1.CHAO PHRAYA RIVER BOAT TOUR
Many priceless landmarks of Bangkok are situated on the banks of the Chao Phraya River, and its channels (khlongs) themselves are a big attraction.
Taking a boat along the river and its waterways will give you the chance to view the historic pearls, including the traditional ramshackle old houses on stilts, the naval dockyards and custom houses, the famous floating markets, various museums and temples.
The iconic Wat Arun and the Grand Palace with the ‘Temple of Emerald Buddha’ (Wat Pra Kaew) are the highlights.
There are numerous boat operators during the day, ranging from cheap local public boats that enable to do ‘hop on-hop off’ rides, ideal for independent travellers, to luxurious dinner cruises which give tourists the opportunity to enjoy the exquisite local cuisine in comfort while watching the lit-up historic marvels of Bangkok and its magnificent skyline glide past.
The absolute king of Bangkok is the Grand Palace with the ‘Temple of Emerald Buddha’ or locally called Wat Phra Kaew.
Apart from the royal palace, there are many other significant points of interest for every history and architecture lover; Teak Mansion, Abhisek Dusit Throne Hall, Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha), Wat Suthat, Wat Saket (The Golden Mount) and Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn) (SEE THE TEMPLES OF BANGKOK)
The Royal Barge National Museum houses the Kings` ceremonial barges, which were used on such state occasions as the procession at the end of the annual rainy season. Among the temples are the ancient Wat Kaeo Fa, Wat Amphawan and Wat Suwannara.
Take a boat tour from Bangkok to Ayutthaya – the former capital of Siam Empire, where some of the most impressive temples and historical monuments of Thailand can be found. (SEE AYUTTHAYA)
3.LUMPHINI CITY PARK (IDEAL FOR RELAX)
No one would expect Bangkok having this oasis of peace right at the heart of the downtown. Lumphini Park is a vast public recreational area with various domains.
Named after Buddha`s birthplace in Nepal, a park is a popular place where the locals go for some relaxing time, whether it is a picnic by the lake, bird watching, cycling, walking, paddle boating or lunch in the greenery.
There are several sporting clubs and playgrounds, a library, meditation centre, a refuge for homeless children and grounds for disabled people. Lumphini Park is also known as a festival, cultural event and music concert venue.
Rent a rowing boat or a paddle boat and enjoy the peace at the heart of Bangkok. And if visiting on Sunday afternoon, there is always a free afternoon entertainment. Note that the lake is filled with large reptiles (varans) that are harmless but swimming is not recommended!
4.KHAO SAN (GREAT FOR STREET LIFE)
All backpackers, curious travellers and adventurous visitors will want to experience the exhausting but surely stimulating stroll through the most vibrant quarter of Bangkok. Once the city`s major rice market, today the world-famous backpacker “barrio” – Khao San never sleeps.
The movie “Hungover” is the best example if you cannot visualise the picture; red lights, packed lanes, ping pong shows, hawkers selling fake goods, barbecued insects and other bizarre street food snacks, noisy bars, cheap hotels and taverns and so forth.
Although often dodgy and scamy, Khao San has its unique ambience that is not to be missed!
Khao San is the place where to go if you are a fan of funky vibes and nightlife. Grab a camera and take a tuk-tuk ride through the central Bangkok. Don`t miss out on trying some of the local goodies – pan fried scorpion, crispy tarantula, juicy worms or perhaps grilled grasshoppers?
5.ASIATIQUE RIVER COMPLEX
Since 2012 the tourism industry of Bangkok has been enjoying the pleasant Western atmosphere at the gorgeous open-air mall on the Chao Phraya River.
Lovely riverside promenade, night market and night bazaar, abundant shops and restaurants, as well as the Thai Puppet Theatre, Calypso cabaret, Asiatique Sky and its 60 metres high Ferris Wheel will greet the visitors.
This the place where to go if you want to spend some money: Muay Thai Box live performances, cabaret and theatre, Thai massage and spa, up-market restaurants and designer boutiques – all that is waiting for you in the Asiatique.
Asiatique offers fantastic family attractions, and it is a good spot where to bring your kids. Pay a visit to the Joe Louis Puppet Theatre, try out the Sky Ferris Wheel or the Bangkok Eye Ride. There is a circus, go-karts, a lovely boardwalk and various boat tours to choose from.
