach the museum, walk from the Phra Pinklao Bridge and take a left into the Wat Dusitaram road (passing the Wat Dusitaram School). Then walk through an alley that snakes through a residential neighborhood. Simply follow the signs until you reach the museum and you won't get lost.  edit
  • Siriraj Museums, 0 2419 7000 ext. 6363. M-Sa 9AM-4PM. Located on the 2nd floor of the Adulyadej Vikrom Building inside Siriraj Hospital, Thailand’s first medical institute. The museum comprises the Congdon Anatomical Museum, Songkran Niyomsane Forensic Medicine Museum, Prehistoric Museum, Pathology Museum and Traditional Thai Medicines Museum. The museums are old and dusty with little English signs, but still some foreigners like to visit them, especially the Forensic Medicine Museum for it's creepy collection of medical oddities similar to the Mütter Museum in Philadelphia. B40.  edit
  • Sunthorn Museum (พิพิธภัณฑ์สุนทร), 82/10 Sukhaphiban 1 (Off Phetkasem Road near Lotus Supermarket), 0 2802 0863-4, [1]. Sa 11AM-5PM, Su-F closed. This is a private museum operated by Mr. Sunthorn Chunothaisawat. It houses invaluable antiques from different periods such as BMW Motorcycles in the World War Periods, various types of old clock, lamps, children toys made out of zinc, Raios, Irons, type writers, Fans and sewing machines which are still maintained in good condition. B200.  edit
  • King Taksin the Great Monument (พระบรมราชานุสาวรีย์พระเจ้าตากสินมหาราช), Prachathipok Road. This is an equestrian statue situated at the Wongwian Yai Circle near the railway station of the same name. The king is portrayed with his right hand holding a sword, measuring approximately 9 metres in height from his horse's feet to the spire of his hat. The statue rests on a reinforced concrete pedestal of 8.90 x 1.80 x 3.90 metres. There are four frames of stucco relief on the two sides of the pedestal. The opening ceremony of this monument was held on 17 April, 1954 and a homage-paying fair takes place annually on 28 December. Free.  edit
  • Princess Mother Memorial Park (อุทยานเฉลิมพระเกียรติสมเด็จพระศรีนครินทราบรมราชชนนี), Soi 3 Somdet Chao Phraya Road, Khlong San District, 0 2437 7799, 0 2439 0902, [2]. Garden: daily 6AM-6PM (except hols). Museum: daily 9AM-4PM. This beautiful park is built near the Wat Anongkharam community where Somdej Phra Srinagarindra Boromarajajonani, HRH the Princess Mother (mother of King Rama IX) had resided during her childhood. The park comprises a full scale model of the Princess Mother's house and the old buildings renovated as exhibition halls displaying the life story of Her Royal Highness the Princess Mother as well as the history of the Wat Anongkharam community.  edit
  • Pom Wichai Prasit Fort. This fort at the mouth of the Bangkok Yai canal is not open to the public, as it is a part of the Royal Thai Navy's headquarters, but it can best be seen during a Chao Phraya Express Boat ride. It was used to protect Bangkok against other invading countries, but didn't prevent the European powers from blockading Bangkok in the 19th century.  edit
  • Santa Cruz Cathedral, 112 Tesaban 1 Road. Also known as Wat Kudichin, overlooking the Chao Phraya River near Memorial Bridge and Wat Kalayanamit. This is the first Catholic Church of Thonburi. The church building has a magnificent Italian-style architecture built in 1816. The word Santa Cruz in Portuguese is taken from Latin words Sanctus Crux, which means "the Holy Cross". The reason this cathedral takes both the Portuguese and the Chinese names was due to the war with the Burmese in 1767, when King Taksin commanded to gather the people who had escaped from the war to settle down in the capital. The King dictated that the Chinese group who migrated from Ayutthaya settle down around the area of Wat Kalayanamit, while the Portuguese people would have their houses built along the bank of the Chao Phraya River. The Portuguese who settled here were called "Farang Kudichin" which means "Westerners at the Chinese shrine". This area is an old community, also being the birth place of a kind of famous cupcake, the Khanom Farank Kudichin.  edit
  • Snake Farm. daily 8.30AM-5PM. This show, 35 minutes from Wat Sai Floating Market, is another stop for sightseeing and watching a snake show.  edit

