Four major streets meet at Victory Monument but it feels more like fourteen. This is a major hub for travelers, with dozens of bus lines that stop here, minivans departing for the outskirts and other towns, and a BTS skytrain station. The circle of little streets and sidewalks around the Monument are busy with stalls selling food – everything from snacks like luuk chup to curry noodles – and clothing. On the west side are ladies’ shoes starting at 200 baht, and more miscellany. Stock up on headbands and barrettes, leggings, a cheap umbrella, a plastic watch, and so on.
On the elevated walkway above, at night, are “illegal” hawkers working without permits. They sell DVDs, CDs, tee-shirts, bags, and cheap stuff on blankets so that they can grab their wares and go if they need to.
The monument in the center was built in 1941 to celebrate what a victory after a political skirmish with French colonialists in Indo-China, resulting in annexed territories in Cambodia and Laos. Italian artist Silpa Bharasi, who founded the country’s first fine arts university, designed it, but was unhappy with the final result.
Address: Intersection of Phaya Thai, Ratchavithi, and Phahon Yothin Roads
BTS: Victory Monument