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More Local Knowledge

Local knowledge is submitted by travellers and is based on personal experiences. This might include recommendations of places to eat or drink, things to see and do, local shopping areas, information about local customs and local tourism tips.

Eat and Drink

  • Thip Samai Bangkok/Rattanakosin - Due to the lack of splurge restaurants, street food is the big thing in Rattanakosin, and Thip Samai excels exactly at that. It's in business for longer than 50 years and known as the best place in Thailand to get pad thai (Thai fried noodles). You can choose between seven different types of pad thai, the cheapest one is only 30 baht. The best one is the 'pad thai song-kreung' with crabmeat, cuttlefish, shrimp roe, prawns and fried egg. Wash it down with some sliced coconut juice. [from Wikivoyage]
  • Nai Uan Yen Ta Fo Bangkok/Rattanakosin - This simple restaurant is specialised in ''yen ta fo'', a Chinese seafood dish that is also known as rice noodles in red tofu soup. It includes delicacies such as coagulated blood, pickled squid and fishballs. It has a distinctive pink colour because of the fermented soybean paste that is added to the meal. This place is locally well known, so prices are a little higher than similar noodle restaurants. [from Wikivoyage]
  • Mont Nomsod Bangkok/Rattanakosin - This large bakery is specialised in toasted bread with all kinds of stuff on top of it, such as peanut butter, chocolate, yucca root or other sugary stuff (generally the toppings are ''very'' sweet). Don't expect any English to be spoken here as it is only frequented by the locals. But ordering is relatively straightforward, just point to the toppings you want to have. [from Wikivoyage]
  • Royal India Restaurant Bangkok/Yaowarat and Phahurat - Tucked off in a small alley in the middle of the Indian neighbourhood, this simple restaurant is a little uninspiring, but is still worth it because of its excellent Indian cuisine. Its curries won many awards over the years. You might want to try the rogan josh. [from Wikivoyage]
  • Chiang Kii Bangkok/Yaowarat and Phahurat - This hole in the wall is known to sell some of Bangkok's most expensive rice and fish soup (khao tom plaa). It's a simple Chaozhou dish, largely forgotten in China but it has a loyal following here. The reason for the 250 baht price is the incredibly fresh fish that's used. The owners are an elderly Thai-Chinese couple who prepares each meal with care and it is possible to add ingredients to the menu if you wish. This eatery has participated in World Street Food Awards, so you're up for something. Only mid-range in price, not in ambience. [from Wikivoyage]

See and Do

  • Rommaninat Park Bangkok/Rattanakosin - This public park is built on the old prison grounds of the Bangkok Remand Prison near Wat Suthat. Three blocks, a cellblock, a side of the prison wall and two watchtowers were preserved and turned into a museum, the Corrections Museum, which is located at the southeastern corner of the park. The park features many fountains, some basketball courts, a playground and a weight lifting area. [from Wikivoyage]
  • Corrections Museum Bangkok/Rattanakosin - This used to be the location of the Bangkok Remand Prison, an old and overcrowded prison. Most of it has been torn down and turned into a public park, but three blocks, a cellblock, a side of the prison wall and two watchtowers were preserved and turned into a museum. This museum displays some of the most sadistic punishments imaginable, and these were actually carried out to offenders not that long ago. The museum can only be visited after making an appointment, but some punishment instruments can be seen from the public park outside, so you don't necessarily need to enter the museum. [from Wikivoyage]
  • Wat Suthat and the Giant Swing Bangkok/Rattanakosin - This wat is becoming more and more off the beaten path as it is quite hard to walk here from the Grand Palace. Wat Suthat is ''huge'' and actually one of the most important temples for the Thai people. It's large size was needed as it was constructed in the early 19th century to house the huge Phra Sri Sakyamuni Buddha image, brought all the way down from Sukhothai by boat. The outer wall of the cloister has more than 150 Buddha images lined up, and as they are currently being re-gilded, they are in various states of repair. Outside is an open courtyard with many Chinese statues. The Giant Swing (Sao Ching Cha) is a huge red frame on the plaza opposite the main entrance of Wat Suthat. The swing was used in an annual ceremony where teams of young men would try to swing high enough to retrieve a sack of gold that was tied to a pole about 25 metres high in the air. The ceremony has been banned since 1932, as many people got injured or died trying. The swing was fully renovated in 2007 and now looks as good as new. [from Wikivoyage]
  • Chalerm Krung Royal Theatre Bangkok/Yaowarat and Phahurat - Opened in 1933, the theatre places a heavy emphasis on Thai dramas known as khon ? traditional Thai dances based on Thai history and legends that take about two hours. The khon are mostly performed during the winter months, while other performing arts (including cinema) are staged throughout the year. It is best to call first to find out about which performances are on. [from Wikivoyage]
  • Wat Thep Thida Ram Bangkok/Rattanakosin - The temple was built in 1836, during the reign of King Rama III. Like other temples from the third reign, it has a Thai layout, but is combined with a mixture of Chinese architectural styles. The gables are decorated with Chinese porcelain pieces and there are Chinese statues all over the complex. Unfortunately, the temple is in desperate need of renovation. Sunthon Phu, one of Thailand's greatest poets, resided in this temple during his monkhood in the early 1840s. The quarters where he spent three years of his life are preserved at the rear of the compound, and might be turned into a museum. In 1986, UNESCO declared Sunthon Phu one of the world's greatest poets. [from Wikivoyage]

