Phra Nakhon District
Arch celebrating King's 80th birthday, Ratchadamnoen Road
Khet location in Bangkok
|Seat||Wat Sam Phraya|
|• Total||5.536 km2 (2.137 sq mi)|
|• Density||12,407.3/km2 (32,135/sq mi)|
|Time zone||THA (UTC+7)|
Phra Nakhon (Thai: พระนคร; IPA: [pʰráʔ náʔkʰɔ̄ːn]) is one of the 50 districts (Khet) of Bangkok, Thailand. It is the central district of Bangkok, including Rattanakosin Island. Neighboring districts are, starting from the north, clockwise: Dusit, Pom Prap Sattru Phai, Samphanthawong, and across the Chao Phraya River Thon Buri, Bangkok Yai, Bangkok Noi and Bang Phlat.
Phra Nakhon was also the name of Bangkok province, until it was merged in 1972 with Thonburi to form the present day Bangkok metropolis.
The district is bounded by the Chao Phraya river to the west, Khlong Phadung Krung Kasem in the north, and Ratchadamnoen Road and Khlong Ong Ang to the east. The center of Bangkok, marked by the city pillar shrine (Lak Mueang), is located in the district. Also surrounding the large open space of the Sanam Luang are the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew, the National Museum in the former palace of the Vice King, and the main campus of the Thammasat University as well as Silpakorn University. Also Wat Mahathat is located there, although being one of the most important buddhistic temples in bangkok it is not really touristic attraction.
Other significant landmarks in the district include Wat Pho, the Giant Swing and Wat Suthat, Wat Ratchanadda (with Loha Prasat) and the Democracy Monument. Also the well-known Khaosan Road is located in the district. Another significant temple is Wat Bowonniwet, where several of the Thai kings had been ordained as monks.
Of the original 14 forts protecting Bangkok only two survive - Fort Phra Sumen in the northern corner of the district, and Fort Mahakan in the east of the district. Since 2000 a small park named Santichaiphrakarn around Fort Phra Sumen was built.
In 2005 the complete riverfront of the Phra Nakhon district - from the King Rama I Bridge (Memorial Bridge) in the south till the Wasukri Pier (Dusit district) - was submitted to the UNESCO for consideration as a future world heritage site.
Another landmark is Sala Chalermkrung Royal Theatre on Charoen Krung Road. It is Bangkok's oldest cinema and was the first air-conditioned theater in Thailand. Built on the order of King Prajadhipok and named by him, it was opened on July 2, 1933. It is the only theater from the first "golden age" of Thai cinema still standing. No longer regularly showing movies, the theater has been renovated and is principally used for Thai dance performances. Another point of interest is the Pak Khlong Talat flower market. Tha Phrachan pier is famous as Thai amulets market.
The area around Phahurat Road (พาหุรัด) can be considered as Thailand's Little India. The road was constructed during King Chulalongkorn's Reign over a century ago and Indian community started to formed after that. Siri Guru Singh Sabha, the Thailand's first Sikh temple was built in 1933 nearby the road. The area is well known for Indian fabric shops and Indian cuisines.
Songkran, the traditional Thai New Year festival, is celebrated throughout the country during 13 to 15 April of each year. Khao San Road (or Khao Sarn Road) inside Phra Nakhon district is one notable place to celebrate the event where lots of people, both locals and tourists, come and splash water.
During another famous festival, Loy Krathong, on the 15th day of 12th lunar month, the Chao Phraya river bank in the district, with numerous piers and Phra Sumen fort, is a popular place to come and float lanterns in the water.
Ratchadamnoen Road is often heavily decorated with lights around the King's birthday (5 December) and the Queen's birthday (12 August) and other major anniversaries. Sanam Luang and recently created Lan Plabpla Maha Chedsada Bodin (ลานพลับพลามหาเจษฎาบดินทร์) in front of Wat Ratchanadda and its Loha Prasat are open spaces that frequently used to celebrate various events.
Phra Nakhon was once an amphoe named Amphoe Chana Songkhram (อำเภอชนะสงคราม). This administration was overhauled on 15 October 1915 when 25 new amphoes were erected covering the inner part of Bangkok. On 12 March 1928, six of these amphoes, Amphoe Phahurat, Amphoe Samran Rat, Amphoe Phra Ratchawang, Amphoe Chana Songkhram, Amphoe Sam Yot, and Amphoe Bang Khun Phrom were merged to form Amphoe Phra Nakhon. It became Khet Phra Nakhon in 1972.
The district is sub-divided into 12 sub-districts (Khwaeng).
|1.||Phra Borom Maha Ratchawang||พระบรมมหาราชวัง||7.||Bowon Niwet||บวรนิเวศ|
|2.||Wang Burapha Phirom||วังบูรพาภิรมย์||8.||Talat Yot||ตลาดยอด|
|3.||Wat Ratchabophit||วัดราชบพิธ||9.||Chana Songkhram||ชนะสงคราม|
|4.||Samran Rat||สำราญราษฎร์||10.||Ban Phan Thom||บ้านพานถม|
|5.||San Chaopho Suea||ศาลเจ้าพ่อเสือ||11.||Bang Khun Phrom||บางขุนพรหม|
|6.||Sao Chingcha||เสาชิงช้า||12.||Wat Sam Phraya||วัดสามพระยา|
- Chalermkrung Royal Theatre (Sala Chaloem Krung) in Bangkok, DiscoveryThailand.com (retrieved August 12, 2006).
- Media related to Phra Nakhon District at Wikimedia Commons
- BMA website with the tourist sites of Phra Nakhon
- Phra Nakhon district office (Thai only)
- Phahurat from Travel Section of The Manager (Thai only)