Thailand’s oldest and most prestigious university is nestled in a leafy enclave south of busy Rama I.
The centrepiece of the campus is the promenade ground on the east side of Th Phayathai where a seated statue of Rama V (King Chulalongkorn; r 1868–1910) is surrounded by purple bougainvillea and offerings of pink carnations. The showcase buildings display the architectural fusion the monarch favoured, a mix of Italian revival and Thai traditional. The campus has a parklike quality, with noble tropical trees considerately labelled for plant geeks. Of the many species that shade the campus, the rain trees with their delicate leaves are considered symbolic of the university; they are commemorated in a school song, and their deciduous cycle matches the beginning and ending of each school year.