As the political, economic, cultural, culinary, and spiritual capital of Thailand, Bangkok, or Krung Thep, `a city of angels’, is a modern behemoth of screaming traffic, gleaming shopping centres and international sensibilities interwoven with devout Buddhism. The city has a blend of both old world charm and modern convenience served with a gracious smile. It is impossible not to get enamoured by the exotic temples of the city, which epitomize Thailand’s strong Buddhist history to modern shopping malls, which created shopaholics to be an integral part of a visit to Bangkok!
Nearly every journey to Bangkok would include a visit to Grand Palace, its premie sightseeing attraction, situated in the heart of Rattakosin district. The gleaming spires of the Grand Palace are located nearby the most spectacular temples, including the Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Keaw), the Temple of Dawn (Wat Arun), and Wat Po which features an enormous reclining Buddha and was home of the first Thai massage school in the kingdom, hence making these iconic destinations a landmark for the city’s unique cultural traditions. You may come across saffron-robed monks travelling through the city, alongside the winding Chao Phraya, the River of Kings’, which is connected by numerous canals from which Bangkok earned its name as `Venice of the East’. A cruise on this river, a visit to the floating market or an exploration of the city’s `back alley’ canals or klongs are themselves captivating fantasies in Bangkok. Other historical and heritage discoveries include the National Museum, Vimanmek Mansion and Suan Pakkad Palace, all of which either house fine art or national treasures in their own right.
A modern and convenient electric rail system included an elevated sky-train and underground subway have made travel in the city both easy and enjoyable. Wat Benchamabophit Dusitvanaram is a Buddhist temple in the Dusit district of Bangkok, also known as the marble temple and an exquisite site. The thickly forested Lumphini Park, a scintillating Butterfly Farm, Dusit Zoo, Thai Aquarium, Thai Water Amusement Park, numerous enchanting gardens, two hugh parks – Rama IX and Chatuchak- that contain lakes, botanical gardens, besides traditional English, French, and Japanese gardens are added attractions.
Connecting hotels directly to modern shopping malls and traditional markets, such as the Suan Lum Night Bazar and Chatuchak weekend market, the electric rail systems have literally elevated the city’s shopping to world class status. An escapade to Bangkok is not complete without experiencing the vibrant nightlife, during which time you may even witness the occasional elephant wandering the streets!
Bangkok has some excellent department stores and designer boutiques housed in upmarket complexes such as The Emporium (Phrom Phong is your BTS station), MBK or Siam Paragon. There are several sales around the year so you can be sure of picking up a bargain. With all the enticing shops around you, please remember you have a flight to catch. Also keep in mind that you can get VAT refunds in Bangkok, so please keep your receipts from the stores for encasement.
Whether the purpose of your Thailand holiday is to immerse yourself in the city’s unique culture or simply to splurge in the shopping malls, the guarantee of a fascinating experience of the amazing old legacy and luxurious comfort awaits you. As the city has transformed itself as an exciting and sophisticated hub, the visitors get exposed to a glimpse of gentle hospitality amidst the bustle of a great and dynamic metropolis.