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Democracy Monument, Bangkok

2.7
#328 of 1,432 in Things to do in Bangkok
Built to commemorate the 1932 Siamese revolution, Democracy Monument serves as a public monument featuring four towering wings and a central pedestal holding a copy of Siam’s first constitution. Look for bas-reliefs on the wings that depict the soldiers, police, and civilians who propelled the revolution. Also notice the 75 cannonballs around the base of the monument that signify the Buddhist era. Visit in the evenings for especially nice photo ops. By using our Bangkok trip planner , you can arrange your visit to Democracy Monument and other attractions in Bangkok.
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Democracy Monument Reviews
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  • Wat suthat went to North Street roundabout. Rai観 light by accident by motorcycle taxi at a stop. Taxi transfer and Rotary traffic in many, may be difficult to explore. You couldn't get inside the fence.
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  • This is located in the middle of a very busy traffic circle. There is no pedestrian access. Best viewed from afar.  more »
  • It's got plenty to do and can be visited quickly while on your way to someplace. It's got it's history for Thailand and is important to the people.  more »
Google
  • Yes, it is a big & busy roundabout but surprisingly easy to cross over as long as you stand before zebra lines, some of which has traffic lights and some no traffic light. For the latter, the most drivers will nicely slow down & give you way. Very much appreciated!
  • Spend quite some time near the round about over 2 days. Didn't even know that it was the democracy monument. Even if traffic was more, it was never a problem to cross the road.
  • A Big Junction in the City With Democracy Monument is There Landmark Surrounding with Restaurant, Boutique Hotel, School & Ancient Building. Here is So Convenient to Reach with Many Transportation & Closer to Entertainment Places Such as Khosan Road or the Easy Way to Walk to Grand Palace & Chaophraya River.
  • Big monument of democracy. Good place to take a picture. Nothing more.
  • The centrepiece of the monument (Figure 1 below) is a carved representation of a palm-leaf manuscript box holding the Thai Constitution of 1932, on top of two golden offering bowls above a round turret. The constitution is symbolically guarded by four wing-like structures (Figure 2 below), representing the four branches of the Thai armed forces—army, navy, air force and police—which carried out the 1932 coup. The wings are 24 metres high, and this is also the radius of the base of the monument, marking the fact that the 1932 coup took place on 24 June. The central turret is three metres high, representing the month of June, which is the third month of the traditional Thai calendar. There were originally 75 small cannon around the outer ring of the monument, representing the year of the coup, 2475 in the Buddhist calendar. The six gates of the turret represent the six proclaimed policies of the Phibun regime: "independence, internal peace, equality, freedom, economy, and education." Facing outwards from the base of two of the wings are fountains (Figure 3 below) in the form of naga, the protective snake creatures of Hindu and Buddhist mythology, although the sculptures resemble Western dragons more than traditional naga sculptures. (Compare Figure 3 below with the image at the Naga article.) The Monument of Democracy, Bangkok The relief sculptures at the base of the monument are propagandistic in their design. They depict the armed forces both as champions of democracy and as the personification of the Thai people. In the version of events depicted in these sculptures, the coup of 1932 was carried out by a united and idealistic Thai armed forces on behalf of the people, and had both the intention and effect of making Thailand a democracy. In the reliefs, civilians appear only as the grateful recipients of the heroism and benevolence of the armed forces. The panel titled "Soldiers Fighting for Democracy" (Figure 4 below), shows a heroic and united armed forces doing battle (it is not clear against whom) for "democracy". The panel titled "Personification of the People" (Figure 5 below), shows a soldier protecting the Thai people while they go about their civil pursuits. The mother with child at left is the only woman depicted anywhere at the Democracy Monument. The panel represents the view of the military regime in 1939 that the armed forces were ruling on behalf of the people. The panel titled "Personification of Balance and Good Life" (Figure 6 below), represents the social ideology of the military regime. An allegorical figure representing the nation, seated in a Buddha-like posture (but not Buddha himself), holding a sword and a set of scales, representing the armed forces and justice respectively, sits in the centre, flanked by figures representing (from left) sport, education, religion, and the arts. The figure of "sport", a naked man with a shot put, is wholly European in origin.

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As a commercial, cultural, and tourist center, Bangkok offers a great diversity of accommodations. For long established and chain hotels, try Sukhumvit Road and the areas surrounding the central Siam Square, where budget and luxury rooms are available in abundance. If you are looking for the backpacker zone, head to Khaosan Road, where you'll find a wealth of inexpensive, simple accommodations surrounded by businesses tailored to traveler's needs. Consider staying at a guesthouse to gain a deeper understanding of Thai life.
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