Bangkok has become Thai’s capital in 1782. Today the city of angels is a political, economical, cultural and spiritual center of Thailand, with a population estimated at 12 million inhabitants. The city is both, archaic at modern at the same time. Rapidly growing Bangkok is located on the banks of Chao Phraya River near its outlet into the Gulf of Thailand. Best-known as the River of Kings, it divides the city into two distinguished parts: Thonburi (west bank) and Krung Thep (east bank).
For photography from my Thailand journey please go here –>
GRAND PALACE AND WAT PRAKEAW
If there is one must-see sight that no visit to Bangkok would be complete without, it’s the dazzling, spectacular Grand Palace (build in 1782), undoubtedly the city’s most famous landmark. For nearly 150 years this place was the home of the Thai King, the Royal court and the administrative seat of government. Today the Grand Palace of Bangkok is the favorite tourist attraction with beautiful architecture and intricate detail. The complex is also the spiritual heart of the Thai Kingdom. Wat Pra Kaew enshrines Phra Kaew Morakot (the Emerald Buddha), the sacred Buddha image meticulously carved from a single block of emerald. I was surprised with the beauty and tonnes of gold used to make this space sparkle like it does.
2. WAT PHO
Wat Pho is definitely one of my favorite placed in Bangkok with it’s gigantic reclining Buddha. But there is much more about this place: traditional Thai massages, fascinating collection of murals, inscriptions, and sculptures that delve into various subjects. The complex contains also a landscaped garden with stone sculptures, stupas adorned with glazed porcelain and the College of Traditional Medicine.
3. KHAO SAN ROAD
Big City Lights…this is the place where East greets West. Cultural diversity is hiding in every corner. With travelers from all over the world, sleek clubs playing sophisticated sounds, eclectic market stalls, cocktail bars, and foods tamed to suit the Western palate. If you decide to take a tuk-tuk from here to any place, make sure you have a fixed price agreed at the beginning of your journey 🙂 Otherwise, you might end up with a 15 minutes negotiation trip like I did, which was quite fun !!!
4. WAT ARUN
The impressive silhouette of Wat Arun’s towering spires is one of the most recognized in Southeast Asia. The complex was build in the first half of the 19th century in the ancient Khmer style, the stupa showcasing ornate floral pattern decked out in glazed porcelain is stunning up close. Apart from its beauty, Wat Arun symbolizes the birth of the Rattanakosin Period and the founding of the new capital after Ayutthaya fell. This amazing piece of architecture was still under construction when I visited Bangkok back in 2015 but at the end of the year it was available for tourists again.
5. SKY BAR BANGKOK
What would be a perfect day in Bangkok without a perfect view and delicious cocktail in the evening? One of the most stunning rooftop bars you will find at the Sky Bar, often called The Hangover Bar, from the movie The Hangover. That unforgettable night has started with the famous Hangovertini cocktail. Yummy!
6. FLOATING MARKETS
The pioneer of all floating markets, Damnoen Saduak continues to offer an authentic adventure! Imagine dozens of wooden row boats floating by fully laden with farm-fresh fruits, vegetables or flowers. Don’t be afraid to try some of the local foods. I did and didn’t feel sick afterward. Food vendors fill their vessels with cauldrons and charcoal grills, ready to whip up a bowl of ‘boat noodle’ or seafood skewers upon request. If you are going in the high season, be prepared that this place will be overcrowed with hungry tourists.
Chinatown is a colourful, exotic and chaotic area, packed with market stalls and the highest concentration of gold shops in the city. Every second shop is selling some animal body parts, which honestly didn’t look or smell very pleasant. Our group has tried some delicious rice snack, served directly from the oven. If there is something unbeatible in Thailand, it is the fresh and sweet fruits as well as the coconut water I felt in love with.
8. RESTAURANT SRA BUA
OK, OK, I almost made it to this place. Before my trip I was carefully checking for a good restaurant, that wouldn’t be too overcrowded with tourists. Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough time during my Thailand trip to try I traditional restaurant for this Thai dining experience. Sra Bua located in the Siam Kempinski Hotel is a fine-dining restaurant that serves cutting edge Thai cuisine unlike any you will have ever seen before. Well-known Thai favourites have been turned inside out, and every dish is a treat for the eyes. The Sra Bua restaurant has high ceilings and Thai antique embellishments which make a unique and romantic ambience. Let me know if you had a chance to try it.
9. THE JIM THOMPSON HOUSE
What a place! The Jim Thompson House is one of the top Bangkok attractions offering insight into the life of owner Jim Thompson as well as a look at some of Thailand’s traditional architecture, beautiful silk and art. Outside, the lush gardens are quite the oasis compared to the busy streets just steps away, and the large fish pond is a great place to sit and relax after a tour.
10. BANGKOK NATIONAL MUSEUM
Don’t miss this one… the Bangkok National Museum. When discovering Bangkok you’ll realise there are countless museums of different sizes and different subjects all across the city. If you want a general overview of Thai art and history, be sure to visit the Bangkok National Museum
Thailand is friendly and joyful, exotic and tropical, with a variety of culture and history. The people are very religious, often poor but very friendly. It is hard to beat the taste of Thailand’s fruits and the beauty of its beaches.
Best time to travel to avoid high season: April – June and Sept – October. Prices are lower. The international flights are quite cheap.
Religion: 94% are Buddhists
Book tip: every journey I take stars with a book with the plot happening in my destination country. My book tip for Thailand is “Private dancer” by Stephen Leather.
Delicious: Singha beer, Chan beer, Pat gaprow gai (pancake with chicken, chili, garlic and basil), Pat tai (rice noodles with egg, tofu, shrimps and herbs) + FRESH FRUITS AND COCONUT WATER!