Do

Canal tour

Nineteenth-century Bangkok was laced with canals, giving the capital the designation "Venice of the East". As Bangkok turned into a bustling metropolis, Thonburi's surviving canals and the Chao Phraya River provide memorable vignettes of the traditional waterborne way-of-life that once was. No wonder then that most travelers visit the district by boat. Much of the tours and floating markets feel pretty set-up though, but especially in mornings you might still encounter an authentic floating vendor, paddling from house to house trying to sell the food he just prepared.

The most convenient option is to take a fixed-price trip, basically a package deal that usually includes a visit to Wat Arun, the Royal Barge Museum and a floating market. Such a tour can obviously be booked through a travel agency, but it's easy enough to head straight to the pier and get going. There are two tour companies, one operating from Tha Chang pier in Rattanakosin, the other operating from Si Phraya pier in Silom (near the River City Shopping Complex).

  • Mitchaophraya Travel Service, 0 2225 6179, 0 2221 2297. Operating out of Tha Chang pier, it offers plenty of tours, all of them include Wat Arun, the Royal Barge National Museum and a floating market. At weekdays it will pass by the "Thonburi Floating Market", which is obviously set-up for tourists and not worth it. Better take the tour at weekends, when it offers the Taling Chan Floating Market (which is also not authentic, but feels more genuine and is a lot more lively). The one-hour tour goes through the Bangkok Noi and Mon canals for B800. The 90-minute tour also takes in the Bangkok Yai canal for B1000. The complete tour takes two hours, costs B1200, and goes deeper into Thonburi, where you'll visit an orchid farm.  edit
  • The Boat Tour Centre. Operating out of Si Phraya pier, they offer a one-hour tour for B800 a and two-hour for B1500. The one-hour tour is a quick tour of the Chao Phraya river. At the two-hour tour, you will either visit the Wat Sai Floating Market (if arriving around 8AM on weekdays) or go up north to Wat Arun and the Royal Barge National Museum (at any other time).  edit

Trips can also be arranged by chartering a boat along the canals at the east side of the river. The most convenient place to do this is at Tha Chang pier or Tha Tien pier at the Rattanakosin side of the river, but it's also possible at Oriental pier in Silom and at the Bangkok Information Centre in the Khao San Road district (under Phra Pinklao Bridge). Major canals in Thonburi which tourists can take a boat trip to are the Bangkok Noi canal, Bangkok Yai canal, Daan canal and Chakphra canal. B1000-1500. Be prepared to bargain, but don't pay more than around B1000-1500 for a two-hour trip (without any stops).

Another option is the boat service from Tha Chang pier. It operates every morning from 6.30AM till 11AM and departs every half hour (or when it has enough passengers). Boat fare is only B30 per person and you'll visit an orchard and a floating market.

