Five Awesome but Overlooked Bangkok Attractions

Things to Do — By Kevin Revolinski on August 3, 2010 at 1:28 am

Museum of Buddhist Art

Photo by Kevin Revolinski

You’d be surprised how much mileage artists can get out of a Buddha image. This private collection is the best around with rooms filled with different styles and historical periods of statues and other artworks.

King Prajadhipok Museum

Photo by Kevin Revolinski

With all the modern political strife Thailand has been through in the last decade or two, it is worth getting a little bit of historical perspective. This museum dedicated to King Rama VII and his queen is boiling over with information about their lives and the challenges he faced as Thailand evolved into a constitutional monarchy.

The museum has been renovated in recent years and gets overlooked for nearby Golden Mount (Wat Saket) and Loha Prasat — the “Iron Palace” (Wat Ratchanatdaram)

Anyone not into history and a fair share of reading will probably not be interested but the air-con is really nice in between temples.

Koh Kret

Photo by Kevin Revolinski

The Chao Phraya River is simply awesome. It runs through the city and is always busy with big barges, passenger ferries and longtail boats. It really establishes a sense of Bangkok. Koh Kret is an island a bit far from the madding crowd and also a bastion for Mon culture. See pottery being made, check out a different style of temple, eat some awesome sweets, and best of all, NOT see a single car – pedestrians only!

Tourist traffic here isn’t much because it takes a little effort to get here, hire a boat, etc. Anyone looking for easy access isn’t going to be interested.


Thai Puppet Shows (Joe Louis Theatre)

Photo by Kevin Revolinski

This is a tradition that almost went extinct. Three puppeteers dressed in black maneuver these large figures from Buddhist and Hindu mythology to tell the stories of Ganesh and others. English narration is provided.

Too many people miss this show either because it’s low on the list or simply not on the list at all.

Who wouldn’t be interested? Well, if you have no interest in puppets…

Princess Mother Memorial Park

Photo by Kevin Revolinski

It’s not about the destination, but the journey, right? This park and its accompanying museum are quite nice, a little peaceful niche on the Thonburi side of the Chao Phraya River. What compels me to include it as a gem isn’t the place itself (much of the museum is currently only in Thai) but rather what it takes to get here. I recommend crossing the river on foot and checking out the local temples and eateries as you go. Odds are good you will be the only tourists.

Anyone easily frustrated by getting a little lost and struggling to communicate, might not want to accept this mission.

Check out our guide to some of the Best Hidden Gems in Bangkok

Tags: buddhist art, gems, koh kret, museums, off the beaten path, parks