While Bangkok was very long ago a small trading center and port community on the banks of the Chao Phraya River, today it has become the economic centre of Thailand. With its magnificent palaces, spectacular temples, the floating market, Bangkok holds the promise of an amazing experience for tourists.
1. Grand Palace and Wat Prakaew are the most popular ones. This palace houses the Temple of the Emerald Buddha or Phra Kaew Morakot that dates back to the 14th century. Carved from a single block of emerald, the statue of Buddha is highly revered among the natives. The robes adorning Buddha are changed by the King of Thailand and this event is an important ritual for the Buddhists. Visitors to this place are expected to dress suitably in clothes that do not show their arms, legs and feet. Tourists who prefer to stay close to this palace can choose from one of the many Bangkok hotels located near the palace.
2. Wat Arun is another place of spiritual significance in Bangkok is Wat Arun. Known as the temple of dawn, Wat Arun’s towering spires is one of the most acknowledged temple landmarks of Southeast Asia. This temple was built in the ancient Khmer style during the reign of King Rama II in the 19th century. The Stupa or ‘Prang’ in Thai, with its ornate floral pattern decorated with glazed porcelain is a sight to behold. Though referred to as the temple of dawn, this spiritual centre is most beautiful and best witnessed during sunset.
3. Chinatown in Bangkok is another must-visit site for all visiting tourists. A market area with probably the highest number of gold shops in the city, Chinatown is chaotic yet an exotic place to visit. Populated with Chinese immigrants, this place once known for its illicit pleasures is now revered as a cultural hot spot. The brothels, opium dens and gambling joints have been long replaced by innumerable restaurants and shops selling great food, fabric and gold. A stroll through the narrow alleys in Chinatown can be a rewarding experience as it offers a glimpse in to the age old Chinese traditions and celebrations. Chinatown houses many of discount Bangkok hotels that offer a homely experience to its tourists.
4. Floating markets: Tourists can visit the floating markets to enjoy a unique shopping experience. Of the many floating markets, the Damnoen Saduak is most popular. Many wooden boats can be seen selling farm fresh tropical fruits, vegetables, flowers and fresh food that is cooked in the floating boat itself. This place still preserves the old culture and way of life that existed before the wave of global consumerism hit the world.
5. Wat Pho: A place of interest for tourists to learn a bit of history is the Wat Pho. Wat Pho houses an amazing collection of murals, inscriptions and sculptures of Bangkok.
6. Jim Thompson’s House and Museum has a huge collection of Thai art and antiques on display and are a delight for visitors who are interested in antiquing.
7. Siam Paragon gives tourists the rare opportunity to experience the ocean like never before, and explore more than 30,000 underwater species in its underground aquarium.
8. The Crocodile Farm has fresh and seawater crocodiles and numerous other animals. There is a dinosaur museum with life size skeletons. This place is one of the largest crocodile breeding centres of the world.
9. National Museum: Constructed in 1782, the National Museum in Bangkok has a huge collection of relics of the Thai culture. The different exhibits are displayed in three separate sections as per the historical periods they relate to, and the personal belongings of the royal family which are on display are quite popular among the visiting tourists.
10. The Ancient City is the world’s largest outdoor museum and presents the whole of Thailand at a glance. Build across an area of 280 acres; it has huge replicas of important temples, buildings and monuments of Thailand, preserving and presenting the true Thai culture and heritage.
With so many options and places to see, Bangkok leaves its visitors with a holiday packed with memorable sights and experiences. The many hotels in Bangkok welcome visitors from world over, providing a range of services as preferred by the different tourists.