Connecting to the first road ever built in Bangkok, The Charoen Krung Road, and also to the banks of the Chao Phraya River, Surawong Road is revered as the Creative District. Thanks to its heritage, classic architecture, contemporary designs and authentic local food, this road is a cultural yet contemporary tourist destination. Here are 9 highlights of this area that you should not miss.
Amid the bustling business district, is a quaint neoclassical building called The Neilson Hays Library. Established in 1920, the library is a monument of love, by Dr. Thomas Heywood Hays, the former Chief of the Royal Thai Navy Hospital and the first medical professor of Siriraj Hospital, in loving memory of his wife, Jennie Neilson, an avid reader, who devoted herself to library work until her last days. The elegant structure was designed by Mario Tamagno, an Italian architect, responsible for numerous landmarks around Bangkok such as the Ananda Samakhom Throne Hall, Hua Lamphong Train Station, Makkawan Rangsan Bridge, and Phayathai Palace. The construction was executed with the same meticulous approach as those used with the aforementioned landmarks, prompting the public to call it “a grand palace on a small scale”. The still functional library offers more than 20,000 books for keen booklovers, and a gallery and café that have played host for special events and functions. It was awarded the status of “Historic Landmark” by the Association of Siamese Architects in 1986.
2. Bangkok Folk Museum – Bangkokians’ treasured history Bangkok Folk Museum, also known as Bangkokian Museum, is originally home to Professor Waraporn Surawadee who donated to property to become a museum that offers an insight into the lifestyles of Bangkokians amid lush, green garden. Located in the heart of bustling Bang Rak District that is now filled with commercial buildings and skyscrapers, Bangkok Folk Museum is a rare sanctuary that is open to the public for free. Visitors can also learn about the history of the house as well as Bangkok from knowledgeable staff members who will show you around and share delightful and fun stories along the way.
Bangkok Folk Museum offers an insight into the lifestyles of well-off Bangkokians during World War II and its aftermath (circa 1937 – 1957). The museum consists of three zones in three quarters with display many of the possessions of original family members in good condition as well as memorabilia from early Rattanakosin Era and art pieces.