Planned by King Mongkut (Rama IV) in the style of a European boulevard, this thoroughfare has three parts.
The first section, Ratchadamnoen Nai (“inner”), starts at Lak Muang and skirts Sanam Luang, before veering east at the Royal Hotel as Ratchadamnoen Klang- (“middle”). From here it passes the Democracy Monument and 1930s mansions – a vista featured in the movie Good Morning, Vietnam.
Just across Khlong Banglamphu, Ratchadamnoen Nok (“outer”) turns north into the Dusit area. This stretch, shaded by trees, is flanked by ministries, the main TAT headquarters, and Ratchadamnoen Boxing Stadium (see p49). Just before the ornate double bridge over Khlong Phadung Krung Kasem is the Thai-influenced modern building of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).
The avenue ends at the domed Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall (see p109), which looms up beyond the Chulalongkorn Equestrian Statue in the parade ground, the site of December’s Trooping of the Colors ceremony.
Ratchadamnoen Avenue is decorated and illuminated in December as part of King Bhumibol’s birthday festivities.