Thailand’s Historical Landmarks

The countless historical sites spread throughout Thailand show it’s glorious and magnificent history. Thailand has got two UNESCO listed historical World Heritage Sites.

Sukhothai Historical Park and Ayutthaya Historical Park are the two most prominent historical sites in Thailand. Millions of aficionados come to Thailand to see the evidence of Siam’s past fame. Sukhothai holds the ruins of the royal palaces, the city gates, walls, moats, dams, canals, ponds, ditches, the water dyke control system, and Buddhist temples that symbolizes the past of the Thai kingdom. The Fine Arts Department of Thailand has jointly collaborated with UNESCO to preserve this magnificent cultural heritage.

Ayutthaya Historical Park is just 76 kilometers north of Bangkok. It is famous for holding the ruins of ancient Buddhist temples and royal palaces in a well-ordered city structure. To continue with the cultural heritage of Ayutthaya; the art and architecture of the temples and palaces over there follows the style of Ayutthaya intimately at the time of constructing Bangkok. The Grand Place, the Golden Mount at Wat Saket, the royal temples and Wat Arun unfolds the artistic designs of Ayutthaya.

Palaces of Thailand:

The Grand Palace is the most important palace of Thailand that has some important museums, including the Weapon Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts, the Royal Thai Decorations and Coin Pavilion.

Vimanmek Palace is known as the world’s largest golden teak wood building. It is a three-storey palace which is one of the finest examples of Thailand’s fine art. The Abhisek Dusit Throne Hall is now Thailand’s first handicraft museum with a collection of handicraft masterpieces of Thai silk, handbags, nielloware and many more.

Marukkhathayawan Palace built during the reign of King Rama VI, was once used as a summertime vocational accommodation. This place that comprises of a three storey wooden pavilions facing the sea is known as the ‘Palace of Love and Hope’.

Klai Kangwon Palace in Prachuab Khiri Khan is another palace which is still being used by the present monarch, but rarely opens to the tourists only at the time when the royal members are absent.

Temples of Thailand:

The temple or monastery, colloquially known as ‘wat’ represents the typical Thai Buddhist traditions. Thailand temples have a distinctive architectural style with unique roof structures. Buddhist temples in Thailand are still important as spiritual centers for Thai people. Thailand temples are packed with people paying respect to the Buddha images on Buddhist festivals.

The cultural proficiency of the country can be found at almost all the Buddhist temples spreading across Thailand. The architecture, sculpture, paintings, decorative arts and crafts of Thailand temples impress and amaze the tourists visiting these temples. Such masterpiece work is not found in other temples of the world.

Wat Phra Chetupon or Wat Pho, Wat Phra Kaeo (Temple of the Emerald Buddha), Wat Sutat, Wat Arun, and Wat Benchamabophit are the well-known Thailand temples frequently visited by millions of visitors.

Monuments in Thailand:

The Equestrian Statue of King Rama V, mounted at Dusit Palace was the first statue of a Thai king. The statue was erected to memorialize the 40th anniversary of the coronation of King Rama V. The bronze statue was cast in Paris and a million baht was contributed by Thai people to show their love for the great king.

The statue of King Vajiravudh (King Rama VI) is located at Lumpini Park which was established by the king during his reign. The statue of King Rama I, the founding monarch of the Chakri Dynasty, is located at the Memorial Bridge on the Chao Phraya River. King Rama I had established Bangkok as the capital city of Siam.

The Democracy Monument and the Victory Monument are two of most significant memorials in Thailand. The Democracy Monument is the biggest monument in Bangkok and it symbolizes the most significant change in the Thai political system.
The Victory Monument was built to honor 59 officers, policemen, government officials and the civilians who sacrificed their lives during the conflict between Thailand and French Indochina in 1939. The monument is decorated with five statues that symbolize the Army, Navy, Air Force, Police and Civilian war heroes. Their names are engraved on a bronze plate attached to the monument.

Shrines in Thailand’s Culture:

Thailand people are ardent followers of Buddhism and still, they pay respect to icons and symbolic figures of holy spirits. You can find a shrine containing a sacred statue or an icon or a miniature of a gaily-painted Thai house, placed at a level slightly higher than the eyes of a standing person. It denotes the abode of the Lord of the Land, a holy spirit who defends them from any unseen difficulty.

When a new home is built, a suitable place is selected for a shrine preferably facing to the north. It must not be placed at a place where the owner’s house surpasses it; otherwise the spirits will not reside there. Food offerings with fresh flowers, incense sticks and candles are placed there on important days such as Buddhist holy days and New Year’s Day. Food is never offered after 11.00 am as it’s a strict rule that is followed by every Thai people.