Amidst the greenery of trees stands the elegant Neilson Hays Library; a white, neoclassical building which has been said to be one of the most beautiful libraries in Thailand. Not only is the building aesthetically pleasing, but it is also a charming symbol of love.
Around a hundred years ago, the Bangkok Ladies' Library Association was a place for foreign ladies to meet and discuss books. It was organised by an American missionary called Jenny Neilson Hays, the wife of Colonel Doctor Thomas Heyward Hays, until she passed away. Doctor Hays bought a piece of land on Surawong Road to create the library as a memorial to his beloved wife.
The library building has historical value to Thai architecture, too. It was designed by the Italian architect, Mario Tamagno, who played an important role in establishing the Western architecture style in Thailand over the past century. His most well-known works include the Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall, the Parutsakawan Palace and the Thai Khu Fah Building (Government House of Thailand) etc.
Neilson Hays Library has been in operation for almost a hundred years. It houses tens of thousands of foreign books and is a regular venue for a variety of photography and art exhibitions. There is a café serving food and drinks outside the building under the shade of trees. Guests can still feel the love with which the library was built in the ambience of this place.
Open 9.30 to 5pm (Except Mondays and public holidays).
100 baht entry fee
Address: 195 Surawong Road, Bangrak
Tel. 0 – 2233-1731