As the political, economic, cultural, culinary, and spiritual capital of Thailand, Bangkok features both old-world charm and modern convenience, at times served up in an apparently chaotic manner, but always with a gracious smile.
Invariably, every Thailand holiday includes a visit to the kingdom’s capital city, Bangkok, or Krung Thep, “the city of angels” as it is known to its inhabitants. Many tourists who travel to Bangkok are immediately overwhelmed by the sheer size of the city and the vast number of attractions Bangkok has to offer. Indeed there are a wide variety of Bangkok sightseeing opportunities spanning more than two centuries of rapid development following the city’s founding in 1782 by King Rama I, the first king of the present Chakri dynasty; since that auspicious date, Bangkok has swelled to a cosmopolitan, 21st century city of more than ten million inhabitants.
While the immensity of the city and the chaos of its bustling streets can be intimidating at first, those who spend some time in Bangkok are quickly enamored by the variety of attractions Bangkok contains, from exotic temples, which epitomize Thailand’s strong Buddhist history, to modern shopping malls, which have make shopping an integral part of any Bangkok holiday. As the kingdom’s political, economic, cultural, culinary, and spiritual capital, Bangkok features attractions guaranteed to please visitors either simply passing through the city or spending their entire Thailand holiday in Bangkok.
History & Traditions
Nearly every Bangkok holiday includes a visit to Thailand’s Grand Palace, arguably the premier Bangkok sightseeing attraction. Situated in the heart of Bangkok’s Rattakosin district, the gleaming spires of the Grand Palace are conveniently located nearby Bangkok’s 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. These iconic destinations are top attractions to all visitors who travel to Bangkok looking to appreciate Thailand’s unique cultural traditions.
In fact, there are more than 400 functioning Buddhist temples throughout the city and it’s not uncommon when you travel in Bangkok to spot saffron robed monks collecting morning alms or traveling throughout out the city, including along the Chao Phraya, the “River of Kings”, which passes alongside Rattakosin and the Temple of the Dawn.
The winding Chao Phraya is connected by numerous canals from which Bangkok has earned its nickname the “Venice of the East”; when you travel around Bangkok, a cruise on the Chao Phraya, a visit to a floating market, or an exploration of the cities “back alley” canals (klongs) are themselves unique Bangkok attractions.
Located in the heart of Southeast Asia, Bangkok attracts millions of visitors each year, including tourists and business travelers. To cater to such a diverse multitude of guests, Bangkok features the widest variety and quality of places to stay in Thailand, if not the entire world. The vast range of accommodation in Bangkok includes some of worlds most acclaimed hotels as well as entire neighborhoods of budget backpacker hostels and guesthouses.
As one of the premier tourist destinations in Thailand, Bangkok has innumerable attractions, including temples, markets, palaces, and museums, ensuring that visitors with any interest will find something to keep them entertained on their Bangkok holiday.
Food & Drink
Bangkok is one of the premier cities for world-class cuisine. In addition to thousands of outstanding Thai restaurants from five-star to street stall, Bangkok features the entire spectrum of international cuisines, a byproduct of its cosmopolitan population. Expatriate Japanese, Indian, German, Italian, French, Lebanese, and people of nearly every other nationality have established authentic eateries throughout the city. Upscale food courts in many shopping plazas provide visitors with a wide selection of outstanding restaurants, and most hotels feature at least one Thai and one international dining establishment. An incipient food-tourism industry has even appeared on the scene; a testament to the outstanding variety and quality of cuisine available in Thailand’s capital city.
Events & Festivals
Festivals and events are perhaps more common in Bangkok than in any city in the world. Thai people love to celebrate; they even commemorate Thai, Chinese, and Western New Years; regardless of origin, holidays cause the city to come alive in celebration. In addition to unofficially enjoying a number of foreign holidays, Buddhist holidays and those that honor the kingdom’s royal family or history of independence and democracy are an integral part of the people's lives.
(Original information sourced form Thailand Tourism Dept)