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Bangkok, Thailand

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No other city in Thailand comes close to its national capital, Bangkok, in terms of size or sheer number of things to do. This formerly tiny Chao Phraya River trading post is now a bustling metropolis with 50 districts, 154 sub-districts, and over 11 million people. Bangkok's chaotic atmosphere and sprawling size may be overwhelming to many first time visitors, but tourists never need to look very far to find friendly locals willing to help in this 'City of Smiles.'

Despite Bangkok's sprawling size, however, a large percentage of its historic landmarks are situated on Rattanakosin, a densely packed island often known as Bangkok's old city. An entire morning or afternoon is recommended to tour the Grand Palace Bangkok, where Thailand's royal family lived until the mid-20th century. Beautiful gardens and pillars with detailed mosaics surround this majestic palace which was first built on the Mae Nam Chao Phraya River during the 1780s.

One of the most impressive temples in Bangkok, Wat Phra Kaew, is also part of the Grand Palace grounds. Thailand's most sacred Buddha image, the Emerald Buddha, is housed inside one of Wat Phra Kaew's intricately decorated sacred buildings. Another nearby temple in Bangkok, Wat Pho, is most famous for its reclining Buddha image, the largest on the planet, and its renowned massage school.

The picturesque Wat Arun temple, which is prominently displayed on the Tourist Authority of Thailand logo as well as some of the country's coins, is situated on the Chao Phraya River's quieter west bank, Thonburi. Four smaller prangs surround the main Wat Arun building, which stands up to 88m high and is decorated with broken pieces of colourful Chinese porcelain.

Grand Palace entry ticket holders can also enter the Dusit Palace at no extra charge. The Vimanmek Mansion, the world's largest golden teakwood residence, is the main structure of this European-style palace King Rama V constructed as an escape from the Grand Palace's heat.

Siam Square's Bangkok Art and Culture Centre is one of the newer additions to Bangkok's long list of museums and art galleries. No museum in all of Southeast Asia, however, can match the size of Bangkok's National Museum, which is also the oldest museum in the entire country. The nearby suburb of Samut Prakan is home to Ancient City, where several significant Bangkok landmarks are displayed in miniature as part of one of the world's biggest outdoor museums.

Bangkok also contains a surprisingly large number of green spaces near its hustle and bustle. Central Bangkok's biggest park is Silom's Lumphini Park, but Khao San Road backpackers often prefer the smaller Santichaiprakarn Park because of its breezy riverside atmosphere.

Southeast Asia's biggest aquarium, Siam Square's Siam Ocean World, is one of Bangkok's most family friendly attractions. Bangkok's notorious nightlife, on the other hand, is on full display at Sukhumvit Road's Nana Plaza and Soi Cowboy areas as well as Silom's Patpong district. Bangkok also boasts a large Indian community on Phahurat Road and a Chinatown on Yaowarat Road.

Markets, Shopping and Cafe Hopping in Bangkok

Posted on 19 July 2016


Whenever you think of Bangkok, surely numerous places comes to mind. However, if you want to focus on a markets, food and shopping trip, then check out these fun five Bangkok experiences.

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