Princess Mother Memorial Park (Suan Somdet Ya)
The Princess Mother Memorial Park is located in the same area where the woman—named Sangwon as a child—grew up as a commoner. Her childhood home itself no longer existed by the time this park was conceived, but a replica house was made following the designs of other similar houses in the area. The park includes exhibition calls full of Princess Mother memorabilia and photos, as well as a statue, and beautiful gardens full of climbing and twisting tree roots. Most travelers visit the park independently, plus some guided walking or bike tours that explore lesser-known corners of Bangkok including the Princess Mother Memorial Park.
Things to know before you go
- Admission to the park is free.
- There’s a souvenir shop in the park, and the proceeds go towards helping the needy through charities that the Princess Mother was involved with.
- Visitors to Thailand must be aware of the country’s very strict laws against saying anything critical of the king or royal family. Keep any negative opinions to yourself. Punishment can include imprisonment.
How to get there
The park is in the Khlong San area of Bangkok, on the western bank of the Chao Phraya River. The easiest way to get there is by express boat along the river, to the Memorial Bridge Pier, from which it’s a short walk.
When to get there
The park is open daily from 9am until 4pm. Due to Bangkok’s hot climate, it can be nice to retreat to the shady garden in the heat of the day.
Visit Wat Arun
The Princess Mother Memorial Park is on the lesser-visited west bank of the Chao Phraya River, as is the popular Wat Arun, to the north of the park. This must-visit temple is one of Bangkok’s most beautiful, as it’s covered in colorful ceramic tiles. Visitors can climb to the top for sweeping views of the city.
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- Wat Kalayanamit
- Pak Klong Talad Flower Market (Pak Khlong Talat)
- Sampeng Market
- Phahurat Market (Little India)
- Temple of the Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho)
- Temple of the Dawn (Wat Arun)
- Bangkok Chinatown (Yaowarat)
- Temple of the Golden Buddha (Wat Traimit)
- Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew)
- Grand Palace
- Wat Suthat Thepwararam
- Giant Swing (Sao Ching Cha)
- Tiger God Shrine (San Chao Pho Suea)
- Golden Mount (Wat Saket)
- Wat Ratchanatdaram Woravihara (Loha Prasat)