Thailand's capital Bangkok is a bustling city with gilded temples, spectacular palaces, a world-famous floating market, colourful Chinatown and a lively night scene, whether it's a cultural tour, shop 'til you drop or party 'til dawn this city has something for everyone.
Things to do
Bangkok has an exhaustive list of things to do, so whether you're visiting for a holiday or on a one night stopover filling your time here shouldn't be too difficult.
Bangkok's Grand Palace is situated on the Chao Phraya River in the heart of the city, constructed in 1782 it features several magnificent buildings including the Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew), Thailand's most valued temple.
Just some of the temples worthy of a visit include; Wat Pho one of the oldest and largest temples in Bangkok and which features the famous Reclining Buddha; Wat Arun, probably the most known and photographed temple in the city, its spire is 70-metre high and decorated with tiny pieces of coloured glass and Chinese porcelain; and Wat Traimit - The Temple of the Golden Buddha, this highly revered temple contains the Golden image Buddha, which is made of solid gold and weighs approx 5 ½ tons, once covered by stucco and plaster its hidden beauty was discovered by an accidental drop.
When you visit a temple in Thailand it's worth remembering that these are religious sites and visitors should dress and act respectfully. Ladies should wear a top with sleeves that cover at least the shoulders, and dresses or skirts of an appropriate length. Men should wear long shorts and in some places trousers and a collared t-shirt or shirt. Remove your shoes when entering the temple and if you sit done ensure your feet do not point at the Buddha.
Visit a floating market is a must-do experience when in Bangkok, enjoy the atmosphere and marvel at the boats piled high with brightly coloured tropical fruit and vegetables, along with local food cooked from floating kitchens on the boat.
Out and about
Getting around Bangkok is easy with plenty of inexpensive options to all corners of the city; the BTS Skytrain and MRT subway offer a fast and punctual way to travel connecting the main shopping, entertainment and business areas also a great way to avoid the city's slow moving traffic. For a unique experience barter your journey by tuk tuk, OK for short hops and for longer journeys a metered taxi is best for comfort and safety.
If you're staying by the Chao Phraya River, the Chao Phraya Express Boat Company offers a day pass allowing you to hop on and off at any of the 10 piers, each with its own attractions.
Bangkok has many areas some popular with tourists include; China town, a colourful and busy area, bustling with people it's filled with market stalls, kerb-side restaurants and a large number of gold shops. A popular base for backpackers due to the well price budget accommodation the Khao San Road has a lively atmosphere night and day, filled with bars, food stalls, restaurants, shops and assorted market stalls.
Bangkok is a shopper's delight; there are numerous modern, air-conditioned shopping centres, street markets, floating markets, designer shops and gold shops. The Chatuchak weekend market has more than 8000 market stalls and is a must-visit place for shopaholics and bargain hunters alike. Don't forget to haggle.
If you're looking to experience or just see what all the fuss is about, the renowned adult-entertainment of Bangkok can be found in three red-light districts in the city; Patpong the original and most famous of the three has around 100 neon-lit bars and a night-market, Nana Entertainment Plaza located in Sukhumvit Soi 4 is notorious for its racy themed go-go bars, and Soi Cowboy found next to the Terminal 21 shopping centre offers much the same but with a more laid back approach than the previous two.
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