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The new Centra Central Station Bangkoka hub for culture, sights and entertainment

June 25, 2013 Hotel News No Comments Email Email

centraraThe new Centra Central Station Bangkok, due to open in the third quarter of this year, is adjacent to the Hua Lamphong mainline railway terminus and MRT Metro station and is therefore perfectly placed for exploring the city’s attractions on foot or by subway.

The hotel is also on the edge of Chinatown, with all its amazing bustle, shopping, markets, historic shrines and temples, and of course its incomparable restaurants.Centra Central Station Bangkok - Centra Premium

The station itself is one of Bangkok’s colourful landmarks, serving the entire railway network throughout Thailand. Opened in 1916 and designed in a style that combines Italian Neo-Renaissance elements with an industrial theme, the station is full of life and bustle with people arriving from and departing to all parts of the country, making this a favourite spot for photographers.

Wat Traimit, within a few minutes’ walk of the station, is better known as the Temple of the Golden Buddha. Inside this remarkable temple sits the world’s largest solid gold Buddha image, at around five metres in height. Cast sometime during the Sukhothai Kingdom, the era between 1238 to 1438 that saw the first flowering of Thai culture, the statue was covered in plaster and lacquer for hundreds of years and forgotten until it was discovered in 1955, when the plaster was broken during relocation of the statue, revealing the gold figure underneath. Tourists can visit Wat China TownTraimit and the statue every day between 8 am and 5 pm. Admission fee is only 40 baht.

Another fascinating temple within easy walking distance is Wat Hua Lamphong, very distinctive as its chapel and ordination hall are set on a high platform, enabling the temple to be seen from some distance away. Wat Hua Lamphong was renovated to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the ascension to the throne of King Bhumibol Adulyadej in 1996. The royal seal that is the symbol of the Golden Jubilee, showing two elephants flanking a multi-tiered umbrella, features extensively in the temple’s remodelling.

Taking the MRT two stops to Si Lom Station, or one stop further to Lumphini, will lead to Lumphini Park, a large public park with 142 acres of land, laid out in 1925, in the reign of King Rama VI. The city’s first public park, it includes a boating lake, Lumpini Parkrecreational activities, an archaic Chinese clock tower, and a public library. Lumphini Park has plenty of photo opportunities and is open daily from 5 am to 9 pm.

Another couple of stops on the MRT line brings us to Sukhumvit Station, where Benjakiti Park is another green park with a lake and several contemporary sculptures, offering a restful place to stroll and sit for those visiting the shops and restaurants of Sukhumvit Road. The park is directly beside one of the busiest parts of this famous road, and is open every day from 5.00 am to 8.00 pm.

Soi Cowboy is one of Bangkok’s famous nightlife venues, and is located just off Sukhumvit Road between Soi 21 and Soi 23. Named after T G Edwards, an African-American who was the first to open a bar in this area in 1977 and who always wore a cowboy hat, Soi Cowboy is a 400-metre long alley with bars and pubs catering to tourists and expat residents. A short walking Hua Lamphong railway stationdistance from MRT Sukhumvit exit 2, the venues are open nightly from 7.00 pmuntil late.

A few minutes’ walk along Soi 21, also known as Soi Asoke, is the Siam Society, a non-profit organisation under Royal Patronage founded in 1944 to promote knowledge of Thailand and its neighbouring countries. The Society has a museum and library, and is open on Tuesday to Sunday from 9.00 am to 5.00 pm.

Taking the MRT further, to Chatuchak Park Station, will bring the visitor to Chatuchak Park, a public park that along with its cool greenery and its jogging trails has interesting zones such as the Train Museum, exhibiting the history of the Thai railway system – open on weekends at 7.00 am to 4.00 pm – and the Youth Traffic Garden, which provides cycling tracks with traffic signs that allow children to learn about traffic regulations. Chatuchak Park is open daily from 4.30 am to 9.00 pm. Adjacent is the famous Chatuchak Weekend Market, where you can probably buy anything and everything. The market is openon Saturday and Sunday, and visiting early in the morning is recommended to avoid the crowds.

Within a few minutes’ walk of Chatuchak is another Centara Hotels & Resorts property, Centara Grand at Central PlazaWat Traimit Ladprao, where you can enjoy a rest for refreshments, an international meal at the 24-hour Chatuchak Café, or dine on Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Italian or Thai cuisine at one of the hotel’s speciality restaurants. Then it is back to the MRT Chatuchak Park Station for a fast journey back to your exploration base of Centra Central Station, and a comfortable night’s sleep.

Centara Hotels & Resorts is Thailand’s leading operator of hotels, with 41 deluxe and first-class properties covering all the major tourist destinations in the Kingdom. A further 17 resorts in the Maldives, Vietnam, Shanghai, Bali Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Mauritius Indian Ocean, brings the present total to 58 properties. Brands and properties within Centara ensure that specific categories such as couples, families, individuals, and meetings and incentives groups will all find a hotel or resort that is appropriate to their needs. Centara operates 27 branches of Spa Cenvaree, one of Thailand’s most luxurious and innovative spa brands, together with its newly launched value brand Cense by Spa Cenvaree, which provides core spa services for busy travellers. The company’s Kids’ Club is available at all the family-friendly resorts to ensure that the youngsters and teens are taken care of. Centara Hotels & Resorts also operates two state-of-the-art convention centres in Bangkok, and two in northeastern Thailand, one being located in Udon Thani and the other in Khon Kaen. The latest Centara brand is named COSI Hotels, an economy brand designed for travellers who predominantly make their bookings via the internet and who want comfort and convenience at the most friendly prices available, which is under development with the first property due to open in 2015.

For more information and reservations, please contact tel. +662 266 5584 (pre-opening office until 15 July) and tel. +662 344 1699 (hotel direct line starting 16 July) or e-mail to csb@chr.co.th or visit our website at http://www.centarahotelsresorts.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/centarahotelsresorts

Twitter: www.twitter.com/MyCentara.

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