The Grand Palace - Wat Phra Kaeo
Bangkok's most famous landmark and the heart of Rattanakosin Island comprises two significant sections: The Grand Palace, the King's Royal Residence surrounded by other exquisite palaces, and Wat Prasri Rattana Sassadaram, or Wat Phra Kaeo, where the Emerald Buddha (the national Buddha image) sits and where some of Thailand's most significant religious ceremonies are performed by the King. The compound of Wat Phra Kaeo and the Grand Palace is open daily from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm. The admission fee is 200 baht, including the entry to the Royal Thai Decorations & Coins Pavilion in the same compound and to Vimanmek Mansion Museum on Ratchawithi Road.
Wat Phrachetuphon Vimon Mungkararam (Wat Pho)
Dating back to the Ayutthaya era, this monastery has been a centre for collecting religious architectural and artistic treasures, including the great Reclining Buddha. The chapel is also noteworthy for having been the location of Thailand's first university, a fact which today accounts for its role of correlating religious disciplines with medical science, literature and other academic subjects. The wat's original charter was inscribed during the reign of King Rama III. It is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm. Admission fee is 20 baht.
Wat Arun Ratchawararam
Popularly known in Thai as Wat Chaeng and in English as the Temple of Dawn, Wat Arun was originally included in the compound of King Taksin the Great's palace. The temple's most outstanding feature is its 82 metres high pagoda, making it the tallest of the historic buildings around Rattanakosin Island.
Ministry of Defence
Originally the site of a palace built by King Rama I for his three sons, the present western style three-storey building was constructed to house soldiers in the reign of King Rama V The building's upper gable is decorated with ornate mouldings and gilded with the Ratchawallop seal. Ancient artillery specimens are lined up in front as reminders of military history.
Hor Klong Shrine
Located behind the Territorial Defence Department, Hor Klong Shrine was established to worship Chao Pho Hor K1ong, Protector of the Signal Tower. In olden days, signal towers used three drums to make important announcements. Yam Phra Surisi drum beat the time, Akki Pinat drum raised the fire alarm, and Pikat Pairi Drum sounded the battle alert.
Established in 1960, this distinctive white building with Thai style roof is located adjacent to the National Museum and presents regular traditional Thai drama and musical performances.
National Museum, Bangkok
Formerly Bavornsatan Palace (Wang Na), these buildings were converted into a museum in 1887. Several palaces in the compound now house a precious collection of art and historic objects ranging from Neolithic times, Sukhothai, Ayuttthaya to Bangkok period. The museum is open everyday, except Mondays, Tuesdays, and annual holidays, from 9 am to 4 pm. Admission fee is 40 baht.
The ancient city's original central park, this tree-lined open space has hosted all kinds of royal events, from birthdays to cremations, and is frequently used for public fairs.
Building of Permanent Objects
Designed in the Khmer style by HRH Prince Narissara Nuwattiwong, this oddly titled building was built over a century ago during the reign of King Rama V. The Phra Vachirayan Library, under supervision of the National Library, was formerly located here. The building is currently being renovated in honour of King Rama V.
Sam Phrang, Ancient Canal and Moat
Originally built as residences for senior court officials during the reign of King Rama V, these two-storey, western style row houses are now occupied by various shops. The area also includes three notable phrangs - Nara, Sappasart and Puthorn.