Parts of Banglamphu are what many people imagine Bangkok to look like before they arrive: antique shophouses, street-side markets, leafy lanes, and glittering golden temples. Amid this pretty, old-Bangkok vibe is Khao San Road, Bangkok’s backpacker hangout. Plus, in the middle of all these contradictions sits the Democracy Monument, a 79-foot (24-meter) tall, four-pillared memorial to Thailand’s 1932 revolution, which led to the establishment of Thailand’s (highly revered) constitutional monarchy.
Many visitors to Bangkok–especially those on a budget–stay in and around Banglamphu. Others come when visiting some of Bangkok’s major attractions nearby, such as the Grand Palace, the Golden Mount, and the Giant Swing. Some guided walking and bicycle tours visit Banglamphu.
Things to know before you go
- Khao San Road has a lively nightlife scene, ranging from upmarket clubs to less classy places. Take care of your belongings and stay well aware of your surroundings.
- Banglamphu is an especially good place to try street food. Pick a busy-looking spot and dive right in.
- Because Banglamphu is a little inconvenient to get to (it’s not on a Skytrain route), visitors staying in a different part of Bangkok should plan to spend a whole day here.
How to get there
There are no BTS Skytrain stations in this area, so get to Banglamphu by taxi or by express boat along the Chao Phraya River. Get off at stop N13, the Tha Phra Athit pier, which is just a short walk from Khao San Road.
When to get there
When to visit Banglamphu will largely depend on what you want to do. To experience the neighborhood in the cooler, more peaceful morning air, arrive early. For sightseeing and shopping, go between about 10am and 5pm. Night owls will also find plenty to do here.
Take a Ferry up the Chao Phraya River
Ferries are the most convenient way of getting to many parts of Bangkok, but they’re more than just a form of transportation. For a cheap, self-led sightseeing tour with a difference, hop on any river ferry from a pier near Banglamphu and just enjoy the ride. You’ll see temples, markets, and views that you can’t see from a taxi or train.
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- Phra Sumen Fort
- Khao San Road
- Democracy Monument
- Bangkok NANTA Theatre
- Tiger God Shrine (San Chao Pho Suea)
- Bangkok National Museum
- Wat Ratchanatdaram Woravihara (Loha Prasat)
- Wat Suthat Thepwararam
- Giant Swing (Sao Ching Cha)
- Golden Mount (Wat Saket)
- Grand Palace
- Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew)
- National Museum of Royal Barges
- Abhisek Dusit Throne Hall
- Vimanmek Mansion