Nestled within the heart of Bangkok’s historic Rattanakosin Island, the MRT Sanam Chai station stands as a testament to the city’s rich history, architectural beauty, and cultural significance. As you explore the story of this remarkable transit hub, you’ll uncover its profound connection to Thailand’s past and its role as a gateway to a world of heritage and modernity.
MRT Sanam Chai Station
Our journey into the history of Sanam Chai station begins with a remarkable discovery. During the excavation of the site for the station’s construction, a trove of historical artifacts was unearthed. Among these treasures were coins that bore witness to the reigns of King Mongkut and King Chulalongkorn. Recognizing the immense historical value of these artifacts, they were entrusted to the Fine Arts Department and Museum Siam. This marked the beginning of a profound exploration into Thailand’s history.
Rather than keeping these artifacts hidden away, a visionary plan was set in motion. An exhibition was meticulously designed to showcase these historical gems. What sets this exhibition apart is its location – it would be the first underground museum in Thailand. On the 27th of November 2020, this unique museum opened its doors to the public, inviting all to explore Thailand’s past free of charge. This initiative reflects a deep commitment to preserving and sharing the nation’s rich historical heritage.
Design and Location: A Journey Through Time
Sanam Chai station’s significance extends far beyond its role as a mere transit hub. Situated in the heart of Rattanakosin Island, Bangkok’s old town zone, it occupies a conservation area of immense historical importance. This station can be rightfully regarded as the sole transit point within the inner Rattanakosin Island. Likewise, a territory that encompasses the revered Royal Grand Palace.
Upon entering the station, visitors are transported back in time to the early Rattanakosin era, courtesy of the visionary design by Thai architecture expert and national artist Pinyo Suwankiri. The interior is adorned with Sadom pillars, the main pillar intricately etched with tiles carved into the shape of Pikul flowers, symbolizing prosperity. The edges of these pillars boast blooming lotus motifs, their long, curved petals gracefully converging towards the center. Furthermore, it proudly stands as one of only four MRT stations celebrated for their exquisite design, alongside Itsaraphap station, Sanam Chai station, Sam Yot station, and Wat Mangkon station.
Each large petal’s base is exquisitely adorned with smaller petals, all glistening with the allure of gold leaf. As you traverse the station, you’ll find that even the floor and walls mimic the city’s historical walls. The ceiling, adorned with star-shaped stencils, emulates the ambiance of a throne hall from the Rattanakosin era. Notably, this station features a higher ceiling compared to most along the MRT line. The cleverly designed ventilation system is situated to the side, avoiding any obstruction directly above.
Exit 1 of Sanam Chai station is a testament to the thoughtful design of CH.Karnchang, PLC. The exit is ingeniously roofless, allowing visitors an unobstructed view of Museum Siam, which lies just behind. This commitment to preserving the surrounding beauty showcases deep respect for the area’s historical significance.
A Hub of Culture and History
Sanam Chai station isn’t just a transit point; it’s a hub that provides easy access to an array of cultural and historical landmarks. Its strategic location ensures that visitors can effortlessly immerse themselves in Thailand’s rich tapestry of heritage. Attractions such as Wat Pho,
- RONGROS: Meaning ‘House of Flavours,’ RONGROS is a culinary gem that offers a delightful journey through traditional Thai cuisine. Nestled on the banks of the Chao Phraya River. This restaurant provides not only a feast for the taste buds but also a stunning view of Wat Arun. The picturesque setting enhances the dining experience. Making it a must-visit for those seeking a taste of Thailand’s rich culinary heritage.
- Chom Arun: For an authentic Thai dining experience in a warm and friendly atmosphere, Chom Arun is the place to be. What sets this restaurant apart is its rooftop view of Wat Arun, which is nothing short of stunning. To elevate your dining experience, they’ve even added a light ring for night portrait pictures, perfect for capturing the magic of the moment.
- Baan ThaTien: Situated near the Grand Palace and Wat Pho area. Likewise, Baan ThaTien offers a delightful culinary journey through Thai cuisine. Visitors consistently rave about the delicious food, making it a tempting choice for those looking to savor Thai flavors. The overall experience is so delightful that many express their eagerness to return for another meal.
- Museum Siam: If you’re eager to delve into the rich tapestry of Thai life from past to present, Museum Siam is your ultimate destination. This interactive museum offers a captivating journey through Thailand’s history and culture. Inside, you’ll find a multitude of exhibitions that beautifully showcase the essence of Thainess. It’s not just a museum; it’s an immersive experience that leaves visitors with a profound understanding of Thailand’s heritage.
- King Rama I Monument: As you explore the area, you’ll come across the impressive King Rama I Monument. This beautiful monument graces the center of a bustling roundabout. Its location makes it a prominent landmark in the vicinity. However, it’s worth noting that the roundabout can get busy. So exercise caution when crossing to appreciate this piece of Thai history up close.
Exploration and Sightseeing:
- Pak Khlong Talat (Flower Market): For a unique and visually stunning experience. So make your way to Pak Khlong Talat, also known as the Flower Market. While it functions primarily as a wholesale market, it has evolved into a tourist attraction in its own right. This thanks to its sheer size and the vibrant colors and fragrances of fresh flowers. Whether you’re an avid photographer or simply looking to soak in the local atmosphere. This market is sure to captivate your senses.
- Rommaninat Park: Escape the urban hustle and bustle by taking a leisurely stroll through Rommaninat Park. This serene oasis offers a welcome respite from the city’s commotion. As the city’s only non-ceremonial park, it provides a tranquil environment for relaxation and reflection. Take a moment to unwind and enjoy the greenery amidst the bustling metropolis.
- Saranrom Park: Located in proximity to Rommaninat Park, Saranrom Park has its own unique charm. Originally part of a royal palace built in 1866, this park boasts lush greenery and a rich historical background. Likewise as you explore its grounds. You’ll uncover a piece of Thailand’s royal heritage while enjoying a peaceful escape from the urban surroundings.
Likewise the area around MRT Sanam Chai station offers a diverse range of experiences. From culinary delights that celebrate Thai flavors to cultural exploration that delves into the nation’s history and heritage. Whether you’re savoring a traditional Thai meal. Additionally immersing yourself in interactive museum exhibitions, or strolling through picturesque parks and markets. There’s something to suit every traveler’s interests. Make the most of your visit to this vibrant area, and let the flavors and culture of Thailand. Lastly let it leave a lasting impression on your journey.