Bangkok City is full of innumerable surprises that can only be characterised as overwhelmingly charming and alluring, both fascinating and majestic, complex yet unpretentious, inconsistent yet harmonious and chaotic yet orderly. No matter how you view it, this vibrant metropolis can never be described as dull or boring.
Trying to articulate this angelic city here may not come close to convincing you of what could possibly be your ultimate holiday experience. One thing is surefire, the sheer thrill and excitement of this charming and fun loving cosmopolitan environment draw many millions of visitors from around the globe every year.
Bangkok just explodes into this captivating irresistible charm that epitomises all things, Thai. To best sum this up, you would need to leave all of your western values at home and take a walk on the wild side as this metropolis of well over ten million people appears to be a bewildering melange of the ancient and the modern, the exotic and the commonplace, all seemingly sewn together in a chaotic kaleidoscope of craziness, albeit organized. Does this make any sense?
One night in Bangkok as I discovered is not nearly enough time to take in all the wondrous sights, smells and sounds of this amazing vibrant city. If anything, it should take your breath away as it did mine. Remember that nothing ventured equals nothing gained. I shall leave the rest up to you to discover and explore.
Bangkok City is the biggest in Thailand dating back to the
year 1782. It is the political, commercial, administrative and cultural
engine that drives the country. The city caters for some of the best
shopping in the world and it's not impossible for you to lose yourself
in one of many modern malls or shopping centres that are constantly
springing up all over the city.
MBK is the ultimate experience.
Then there are loads of local stall traders vying for your attention as you stroll the busy streets. You should indeed take a leisurely stroll around the pleasant, albeit hectic Chatuchak Weekend Market where you will find everything and anything from books, music, handicrafts, clothing, plants and even live animals.
If that is not enough, take a drive to Damnoen Saduak, the most famous Floating Market in Thailand. Here you can enjoy shopping of a different kind as well as a leisurely long boat cruise around the canals to view the local riverside homes in the region. Another great idea is to take in a late night visit to one or other Flower Market scattered around the city to view the fantastic displays.
is another busy and often crowded marketplace where you can purchase
virtually anything your heart desires. Well, almost anything that is. Some of the items on offer include many local traditional herbal cures, lots of
inexpensive jewellery, all sorts of household goods and some electrical
Jim Thompson House
is a fabulous place to spend some real quiet time away from all the
hustle and bustle of city life. This house has been converted into a
unique museum. It's become the second most visited
site after the Grand Palace. It is situated right in the heart of Bangkok and is open daily to the public. The house-museum
was originally designed and constructed by
Jim Thompson who was Thailand's most famous foreigner. I say was because Jim has long since passed on, albeit under extremely mysterious circumstances.
Suan Lum Night Bazaar is unfortunately closed and what a pity that is. It was a fantastic all night shopping market where you could shop till you dropped. You would have found all sorts of silk products, handicrafts, artworks and more. It was a great entertainment venue where you could watch a puppet show or be entertained by young talented singers and dancers. There were plenty of restaurants around. It had to be one of the best in town and now it's all gone. There's a new night market now called Asiatique. See the bottom of this page for more details.
Sanam Luang is a circular-shaped lawn directly north of the Grand Palace and one of the largest open spaces in the city. It is also known as the Field of Kings or Royal Ground. It is the site for traditional royal ceremonies, impromptu soccer matches, jogging, children's activities, public protests and the kite flying festival. There are also other places of interest such as the National Museum, a Buddhist University and Meditation Centre as well as an awesome amulet market.
Nonthaburi is a pleasant riverside town located a short distance north
of Bangkok. Though accessible by road, the town is best reached by
riverboat along the Chao Phraya River. A full day tour by riverboat to
Nonthaburi and the surrounding area offers a great opportunity to escape the
chaos and pollution of the capital. The slow-paced journey takes you
through durian plantations and past riverside houses to the tiny island
of Ko Kret, home to a community of pottery craftsmen.
The Royal Barge Museum in Bangkok contains a fascinating collection of some of Thailand's most flamboyant regal boats. While perhaps a little ostentatious, you certainly cannot deny the superb craftsmanship these fine vessels display, many of which carry ferocious figureheads of mystical creatures on their brows. The royal barges seen here are replicas of some that were built two hundred years ago and whose history dates back as far as the Ayutthayan period.
Nakhon Pathom is thought to be the oldest city in Thailand and only an hour drive west of Bangkok. The highlight is the Phra Pathom Chedi which rises majestically over the surrounding countryside. It's the tallest Buddhist monument in the world and houses several large and small Buddha images. It's one of the most important places of pilgrimages in Thailand. Not far from town is Sanam Chan Palace, famous for its unusual mix of architectural design styles.
The Rose Garden Country Resort is a well manicured lush tropical garden near the town of Nakhon Pathom along route 4 where you will find not only roses and orchids but also accommodation, restaurants, tennis courts, a golf court, a kids playground and an artificial lake for a leisurely paddle boat ride. There are also traditional Thai cultural shows where actors perform all sorts of folk dancing.
Samut Prakan is a bustling fishing town only a half hour drive south of Bangkok at the estuary to the Chao Phraya River. There are lots of things to do and see here such as a visit to Thailand's largest crocodile farm and zoo as well as a trip to the Ancient City of Muang Boran,Thailand's largest outdoor cultural theme park and museum. The meditation temple Wat Asokaram is another magnificent site to visit as is the famous Wat Phra Chedi built in the middle of the river.
Some of the most spectacular Temples you could ever wish to see in Bangkok are inspired by the Khmer period whose origins date back from the 9th to the 13th century. Others have their origins from the Sukhothai period from the 13th to the 15th-century. There are also temples whose style originate from the Ayutthaya period between the 14th to the 18th-century. Last but no means least, are the 19th-century temples which not only include classical Thai architectural features but also Chinese and European influences.
The next time you visit Bangkok city and seen all the stunning places of interest, you might want to see a completely different side of Thailand as I once did. The notorious Thai prison of Bang Kwang is not exactly on the tourist trail but nevertheless, it gave me some food for thought so I decided to give it a try. Go on and take a walk on the wild side. You will be required to gain permission to actually view this prison as it is with other institutions such as this one in the country.
Bangkok city boasts a vibrant nightlife with hundreds of go-go bars, clubs and pubs as well as various other venues including many expats organisations. There are wonderful local and international restaurants serving up fabulous cuisine. You just gotta try one of the excellent seafood restaurants around town.
It doesn't stop here either. The fun scene in Bangkok city is not limited to adults only. There are also loads of fun stuff for kids that will keep them amused all day long. So despite the city's reputation for being one of the world's top adult playgrounds, there are also numerous kids playgrounds for children to have their day. The Children's Discovery Museum, Dream World Theme Park and Safari World are just some of the best kids entertainment centres around town.
If you're looking for some great nightlife entertainment for the whole family, then perhaps you should head on down to Asiatique The Riverfront right on the banks of the Chao Phraya River. Apart from it being a shoppers paradise and a wonderful place to meet friends over for a drink or dinner, you can also go on a fun Ferris wheel ride, watch a ladyboy show at Calypso Cabaret and or see one of the biggest shadow puppet performances at the Joe Louis Theatre.
No matter how you look at it, you have to admit that this lively and bustling city has it all and then some. You'd be hard-pressed to find a better place to enjoy all the attractions and entertainment in such a warm and friendly environment.
There are so many appealing and engaging possibilities in both attractiveness and entertainment to see and do in this extremely lively city with a tonne of fascinating temptations on offer too. There are day and half day sight-seeing tours, nightlife activities, live shows, romantic dinner tours and lots more.
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