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The southern boundary of Pratunam is marked by the Saen Saep Canal. This canal was dug during the reign of King Rama III in the mid-nineteenth century to connect the Chao Phraya River with the Bang Pakong River to the east. When Saen Saep was connected with Maha Nak Canal and Krung Kasem Canal, a gate was required to control the water level between them. Pratunam literally means "water gate". It was not developed until the 1960s when rice fields dominated the landscape as far as the eye could see. Around that time, a fresh produce market was set up near the Indra Hotel at Ratchaprarop Road. Since then more markets have set up here, and the whole area has become known as a local marketplace.
Now Located in Pratunam is often referred to as "northern downtown", a title it rightly deserves after the construction of Baiyoke Tower II. Just taking the lift up the tower is an experience not to be missed. More than 300 metres high and counting with 88 stories, it is Thailand's tallest building — for now at least, as a taller residential tower is already under construction in [[Jomtien|Pattaya]]. It and is a distinctive feature of Bangkok's skyline and represents the rising economy of both Pratunam and Thailand as a whole. Just taking the lift up the tower is an experience not to be missed. Surrounding it are plenty of other residential towers and hotels trying to make a buck money out of the central location.
But the street markets have never disappeared. Fresh produce has made way for fashion wear, textiles and accessories, but they are still sold at strictly local prices. Endless small alleyways are packed with literally thousands of fashion stores, and they are so cheap because most of them actually sell at wholesale rates. In the north of the district lies Victory Monument, a large military monument that now functions as a major traffic hub. The area became a popular residential neighbourhood for locals and expats working in downtownthe ciy centre. It is particularly lively after dusk, when there is a busy night market and an active jazz scene.
There is not particularly much to see in Pratunam, unless you happen to be interested in generic-looking concrete buildings. The Phaya Thai Palace does make a nice visit if you happen to be free on a Saturday, and going atop Baiyoke Tower II gives breathtaking views of the city's skyline.
* <see name="Baiyoke Tower II Observatory and Revolving Roofdeck" alt="ตึกใบหยก 2" address="77-84F, Baiyoke Tower II, 222 Ratchaprarop Rd" directions="ARL Ratchaprarop" phone="+66 2 656-3000" url="" hours="M-F 10:30-01:00, Sa-Su 09:30-01:00" price="200 baht, includes one (alcoholic) drink and popcorn" lat="" long="" email="" fax="">Currently the tallest tower in Thailand (though not for long as a taller building is in the works in Pattaya), the 304-metre-tall Baiyoke Tower II is mainly has a residential purpose. There's an observatory behind a huge window at the 77th floor and a revolving roofdeck outside at the 84th floor. The revolving roofdeck is practical for viewing different parts of the city, but not so handy if you're trying to make some quality pictures of the city's skyline. It is best to visit right before dusk and watch the sun go down from the tower. Afterwards, you can visit the '''Rooftop Bar''' at the 83rd floor, which has a very romantic atmosphere and can best be recommended for couples or those in love. You can sit beside a huge window that gives a good view over the city, and professional bands perform nightly. Be early as the seats fill up quickly after dark.</see>
* <see name="Bangkok Dolls Museum" alt="บ้านบางกอกดอลส์และตุ๊กตานานาชาติ" address="85 Soi Ratchataphan (Soi Mo Leng)" directions="ARL Ratchaprarop" phone="+66 2 245-3008" email="" fax="" url="" hours="M-Sa 08:00-17:00" price="Free">This museum was established by Khunying Tongkorn Chandavimol in 1956 after completing a course on doll making at the Osawa Doll School in Tokyo. Her intention with this project was to establish a workshop where hand-made dolls could be created using local materials, and to establish a museum that would promote the Thai doll industry. A part of the workshop is devoted to a private collection of about 400 dolls from around the world. These can be grouped in several categories, including Khon dolls, hill tribe dolls, Thai rural dolls and Khon mask miniatures.</see>
