Don’t get confused, but if you hear about Rattanakosin Island, you need to look inside the city of Bangkok to find it. Koh Rattankosin is the area of Bangkok where King Rama I once decided to set up his city and palace. He commissioned a canal joining two points on the curving Chao Phraya River to form this “island.” This is where you will find the most important tourist sites in Bangkok: Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha) and the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew.
To learn more about this vital bit of historical Bangkok, get to the Rattanakosin Exhibition Hall. Newly opened in 2010, the museum offers nine rooms of in depth information. Exhibits are interactive so it all makes for a great experience for the kids, and let’s face it, the adults as well. Who isn’t bored of just reading plaques next to the museum item?
Learn about the architecture, Thai culture, daily life back in the day, Thai puppetry, Royal Barges, and the various holidays and ceremonies. An audio guide in English is included, but be sure to bring a few hundred baht for the deposit.
Afterwards have a coffee on the top floor overlooking the nearby Loha Prasat and offering a view of Golden Mount in the distance. Time this to arrive around dusk when the lights come on at the temples and the sky is still pink. Afterward, head out for some superb pad thai at the nearby Thip Samai Pad Thai.
Are you a total history buff? Then combine this with the oft overlooked King Prajadhipok Museum (King Rama VII) just a block away.