Tour Bangkok Legacies blog

By Eric Lim

Tour Bangkok Legacies blog is a web blog of this historical travel website and do-it-yourself guide for independent travelers to Bangkok.

About the Tour Bangkok Legacies blog

This blog keeps readers informed of

  • the latest content pages added to Tour Bangkok Legacies,
  • updates and changes to existing web pages,
  • news and developments affecting historical sites in Bangkok and Thailand,
  • anniversaries of momentous events in Thai history and
  • Thai cultural festivals.
  • New editions to our monthly e-zine Bangkok Travelbug which covers the various provinces in Thailand

The blog serves as a window to the latest content added or changes made to this web site and access these pages quickly. At a quick glance you will be able to focus on the areas you are interested in.

  • Explore old traditional Thai homes that are now heritage museums
  • Visit quaint museums that preserve the memories of old communities and their way of life
  • Visit old communities that are still striving today though some are in danger of disappearing
  • Admire the intricate workmanship of Thai craftsman who have dedicated their lives to their craft
  • Marvel at the spectacular palaces and monuments that serve as a legacy of a bygone age
  • Visit the various old places of worship to appreciate the religious and cultural harmony in a diverse society.

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Please feel free to send us your comments and feedback. We look forward to your feedback. We hope you enjoy reading our blog as much as we enjoyed putting it up.

The items below are presented in order of the latest events and updates on the website. So join us as we take you on this historical journey through Bangkok and other parts of Thailand as well.


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Thai Boat Museum Ayutthaya



30 November 2016

We continue to explore some of the treasures in the historical city of Ayutthaya. This month we feature a visit to a museum established by a man who grew up with boats, loved boats, dedicated his working life teaching boat design and building and converted his home to a museum to preserve old Thai boats.

Welcome to the Thai Boat Museum, Ayutthaya.


Rua Bot Kred

Ajarn Paitoon Khaomala, a native of Ayutthaya, grew up in an age when boats and waterways played a dominant role in the lives of the people in Ayutthaya. As a boy, he paddled his boat to school, a practice he continued into his working life.


Rua Mard Pratoon

Find out more at Thai Boat Museum Ayutthaya
Read what other subscribers have said about us. Join us and subscribe to the Bangkok Travelbug.

Next month we visit Pridi Banomyong Memorial, Ayutthaya.

Explore Bangkok on your own with Tour Bangkok Legacies – the e-book my Smashwords edition of an-e-guide book for the independent traveller.

Continue reading "Thai Boat Museum Ayutthaya"

What readers say about Tour Bangkok Legacies my e-book

9 November 2016

"Tour Bangkok Legacies" is my first self-published e-book, a guide book for the independent traveler to see Bangkok from a perspective of it’s history, culture and people, and how they preserved their way of life and cultural heritage within a modern thriving metropolis.

Here are some reviews by our readers.

“I’d lived for years in Bangkok and walked through many of its neighborhoods. I thought I knew the city, until I picked up Eric Lim’s Tour Bangkok Legacies. Now I’m reading as fast as I can, realizing how much new territory I have to explore in a city that has so much that I’ve yet to see.”

Janet Brown travel writer and editor at Things Asian Press which publishes books of all genres on Asia, from Chinese horror novels to cookbooks.

"Eric Lim displays the knowledge of this great city that can only come from exploring every nook and cranny of its labyrinthine lanes and conveying his discoveries in infectious prose that compels the reader to set off on his own explorations of the city, even if only from his armchair.

He has ferreted out little-known lore and his enthusiasm in relating them is one of the delights of this book. These are sites that will be found on few tour itineraries and, as such, he adds another dimension to a Bangkok visit. A good, and most importantly, useful read."

Steve Van Beek, a river explorer and travel writer, has written several books on Thailand, my favorite being ‘Slithering South’, an account of his 58-day journey over 720 miles (1,160 km) as he rowed a boat from the headwaters of the Ping River in Northern Thailand down the Chao Phraya River and finally to the Gulf of Thailand.