  • Major Cineplex Pinklao (เมเจอร์ ปิ่นเกล้า), 7/1 Borommaratchachonnani Rd (Opposite Central Plaza Pinklao), 02-433-8341. daily 10.30AM-10PM. Large and luxury cinema, and compared to Western standards, it's an absolute bargain to see a movie here. All the Hollywood releases can be seen, and Thai movies are subtitled in English. B50.  edit
  • Patravadi Theatre (ภัทราวดีเธียเตอร์), 69/1 Soi, Wat Rakhang (near the Rakhang temple in Thon Buri), 0 2412 7287-8, [3]. Showtime is on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Renowned for its lavish productions, this outdoor theatre has gained popularity through its modern adaptations of classical Asian literature, with each play demonstrating an ingenious blend of various theatrical techniques  edit
  • Bang Ramat Floating Market. A major attraction, with a pleasant and shaded atmosphere, is by a canal on Bang Ramat road, in the Bang Ramat section of Taling Chan. Although this relatively-new floating market is not frequently visited by boats, it does have many shop stalls, a small boat museum, several walking paths (around the market), small restroom facilities, a few outdoor restaurants, and a variety of foods and merchandise for sale. Occasionally, it does feature live outdoor performances by local children and/or organizations. It is only open on Sundays and easily accessible (and used as a prolonged stopover) on some tourist tour boats from Taling Chan Floating Market.  edit
  • Taling Chan Floating Market. Sa-Su 8.30AM-4PM, M-F closed. This major attraction along Chak Phra canal is held every weekend. It is more convenient than taking a Khlong trip to Wat Sai. Boat and stalls gather here selling a variety of food. Opened on the weekends (Saturdays and Sundays). Also, it is accessible by road, not too far from Bangkok's Southern Bus Terminal (Sai Tai Mai).  edit
  • Wat Sai Floating Market.  edit
  • Bang Ramat Market. A local 'outdoor' marketplace, filled with food, refreshments, clothing, souvenirs, and miscellaneous items, by various independent local vendors. Opened from the afternoon till late night, 7 days of the week. However, it's best to visit the market in the middle of the afternoon. The market has a variety of clothes for sale, new and used, Western and Eastern style. Also for sale are CDs/DVDs/VCDs, children's toys, phone accessories, purses, weapons (handguns, hunting knifes, ammunition), toiletries, ceremonial gifts, souvenirs and other small accessories. Children can go to the large inflatable playpen. Popular and well-known to locals, but barely-known or visited by tourists.  edit
  • Bang Phrom Market, (Near the road intersection of Wat Kaeo-Phutthamonthon Sai 1 and Kaeo Ngoen Thong Rd in the Bang Phrom sub-district). A local 'outdoor' marketplace, similar to the one in Bang Ramat, but slightly larger, busier, and more crowded.  edit
  • Wang Lang Market (Ladies Market), (Take the Chao Phraya Express Boat to Wang Lang (Siriraj) pier). Wang Lang is a small street filled with small shops and carts. Often called the Ladies Market, as it puts a heavy emphasis on women's clothes, shoes, bags and accessories. Just wander around and try to find that bargain you were always looking for. It becomes very crowded around 1PM, at that time it might be hard to find your way around. Wednesdays is the best day to go, as the new second hand products arrive at that day, but the market is alive at any day of the week.  edit
  • Central Plaza Pinklao, Borommaratchachonnani Rd, Arun-Amarin. The largest shopping mall and office tower complex of Thonburi, it includes 6 floors (with a basement floor), which features stores, shop stalls, restaurants, banks and a karaoke lounge. It includes chain stores like ASA Services (key duplicating and shoe repairs), B2S (books, music and stationary), Fixit (clothes fixing), Marks & Spencer (European-style clothing), Powerbuy (electronics), Thai Ticket Master (performance tickets), Wash Me (laundry) and Western Union (money exchange and transfers). The easiest way to get there is by taxi, but there are also buses and songthaews available.  edit
  • Major Cineplex Pinklao, 7/1 Borommaratchachonnani Rd, Arun-Amarin. Across the road from the Central Pinklao shopping complex, it's easily accessible by a pedestrian footbridge. It features several floors of stores, shop stalls, restaurants, and a large movie theater (split into two separate floors).  edit
  • Makro Supercenter, 521/27 Charansanitwongse Road , Bangkunsri. An indoor shopping complex, which features the European-style wholesale club retail supermarket Makro, a cafeteria, a bank, and some shop stalls.  edit
  • Tesco Lotus Supercenter, 3 Borommaratchachonnani Rd. A big indoor complex featuring a Walmart-style supermarket. You can also find a Dunkin' Donuts here, a pharmacy, several restaurants and other small shops.  edit
  • The Mall Bang Khae. A large shopping mall complex, which features many floors of stores, shop stalls, restaurants, and a movie theater. It is located down the street from Kasemrad Hospital.  edit

Eat

If you're hungry, you can visit 7-Eleven 24 hours a day as they are spread all over Thonburi. Thailand's usual chain stores are abundant around Central Plaza Pinklao in the Bangkok Noi area. MK, Mister Donut, Grand Italia Ice Cream, KFC, S&P, Starbucks, Swensens, Sizzler, Auntie Annie's, Baskin Robins and McDonald's can all be found here. Try TOPS Supermarket if you're looking for a grocery store.

