A popular tourist destination is the capital city of Thailand, Bangkok. The city, which is located on the banks of the Chao Phraya River, started out as a small rural trading post. But, when the city was declared to be the capital of Thailand in 1768, then it quickly became a thriving metropolis.
As a matter of fact, Bangkok is considered to be one of the most cosmopolitan cities in all of Asia. It’s a broad stroke of Asian, British and Mid Eastern cultures. Within it’s boundaries, eleven million people call Bangkok home.
Early in its history, Bangkok was referred to as the “Venice Of The East” because of its extensive network of canals and channels. During this time most of the travel through the city was done by boat. Since then, the canals have been filled in and converted into roads and thoroughfares which is especially important in handling the largest insurgence of visitors and tourist each year.
Travel through Bangkok is also made possible by a fairly large system of transportation. Transportation needs are accommodated by a network of buses, rails and taxis. Not to mention its airport facilities. In fact, Bangkok is one of Asia’s leading airport hubs, serving millions of visitors each year.
Bangkok is not only one of the largest cities in Thailand in terms of physical size but is also a powerhouse when it comes to economic activity. In fact, the Gross Domestic Product of Bangkok is over forty percent of the GDP of the entire country. It’s also home to some of the largest banks and financial institutions in Thailand.
Bankok continues to be one of the most popular cities in the world to visit primarily due to its immensely diverse tourist offerings which include historical landmarks, art, festivals and cultural events.
A must see for anyone planning to visit Bangkok is the Grand Palace. Constructed around 1782 it has been the primary residence of Thai kings from the 19th century until present day. The current king of Thailand does not currently occupy it, choosing Chitralada Palace as his preferred residence.
Chitralada Palace is situated on four square kilometers and is more fortified then the Grand Palace. It includes a moat and a large company of palace guards are located there. It’s also home to the Chitralada School. This school was originally built to accommodate the educational needs of the royal family. It is considered to be one of the most exclusive and privileged schools in all of Thailand.
One of the most awe inspiring tourist locations in Bangkok has to be the Buddist Temple named Wat Arun. This beautiful temple is nestled on the western banks of the Chao Phraya River. The temple was started in 1809 by the King Rama II and finished by King Rama III in 1824. Its single most prominent feature is the two hundred and forty foot central tower which is nicknamed Temple Of The Dawn. It’s surrounded by various shrines and pools of turtles. From its large central balcony visitors get a splendid view of Bangkok. From here the Grand Palace can easily be seen. This temple is notably one of Bangkok’s best known landmark.
Another magnificent temple to visit is “The Temple Of The Reclining Buddha”, otherwise known as Wat Pho. It is located directly behind another famous temple, “The Temple Of The Emerald Buddha”. It is considered to be the largest temple in Bangkok and is so named because of the huge stone Buddha that lays in the center of the temple. The statue measures over one hundred and thirty-eight feet long and is adorned in gold leaf. This temple has long been the home to faithful followers of Buddha but is also known now for the Thai massages given within.
Once you have finished with the glorious temples of Bangkok, then you might want to take a stroll over to the National Museum. The purpose of the museum is to preserve the cultural heritage of the Thai people through the storage and display of meaningful historical and artistic pieces of work. The National Musuem houses everything from priceless works of art and weapons to crafts of indigenous peoples and object of religious value.
While at the National Museum visitors should take stock of the many beautiful examples of Thai architecture by visiting one of the many grandiose pavilions located on the premises. It can be a truly breathtaking experience.
Another hot spot, that is not usually mentioned on the tourist maps, is Bangkok’s Chinatown. This is section of town sports some of the most spectacular shops in the entire city. Though this area is usually crowded and hard to navigate at times, there are plenty of bargains to be had at the stalls of the many vendors, especially in the gold shops.
The Floating Market is another locale that a visitor to Bangkok might want to consider taking a look at. Though many consider the Floating Market to be too touristy, there’s still a lot of fun to be had here. The Floating Market is filled to the brim with fresh fruits, fish and handmade novelties. It’s cluttered, crowded and a whole lot of fun.
Bangkok is also home to Thailand Cultural Centre, Thailand Creative And Design Centre and the National Gallery Of Thailand.
When choosing a hotel for your stay in Bangkok, you might want to first consider which area you plan on spending the most time, so as to limit your traveling distance. Some of the districts of Bangkok include Siam, Sukhumvit, Riverside, Silom, Childlom-Ploenchit and Khaosan Road. Each of this area’s is known for a particular attraction such as temples. Museums, nightlife and so on.
But, no matter where you choose to stay, you can be assured that Bangkok is a city that combines both the traditional and modern in a way that is both interesting and compelling. It is most definitely a city that will reside in your memories for many, many years to come.