“This book is the work of an author with a deep interest in the cultural history of one of the most fascinating cities of Asia which is also among the world’s top tourist destinations, Bangkok. For centuries, the centre-stage of political, cultural and economic developments in Thailand, Bangkok dates its origins to the 15th Century as a trading post during the period of the Ayuthaya Kingdom.

In publishing this book, Eric uncovers a treasure trove of gems of the Kingdom’s legacy. Through this exposition of Bangkok’s wats and temples, churches of the various Christian denominations, museums, markets, arts and crafts and the klongs or canals which have served a vital public transportation function in the traffic-congested capital.

Eric has made available a wealth of information about the origins, history and even folklore surrounding fascinating edifices, monuments and customs. This work of passion and labour of love is an invaluable source of information for anyone with more than a fleeting interest in Bangkok’s cultural landscape and history.”

Nicky Tay frontiersman

My e-book is available in Kindle and Smashwords.

My Kindle e-book

Gong Khong Market Bang Pa-In



2 November 2016

The Gong Khong Market is a quaint country market about 7 km north of Bang Pa-In on the road to Ayutthaya. It’s a non-touristy and very localised place with lots of interesting items to browse through.


Entrance to the market, along Highway 3477 to Ayutthaya

The market was built in a traditional setting to look like the markets of old. The name gong khong means to bend low, this is because most of the vendors place their wares almost at knee level and customers have to bend to take a closer look at the items.


Low stalls under thatched roofs


Sample some of these

Find out more about at Gong Khong Market Bang Pa-In

Read what other subscribers have said about us. Join us and subscribe to the Bangkok Travelbug.

Next month we visit Thai Boat Museum, Ayutthaya.

If you are an independent traveller, here's a handy e-guide book, Tour Bangkok Legacies that will help you along as you explore the streets of Bangkok and discover its old treasures. It's complete with historical descriptions, maps and detailed directions on how to get to these places.

My Kindle e-book

Continue reading "Gong Khong Market Bang Pa-In"

Koh Sarn Chao Community – an urban oasis

Koh Sarn Chao Community is a 500-year old canal community in Taling Chan Bangkok that has preserved its architecture, way of life, handicraft and traditions in an area that’s a virtual island.

Continue reading "Koh Sarn Chao Community – an urban oasis"

Foreign Settlements in old Ayutthaya



4 October 2016

Krung Sri Ayutthaya, as its officially called, was declared a historical park in 1976 by the Fine Arts Department and designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1991.

The historical city, located in an island created by the Chao Phraya and Pasak Rivers, is very popular with tourists. But there are several historical treasures outside the old city walls, particularly to the south that are just as interesting and not frequented by many visitors.


Old Portuguese map 1686 showing location of foreign settlements

These are the legacies of the foreign communities who settled in Ayutthaya when the city was at the peak of its commercial and diplomatic influence. Join us as we explore these historical treasures.


Chinese junk at Ayutthaya

Find out more about at Foreign Settlements in old Ayutthaya

Read what other subscribers have said about us. Join us and subscribe to the Bangkok Travelbug.

Next month we visit Gong Khong Market, Ayutthaya.

If you are an independent traveller, here's a handy e-guide book, Tour Bangkok Legacies that will help you along as you explore the streets of Bangkok and discover its old treasures. It's complete with historical descriptions, maps and detailed directions on how to get to these places.

My Kindle e-book

Continue reading "Foreign Settlements in old Ayutthaya"

Wat Khao Phra Angkhan Buriram



26 August 2016

Welcome back as we continue with our exploration of the mountains in southern Buriram. On this trip we visit a temple on a mountain with a long history and old legends which give a quaint mix of the very old and relatively new.


Wat Khao Phra Angkhan

Khao Loy is an extinct volcano, about 12 km west of Phanom Rung. It was formed as a result of a volcanic eruption 700,000 years ago and the overflow from that eruption resulted in this mountain with its unique shape.


The ubosot with the ancient sema and 109 Buddha statues

After the death of Buddha in 543 BC, his remains were cremated and ashes distributed to his disciples in the various cities in the region. A monk was carrying some of these ashes of Buddha through the South Isarn region when he came across Khao Loy.

Find out more about what happened on this mountain at Wat Khao Phra Angkhan Buriram

Read what other subscribers have said about us. Join us and subscribe to the Bangkok Travelbug.

