The crowds, clamour and contamination may not be conducive to love at first sight. But give it time, and chances are you’ll be charmed by Bangkok’s intricate temple designs, unique longtail boat rides through floating markets, bustling daily life on the streets, bold gastronomical experiments, shop-till-you-drop escapades, exciting nightlife…
Once a minor trading centre and port community on the banks of Chao Phraya River, everything about Bangkok, Thailand’s capital city, today, holds an element of surprise for the curious traveller. The best time to visit the City of Angelsis November to February as Bangkok weather is most pleasant during the winters. July to October brings in the showers, while March to June can get agonisingly hot. Wondering which places to visit in Bangkok? Well, look no further.
Things to do:
Visit Grand Palace
Almost every list of Bangkok tourist places begins with historic monuments like The Grand Palace, Wat PraKaewand Wat Arun. While the Grand Palace (built in 1782) was home to the Thai royalty for 150 years, Wat PraKaew enshrines PhraKaewMorakot (Buddha carved from a single block of emerald), and Wat Arun (constructed in early 19th century in the ancient Khmer style)signifies the birth of the Rattanakosin Period and founding of Bangkok as the capital city.
Among the places to see in Bangkok, there’s no place like Wat Pho, renowned for its gigantic reclining Buddha and traditional Thai massage. The best way to visit the temples, likeWat Saket, Wat Traimit, Wat Benchamabophit and Wat Kalayanamit, is to hire a tuk-tukfor the day. If time permits, do drop by at Jim Thompson’s house (to learn about the traditional Thai style of architecture and the silk industry), The National Museum (to understand Thai culture), and The Bangkok Corrections Museum (to see torture devices and cruel methods of punishment used in the past).
Shopping in Bangkok is an affair to remember! Beyond the luxury malls and boutiques, there’s the colourful and chaotic Chinatown, selling everything you need and more. Chatuchak Weekend Market is another shopping hub with more than 8,000 stalls, where you’ll find it all – from designer clothes and antique home décor items to cheap phones and attractive kitchenware.
Weekends are also the best time to visit the floating markets. DamnoenSaduak, Amphawa, Taling Chan and KhlongLatMayomsee dozens of wooden rowboats floating by, each ferrying fresh fruits, vegetables or flowers. It’s the perfect place to slurp a bowl of spicy boat noodles. And then, there’s the Rot Fai Market (train market selling vintage collectables and memorabilia), and the day-and-night shopping bazaar along Khao San. Remember to brush up on your bargaining skills, though!
There are parts of Bangkok city that come alive only after the sun sets. From neon-lit cabarets to exotic red-light districts, Bangkok nightlife is not popular without reason. Head to Khao San Road to see the mobile bars take over the roadside, selling cheap beer and interesting cocktails. For live music and dancing, there are options galore.
To truly enjoy Thailand nightlife, you need to leave your inhibitions behind, sit back and watch as the ladies and ladyboys put up sizzling performances. Then, you can head out for some experimental street food. Bird’s nest soup, suckling pig, dancing shrimp, anyone? For the less adventurous souls, there’s always lip-smacking Phad Thai noodles, spring rolls and steamed dumplings. No trip to Thailand can be complete without eating on a Bangkok street!