Highlights of Bangkok

28. December 2016

Highlights of Bangkok

Thailand’s capital city of Bangkok is a real city of contrasts.  When I first arrived in Bangkok I was completely overwhelmed.  It’s big, brash, chaotic, noisy …. Perhaps even a little crazy!  But, once you adapt to the hustle and bustle all around you, you can find some wonderful places to see.

The Grand Palace and Wat Phra Keaow Temple are in the same complex.  It is one the Bangkok’s most popular attractions.  Within the grounds, there are various beautiful buildings, statues and pavilions.   There are nice gardens and courtyards.  You are able to wander about some areas, although entry to other parts is not allowed.  The overall impression is very colourful, and the golden details catch and reflect the sun.  Wat Phra Keaow Temple is the home of Thailand’s revered Emerald Buddha.

Wat Pho is another popular temple.  It houses a large reclining Buddha image.  It is also where traditional Thai massage was born, so is the perfect place to try a stimulating and invigorating Thai massage.  One of Bangkok’s oldest temples, there are many smaller Buddha statues and other interesting details.  The gates to the temple’s grounds are guarded by large intimidating stone giants.

Wat Arun, which is also known as the Temple of the Dawn, sits alongside the river and the soaring spires can be seen from afar.  It is a delightful temple, surrounded by ancient Chinese warriors and animals.  There are superbly decorated walls, mosaics, and visual feast of colours.

Bangkok’s China town is as it was in the olden days, meaning that a walk through Chinatown really is like taking a step back in time.  Many traders keep their traditional ways, and it is a completely different side to Bangkok.

If you are in Bangkok at a weekend, you should definitely try and take a trip to Chatuchak Weekend Market.  It is near to the Mo Chit BTS skytrain station, and sells everything you can imagine, as well as many things you would not expect!  It is huge and there are over 8,000 stalls.  Bring your best bargaining skills and return with some great stuff.

Khao San Road is the infamous backpacker street in Bangkok.  Even if you are not staying near the area, you should stop by for a few drinks at night.  It is mayhem and fun all at once.  Whether you love it or hate it, it is certainly an experience.  Ignore the often infuriating calls of “tuk tuk, tuk tuk” from the touts, the street sellers trying to sell you mainly wooden croaking frogs and wrist bands, and the invitations to go to tailor shops, ping pong shows and to have your future told, and just simply people watch.  The Gazebo Bar and, the originally named, The Club are both fun places to go when the regular bars start to close.

The Bangkok Sky Bars are pricier but more chic and refined, and they give you stunning views over the city.  Dress codes are in place in almost all bars, so be aware to dress appropriately.  A top tip is to arrive a little before sunset; you can enjoy both the daytime and nighttime views from the same spot, leaving you free to go elsewhere after one drink, if you want.