Local Shopping

  • Bamrung Muang Stores Bangkok/Rattanakosin - The road along Wat Suthat has plenty of stores selling religious items. Awesome human-sized Buddha images are on sale here, but don't even think about bringing those on the plane. You can also get item-filled buckets here to donate to monks. These buckets contain daily necessities monks might need, such as soap, toothpaste, candles, etc. Be careful when shopping here as the road is lacking a pavement in some areas. [from Wikivoyage]
  • Monk Bowl Village Bangkok/Rattanakosin - During the alms ceremony in the morning, in which monks at their temple receive donations of the people, the monks usually carry big bowls for receiving the donations. These bowls are known as 'bat' and have been made by hand for centuries. As factories took over the production of these bowls, most of the communities that made a living of producing them have vanished. An exception is Ban Bat, or Monk Bowl Village, a small alley near the Golden Mount with a couple of families that still make a living with the handicraft of making these bowls. Don't think this is a very authentic experience though ? locals don't buy these bowls and once an interested traveller walks in, hunting season has begun. Bowl producers will follow you even outside the compound. That's why a visit can only be recommended for those who are actually interested in buying a bowl (which costs a couple of thousand baht). [from Wikivoyage]
  • Old Siam Plaza Bangkok/Yaowarat and Phahurat - A big shopping centre in a lovely restored European-style building. It is an excellent place to fresh up after long walks as it is fully air conditioned. It has an eclectic mix of products for sale, such as branded and second-hand clothes, gadgets, electronics, handicrafts and gold. For clothes shopping, the ground store is the most interesting with plenty of cheap deals. Upstairs has some speciality wedding tailors and boutiques. Surrounding the shopping centre are stores selling weapons and ammunition, but you must have a license to buy them. [from Wikivoyage]
  • Saphan Lek Market Bangkok/Yaowarat and Phahurat - This cheap market on the banks of Khlong Ong Ang (????????????) is easily visited together with the Thieves' Market. It feels quite cramped as the shops are congregated around a very small pathway. The products for sale are toys and electronics, such as air guns, video games, camcorders, used cameras and accessories. [from Wikivoyage]
  • Thieves' Market Bangkok/Yaowarat and Phahurat - It is called the Thieves' Market as many of the goods sold here in the past were stolen. Now it is mostly known for its combination of garage sales, brass ware, blue-and-white porcelain, old furniture and reproduction antiques. Not too interesting for most foreigners, but it might be worth a look just to observe local commerce. Some of its visitors are drawn by the sale of all kinds of musical instruments, from guitars to flutes. [from Wikivoyage]

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