Khao San Road AttractionsKirsty Turner
When it comes to sightseeing, visitors to Khao San Road never have to go far to be entertained. In fact, a large number of interesting attractions are located within a short walk of Khao San Road, making it easy for tourists and travellers to take a look around before heading back for a beer or two.
One of the most prominent sights here is Democracy Monument, which can be found at the Burger King end of Khao San Road. Situated on a small concrete island in the centre of Ratchadamnoen Road, Democracy Monument was built to mark the military coup of June 1932, which resulted in Thailand’s first democratic constitution. Democracy Monument is surrounded by four 24-meter wing shaped structures, which symbolize the four branches of Thailand’s armed forces that guard it and in the centre is a copy of the original constitution from 1932.
Just up ahead of Democracy Monument is the bell-shaped dome of Wat Saket, which is also known as the Golden Mount. This large temple featuring a glittering golden chedi and is located at the top of a hill just a ten-minute walk from Khao San Road. This is a very peaceful place to visit and visitors to climb the winding staircase to the very top of Wat Saket will be rewarded with spectacular views of most of Bangkok.
Also just around the corner from Khao San Road is Phra Sumen Park, which is located on the bank of the Chao Phraya River. This pretty park is a good place to escape from the hustle and bustle of Bangkok and read under the shade of one of the park’s large trees of watch the many weird and wonderful characters who make their way through the park. All the sun sets people come here to play instruments, jungle and play sports such as the traditional team game of takraw.
Next to Phra Sumen Park is Phra Sumen Fort, which was one of 14 forts built to defend Bangkok against potential naval invasions. The fort is surrounded by cannons and has 38 rooms for ammunition and weaponry in its centre.
At the end of Khao San Road opposite Gulliver’s Travellers Tavern is the magnificent temple known as Wat Chana Songkran. The name means war victory temple in English and was built by the Mon people, who were originally given the land in this area as reward for helping the Thai people to fight against the Burmese many centuries ago. The temple features a number of pretty murals and the grounds are a peaceful and pretty place to wander as they are surrounded by Bougainvillea vines and picturesque trees.
Art lovers will discover a number of different art galleries in this area. Just around the corner is the National Gallery, which contains work by prominent Thai artists that dates back to the 17th century. Another interesting gallery is the Queen Sirikit Gallery, which displays modern works of art by up and coming young Thai artists. There are also some small art galleries to be found here which display a wide range of art collections.