5 Popular Attractions in Bangkok’s Dusit District
Posted in : Travel Advisor on by : Ongky Firmansyah
Bangkok is a dynamic city that’s actually composed of 50 districts or khets, each with its own distinct personality and attractions. The most royal of them all is Dusit, which was established by King Chulalongkorn at the start of the 20th century.
Dusit is where the residence of the current King of Thailand can be found—the Chitlada Palace. If you’re thinking about taking pictures here, however you’re going to be disappointed, as the palace is off-limits to visitors and is not even visible from the nearby public area. That said, there is still plenty to see and do at this royal district. It’s actually a good idea to find accommodation near Suan Dusit (ที่พัก ใกล้ ม สวนดุสิต), as it’s just a few minutes’ walk to Dusit’s most popular attractions.
Dusit Palace Park
Most tourists would probably be surprised at the distinctly European architecture of the palaces in Dusit Park. However, this is the realized vision of Rama V or King Chulalongkorn after his 1897 European Tour.
Inspired by the European castles he visited, he set about constructing these new palaces, marrying European and Thailand aesthetics. The best example of this fusion would be the former royal villa of Vimanmek Mansion, the largest teakwood building in the world. Unfortunately, the mansion is currently closed to the public, but when it was opened, visitors marveled at its neo-classical interior that also features traditional Thai motifs.
Aside from the Vimanmek Mansion, you can also visit other buildings within this palace complex. Near the entrance, the Royal Elephant Museum’s two small buildings will greet you. These were the former stables of the royal elephants and is now home to art and artifacts related to the country’s national animal. Next, Ananta Samakorn Throne Hall is the magnificent Italian-inspired building converted into a permanent gallery that houses traditional crafts. Lastly, on the east of Vimanmek Mansion sits the Abhisek Dusit Throne Hall that takes inspiration from Moorish architecture.
Visitors with kids can take a side trip to visit Khao Din or the Dusit Zoo, since it’s just a few steps away from the Dusit Palace Park. It’s the first zoo built in Thailand with a vast 188,800-square-meter area. Local and exotic wildlife are featured here from all over the world, including penguins from Antarctica and wallabies from Australia.
The zoo has interactive areas like Play Land, where different rides are available, as well as the large man-made lake, where families can paddleboat and feed the fish. Indeed, you and your family can spend hours exploring the massive grounds, or you can just take a mini train ride that will quickly tour you around the zoo in just 20 minutes.
Complete your Dusit itinerary with a visit to the Marble Temple or Wat Benchamabophit. As the name suggests, the temple’s main material is imported Italian marble, but its architectural style is traditional, complete with intricate “chofas” on every gabled roof. Inside, there’s a gallery that features 52 Buddha images with the main Phra Buddha Chinnarat in prominent display.
Wat Thewarat Kunchorn Worawihan
The other temple worth visiting in Dusit is the Wat Thewarat Kunchorn Worawihan, which was built during the Ayutthaya Period. Located along the Chao Phraya River, the old structure is beautifully preserved with ornate Thai architectural details and artworks. A gilded Buddha image of Phra Buddha Thewaratpatimakorn from the Thavaravadee period sits on high in the ordination hall, surrounded by colorful murals depicting Tavatimsa deities.
Take a break from the Bangkok sun in the gardens of Suan Amporn. With tall trees, water features, and flowerbeds, it’s a great place for afternoon picnics and other outdoor activities. In fact, visitors may even chance upon some local events showcasing Thailand’s culture and art scene at the activity stage.
Within walking distance of the park, you may take your picture with one of Thailand’s most iconic monuments, King Rama V sitting on his horse. Built-in 1908, the monument honors the 40th anniversary of King Rama V’s crowning.
These are just some of the more popular tourist destinations in the Dusit District of Bangkok. If you plan on including these attractions in your itinerary, do check for changes in status, as some of these spots may be temporarily closed or open to the public.