Next month we visit Foreign Settlements in Old Ayutthaya.

If you are an independent traveller, here's a handy e-guide book, Tour Bangkok Legacies that will help you along as you explore the streets of Bangkok and discover its old treasures. It's complete with historical descriptions, maps and detailed directions on how to get to these places.

My Kindle e-book

Continue reading "Wat Khao Phra Angkhan Buriram"

Prasat Muang Tam Buriram



1 August 2016

Hi, welcome and join us as we explore more of Buriram. This trip takes us to the 1,000 year old Khmer sanctuary Prasat Muang Tam in Prakorn Chai District in a location that is just 7 km south of the better known Prasat Phanom Rung that’s on an extinct volcano.


Prasart Muang Tam

Prasat Muang Tam is less well known but after viewing the ruins, I realized that is it one of the more complete set of ruins; it displays all the characteristics of the ancient Khmer sanctuaries built with techniques that appear way ahead of their time.


The group of towers at the core of the sanctuary

Join us on our journey as we explore the Prasat Muang Tam Buriram

Read what other subscribers have said about us. Join us and subscribe to the Bangkok Travelbug.

Next month we visit Foreign Settlements in Old Ayutthaya.

If you are an independent traveller, here's a handy e-guide book, Tour Bangkok Legacies that will help you along as you explore the streets of Bangkok and discover its old treasures. It's complete with historical descriptions, maps and detailed directions on how to get to these places.

My Kindle e-book

Continue reading "Prasat Muang Tam Buriram"

Treasures of Buriram



29 June 2016

Buriram, a province that’s about 400 km northeast of Bangkok, has a long history, numerous historical relics and a rich cultural and ethnic diversity.

It’s located in a region known as South Isarn, i.e. the southern half of the Northeast Region of Thailand. This is the region bounded by the Mun River Basin to the north and the Dongrak Mountains on the Thai-Cambodian border to the south.

It’s a region of extinct volcanoes, ancient civilisations, old Khmer sanctuaries and beautiful Thai silk.

Join us on this weekend tour of the historical and cultural treasures of Buriram and South Isarn.


Wat Khao Angkhan built on an extinct volcano

Admire the Thai silk produced by this community in Tambon Nong Kong and watch how the silk is being produced and woven.


Exquisite Thai silk from Buriram

Join us on our journey as we explore the Treasures of Buriram

Read what other subscribers have said about us. Join us and subscribe to the Bangkok Travelbug.

Next month we visit Prasat Mueang Tam Buriram.

If you are an independent traveller, here's a handy e-guide book, Tour Bangkok Legacies that will help you along as you explore the streets of Bangkok and discover its old treasures. It's complete with historical descriptions, maps and detailed directions on how to get to these places.

My Kindle e-book

Continue reading "Treasures of Buriram"

Wat Hong Rattanaram Buddhist art paintings in old Bangkok



17 May 2016

Wat Hong Rattanaram a temple from the Ayutthaya era with its beautiful architecture and décor, old Buddha statues and temple murals is located in a part of old Bangkok that’s steeped in history.


Buddha statue from the Sukhothai era

After the fall of Ayutthaya, King Taksin established his capital here. He worshipped in this temple which he restored and renamed Wat Hong Awat Viharn.

The ubosot has got beautiful décor and the murals all around the four walls are simply stunning. Here’s a sample.


Murals in the ubosot

For more please see the permalink.

If you are an independent traveller, here's a handy e-guide book, Tour Bangkok Legacies that will help you along as you explore the streets of Bangkok and discover its old treasures. It's complete with historical descriptions, maps and detailed
directions on how to get to these places.

My Kindle e-book

Continue reading "Wat Hong Rattanaram Buddhist art paintings in old Bangkok"

Wat Rakhang the Temple of Bells



6 May 2016

Wat Rakhang an old Bangkok temple from the Ayutthaya era is one of the favorite temples for merit making and one that you should include in your Bangkok temple tour.

The temple was originally called Wat Bang Wa Yai and in the reign of King Taksin (1767 – 1782), he constructed his palace¹ nearby, the temple was renovated and elevated to a royal temple.


