|What To See
+ Chiang Mai
* Ko Ratanakosin
* Old Phuket Town
* Old Chiang Mai
* Outside Chiang Mai
* Ubon Ratchathani
* The Mekong
In The Know
Did You Know?
This walk encompasses the central part of historic Bangkok, known to the Thais as Ko Ratanakosin (Ratanakosin Island) because it is isolated from the rest of the city by a network of canals connecting with the Chao Phraya River. Begin your walk at the Lak Muang or city pillar, traditionally regarded as the heart of the city. Situated at the intersection of Thanon Ratchadamnoen Nai and Thanon Lak Muang, this shrine is best reached by taxi.
From Lak Muang walk south with the Grand Palace walls to your right. Turn right along Thanon Chetuphon and after about 500m you will reach the impressive entrance to Wat Pho.
Officially known as Wat Phra Chetuphon, this is Bangkok's oldest and grandest temple, with a spectacular reclining Buddha. It is also renowned for its massage school, and visitors can enjoy a relaxing and invigorating traditional massage at a very reasonable price.
After leaving Wat Pho head north along Thanon Maharat beside the river to Tha Tien pier. Here catch a cross-river ferry to Wat Arun, which dominates the far bank.
Wat Arun or the 'Temple of Dawn' has a striking, Khmer-style prang or spire, virtually the whole of which is decorated with shards of porcelain. Be warned, though, the steps are steep and narrow - if you suffer from vertigo, avoid the climb.
From Wat Arun cross back to Ratanakosin Island and continue north along Maharat Road. Near Tha Chang pier turn right onto Thanon Na Phra Lan. Enter the Grand Palace's main entrance.
The Grand Palace and its adjacent temple, Wat Phra Kaeo, are outstanding examples of early Ratanakosin architecture. You are relatively free to wander about, but dress respectfully and do not photograph the Emerald Buddha.
2-4 hours, depending on temple visits
Lak Muang, Thanon Ratchadamnoen Nai
Bus: 7, 9, 11
The Grand Palace
Lan Theh (Inexpensive)
Address: Tha Maharat Pier, Chao Phraya River