Saturday, 14 November 2015

Books about architecture in Bangkok

Books about architecture in Bangkok

ASA Architectural Awards: Bangkok Walking Guide
The Association of Siamese Architect under Royal Patronage
800 THB, 338 pages, 2012, ISBN 978-616-7384-06-1.

All articles bilingual English and Thai. Each building is treated on one or two pages.

p51 In 1944, after WWII,...
p57 BuildingNo.4 (space missing), เลย 4 -> เลข 4
p74 ...and Prince Salpasartsupphakit to gain revenue for
      the residents (makes no sense) 
p111 democralisation -> democratisation
p170 (map) Khlong Pradunf Krung Kasem -> Padung;
        (map) San Sabe canal -> Saen Saeb;
        (map) The Patenrum -> The Platinum
        Suan Lum Night Bazar is no more
p178 the board meetings were taken place (???)
p187 picture poor quality (
p240 emphsise -> emphasise
p274 open every year on April 28th -> 29th
p296 Bangsue district is the location of...and the country
        main railway terminal (currently just a minor station,
        construction for railway station going, will this become
        the main railway station and Hua Lampong a minor?
        See Exploring Bangkok, page 237.)
p303 desing -> design
p313 provides a library, that contains (remove comma)
p320 Chroenpong -> Charoenpong
p331 Chao Phraya Express Boay Co., Ltd. -> Boat

Sra Pathum Palace is missing

Exploring Bangkok: An Architectural and Historical Guidebook by Robin Ward

800 THB,303 pages, 2014, ISBN 978-616-7800-33-2.

Entire book in English only, not even place names in Thai. Text is continuous, sometimes it's difficult to assign picture to text.

Mistakes and comments:
inconsistent use of accents on French words throughout
p31 Wat Pho - not the largest reclining Buddha in Thailand
p88 Phan Fa Bridge: The pillars have model ships... 
      This is called rostral column 
p106 Hapsburg Empire -> Habsburg
p144 Swissotel Nai Lert Park: phallus shrine not mentioned
p148 Hydro power is now delivered by electric cables. (???)
p149 minivan is a misnomer, it's either van or minibus 
p217 Wat Kalanyanamit - not the largest sitting Buddha in T

Sra Pathum Palace is mentioned in entry for Siam Paragon and Kempinski hotel, but has no own article.

These two books are pretty similar in format and contents  and identical in price. I can recommend Bangkok Walking Guide over Exploring Bangkok for having Thai script and giving opening times and phone numbers.

European Heritage Map Bangkok & Ayutthaya
Free, one sheet 50.0 x 66.5 cm, folded 17 x 17 cm, 2013.
Was/is distributed for free in various embassies, cultural center and hotels, can be downloaded here:
see here as well:

Bilingual English and Thai, street names on map only English.

23 Manangkasila House is not shown on map
34 British Embassy spot on map should be moved a bit north to distinguish the British Embassy from Central Embassy (built on land that belonged to the British Embassy)

There are only few websites dedicated to architecture in Thailand, and then it's mostly religious architecture:

Update 12apr2017: there is a new book Architectural Guide Bangkok (DOM publishers), and I leaved through in a bookstore, and found the following mistakes: Neilson Hays misspelled, Royal Thai Survey and Ministry of Defense pictures swapped. Names only in English (no Thai script), no opening times. A poor start.

Copyright 2015 ChristianPFC


  1. Very interesting; thanks for posting.

    By the way, 'Hapsburg' is correct in English.

    1. The book is referring to House of Habsburg

  2. If you want to get more boox for cheap: today should still be the 2nd sales-day at Neilson-Hay (or so?-just from bad memory) library along Suriwong. Only english-from 20 bt.
    In shops like Asiabooks etc are always large stacks of books for tropical design housing/architecture etc.

    1. Yes, I know and have been today. About 95% English, some other languages, but not sorted by languages. Not interested in gardening/housing/hotel and resort architecture.

  3. New version is out: 2016 European Heritage Map and App


Comments are currently unmoderated and open to everyone. I will see how this works out and might switch to moderation. Please sign your comment with a name or identifier.