Bangkok is one of Asia’s most established and exciting cities, it’s a city which certainly has a reputation, which it precedes with its outstanding history, architecture and culture. The Thailand capital attracts increasing numbers of tourists year on year with its collection of over 30 temples, famous attractions such as the Floating Market and its bustling sex industry, all while temperatures average above the 30°C mark throughout the year.
Bangkok is certainly a destination to consider while looking for holidays, but what about things to do? With so much on offer you may not have enough time to see it all, so here’s a collection of some of the places that you shouldn’t pass up on while in Bangkok.
Grand Palace and Wat Prakeaw
As the city’s most famous landmark, the Grand Palace and Wat Prakeaw is certainly a must for any Bangkok visitor. Since 1782, the Grand Palace with its formidable architecture and intricate detail, has been the home of the Thai leader for over 150 years, which continues to attract visitors from around the world.
The Palace also hosts Thailand most sacred temple, the Wat Phra Kaew. The temple contains the small and famous jade Emerald Buddha, which robes are changed by the king of Thailand himself depending on the season.
The palace today is no longer used as the home of the king, however the palace complex along with its sacred temple is still used to host all kinds of ceremonial occasions such as coronations as well as being an impressive tourist attraction.
Klongs (floating market)
In Thai, the word Klong means canal, and throughout the years these canals have been used by Bangkok’s locals for transport and as a place to trade. Klongs were so popular, that Bangkok earned the nickname as the “Venice of the East”, however today many have been filled in as roads, but there are still a few that remain in the Ratchaburi, Khlong Saen Saeb and the Klong Damnoen Saduak regions that also host the traditional floating market.
As the name suggests, each market stall is afloat and offers what you’d normally expect in a market, including fresh fruit and vegetables, cooked food and places to drink, the only difference is that you have to row to each one. The Klongs are also a great alternative for getting to the city centre, as you’ll get to avoid the traffic.
Wat Arun, or the Temple of Dawn can be found on the west side of the Chao Phraya River is one of the oldest landmarks in Bangkok. The temple’s architecture has been sculptured on the centre of the universe in the Buddhist cosmology, the Mount Meru. The temple has been designed and created with some of Thailand’s finest craftsmanship, and has more than earned its reputation as being one of Thailand’s most outstanding temples and even though its name is the Temple of Dawn, it is incredibly beautiful at sunset, especially when it is lit up.
Siam Ocean World
If you happen to be shopping in the Siam Paragon mall, then you’ll be shopping two storeys above Bangkok’s largest and even Southeast Asia’s largest underground aquarium, Siam Ocean World. With over 30,000 different species from different places such as the Amazon and era’s such as the Jurassic, Siam Ocean World offers a delightful experience, which the whole family can enjoy.
This aquatic paradise is divided into seven exhibit zones, each with its own theme. You can choose to feed the marine life, walk under a 270 degree underwater tunnel with some of the worlds fiercest sea creatures, enjoy a relaxing glass bottomed boat ride or even a dive with the rays and sharks.
Also known as Wat Phra Chetuphon, Wat Pho is the temple of the reclining Buddha and can be found just behind the Grand Palace. It is currently the largest temple that can be found in Bangkok and its gold leafed Buddha is its centrepiece. Measuring at an astonishing 46 metres long, the gold plated statue honours the Buddha’s entrance into Nirvana, and is certainly worth a visit.
Wat Pho is not only home to this great statue, but it’s also a great place to enjoy a traditional Thai massage. At around 200 baht for an hour, the traditional Thai massage is more stimulating than it is therapeutic, and incorporates yoga in order to improve blood circulation to undoubtedly relieve stress.