One of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, Bangkok, Thailand is also one of the most exotic and fascinating places on the planet, remaining vibrantly charming by skillfully combining old-world traditions with new world technologies. Where else in the world but Bangkok can you see yellow-robed monks mingling with tourists and native Thais in a Starbucks surrounded by glass-walled condos and street vendors selling everything from handcrafted pottery to the latest iPhone?
What to do in Bangkok? Here’s 10 great attractions out of several hundred captivating attractions you’ll find in intriguing colorful Bangkok, Thailand.
Top 10 Attractions in Bangkok
1. The floating market of Damnoen Saduak offers an unforgettable shopping experience, with several dozen rows of wooden boats floating in the water filled with flowers, vegetables and fruits. Food vendors always have their boats stocked with charcoal grills for customers who need their Thai food fix.
2. Colorful, exciting Chinatown (Yaowarat) is another must-see attraction in Bangkok crammed with market stalls, ancient temples and a labryinth of alleyways leading to more gold shops than you will ever see in one place. Discover Chinatown at its most fascinating during important festivals like the Vegetarian Festival and Chinese New Year.
3. One of the most recognized structures in all of Southeast Asia is the Wat Arun Buddhist Temple constructed two hundred years ago in the old, Khmer architectural style. Symbolizing the beginning of the Rattanakosin Period, Wat Arun is located on the west bank of the beautiful Chao Phraya River.
4. Not to be missed in the heart of Bangkok is the Grand Palace (Phra Borom Maha Ratcha Wang), the official home (most of the time) of Thailand’s leaders since the late 1700s. Although Thailand’s current monarch King Bhumibol Adulyadei lives at Chitralada Palace, the Grand Palace remains the place to hold official events such as state functions and royal ceremonies.
5. Wat Pho harbors a gorgeous collection of old sculptures and murals explaining topics such as warfare, archaeology and astronomy. Visitors will also be amazed at the meticulously landscaped garden decorated with stone sculptures and glazed porcelain stupas. A large temple complex famous for its “reclining Buddha”, Wat Pho is also thought to be where the traditional Thai massage was first performed.
6. Tired from exploring Chinatown? Hire a local boat sailing the Chao Phraya River and take a relaxing cruise down one of Bangkok’s major rivers. When you’ve rested and seen enough rice-laden barges and charmingly old-world stilt houses, you can disembark and visit the Royal Palace, Wat Arun or Wat Pho.
7. With its amazingly diverse array of merchandise and vast size, the Chatuchak Weekend Market is yet another must-see destination in Bangkok complete with an astounding 15,000 market stalls selling antique wood carvings, local handicrafts, Buddhist amulets, ceramic and Chinese wares.
8. Khaosan Road is a street running through central Bangkok in the Banglamphu area less than a mile north of Wat Phra Kaew and the Grand Palace. Khaosan means “milled rice” because it used to be the primary rice marketplace in Bangkok. Today, if offers affordable accommodations as well as shops selling paintings, home-grown fruits and nifty handicrafts. In the evening, Khaosan Road transforms into an exciting hub of nightclubs, bars and food hawkers providing tasty snacks such as barbecued insects.
9. Siam Niramit is a 2000-seat theater on Tiamruammit Road in Bangkok’s bustling center that is open every day to present entertaining, bigger-than-life stage productions. On the grounds of Siam Niramit are several restaurants and a real Thai village exhibiting the culture of Thailand in bygone times.
10. Wat Mahatat is one of ten royal temples in Bangkok used only for important, royal ceremonies. You will also find the oldest, academic institution for Thai Buddhist monks on the grounds of Wat Mahatat where monks spend their day meditating and studying. Across from this stately temple is the Wat Mahatat market, which may be the largest amulet market in Southeast Asia.
Where to Stay in Bangkok
Oriental Residence–near the Amercian Embassy on a quiet, tree-lined avenue, the Oriental Residence is close to shopping havens, offers a pool, bar and cabanas and has a fitness center complete with weights and TechnoGym machines.
Bangkok Loft Inn–an wonderfully accomodating, affordable boutique hotel with contemporary designed, fully furnished rooms. You’ll find the Bangkok Loft Inn in Thonburi, across from the Chao Phraya River.
Hansar Bangkok–if you are looking for a luxurious, 5-star hotel minutes from the BTS Skytrain, look no further than the Hansar Bangkok. Located in the fabulous Ratchadamn district of Bangkok, this hotel takes 5-star living accommodations to a whole new level.
Additional recommended places to stay while exploring the wonders of Bangkok include Shangri-La Hotel, the Renaissance Phuket Resort & Spa and the Ariyasomvilla Hotel. Take the stress (and the expense) out of booking your hotel by using the best site on the Internet for finding great hotel deals at http://www.phuketon.com/best-hotel-deals/