Grand Postal Building, Bangrak

Sitting on the first paved road in Bangkok, this monumental, low and wide building mixes the long clean lines of late art deco architecture with touches of traditional Thai adornment. It was built during the latter half of the 1930s on the site of Thailand’s first post office (which opened in 1883). If you look up above the entrance you’ll see two mythical garuda birds clinging to the corners of the central structure. Today it no longer processes mail but instead was restored to serve as a space for conferences and meetings.

1160 Charoen Krung Road, Si Phraya, 10500

Elephant Building, Chatuchak

If you are heading out towards Chatuchak Market, make a detour past the Elephant Building, one of Bangkok’s strangest skyscrapers. The three towers (two are offices and one is residential) make up the legs and trunk of an elephant, while the structure that connects them (the body) holds more offices and luxury apartments. The eyes, ears and tusks are suggested by inventive fenestration and there’s even a tail made of glass. Designed by Thai engineer Arun Chaiseri and architect Ong-ard Satrabhandhu, it’s a tribute to one of the country’s most prized animals.

3300 Phahonyothin, Chom Phon, 10900

Sanam Luang, Phranakhon

Sanam Luang (“royal field”) has been transformed many times since its beginnings, which coincided with the founding of Bangkok. Originally a site for royal pyres, it then functioned as a rice field before the ground was doubled in size and given an oval shape a century ago following King Rama V’s wish to have a new public space. It’s since been a riding track and a golf course. In 2010 Sanam Luang received a much-needed renovation. The work included replenished greenery, improved walkways and drainage systems.

Samran Rat, 10200

Images: Christopher Wise, Shutterstock

Go back: Bangkok


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Monocle 24

00:00 01:00

  • The Continental Shift