: Bangkok Metropolis Area A
Near the northern end of Ratchadamnoen Nok Avenue where
it meets Si Ayutthaya Road, we begin our walking tour
of several nearby spots related to King Chulalongkorn
or Rama V (1868-1910), who contributed immensely to
the well-being of the Thai nation. From the starting
point facing the Equestrian Statue of King Rama V, turn
right onto Si Ayutthaya Road and walk straight a little,
you will find on your right hand side the Marble
Temple or Wat Benchamabophit, built
by King Rama V in 1899.
Marble Temple or Wat Benchamabophit
The prime attraction of the place is the main temple (bot)
built of white Carara Italian marble. Enshrined in the
building is the presiding Buddha image, Phra Phutthachinnarat.
It is a bronze replica of the original statue of the Sukhothai
period (1238-1438) which is enshrined in Wat Mahathat
in Phitsanulok province in the North. There are several
other things of great interest to tourists, e.g. Buddha
statues in different postures and styles and small beautiful
buildings in the compound.
After admiring the elegance of the temple, walk back to
the starting point and go across the Phitsanulok Road.
In front of you now is the Equestrian Statue with
a magnificent dome building Ananta
Samakom Hall on the background, both of which
were constructed during the reign of King Rama V. While
the former was built with donations by ordinary people,
the latter was erected of marble by the King to receive
state guests and conduct meetings about state affairs.
It once served as the site of the National Assembly. Presently,
it is used for royal and important state ceremonies.
On the west of the Ananta Samakom Hall is Ambara Garden
(Suan Amporn) with a large compound. It provides
a location for fairs and graduation ceremonies. Take Uthong
Road on the east of the Equestrian Statue. A short way
ahead on your left is the Parliament Building,
in front of which is a statue of King Rama VII (1925-1935)
who granted Thailand's first modern constitution in 1932.
Ananta Samakom Hall
On the opposite side of the road is Dusit
Zoo in shady and pleasant surroundings.
After a long walk under the glaring sun, you can relax
yourself here, ride a boat and enjoy watching a great
variety of animals. Actually, there is another famous
attraction located nearby - Vimanmek
Mansion, a palace of King Rama V turned
museum. However, since it offers a large number of priceless
antiques and splendid architectural styles for exploring,
you are recommended to spend a whole day there instead
of including it in the above itinerary.