Pathum Wan District
Khet location in Bangkok
|• Total||8.37 km2 (3.23 sq mi)|
|• Density||11,654/km2 (30,180/sq mi)|
|Time zone||THA (UTC+7)|
Pathum Wan or Pathumwan (Thai: ปทุมวัน; IPA: [pà.tʰūm.wān]) is one of the 50 districts (Khet) of Bangkok, Thailand. The district is bounded by seven other districts (from north clockwise): Ratchathewi (across the canal Khlong Saen Saeb), Watthana, Khlong Toei, Sathon, Bang Rak, Pom Prap Sattru Phai (across the canal Khlong Phadung Krung Kasem), and Dusit.
The district was established in 1914. It is named after a Buddhist temple Wat Pathum Wanaram (literally meaning lotus forest temple) and the nearby Sa Pathum Palace (means lotus pond palace). Both were built to the order of King Mongkut (Rama IV) and named so because of an abundance of lotus in Khlong Saen Saeb during his reign.
The district is sub-divided into four sub-districts (Kwaeng).
One of the most crowded and popular to both local people and tourists is MBK Center (also known as Mah Boon Krong). It is packed with shops offering fashion items, mobile phones and souvenirs. A covered, air-conditioned pedestrian bridge over Phaya Thai Road connects to a congested sister shopping center, the Bonanza Mall, which mostly sells inexpensive clothing and fashion accessories.
Siam Square, unlike others, is a shopping area consists of a block of buildings and lots of small roads full of shops, attracting mostly teenagers. There are two cinemas in Siam Square, built in the 1970s and run by the Apex chain: the Scala theater offer a single, big screen; the Lido is a small multi-plex with three screens. Another single big screen theater built in the same era, Siam, was destroyed during the 2010 Thai military crackdown. Besides shops, many exam preparation schools are found in Siam Square. So the area is full of students during evening and weekends.
A large portion of Pathum Wan is occupied by several organizations. Near MBK, Chulalongkorn University is the oldest university in Thailand. The main auditorium together with Faculty of Arts buildings Maha Chulalongkorn and Maha Vajiravudh are famous architectures. The Museum of Imaging Technology within the Faculty of Science houses a large collection of cameras from old to new. Next to the university are Chulalongkorn Hospital and Thai Red Cross. Inside the Red Cross there is a snake farm called Queen Saovabha Memorial Institute (or Sathan Saovabha in Thai) showing venom extraction and producing serum to treat snakebites.
One of the major tourist attractions is the Jim Thompson House. It is a complex of magnificent Thai wooden houses formerly home to James H.W. Thompson, an American who lived in Thailand, developed Thai silk industry, and brought it to fame to the western world. Now it is turned into a museum filled with lots of antique decorations.
The Erawan Shrine at the Ratchaprasong intersection is a sacred place where people come to pray and make wishes to Brahma. Wishes could include getting admitted to university, babies, jobs, and so on. Flowers, wooden elephants, or traditional Thai dances are returned when a wish is granted. The Trimurti shrine and Ganesha shrine at CentralWorld are popular places to pray as well.
Also located in Pathum Wan are Royal Bangkok Sports Club, a horse racing track operating every other Saturday, the National Stadium, and Lumphini Park, the first park in Bangkok. The Lumphini Boxing Stadium where traditional Thai boxing matches are held has been moved to the new site on Ram Intra road in Bang Khen District.
Every year around Christmas and New Year, shopping centers, hotels and sidewalks in the Ratchaprasong shopping district are heavily decorated with lights celebrating the event. It was started by Peninsular Plaza and The Regent hotel, and later expanded to Sogo (now out of business), Amarin Plaza, CentralWorld, Central Chit Lom, Gaysorn and more. Bangkok Metropolitan Administration also provides lights along the BTS Skytrain pillars. During the period, it is the brightest lit area of Bangkok. The countdown is held on the ground in front of CentralWorld.
- Hua Lamphong is the central train station of Bangkok and the State Railway of Thailand. Trains depart from the station to destinations throughout Thailand.
- Bangkok Metro subway stations in the district are Hua Lamphong, Sam Yan, Si Lom, and Lumphini along the southern border of Pathum Wan.
- Bangkok Skytrain's main interchange station, Siam, is here providing connection between the Si Lom Line and Sukhumvit Line. Other BTS stations in Pathum Wan are National Stadium and Ratchadamri on the Si Lom Line and Chit Lom and Phloen Chit on the Sukhumvit Line.
- Express boats run along the narrow and polluted Khlong Saen Saeb, the canal on the northern district border.
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