If you want to eat like the locals, or if you are on a budget, head for the Wang Lang area in Bangkok Noi. It's filled with plenty of unnamed restaurants and simple carts selling meals for around B40. Especially go there if you want to try dishes from the cuisine of Southern Thailand. Apparently southern Thais settled in the area when moving to Bangkok, as trains from the south used to arrive at the Thonburi railway station nearby.

The Bang Ramat area has plenty of cheap budget eateries as well. It offers many traditional Thai cuisines, Thai and Western-style desserts, and refreshments. Most delicacies for sale won't cost you more than B25.

  • Butterfly, 77-1 Wang Lang, Bangkok Noi (In the alley between Wang Lang and Prannok). This is not a no-name restaurant, but the purple-white sign (with butterfly icon) is only in Thai, as well as the menus, so be ready to have a phrasebook. They serve the general Thai dishes. B50.  edit
  • Rice Soup Shop, Phutthamonthon Sai 1, Bang Phrom, Taling Chan (Near the corner of Phutthamonthon Sai 1 Road and Wat Kaeo-Phutthamonthon Sai 1 Road). Open in the afternoon and into nighttime. A small outdoor restaurant offering authentic Thai-style rice soup, served hot. It's an easily walkable distance down Phutthamonthon Sai 1 road, from Bang Ramat's local outdoor marketplace.  edit
  • Noodle Soup Shop, Phutthamonthon Sai 1, Bang Ramat, Taling Chan (At the corner of Phutthamonthon Sai 1 Road and the road opposite of Ban Suan Phutthamonthon Road. At the same side as Wat Poe (the temple) and Poetisan Pitthayakorn School). Open in the afternoon and into nighttime. An outdoor (but shaded) restaurant with a cozy outdoor atmosphere and plenty of tables and seats. It serves authentic Thai noodle soup of several different varieties, Thai and Western-style desserts, and more.  edit
  • Som Tam (ส้มตำ), 91/17 Wang Lang, Bangkok Noi (5 stores right from 7 Eleven), +66 8 7496 8291. 7AM-6PM. Cheap street restaurant for Isaan food (from the northeast of Thailand). Obviously try the som tam (papaya salad) with some sticky rice, and get some chicken and soup. No English signs, and the staff doesn't speak English, so a phrasebook will come in handy. B40-120.  edit
  • Southern Thailand Restaurant (เพ๊อนโขย), 77-9 Wang Lang, Bangkok Noi (When entering the Prannok-Wang Lang alley from Wang Lang, it's the first store to the left), +66 8 5132 9585. 8AM-4PM. This street restaurant sells food from the South of Thailand. They do not speak English, but you can just point to the dishes you want to eat. There is also no sign up, so follow the directions described. B40.  edit
  • Zoom4 Zoom5, Wang Lang, Bangkok Noi (Inside Wang Lang (Siriraj) Pier), +66 2 226 1745. daily 4PM-10PM. This cheap restaurant is highly recommended for it's cheap menus and great view. Especially when it's dark, there is a great view over the Chao Phraya river, with many of Bangkok's highlights well lit, like the Grand Palace, Wat Arun and Wat Kalayanamit. It's self-service, so you must walk to the counter yourself and make the order. The menu is in English, make sure to try the fried rice with maggie sauce and fried chicken (or fish) or the fried rice with thai chilli paste and fried chicken. If you have a big appetite, also order the fried minced shrimp cakes. It's good. B40.  edit
  • Ezee Grill, 105 Wang Lang, Bangkok Noi, +66 8 4697 0363. noon-9PM. Generic steak restaurant, but it looks more professional and a lot cleaner than the other restaurants around Wang Lang market. B70-120.  edit
  • Siriraj A' La Carte, 77-7 Wang Lang (In the alley between Wang Lang and Prannok), +66 2 412 2074. 11AM-8PM. Only recently opened, it looks more professional than the nameless restaurants in the area. Try the Paella, a Spanish menu, but cooked the Thai way. B50-70.  edit
  • Supatra River House, 266 Soi Wat Rakhang (Also a boat service directly from Wat Mahathat Rd in Rattanakosin), +66 2 411 0305, [4]. Luxury restaurant with Thai and seafood dishes. River view at the Chao Phraya river.  edit

