Phitsanulok Road



Phitsanulok Road

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A number of important state institutions are located along this major avenue, which cuts through the heart of Dusit. Traveling northwest past the Mission Hospital at the Sawankhalok Road end, the first of interest is Ban Phitsanulok. This mansion has been the official residence of the prime minister since it was restored in 1982. It was originally built in 1925 by Rama VI for Major General Phraya Aniruttheva. Designed by the same Italian architects who built the Ananta Samakorn Throne Hall, it is a riot of Venetian Gothic, with floral-shaped mullioned windows, spindly crenellations, and a sweeping curved wing. It is not open to the public, and guests rarely stay overnight, because the mansion is supposedly haunted. On the opposite side of the road is the grassy oval of the Royal Turf Club, one of Bangkok’s two major horseracing tracks. Races alternate between the two tracks, and are held here from 12:30pm to 6:30pm every other Sunday. The stands fill with bettors from all levels of Thai society. Experiencing the banter and furious betting can often be as much fun as watching the race itself. The most prominent annual event that takes place here is the King’s Cup, also known as the Derby Cup, on the first or second weekend of January.

Government House, to the west, just past the Nakhon Pathom Road turning, is a fanciful, cream-colored NeoVenetian style building. It is now used to house the prime minister’s office, and it is closed to the public.

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