Wat Rakhang

In the reign of King Rama I (1782 – 1809), a huge bell was discovered in the temple grounds. The bell was removed to Wat Phra Kaeo, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha and five new bells were presented by King Rama I as replacements. These five bells are still hanging in the belfry (ho rakhang) today.

That’s how the temple got its present name, rakhang or bells.


Wat Rakhang

For more please see the permalink.

If you are an independent traveller, here's a handy e-guide book, Tour Bangkok Legacies that will help you along as you explore the streets of Bangkok and discover its old treasures. It's complete with historical descriptions, maps and detailed
directions on how to get to these places.

My Kindle e-book

Continue reading "Wat Rakhang the Temple of Bells"

Tai Yuan Cultural Centre Saraburi



29 April 2016

While having a last coffee at the Ban Ton Tan Floating Market, the lady in the coffee stall told us about this cultural centre up the road and the cultural display there that Sunday.

That sounded interesting, so we decided to take a look. Here’s what we found.


Tai Yuan Cultural Centre

The heritage of the Tai Yuan community in Saraburi is preserved in the Tai Yuan Cultural Centre in a traditional building complex, the brainchild of Ajarn Songchai Wannakul, a retired university lecturer.


Cultural dance display

Join us and find out more about the Tai Yuan Cultural Centre Saraburi.

Read what other subscribers have said about us. Join us and subscribe to the Bangkok Travelbug.

Next month join us as we explore Muak Lek Saraburi.

If you are an independent traveller, here's a handy e-guide book, Tour Bangkok Legacies that will help you along as you explore the streets of Bangkok and discover its old treasures. It's complete with historical descriptions, maps and detailed directions on how to get to these places.

My Kindle e-book

Continue reading "Tai Yuan Cultural Centre Saraburi"

Happy Songkran

11 April 2016

Dear friends and readers,

Happy Songkran to you and your families!! May you all be blessed with good health and happiness in the years ahead.


Dork Khun – the flowers that blossom in March/April
to herald the coming of Songkran


Thailand will enjoy a long holiday from 13 – 17 April 2016. Have a happy, safe and enjoyable Songkran with your families and friends.

EUNIC New Travel App for Thailand

5 April 2016

The European Union National Institutes of Culture (EUNIC) recently updated their European Heritage Map and launched a new travel app, EUNIC Thailand.


EUNIC Thailand - the travel app

This travel app lists 217 sites from 26 cities in Thailand, including Bangkok, that have a shared Thai-European heritage. These are buildings, monuments and places of worship that have been established, designed or decorated by European architects, artists, sculptors or engineers.


List of heritage sites

This app is compatible with iOS or Android operating systems and would be ideal for tablets, handy portable devices that can serve as your do-it-yourself e-guide when you tour Bangkok or other Thai cities like Ayutthaya, Chiang Mai, Kanchanaburi and many others.

These cultural sites come with beautiful photographs and a short write up on the history of the site and the people who initiated the project.


Details of individual sites with maps and contact details

Users can sort the sites by alphabetical order, distance, location, architect, building type and nationality of the architect. What’s really useful is a click on a location icon will display a map of the site. Contact numbers are also available.


Location map

What’s more you can share this information with your traveling companions through Twitter, Facebook or via email. A cultural calendar updated monthly is also available for European cultural activities in Bangkok.

You can download this app free from your App Store. Search for "European Heritage Map and Cultural Calendar of Thailand". This travel app is available in English and Thai.

Have an enriching travel experience in Thailand!

Continue reading "EUNIC New Travel App for Thailand"

Ban Ton Tan Floating Market Saraburi



30 March 2016

It was while I was looking at an atlas of highways in Thailand as we were planning our trip to Lopburi that I happened to see this market on the map along the way. The words that caught my eye were talard boran or traditional market and it certainly lived up to my expectations.


Ban Ton Tan Floating Market

What a wonderful discovery it turned out to be. What’s more this led to another cultural treasure nearby. Sometimes the chance encounters give the best results.


Market scenes

Join us and find out more about the Ban Ton Tan Floating Market Saraburi.

Read what other subscribers have said about us. Join us and subscribe to the Bangkok Travelbug.

