Travel Information
Bangkok (Thai: กรุงเทพฯ Krung Thep) is the capital of Thailand and, with a population of over eleven million inhabitants, by far its largest city. Its high-rise buildings, heavy traffic congestion, intense heat and naughty nightlife do not immediately give you a warm welcome — but don't let your first impression mislead you. It is one of Asia's most cosmopolitan cities with magnificent temples and palaces, authentic canals, busy markets and a vibrant nightlife that has something for everyone. For years, it was only a small trading post at the banks of the Chao Phraya River, until King Rama I, the first monarch of the present Chakri dynasty, turned it into the capital of Siam in 1782, after the burning of Ayutthaya by Burmese invaders.
Since then, Bangkok has turned into a national treasure house and functions as Thailand's spiritual, cultural, political, commercial, educational and diplomatic centre. Enjoy a memorable dinner cruise adrift the Chao Phraya River. Bask in the city’s warm, affluent glow at a skyscraping rooftop bar. Experience all the things – tuk-tuk ride, ladyboy show, Muay Thai (kickboxing) match, Thai massage – everyone always comes home talking about.
According to the World Meteorological Organization, Bangkok is the world's hottest city. Located just 14 degrees north of the Equator, Bangkok is sunny at any time of the year with temperatures over 30°C (86°F).
Temple of Dawn
Wat Arun, locally known as Wat Chaeng, is situated on the west (Thonburi) bank of the Chao Phraya River. It is believed that after fighting his way out of Ayutthaya, which was besieged by a Burmese army at the time, King Taksin arrived at this temple just as dawn was breaking. He later had the temple renovated and renamed it Wat Chaeng, the Temple of the Dawn. During his reign (Thonburi Period), Wat Chaeng was the chief temple, and it once enshrined the Emerald Buddha and another important Buddha image, the Phra Bang, both of which had been removed from Vientiane.
Temple of Reclining Buddha
Wat Pho (the Temple of the Reclining Buddha), or Wat Phra Chetuphon, is located behind the splendid Temple of the Emerald Buddha. It's the largest temple in Bangkok and famed for its huge and majestic reclining Buddha measured 46 metres long and covered in gold leaf. The Buddha's feet are 3 metres long and exquisitely decorated in mother-of-pearl illustrations of auspicious 'laksanas' (characteristics) of the Buddha.
Temple of Emerald Buddha
Wat Phra Kaew or the Temple of the Emerald Buddha (officially known as Wat Phra Sri Rattana Satsadaram) is regarded as the most important Buddhist temple in Thailand. Located in the historic centre of Bangkok, within the grounds of the Grand Palace, it enshrines Phra Kaew Morakot (the Emerald Buddha), the highly revered Buddha image meticulously carved from a single block of jade.
The Emerald Buddha (Phra Putta Maha Mani Ratana Patimakorn) is a Buddha image in the meditating position in the style of the Lanna school of the north, dating from the 15th century AD.
The Grand Palace
A strict dress code applies. The Grand Palace with The Temple of the Emerald Buddha is Thailand's most sacred site. Visitors must be properly dressed before being allowed entry to the temple. Men must wear long pants and shirts with sleeves (no tank tops. If you're wearing sandals or flip-flops you must wear socks (in other words, no bare feet.) Women must be similarly modestly dressed. No see-through clothes, bare shoulders, etc. If you show up at the front gate improperly dressed, there is a booth near the entrance that can provide clothes to cover you up properly (a deposit is required).
Floating market
Even though transactions are more concerned with tourists rather than locals these days, the floating market;boats are still piled high with tropical fruit and vegetables, fresh, ready-to-drink coconut juice and local food cooked from floating kitchens located right on the boat. To enjoy the atmosphere without haggling over prices, try relaxing on a guided boat tour of Damnoen Saduak market. Floating markets are Taling Chan Market, Bang Ku Wiang Market, Tha Kha, and Damnoen Saduak.
Bangkok’s Chinatown is a popular tourist attraction and a food haven for new generation gourmands who flock here after sunset to explore the vibrant street-side cuisine. At day time, it’s no less busy, as hordes of shoppers descend upon this 1-km strip and adjacent Charoenkrung Road to get a day’s worth of staple, trade gold, or pay a visit to one of the Chinese temples. Packed with market stalls, streetside restaurants and a dense concentration of gold shops, Chinatown is an experience not to miss. The energy that oozes from its endless rows of wooden shophouses is plain contagious – it will keep you wanting to come back for more.
Khao San Road
If Bangkok is a city where East greets West, then Khao San Road is the scene of their collision, the place where they jostle for superiority and poke one another in the eye. With travellers from every corner of the modern world, sleek clubs playing sophisticated sounds, eclectic market stalls, converted VW cocktail bars, and foods tamed to suit the Western palate, it may seem clear who won the fight. However, whether you're a hard-up farang (foreigner) or open-minded Thai, its irrepressible energy and carefree vibe makes it well worth a visit.
Bangkok golf
Bangkok golf courses offer great value for money with many excellent golf clubs offering a high level of service at very competitive prices. Golf tours and holidays have grown rapidly across Thailand, particularly in Bangkok where there are scores of delightful golf courses and clubs within easy reach of the city centre. Most of them have been renovated and developed to world-class standards.
Indeed, Bangkok is now a hub of international golfing activities and offers the perfect combination of city and leisure facilities. Excellent clubhouse amenities, challenging scenic courses and smiling, friendly service ensure that a golfing holiday in Bangkok is a golfer's paradise.
Calypso Ladyboy Show
An explosion of lights, sounds and pouts, the famous Calypso Ladyboy Cabaret is a breathless blend of incredible sets, glittering costumes and thrilling musical acts. Despite what you have seen or heard about Thai ladyboys, these performers are good at what they do best: looking and acting just like the real thing. You will be left dazzled by the show and quite possibly smitten with the many gender-straddling performers. Meet 'Marilyn Monroe', 'Michael Jackson' and Portuguese-Brazilian 1940s starlet 'Carmen Miranda', along with a string of their diva friends. This is an entertaining night out for families, couples and any curious souls expecting to be surprised.
Siam Niramit Show
Siam Niramit combines an authentic Thai buffet with a world-class stage show depicting Thailand's historical and spiritual heritage. With over 150 dazzling performers and state-of-the-art special effects, it’s a captivating journey. The first act describes how Siam became a cross-roads where civilisations met, the second how karma binds Thai people, and the final act shows how religious ceremony earns Thai people merit in this life. In addition to the show, you can visit replica villages from the country's rural regions and buy Thai handicrafts.
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