Drink

Do not expect any nightlife in Thonburi — for that, all other districts of Bangkok do a better job. But while roaming through, you might be up for a cup of coffee, Thai tea or some iced chocolate. Central Plaza Pinklao is an obvious choice, as the chain stores Coffee World, Mezzo and Starbucks can be found there, but you might also want to have a cup at one of the smaller coffee houses.

  • Coffeepoint, Wang Lang (Siriraj) Pier. Mostly for coffee to-go, but they also have tasty chocolate with cream. You can sit upstairs and enjoy the view over the river. B50.  edit
  • Coffee Station, Wang Lang (Siriraj) Pier.  edit
  • Miss Lee Bakery & Coffee, Prannok Rd (Opposite Siriraj hospital), +66 2 412 71 71. Nice place to sit down and have a cup of coffee near the Wang Lang Market. You can also choose one of the pies they offer. B50.  edit
  • Ibrik Resort by the River, 256 Soi Wat Rakang, Arun-Amarin Rd (Next to restaurant Supatra River House), (66) 0-2848-9220 (, fax: (66) 0-2866-2978), [5]. A luxury boutique resort with only three private two-person rooms. Each room is beautifully decorated in a chic style with modern white walls and wood floors. Two of the rooms offer a view over the Chao Phraya river. A good way to escape the chaos of the city, yet it's only 15 minutes by ferry to the Grand Palace. Breakfast included. B4000.  edit
  • Marriott Resort and Spa, 257 Charoennakorn Road, Samrae Thonburi, +66 2-476-0022, [6]. The ambience of a resort hotel yet only a short hop from the city. Shuttle boat to BTS Saphan Taksin every 15 min. B6000-11,000.  edit
  • Millennium Hilton, 123 Charoennakorn Rd, Klongsan, +66 2 4422000, [7]. Obviously a very luxury hotel at the Chao Phraya river, offering a working desk, living room, hi-speed internet, 2 LCD televisions, jacuzzi, rain shower and pool. Also has a shuttle boat to River City and BTS Saphan Taksin station. B5000-10,000.  edit
  • Peninsula Bangkok, 333 Charoennakorn Rd, Klongsan, +66 2861 2888, [8]. Just across the river from the Oriental hotel, this is a worthy competitor for being one of the world's best hotels. Prices are a little more sensible though, but still usually above $200. Free shuttle service to the BTS Saphan Taksin stop. B13,000-120,000.  edit
  • PSB Apartment, 376/3 Soi Wat Rakhang, Bangkok Noi (Walk south from Wang Lang pier), +66 2 412 9316 or +66 2 412 7823 (office hours only). Not a hotel, but a serviced apartment. It has a wonderful view over the Chao Phraya river, right in front of the illuminated Grand Palace, and is also right beside the Wang Lang Market. Fully furnished, 24-hour security, kitchen, air conditioning, long-distance service, maid & laundry. Studio B7,500/month, 1-2 bedrooms with refrigerator B15,000-25,000/month.  edit
  • River Side Bangkok, 195 Ratwithi Road, Bang Phlat, +66 2-883-1588 ext. 20, [9]. Situated by the edge of the Chao Phraya river, near the Krung Thon bridge, and Highway 341.  edit
  • The Royal River Hotel, 219 Soi Charansanitwong 66/1, Charansanitwong Rd, Bang Phlat, +66 2-435-8888 (, fax: +66 2-434-3636), [10]. An international first-class hotel situated by the edge of the Chao Phraya river, near the Krung Thon bridge, and Highway 341. B2200-2700.  edit
  • Sivalai Place, 168 Isaraphab Soi 33, Isaraphab Rd, Thra Pra, +66 2-412-4000 ext. 201 or +66 2-864-1251-2 (, fax: 66 2-418-5184), [11]. Fully-furnished apartments for rent for short term and long term stay.  edit
  • The Royal City Hotel, 800 Borommaratchachonnani Rd, Bang Phlat Bangkok 10700 Thailand, 66-(02)-435-8888, [12]. Near Central Plaza Pinklao. B2200-2600.  edit
  • The Corner CoffeeShop & Internet, 203 Prannok (At the corner of Prannok Rd and Arun-Amarin Rd), +66 2 411 20 71. 8AM-7PM. Surf the web from one of the few terminals. It is also a decent place for a cup of coffee or iced chocolate - especially with some cream! The only downside is the extremely trafficked road outside ruining the atmosphere. B15/hour.  edit
  • Sahaphan, Wang Lang (In the small alley between Prannok and Wang Lang). Small copyshop where the staff will do the copy work for you. You can even rent full books from a library and let them duplicate the whole book for around B400.  edit