Next month we visit the Tai Yuan Cultural Centre Saraburi.

If you are an independent traveller, here's a handy e-guide book, Tour Bangkok Legacies that will help you along as you explore the streets of Bangkok and discover its old treasures. It's complete with historical descriptions, maps and detailed directions on how to get to these places.

My Kindle e-book

Continue reading "Ban Ton Tan Floating Market Saraburi"

Suphanburi National Museum - Suphanburi



1 March 2016

Welcome back to the March issue of the Bangkok Travelbug 2016. We return to Suphanburi this month to visit the Suphanburi National Museum and discover the history of this very old province. Some of the photos here will give you an idea of just how old.


Guess how old these pieces are


Or this Terracotta piece

Here’s something more recent, relatively speaking.


Battle of Nong Sarai - 1593

Take a virtual tour of the Suphanburi National Museum to find out.

Read what other subscribers have said about us. Join us and subscribe to the Bangkok Travelbug.

Next month we visit the Sam Chuk 100 year market, Suphanburi.

If you are an independent traveller, here's a handy e-guide book, Tour Bangkok Legacies that will help you along as you explore the streets of Bangkok and discover its old treasures. It's complete with historical descriptions, maps and detailed directions on how to get to these places.

My Kindle e-book

Continue reading "Suphanburi National Museum - Suphanburi"

Hola from Madrid

Eric Well done. I am glad that you are still going strong at the task you started years back on your website. Our visit to Bangkok was one of the most

Continue reading "Hola from Madrid"

My prayers were answered

Decades ago while I was still a student, I first paid my respects to Lord Brahma at the Erawan Shine during my school holidays. Since I was young back

Continue reading "My prayers were answered"

Broadcasting Museum Bangkok



11 February 2016

The Broadcasting Museum Bangkok traces the advent of radio and television broadcasting in Thailand and the Public Relations Department, a historical journey in the development of mass communications in the country.

It’s another of the many museums in Bangkok that preserve a special aspect of the Thai history to be included in a Bangkok museum tour.


Broadcasting Museum Bangkok

Housed in a single storey building by a scenic lake in the grounds of the Public Relations Department, this museum provides a nostalgic trip down memory lane. It’s also a startling reminder of how much broadcasting has advanced in the last few decades.


The first TV station in Thailand and Southeast Asia

If you are an independent traveller, here's a handy e-guide book, Tour Bangkok Legacies that will help you along as you explore the streets of Bangkok and discover its old treasures. It's complete with historical descriptions, maps and detailed
directions on how to get to these places.

My Kindle e-book

Continue reading "Broadcasting Museum Bangkok"

Chinese New Year in Chinatown Bangkok 2016



9 February 2016

On 8 – 9 February 2016, the traditional street fair was held in Chinatown Bangkok to celebrate Chinese New Year 2016. Yaowarat Road was closed to traffic and various stalls were set up along the street selling a variety food and other goods.

Big crowds turned up at the various temples and shrines to pray for blessings for the New Year. Here are some of the scenes from that street fair taken yesterday.


Worshippers at Wat Traimit – Temple of the Golden Buddha

The Thian Fa Foundation, which runs a hospital that provides medical services at affordable charges, is 108 years old this year. There is a shrine dedicated to Kuan Im the Goddess of Mercy in the foundation grounds.


Crowds at the Thian Fa Foundation


Praying at the Kuan Im Shrine at the Thian Fa Foundation


Red lanterns strung all along Yaowarat Road for the fair.


Praying for New Year blessings


Further down Yaowarat


Some of the goodies on sale


All dolled up for the New Year

I’d like to wish all our friends and readers a Happy and Prosperous Year of the Monkey. Have a great year ahead.

Happy Lunar New Year 2016



5 February 2016

Happy Lunar New Year to all our friends and readers. Gong Xi Fa Cai to our Chinese friends celebrating the Spring Festival! Chuc Mung Nam Moi to our Vietnamese friends celebrating Tet.



To all of you and your families, may the Year of the Monkey bring to new joy, fresh hope, peace and happiness in all your endeavours.



May you all be blessed with good health, peace and happiness all year round.



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