Bangkok Noi District

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Bangkok Noi
บางกอกน้อย
Khet
300px
Wat Suwannaram
Khet location in Bangkok
Khet location in Bangkok
Coordinates: 13°45′46″N 100°28′41″E / 13.76278°N 100.47806°E / 13.76278; 100.47806Coordinates: 13°45′46″N 100°28′41″E / 13.76278°N 100.47806°E / 13.76278; 100.47806
Country  Thailand
Province Bangkok
Seat Siri Rat
Khwaeng 5
Area
 • Total 11.944 km2 (4.612 sq mi)
Population (2003)
 • Total 152,867
 • Density 12,798/km2 (33,150/sq mi)
Time zone THA (UTC+7)
Postal code 10700
Geocode 1020

Bangkok Noi (Thai: บางกอกน้อย; IPA: [bāːŋkɔ̀ːk nɔ́ːj]) is one of the 50 districts (Khet) of Bangkok, Thailand. Neighboring districts are (from north clockwise) Bang Phlat, Phra Nakhon (across Chao Phraya River), Bangkok Yai, Phasi Charoen, and Taling Chan.

History[edit]

Bangkok Noi was established as an amphoe on 15 October 1915. Originally named Amphoe Ammarin, it was renamed on 11 July 1916 to Amphoe Bangkok Noi to match with the historical name of the area. It became a khet in 1972 when Thonburi and Bangkok were merged. Later on 9 November 1989 the Bang Phlat district was created from four of Bangkok Noi's sub-districts, leaving Bangkok Noi with four remaining sub-districts: Siri Rat, Ban Chang Lo, Bang Khun Non, and Bang Khun Si. On 12 December 1991 a small part of Bang Phlat district was moved back to Bangkok Noi, creating the new Arun Amarin sub-district.

Places[edit]

Thonburi railway station
Bells of Wat Rakhang

The National Museum of Royal Barges on the northern rim of Khlong Bangkok Noi near its mouth to the Chao Phraya River houses the royal barges, used for Thailand's Royal Barge Processions on very special events, like 200th anniversary of Bangkok or the 60th anniversary of the accession of King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

On the other side of the khlong is the Siriraj Hospital, which was the first western hospital in Thailand. It was originally named Wang Lang hospital, as it was built on the site of a palace (Thai: Wang), it was later renamed after Prince Siriraj Kakuta Bhandu, the beloved son of King Rama V, who died of dysentery only 18 months old. The hospital also houses several exhibitions, like the forensic museum.

Directly next to the hospital is the Bangkok Noi Railway Station (or the former Thonburi Railway Station), which serves the trains to the west, especially to Kanchanaburi. It was built in 1900 in European style. During World War II the Japanese used it as their logistics base and thus the station was destroyed. It was rebuilt in same style after the war. In 2003 the railway station was moved one kilometer westwards and the old building is now unused. The cleared space is allocated for expansion of the Siriraj hospital, however currently only used as a parking lot.

Wat Suwannaram Ratchaworawihan, also located at the southern rim of the Khlong, was originally called Wat Thong and dates back to Ayutthaya times. King Rama I had the temple restored and renamed it to its present name. It was a royal cremation site in the early Bangkok period, however the cremation site has been torn down and is now the location of the Bangkok Noi district office. The temple is most famous due to the murals, which are considered the most artistic of that time. In the Suwannaram Witthayakhom School next to the temple is also the district museum.

Wat Rakhang Kositaram Woramahawihan is a major temple near the Chao Phraya river. It dates back to Ayutthaya times, when it was named Bangwayai. During the renovations done by King Rama I a huge bell was found and moved to Wat Phra Kaew, five smaller bells were installed in the temple as replacement. The bell also gave the temple its name, as Rakang is the Thai word for bell.

Economy[edit]

Traditional businesses[edit]

Bangkok Noi is known for several traditional goods and handicrafts, though most have disappeared.

  • In Trok Matoom opposite the Navy Dockyard bael fruits are boiled in syrup to make a special snack. The small side road (Trok) is named after the fruit, which is Matoom (มะตูม) in Thai.
  • Nearby Trok Khao Mao (lit. lane of shredded rice) is famous for producing shredded rice. The paddy gets immersed until it is soft, then roasted in a pan. It then get crushed in a mortar and mixed with rain tree leaves to give it green color. Finally it is winnow to separate out the chaffs. Due to the labor-intensive procedure there are only few producers left today.
  • Ban Chang Lor is a community renowned for its casting of Buddha images. Originally the bodies of the images were made from plaster and covered with black lacquer, until finally gold leaves are put on it. Nowadays the plaster has been replaced with rubber mold, and the lacquer with car paint, but the craftmanship of the community is still unchanged.
  • Within the Ban Bu community were the only remaining producers of stone-polished bowls, an old technique dating back to Ayutthaya times. Such bowls ceased to be in daily use since the 1950s, thus the technique nearly disappeared. The bowls are now only collectors' items or bought as souvenirs. However, the last remaining shop burned down in 2004.
  • A business inherited from the Muslim community of Ayutthaya are mattresses. However, as cotton-stuffed are no longer popular, such only few producers remain.

Shopping[edit]

Central Pinklao shopping mall

The only major shopping center is Central Plaza Pinklao with a Central Department Store on Borom Rat Chonnani Road. Across the street from Central Pinklao is Major Cineplex. The multiplex cinema, which is actually in Bang Phlat district, is surrounded by many small shops selling low-cost clothes and other fashion items.

Supermarkets in the district include a Foodland and a Makro store, both on Charan Sanitwong road.

Symbols[edit]

The district seals shows the head of the royal barge Sri Suphunahongsa. The slogan of the district is Resonant Wat Rakang, historical Wang Lang, Royal barges and railway are renowned, lively khlong, inherited stone-polished bowl, Buddha image cast, and abundant ancient wats.

Administration[edit]

District map

The district is sub-divided into 5 sub-districts (Kwaeng).

1. Siriraj ศิริราช
2. Ban Chang Lo บ้านช่างหล่อ
3. Bang Khun Non บางขุนนนท์
4. Bang Khun Si บางขุนศรี
5. Arun Ammarin  อรุณอมรินทร์

External links[edit]