Cope

Many locals commute from Wang Lang Market, thus you will find plenty of hairdressers, clothes repairers and other daily services here, all for a bargain. If you need shoes or bags repaired, cross Arun-Amarin Rd from Wang Lang Market, head into Prannok Rd and on the left you'll find two skilled workers, who even use fire to fix bags.

  • Launder Care (ชักอบรีด), 933/2 Prannok Rd, +66 2 866 24 69. 7AM-8PM. Pretty much the only place to do laundry in the Wang Lang area.  edit
  • 3 Diamonds Pharmacy, 157/1 Prannok Rd, +66 0 12 502 662 (fax: +66 0 28 66 1434). 7.30AM-8.30PM. A big and usually very crowded pharmacy opposite Siriraj Hospital. Although the English sign at the front is small, the staff speaks English a lot better than elsewhere in the area. Besides, there are so many people working there, there's always someone to help you.  edit
  • Siriraj Hospital, 2 Prannok Road, +66 2 419 70 00 (fax: +66 2 412 19 95), [13]. Thailand's oldest hospital, it is a huge complex part of the Faculty of Medicine of Mahidol University. It is one of the most congested public hospitals of Bangkok, foreigners can probably better go to Thonburi Hospital (a private hospital).  edit
  • Thonburi Hospital, 34/1 Isarapab Soi 44 Banchanglor, +66 2 41 20 020 (fax: +66 2 41 29 575), [14]. Private hospital where you can even go to for smaller sicknesses like food poisoning and respiratory infections. When you enter the hospital, you need to register at the counter and you will get a Thonburi Hospital card. The hospital looks clean and professional, but the English level of the doctors is not impressive.  edit
  • Take one of the cross-river ferries for the Grand Palace and Wat Pho, as well as other major sights of Rattanakosin.
  • Backpackers' mecca Khao San Road, with its budget eateries, shopping and nightlife, can easily be reached by taking the Chao Phraya Express Boat to Phra Athit Pier.
  • Pak Khlong Talat, just across the river in the multicultural Yaowarat and Pahurat district, is a surprisingly fun flower market. It's best visited in the early morning, when new flower batches arrive, or at night, when all the markets are beautifully illuminated.
  • Glitzy shopping malls, high-class restaurants and naughty nightlife can be visited in Sukhumvit and Silom. Ride the Chao Phraya Express Boat to Sathorn (Taksin) Pier and continue your way north with the Skytrain.
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