* <see name="Phaya Thai Palace" alt="วังพญาไท" address="315 Ratchawithi Rd" directions="BTS Victory Monument" phone="+66 2 354-7660(-93698 on Saturdays, -93646 on weekdays)" url="" hours="Sa 09:30 and 13:30, M-F by appointment only" price="Free" lat="" long="" email="" fax="">The Phaya Thai Palace has been built by King Rama VI, who lived here from 1919 for the last years of his reign. After his death, the palace turned into one of the most luxurious hotels in Southeast Asia, a radio station and a military hospital. The palace is worth seeing, as there is a lot to take in. The most important building, the Phiman Chakri Hall, is made in a beautiful Art Nouveau style with silk wallpapers and ornate murals. Every Saturday, volunteers give two free guided tours through the palace that take about two hours. Technically it It is also possible to visit the palace on weekdays, but you must call ahead to make an appointment and pay 500 baht.</see>
* <see name="Suan Pakkad Palace" alt="วังสวนผักกาด" address="352-354 Si Ayutthaya Rd" directions="BTS Phaya Thai" phone="+66 2 246-1775(-6)" email="" fax="" url="" hours="09:00-16:00 daily" price="100 baht">This complex of five Thai-style houses was once the residence of one of Thailand's leading art collectors, Prince Chumbhot of Nagara Svarga. It houses an extensive collection of Asian art and antiques, including items from the prehistoric Ban Chiang civilization, and an impressive collection of sea-shells. The Khon Museum, about the traditional Thai masked dance, and the Traditional Thai Music Museum have also been established here.</see>
* <see name="Thai Labour Museum" alt="พิพิธภัณฑ์แรงงานไทย" address="Nikhom Makkasan Rd" directions="ARL Ratchaprarop" phone="+66 2 251-3173" email="" fax="" url="" hours="W-Su, hols 10:00-16:30" price="Free">This museum is located at the former office of the labour union of the State Railway of Thailand. On display are items showing the 300-year history of the Thai labour movement. There is also a library with books and research reports on labour. You must call in advance if you plan on visiting with a group.</see>
* <see name="Victory Monument" alt="อนุสาวรีย์ชัยสมรภูมิ" address="" directions="BTS Victory Monument" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="Free">This monument was constructed in 1941 by military dictator Plaek Pibulsongkhram to commemorate the 59 Thais who lost their lives in the short and inconclusive French Indochina War. However, Pibulsongkhram was kicked out in 1944 and the patch of land gained by Thailand was handed back to Laos and Cambodia in 1945, making the "victory" a little hollow. These days this spiky Bangkok landmark is better known as Bangkok's largest local bus hub. If traveling travelling north by Skytrain, you'll be treated to a 180-degree curving panorama of the monument, and this is the best view you can get as actually reaching the base of the monument would require passing through a triple-laned traffic circle maelstrom of buses. The public restrooms toilets at the major bus stop directly across from the monument costs 2 baht per entry.</see>
*<do name="Calypso Cabaret" alt="คาลิปโซ่ คาบาเรต์" old address="B1, Asia Hotel Bldg, 296 Phaya Thai Rd" (Calypso Cabaret has since moved to [[The New Calypso Theater at Asiatique the Riverfront]]) directions="BTS Ratchathewi" phone="+66 2 653-3960(-2)" url="" hours="20:15, 21:45 daily" price="1,200 baht" lat="" long="">The famous ladyboy show of the Calypso Cabaret. The performances takes place in two sessions every evening. The show consists of singing, dancing and remarkable costumes. At least make a reservation at their website three days before you want to attend the show.</do>
*<do name="Century the Movie Plaza" alt="เซ็นจูรี่ เดอะมูฟวี่ พลาซ่า" address="15 Phaya Thai Rd" directions="BTS Victory Monument" phone="+66 2 247-9940" url="" hours="10:00-22:00 daily" price="" lat="" long="">This cineplex and shopping mall opened in 2005, and is the best cinema of the Victory Monument area. You can find the box office on the third floor, while the movie theatres are at the fifth floor. They offer all the major Hollywood releases and some lesser known Thai movies (subtitled in English). While waiting for your movie to start, you might want to browse around the rest of the shopping mall or have something to eat. The basement has a wide array of small garment shops.</do>
*<do name="Playhouse Theater Cabaret" alt="playhouse" address="296 Phayathai Road" directions="Connected to the BTS Ratchathewi" phone="022150571" url="" hours="20:00 - 00:00" price="1200" lat="" long="1 hour">. </do>
Pratunam quickly becomes deserted after dark, unless you're visiting the '''Rooftop Bar''' (as described in the [[:Bangkok/Pratunam#See|See]] section). But there's an active jazz scene around Victory Monument that caters to artsy students living in the area. Expect a laid-back vibe and don't overdress.
