TAKE A TRIP TO THAILAND’S COSMOPOLITAN CAPITAL BANGKOK AND BE AMAZED BY ONE OF THE WORLD’S MOST VISITED CITIES.
The exotic holiday destination of Thailand is a very popular country to visit. According to government figures, 900,000 British nationals flock there every year for their holidays. The country’s capital city, Bangkok, was the second most visited city in the world after London, in 2014.
Bangkok is a city which contrasts modernity with tradition. If you’re visiting for the first time you may be overwhelmed at first by the skyscrapers, billboards and futuristic scenery. However, if it is culture you’re looking for, once you’ve ventured away from the main roads, Bangkok is a city absorbed in traditional Thai culture. Visitors can experience the change from their luxurious accommodation to visiting glorious Buddhist temples, ancient towns and markets within minutes. This amazing transition is one which can be experienced in very few other cities.
You will be spoilt for choice when dining out in Bangkok. Thai cuisine is one of the most versatile and tastiest cuisines in Asia. The city offers tourists fantastic Thai dining experiences, but cuisines from other parts of the world are never difficult to get your hands on. Be sure to try the dishes served at street stalls – they are a delight to taste and will be sure to satisfy.
Bangkok’s famous floating markets are a must see if you want to experience traditional Thai food, authentic culture and a vast array of smells, sights and sounds. Networks of wooden, long tail canal boats teeming with fresh fruits, vegetables and flowers transform the rivers into a bright and colourful delight to witness. Taling Chan Floating market is a fantastic market to visit; it is nine miles north-west of Bangkok and is easily accessible. Shops and restaurants are an addition to the canal banks, making for a fun day out.
If you’re looking for some history and culture then make sure you head to one of the many famous temples. With over 400 wats (temples), there are plenty to choose from. For an excellent day of exploration, head over to the Grand Palace Complex, where many wats are located. One of these is Wat Phra Kaew, the beautiful temple of Emerald Buddha, which is the most visited temple in Bangkok.
Be sure to visit the temple, Wat Po, if you want to mix exploration and culture with relaxation. As well as hosting the 150ft-long reclining Buddha and the largest collection of Buddha images in the country, at this temple you can also experience a highly recommended traditional Thai massage.
To add some greenery into your city escape, pay a visit to Lumphini Park in Central Bangkok. The park boasts a beautiful artificial lake and magnificently well-kept gardens. If you embark on an early morning stroll in the park, be sure to encounter locals practising t’ai chi.
If you’re in need of a short retreat away from the hustle and bustle of the urban city, you can visit the countryside setting of the sunny island of Ko Kret, which is an hour north of the city along the Chao Phraya River. This artificial island is popular with day-trippers with its variety of souvenir and food stalls, which are open along the narrow paths across the island. The island is renowned for centuries-old temples, as well as a wonderful style of pottery made by the Mon community who live there.
Adding some modernity into your trip, be sure to experience Bangkok’s thriving nightlife which is well established worldwide, catering for both cosmopolitan visitors and locals. For a more relaxed evening out, the city is home to many rooftop bars with mesmerising panoramic views. If this excites you, head over to the Sirocco Sky bar to feel on top of the world by experiencing the views of the city from the 63rd floor.
The abundance of impressive shopping malls will cater for all your needs where you can buy an array of gifts and souvenirs. Head over to the legendary MBK Shopping Mall, well known by tourists for containing all things affordable. For an even more sophisticated shopping experience, visit the luxury mega-mall, Siam Paragon, where you can find a wide range of products, from high-street fashion to high-tech gadgets. With a variety of luxury malls, markets and boutiques on offer, be sure to treat yourself, which will go alongside your memories of the diverse and amazing experiences Bangkok has to offer.