It is amazing how fast infrastructures are developed in this era. It feels like yesterday when the taxi and Tuktuk were to only choice to navigate Rattanakosin area. Now it is much easier. In year 2019, the underground train has made its way to the front-door of the most popular travel destination in Bangkok. This includes the Temple of Reclining Buddha, or well-known as Wat Pho, the Temple of Dawn (Wat Arun), and the Grand Palace. You will be surprised to how easy it is now to travel to these places using the MRT train. In this article, we will show you how to do it the right way.
Gateway to Rattanakosin Island
To get started, head to the nearest MRT station. Do no worry if you only have BTS near you, there are many intersections you can use to get on the subway train. Be sure to check the map once you are at the MRT station. Look for the station name 'Sanam Chai' station, the code is BL30. Now, we are good to go.
We have now arrived at the Sanam Chai station. The station itself is photo worthy as one of the first MRT stations that is designed to match the nearby tourist attractions such as the Grand Palace.
There are about 5 exits from the stations. To get to our Big three, we will go to exit no.1. Once you stepped out of the MRT station, you have now arrived at the most visited temple in Bangkok, Wat Pho. Take a 50 meters walk to the temple's front gate, and we can now admire the largest reclining Buddha.
Tips: There will be Tuktuk waiting in front of the station, and to no surprise, they are overpriced. It is recommended to ignore these campers and look for the other elsewhere.
From Wat Pho, you have choices of going straight to the Grand Palace, or take the shuttle boat to the Temple of Dawn. It will be a roundtrip either way. If you cannot decide, we suggest that you go to Wat Arun first. These three spots is often packed with tourist, and the Grand Palace is always the first spot for any tours. We can forget about the Grand Palace first, so we can navigate these two temples while it is not crowded.
Places You Can Visit
Of course, there are more to the Rattanakosin Island than just the big three. Leaving at Exit 4 will lead you to the famous Bangkok flower market, where you can find numerous flower stores that open throughout the day and night. We have a list here of places you can visit in the Rattanakosin Island, from Sanam Chai MRT station.
The Grand Palace
The Grand Palace was established in 1782 once served the residence of Thai royals. You will see extravagant architecture of gilded exterior, and combination of modern and Thai art in the complex.
The Temple of the Emerald Buddha
The most sacred Buddhist temple in Thailand housing the most revered Buddha image, the Emerald Buddha. The temple complex is decorated in gold and numerous mythical creatures such as Giants, Kinnaree (Kinnara) and monkeys. Surrounded by the hallway that depicted the mural painting of Ramayana.
Temple of Reclining Buddha
A famous temple housing one of the largest reclining Buddha in Bangkok, measured 46 meters long. The temple is also featured as a leading school of Thai Traditional massage. Getting a massage here is rather expensive, but a well worth the money considering the authentic Thai massage experience.
Temple of Dawn
Crossing the river to the Temple of Dawn. Arguably the most famous Bangkok temple in the 20s from the amount of photos uploaded to Instagram. The highlight is the white pagoda from the Ayutthaya era colourfully decorated with pieces of porcelain.
The Flower Market
The biggest wholesale flower market in Bangkok. You will find store offering agricultural products from dusk till dawn. It is also the third largest orchid market in the world.
Khao San Road
No one comes to Thailand not knowing about Khao San road. The area is well known for its wallet-friendly hostels , crazy parties and a launching pad for backpackers starting out the journey in Thailand. You can find exotic food such as scorpions here as well.
The Giant Swing
The religious structure that was built for the Brahman ceremonies and festivals. Now it has become one of the best photo shot for both locals and tourists. You can also visit the nearby Wat Suthat.