Bangkok is a vibrant city full of lively experiences, fascinating sightseeing and colourful culture that makes it a great place to visit for those heading to South East Asia. It is the capital city of Thailand, the most densely populated urban area in the country and the political and financial centre, which makes it an essential stop on the route for anyone visiting this part of the world. If you’re planning a trip to the ‘Furnace of the earth’ (it’s pretty hot here) then there are a few places that you just have to see. And remember!
The Grand Palace
The Grand Palace is one of the best known sights in Bangkok and if you want to get a real sense of the history of this great city then it’s a must see. Visitors need to be properly attired for a visit here – long shirts and trousers for guys and covered shoulders and legs for the girls, and no bare feet. The Palace was the official residence of Thailand’s royalty since it was built in 1782, although the current king only uses it for official occasions. It is basically a series of halls and pavilions arranged around various lawns and courtyards, all built in typical, distinctive Thai style. Particularly worth a visit are the Phra Maha Montien at the very heart of the complex, and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha.
The Khao San Road
Whilst this street has its place in only recent history, it is still a must see, as it has become the focal point for all traveller activity in the city. The road has gained a reputation as the ‘backpacker ghetto’ for the large number of cheap hostels and hotels that provide accommodation to many of those passing through the city. There’s a huge number of shops selling everything from pirated DVDs to handicrafts and buses regularly leave from here to other parts of Thailand. If you’re looking for lively nightlife the bars here are packed pretty much the time. However, be warned – people can lose weeks on the Khao San Road…
Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
Damnoen Saduak Flaoting Market is the mother of all floating markets and the best place to get a real feel for the people of Bangkok – as well as somewhere to pick up lots of fantastic local, fresh produce. The best time to visit is in the early morning before the heat of the day has really kicked in, when you can barter for fresh coconut, and a whole range of other tropical fruits and vegetables.
If you’re something of a foodie then you simply can’t leave Bangkok without a visit to Chinatown, as the street food here is some of the best in the world. During the day this area is a key gold trading road and also popular with those coming to visit the temples, whilst at night there are more food stalls than you can shake a stick at. Try BBQ shrimp or fish, Tom Yum Koong, fish maw or chestnuts, followed by a slice of mouthwatering tropical fruit for desert.
Whatever your motivation for a trip to Bangkok, whether it’s sightseeing, cuisine sampling, partying or shopping you will find plenty here to keep you entertained.
The only problem you might have with this lively city is that you’ll find that you don’t want to leave.