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The Victory Monument stands in the middle of a super busy roundabout. The Monument itself may be worth a photo opportunity, but it is the area around it that attracts most visitors. This is where the local busses and minibuses leave to take you to the farthest corners of Thailand. What makes this area nice is the still local Thai atmosphere and flavors that you will find here. In the evening the streets and parts of the bridges (sky walks) are taken over by street vendors, shops and food stalls. Here you will find plenty of cheap clothing, sunglasses, flip-flops and lots of good food! You won’t find many other tourists here yet by the way!
The story behind the Victory Monument
The iconic Victory Monument was erected in 1941 in memory of the brief battle with the French between December 1940 and January 1941. The battle arose because of disagreements over areas in Cambodia and Laos. In 1893 and 1904 Thailand had handed these areas over to the French. The nationalistic Thai thought that the areas belonged to Thailand after all. This led to a fight with the French and many Thai soldiers were killed. Although the Thai eventually emerged as the winner, the profit was not what the Thai regime had hoped for. To celebrate the victory, the Victory Monument was erected a short time after the end of the conflict. Nowadays many Thai see the monument as an inappropriate symbol of militarism and the failing regime of that time.
Buses and taxis around Victory Monument | Image: Philip Roeland (Flickr)
Eating Boat Noodles
What the area around Victory Monument is also known for are Boat Noodles. Boat Noodles are small dishes of noodles and meat, often beef or pork. What makes these dishes special is that the broth partly consists of pork blood. The price per bowl is around 12 baht. Because they are small portions you can easily order different dishes, which is also common. If you can eat twenty bowls, you sometimes even get a free drink as a reward! Are Boat Noodles not your style? Around the Victory Monument and in the shopping malls are many other dishes available. There are also western chains such as McDonald’s, Pizza Company and Starbucks.
Boat noodles | Images: Juliana Lia (Instagram)
Do as the locals do
If you want to see (and taste) how the local eats, the Boat Noodle restaurants are highly recommended! You don’t have to be able to speak Thai because you can just point out the dishes on a map with pictures. Most Boat Noodle restaurants are located on the small canals (klongs). In the old days, the Boat Noodles were served from small boats sailing through the canals of Bangkok. The boat driver had to paddle, cook, do the dishes, pay and serve to the customers on the side (a versatile job!). To reduce mess and save space, the dishes were served in small bowls.
To get to the Boat Noodle restaurants, from BTS station Victory Monument follow the walkway (sky walk) over the roundabout in a northerly direction. When you’ve walked over the canal take the stairs down. The restaurants are mainly on the right side along the canal.
Sleeping at the Victory Monument area
Sleeping at the Victory Monument is something different than most tourists do! You can taste the local Thai atmosphere. The area around the Victory Monument has besides the Boat Noodles along the klongs also nice narrow streets that are worth discovering. At the Victory Monument long distance buses depart daily to all corners of Thailand and beyond. You can buy a bus ticket here, if you like, often without the intervention of a travel agency. Because the BTS station Victory Monument is nearby, you can easily discover the rest of Bangkok with the BTS Sky Train.
Hotels & Hostel near the Victory Monument
A beautiful luxury resort with swimming pool at 5 minutes walking distance is the Pullman Bangkok King Power, there is nothing left to be desired when you sleep here. A good middle class hotel is the stylish and fresh Fyn Hotel. Besides double rooms there are also single and family rooms available. The new T Hostel @ Victory Monument has beds in a dormitory and double rooms, the decor is very clean and well taken care of. It is a 10 minute walk to the Victory Monument and 5 minutes to the Boat Noodle restaurants along the canal.
If you want to escape from all the hustle and bustle around the Victory Monument in Bangkok you can take a break in Santiphap Park, which is also called the Peace Park. Just what you needed!
How to get to the Victory Monument
If you’re near a Sky Train, the easiest and fastest way to get to The Victory Monument is by BTS Sky Train, take the Sukhumvit line and get off at BTS Station Victory Monument. From this station it’s a few minutes walk to the actual monument. From Khao San Road it’s about a quarter of an hour by taxi, outside rush hour.
Near the Victory Monument
- Santiphap Park (Peace Park)
- Shopping mall King Power
Luxury shopping center of 3 floors where you can shop tax free, on the ground floor are many restaurants.
- Century The Movie Plaza Victory Monument
Besides shops and a bite to eat in one of the restaurants you can also go to the cinema.
- Baiyoke Sky Bar & Hotel
With revolving observation deck, 20 minutes walk, 5 minutes by taxi, 30 minutes by local bus.
- Saxophone Pub & Restaurant
The Saxophone is a well-known pub with live music in Bangkok. They call themselves the best Jazz & Blues Pub and perhaps you’re right to do so when you see the rave reviews. They mainly play Jazz and Blues, but regularly there are other live performances, such as reggae and acoustic guitar music. There are several performances in one evening. Because you almost sit on the lap of the artists, the atmosphere is very intimate! Of course you can also go there for a snack and a drink. Open from 18.00 till 02.00. BTS Victory Monument, exit 4. Website: www.saxophonepub.com