It is not a secret that Thailand has the world`s best markets, and Bangkok is their epicentre. The legendary Chatuchak Market is presumably the world`s largest market, and it was nicknamed ‘Aladdin`s Cave’.
Some of the tourist highlights of Bangkok are the legendary floating markets. Damnoen Saduak is the Bangkok`s favourite. It is actually a canal where most of the people live densely on both banks, growing fruit and vegetables.
The best areas for dazzling markets are obviously Chinatown, Little India and Soi Arab. However, every quarter in Bangkok has plentiful markets, shopping spots, eateries and street food stalls (SEE TOP MARKETS OF BANGKOK)
Get lost in Chinatown and find the gorgeous Flower Market (Pak Khlong Talat) and Thieves Market – truly a rarity. Also, remember to stop by the outstanding Railway Market.
Just like anywhere else on earth the Indian quarter teems with colours and boosts scents. Markets here. Markets there. Markets everywhere. Walking through the lanes of Little India is truly feast for one`s eyes; fabrics, textiles, saris, threads, silk, cashmere, leather sandals and bags and curry, nuts and spices, of course.
Pahurat Market is a perfect example – get ready for a vigorous attack on your senses. The endless stalls and aroma of all the goodies will make you linger, and you can easily indulge yourself without spending a fortune.
If you are a fan of shisha, you will definitely want to head to the Middle Eastern Quarter. This is an oasis of Arab exoticism and a crossroad of two cultures.
Gold, perfumes, spices, agarwood, water pipes and comfortable 24/7 lounge bars and restaurants offering delicious meals and chill-out are to be expected in the bustling Soi Arab.
Most of the travellers come here for the authentic Arabic cuisine and its favourites: try out hummus with Arabic bread, tabbouleh, goat with saffron rice, lamb testicles on the grill, couscous and Moroccan tajine. Delicious!
Bizarre foods will greet you on every corner of the Yaowarat Road, and its laneways and strange goods are waiting to be sold at the Thieves Market, covered with odd antiques.
Peaceful temples, lively food markets, busy streets and daily events which will leave you baffled. There is always something going on in Chinatown.
Enter the dragon and feel the atmosphere of one of the world`s most distinct Chinatowns outside of China. Grab the camera and stroll through the packed lanes filled with curiosities and adventures. An easy walk through Chinatown itself is an attraction!
10.FUN AFTER DARK
The South-East Asian lifestyle is based on nightlife and shopping, and the entertainment boosts its range. Where else if not in Bangkok you would find more than satisfactory amusement options and tons of fun: Thai Box performances, nightclubs, dancing scenes, ping pong and ladyboy shows, erotic saloons, gay clubs, but also high-society hot spots, fine dining in gold, opulent shopping malls, designer brands.
The Asiatique and Khao San are the best nighttime venues in Bangkok. There are plenty of chic rooftop bars with infinity pools as well as hidden inexpensive taverns – take your pick!
If you want to get even closer to ‘The Hungover” have a drink on the 63rd floor at the Sky Bar in Lebua. The signature “Hungovertini” cocktail speaks for itself. However, the bar is a part of the 5star hotel Sirocco, and you will have to hop in a fancy dress.
11.WILDLIFE IN THE CITY
Snake Farm is part of an institute that specialises in research of snake venom – Thailand is home to more than 60 venomous snakes, including the deadly spitting cobra. It is an excellent sanctuary with informative and educational displays, and thrilling Cobra shows every day.
Dusit Zoo is the oldest zoo in the country and a popular family destination in Bangkok with lots of educational and amusement facilities.
Samutprakarn Crocodile Farm is proud of holding the world`s largest crocodile in captivity – the 6 m long Yai.
Spend a day at the Safari World that is one of the best in Asia. The complex has two sections – the Animal Park and Marine Park, with daily lion and tiger feeding shows, jungle cruise river ride, water skiing, dolphin performances, cowboy stunts and incredible orang-utan boxing. Sea Life Bangkok Ocean World is an astonishing aquarium park.
Bangkok is a vibrant, dazzling city all year round. Yet, there are some days you definitely do not want to miss out on; the Chinese New Year (January-February), Songkran Festival (April) and Loy Krathong (November) are once-in-a-life-time-experiences! (SEE THE TOP FESTIVALS OF BANGKOK)
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