Landing in Bangkok is the first experience most people have of Thailand. Travelers will generally spend a couple of days savoring Bangkok before they move on to other more relaxed and less crowded areas. While Bangkok is a major city that can be noisy, crowded and just plain difficult, nevertheless it offers to visitors a lifetime of things to do and places to visit, so here is how to get the best out of your couple of days in Bangkok.
The options for getting around Bangkok are almost endless. Almost every form of mass transit in a capital city are available, plus some that are unique to Bangkok. From motorcycle taxis and tuk tuk jostling their way in traffic tuk tuks are definitely something you should experience – to regular taxis and buses, Bangkok has it all. One of the best ways to get around especially in Bangkok’s oppressive heat is to use the air conditioned underground and sky trains, these are a relative luxury in comparison to other forms of transport around Bangkok. The long tails and river boats offer a great transport option, while letting you take in the Bangkok sights from a unique perspective. To really savor the heart and soul of the Thai capital, then walking is the way forward. Strolling around especially in places like the Khao San road will leave a lasting impression and some amazing memories.
A visit to Bangkok would not be complete without at least one or two visits to Buddhist temples. With Buddhism being the dominant faith in Thailand and the Thai people being quite pious, there are many absolutely gorgeous temples to visit. In fact, Thai Buddhist temples are some of the most spectacular in the world, they are well worth a visit. The Golden Buddha temple for example is well worth a visit among others, since it houses the huge golden Buddha. This statue, which is 3 meters high and weighs in at 5.5 tons, is made of gold. The value of the gold in the statue is estimated to be at least 250 million dollars.
No trip to Bangkok would be complete without a visit to Khao San road, the spiritual heart of backpacker tourism in Thailand. This short road offers everything from cheap accommodation, to buses departing daily to every touristic destination in Thailand. The many shops sell everything from music CD’s and clothes, to fake ID’s and other backpacking items. In the evening there are many bars where you can catch up with other travelers. Street vendors congregate selling a wide variety of Thai street foods, exotic snacks and even the odd barbecued insect.
As a modern city there are many other attractions in Bangkok; for those who prefer and appreciate the Arts, then the museum of contemporary art and the Bangkok arts and cultural center are great places to visit. The contemporary art museum has a collection of paintings and sculptures that is the most comprehensive in Thailand. The Bangkok arts and cultural center is a great cultural meeting point with many exhibitions about art, music, film, and sculpture occurring during the year. There are also book shops, cafes and other attraction for you to visit.
Another attraction well worth the visit is the Queen Saovabha Memorial Institute, or as it is best known, the Snake farm. This research institute houses an enormous collection of venomous snakes where research and anti-venom development are conducted. Dating back to 1912 the institute offers education tours which, aside from being informative are quite the spectacle – with handlers dealing with some of the most venomous snakes in the world.
For the last 150 years the grand palace has been the center of the Thai royal family, and seat of government. Thanks to its amazing architecture and stunning gardens, this spectacular palace is well worth a visit on its own. However, visiting the grand palace is also an opportunity to visit the emerald Buddha temple, which is the holiest of Buddhist places in Thailand. Overall this list is by no means exhaustive – Bangkok has something for everyone.
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