Victory Monument, Bangkok, Thailand

Victory Monument, Bangkok, Thailand

© Damien Bouhours

Victory Monument is at the center of the transportation system in Bangkok, Thailand. There are a BTS Skytrain station (Victory Monument station), an exit for the expressway, many bus stops and also a lot of mini-van parked around to serve several routes to navigate around the country (Ayutthaya, Ko Samed, Lopburi …). So it’s a fair statement to say that most roads lead to Victory Monument.

อนุสาวรีย์ชัยสมรภูมิ (which you should read : Anusawari Chai Samoraphum), was erected in 1941. It is a military memorial  dedicated to the Thai victory in the Franco-Thai War, a brief conflict waged against the French colonial authorities in Indo-China, which resulted in Thailand annexing some territories in western Cambodia and northern and southern Laos. Its central obelisk, even though Egyptian in its style, reminds of many European and American military monuments. If the heroic figures of the depicted soldiers were supposed to highlight the Thai patriotism, nowadays this monument is regarded as an inappropriate symbol of militarism.

If its meaning isn’t beloved by Thai people, its form has been praised by tourists who usually immortalize their stay in the capital by a picture of the Victory Monument. Its popularity among foreigners benefits also from the many shopping centers dispatched around the commemorative round-about.