Bangkok City is full of many surprises that can only become characterized as overwhelmingly charming and alluring, both fascinating and majestic, sophisticated yet unpretentious, inconsistent yet harmonious and chaotic yet orderly. No matter how you view it, this vibrant metropolis you could never describe it as dull or boring.
Trying to articulate this angelic city here may not come close to convincing you of what could 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 explodes into this captivating irresistible charm that epitomizes all things Thai. To best sum this up, you'd need to leave all 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 amazingly 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 you can 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. It would be best if you indeed took a stroll around the pleasant, albeit hectic Chatuchak Weekend Market where you'll 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 longboat 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.
Chinatown 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 appliances.
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 now become 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 initially designed and constructed by Jim Thompson, who was Thailand's most famous foreigner. I say it 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 grace yourself with young talented singers and dancers. There were plenty of restaurants around. It had to be one of the best in town, but now it's gone. There's a new night market called Asiatique. See the bottom of this page for 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 excellent amulet market.
Nonthaburi is a pleasant riverside town a short distance north of Bangkok. Though accessible by road, the city can also be reached by riverboat along the Chao Phraya River. A full-day tour by riverboat to Nonthaburi and the surrounding area offers an excellent 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 vessels display, many of which carry ferocious figureheads of mystical creatures on their brows. The royal barges seen here are replicas of some that had been 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 and lush tropical garden near the town of Nakhon Pathom along route four. It's where you'll 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 paddleboat 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 got inspired by the Khmer period whose origins date back from the 9th to the 13th century. Others have their roots 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, is the 19th-century temples which include not only classical Thai architectural features but also Chinese and European influences.
The next time you visit Bangkok city and have 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 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 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 ex-pats organisations. There are lovely local and international restaurants serving up fabulous cuisine. You have got to 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 excellent nightlife entertainment for the whole family, then 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 an awesome 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. Or even see one of the most significant 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 many appealing and engaging possibilities in both attractiveness and entertainment to see and do in this lively city. There is also a tonne of fascinating temptations on offer too. There are day and half-day sightseeing tours, nightlife activities, live shows, romantic dinner tours and lots more.
Tapping into new ways to explore Bangkok from a different angle, emphasising on its local way of life will change your views forever. Using various transportation such as cars, coaches and bicycles, you'll never see the city in the same light when exploring 'Krung Thep'.
This private tour includes accommodation in a sharing twin/double room. All transfers are by car, minivan and or coach with a professional English speaking tour guide. You'll also have the use of a well-maintained bicycle complete with a helmet during your tour. Most of the meals, including breakfast and lunch (up to the second day of the trip), together with entrance and donation fees as well as snacks and drinks during the bicycle tour, are all included in the price.
Booking your tour from this page (no extra cost to you) would not only give me a little pocket money, but you'd be helping me maintain this blog so that I may continue providing you more Thailand travel info.
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Your host Grahame (Yep! that's me) from Luxury Thailand Travel says he'd really appreciate your kind support. Simply take your next tour by selecting any one of the many excursions listed. Here's wishing you a safe trip and a happy and exciting holiday.