It doesn't take much effort to get off the tourist trail and see some very interesting sights that most tourists never lay eyes on. Here's a list of our favorites:
- The Jim Thompson House Museum
- One of Bangkok's true "hidden treasures." Its in all the guidebooks, but seldom visited. They don't allow tour buses up the narrow alley, so you have to get to this place on your own. Its worth the trouble to get there, although the trip is made considerably easier thanks to the elevated train system.
- Lumpini Park
- Although not really "hidden" one of Bangkok's oldest and best known parks isn't really on the tourist trail. Find out what everyone else is missing as we spend Saturday in the park.
- Wat Ratchabophit
- Just across Lawd (or Lord) canal, about a block from the Grand Palace, is the beautiful temple of Wat Ratchabophit. The temple was commissioned by Rama V late in the nineteenth century. The design is rather unique in itself, and the temple also serves as one of the primary places where the ashes of members of the royal family are entombed.
- Suan Pakkad Palace Museum
- This residence consists of a collection of traditional Thai style houses bought together and turned into a museum by some minor royals. Inside, in addition to some beautiful old houses and gardens, you'll also find a very eclectic collection of memorabilia, archaeological finds and other artifacts.
- Wat Prayoon
- Close to the banks of the Chao Phraya River, not far from Wat Arun, the temple of the Dawn, is Wat Prayoon. Built by Rama III early in the 19th century, the first thing a visitor sees on entering the temple is the large mound, said to have been designed by the king after he observed the shapes that wax forms as it drips from a candle.
- Wat Suan Plu
- This small not-so-hidden temple is near one of the city's largest hotels. Wat Suan Plu has yet to be "spoiled" by the modernizations that have beset many of the city's temples.
The Gothic crypts of Wat Ratchabophit