*<drink name="Bossy Club" alt="" address="Soi Si Ayutthaya" directions="ARL Ratchaprarop, in a small soi between Phyathai 1 Hospital and Thep Nimit Technical School" phone="" url="" hours="01:00-06:00 daily" price="Entry 300 baht including 1 drink" lat="" long="">A typical "after-hour" nightclub that is almost a cliché of Bangkok's naughty nightlife. Crowd is mixed with many foreign tourists, Thai locals and so-called "freelancers". It all feels very dark and sleazy, quite similar to the nearby Spicy Club (in the [[Bangkok/Siam Square|Siam Square]] area). There's a well-lit dancing stage with poles in the middle and music is very loud. Most taxi drivers are very eager to bring you here as they get a hefty commission from the club's owners (you might even get the ride for free). While the ride there may be free, leaving the club requires you buying a ride back in the club's car. If you disagree, it can get ugly.</drink>
*<drink name="Café de Norasingh" alt="" address="315 Ratchawithi Rd" directions="BTS Victory Monument" phone="+66 2 354-8376" url="" hours="M-F 08:30-19:00, Sa-Su 10:30-19:00" price="" lat="" long="">Café de Norasingh is a luxurious cafe housed in the royal reception room of the Phaya Thai Palace. It is completely decorated in Western colonial style, a setting very popular during the reign of King Rama V in the early twentieth century. This has to be one of the most elegant ways to have a cup of coffee in the city. They also serve small snacks.</drink>
* <sleep name="Amari Watergate" alt="โรงแรมอมารีวอเตอร์เกท" address="847 Phetchaburi Rd" directions="Pratunam pier" phone="+66 2 653-9000" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="3,000-8,000 baht" lat="" long="" email="" fax="">Modern four-star hotel with all the facilities you'd expect, including a few restaurants good enough to draw non-guests (especially the American-style Henry J. Beans Bar and Grill). It's a stone's throw from Pratunam, across the Saen Saep Canal if you're walking from Ratchaprasong.</sleep>
*<sleep name="Baiyoke Sky Hotel" alt="โรงแรม ใบหยกสกาย กรุงเทพ" address="76-78F, Baiyoke Tower II, 222 Ratchaprarop Rd" directions="ARL Ratchaprarop" phone="+66 2 656-3000" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="2,000-3,400 baht" lat="" long="">Ever wanted to spend the night in the tallest hotel of Southeast Asia? This is your chance. This luxury The hotel has 673 guest rooms, all with a phenomenal view over the city. It has an extensive breakfast with more than 100 dishes to choose from. Rooms are spacious and the staff is very are helpful. The only downer is the long waiting time to get into the lift.</sleep>
* <sleep name="Century Park Hotel" alt="โรงแรม เซ็นจูรี่ พาร์ค" address="9 Ratchaprarop Rd" directions="a five to ten minutes walk from BTS Victory Monument" phone="+66 2 246-7800" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="2,500-8,000 baht" lat="" long="" email="" fax="">Good quality four-star hotel with spacious rooms. The fitness and pool areas are nice, and there's a good view of the city if you're sleeping at the higher floors. Breakfasts are particularly nice with a large selection of Western and Asian cuisine.</sleep>
*<sleep name="Indra Regent Hotel" alt="โรงแรมอินทรา รีเจนท์" address="120/126 Ratchaprarop Rd" directions="ARL Ratchaprarop" phone="+66 2 208-0022(-33)" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="2,000-5,900 baht" lat="" long="">Decent four-star hotel with spacious rooms and a nice view. The staff is friendly, but you don't get a lot for breakfast. Wi-Fi is available but you have to pay separately for it. Most people stay here for its close location to the garment markets.</sleep>
