A morning walking tour which explores the hidden side to Bangkok's famous Rattanakosin Island. We first visit a local park which used to be the site of a prison and is now a public park and popular place for local Thai's exercising in the morning. It's a memorable sight watching everyone stop their work-outs to stand for the national anthem, atmospherically played over the loudspeaker system at 8:00 hours sharp! Next we visit the city's famous Giant Swing (Sao Chingcha), originally used for Brahmanic ceremonies, before we discover a fascinating local fresh market, bustling with local life in the early morning hours. This market is rarely visited by tourists and after wandering through small alleys and past wooden houses we stop for a drink in a traditional Thai coffeehouse.
The focus of this tour isn't Bangkok's temples, but we'll make a visit to the relatively unknown Wat Ratchabophit, distinct for its circular courtyard and mosaiced tilled exterior. The temple is also home to the Royal Cemetery, where the ashes of Chakri Dynasty Royals are housed, including the late former King Bhumibol Adulyadej. Next, we'll explore the atmospheric community of Phraeng Phuton where the quiet streets are lined with beautifully restored Thai-European heritage shophouses. This area is a foodies delight with some great local hole-in-the-wall eateries. The in-depth walking tour finishes at the City Pillar Shrine, or San Lak Muang; the shrine protects residents from evil spirits and every Thai city has one.