* <sleep name="PJ Watergate Hotel" alt="โรงแรมพีเจ วอเตอร์เกต" address="467 Soi Watthana Sin" directions="ARL Ratchaprarop" phone="+66 2 254-3314" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="1,000-2,000 baht" lat="" long="" email="" fax="">The PJ Watergate is a decent hotel in the Ratchaprarop area. Rooms feature air-conditioning and a TV, and there's an internet café, restaurant, and bar in the main area. Most staff speak at least some English, but and the manager is fluent. Online booking will give you can mean a room as cheap as 1,000 baht, which is far better than the walk-in price (and breakfast is included). To get there, take the airport train to Ratchaprarop. As you leave exit the station , make sure you cross the on ground railway lines train line in the direction of the sign saying "Baiyoke Hotels"sign. Walk some 300 metres . If Some 300m along you are on the right hand side of the road, then cross the will see an overhead footbridge at about walkway. Cross this distance, and then continue in the same direction another 100 metres or so, then turn left into Soi 4. The hotel is some 300 metres along to the next street on the left shortly beyondright. </sleep> * <sleep name="Pullman Bangkok King Power" alt="โรงแรมพูลแมน บางกอก คิง พาวเวอร์" address="8/2 Rang Nam Rd" directions="BTS Victory Monument" phone="+66 2 680-9999" url="http://www.pullmanbangkokkingpower. Walk up com" checkin="" checkout="" price="3,000-5,600 baht" lat="" long="" email="" fax="">Opened in 2007, this street about 200 metresmodern luxury hotel may be better value than other similarly priced hotels. It is a bit north of the city centre, just south of Victory Monument. An impressive lobby and the more-than-ample smiling staff will greet you on arrival. The rooms reflect the five-star status of the hotel , with the executive levels offering many extras including drinks and canapes in the evening. Next door is on your right just beyond the King Power Duty Free complex, which has a road which comes in from first floor boutique beer garden, plus the usual large range of duty free goods. In the evening you could visit the leftchic wine pub that is also open to non-guests. </sleep>
* <sleep name="Pullman VIE Hotel Bangkok King Power" alt="โรงแรมพูลแมน บางกอก คิง พาวเวอร์" address="8/2 Rang Nam RdPhaya Thai Pathum Wan, Bangkok 10400, Thailand" directions="Ratchatthewi BTS Victory Monument" phone="+66 2 680-9999" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="3,000-5,600 100 baht" lat="" long="" email="" fax="">Opened in 2007, this modern luxury hotel may be better value than other similarly priced hotels. It is a bit north VIE Hotel Bangkok targets different travelers through its selection of the unique city core, just south of Victory Monument. An impressive lobby and the more-than-ample smiling staff will greet you on arrival. The rooms reflect the five-star status of the hotel, with experiences – from the executive levels offering many extras including drinks VIE Bangkok City Experience which offers guests BTS Skytrain day pass and canapes in the evening. Next door is tickets to explore Bangkok to the King Power Duty Free complex, VIE Business Experience which has a first floor boutique beer garden, plus the usual large range of duty free goods. In the evening you could visit the chic wine pub that is also open aims to nonprovide business travellers with easy connectivity through in-room Wi-guestsFi and networking opportunities through VIE Lounge access.[] </sleep>
'''Jessie's Minimart''', inside the Miami Villa complex at Phetchaburi Soi 43/1, is an internet cafe that is open 24 hours and has a Wi-Fi hotspot available. It is close to the Phetchaburi MRT station. There's a free Wi-Fi signal at the lobby of the '''Amari Watergate Hotel''', so you might want to have a drink at one of their cafes while surfing the net(Read more [ here]).
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