Asia, a land of wonders - these are my thoughts, experiences and travel tips from SE Asia

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Day and night in Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok city - กรุงเทพฯ

There are many articles that I have posted on various destination in Thailand and other Asian countries but seems that I forgot one of the main attractions, Bangkok, the city that I am living in now. 

The name of the city means "city of angels" and it was originally a small trading post on the west bank of the  Chao Phraya River during the Ayutthaya Kingdom. It became the capital in 1768 after the destruction of Ayutthaya. Bangkok is the political, social and economic centre of Thailand, and one of the leading cities in Southeast Asia and a perfect place for a vacation I would add.

By the way, did you knew that the complete name of Thailand's capital is quite long? Here is the full version both in English and Thai languages:

English: Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahintharayutthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Phiman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit.
(Thai: กรุงเทพมหานคร อมรรัตนโกสินทร์ มหินทรายุทธยา มหาดิลกภพ นพรัตนราชธานีบุรีรมย์ อุดมราชนิเวศน์มหาสถาน อมรพิมานอวตารสถิต สักกะทัตติยะวิษณุกรรมประสิทธิ์)

Well the purpose of this article is not to talk to much about the history or the geographical facts of Bangkok but to give the readers a good start-up on things to do in Bangkok. This city has everything including dazzling temples, hotels of every breed and size, various markets, gleaming palaces, ritzy shopping malls, a famous nightlife and the many things in between.

There were full books written on how is Bangkok and what to do here even with restaurant and bar details so what I will describe here is some of the "to not miss" places in Krung-thep. Besides shopping, dining and nightlife, you might wonder what else is there to do in Bangkok? It is easy to get absorbed into all the things that Bangkok is famous (or infamous) for, but there’s actually much more to the city than meets the eye. You could take a cycling tour of the riverside and discover a historic neighborhood across the Chao-Phraya River, test your swing at one of the top-class golf courses surrounding the city, or even better indulge in a soothing spa experience.

 The best part about Bangkok is that it’s one of the cities that you can enjoy as much or as little as you want and if you haven’t got a clue as to where to start or what are the most popular places, check out the below for ideas.

1. A few must-do activities in Bangkok

Chatuchak Weekend Market - This place is so perfect for your last minute shopping, souvenirs and about everything you need: clothes, shoes, hats, leather and plastic, food and drinks, spa products, electronics and so on. It is quite impossible to not find your thing there. It also has ATMs and a post office in the premises.

Dinner cruise - Take the boat on Chao phraya river and enjoy the beautiful view while dining.

Rooftop sunset - Recommended from the Bayoke Sky Tower which is the tallest building in Thailand. Also the price is not that high, quite affordable.

Temples and Wat Prakeaw (The Grand Palace) - For everyone who comes to Bangkok this is a must. If you are not visiting at least a temple it means you didn't come to Bangkok. For most of temples the entrance is free however there are old temples classified as monuments as well as very popular temples where the entrance is based on a fee.

Before moving forward to the night-life let me tell you that it is official that Bangkok is the hottest city on Earth with averages of 32 degrees Celsius.

2. Night life in Thailand

From Go-Go to Go-Go : For pole-swinging temptresses, exotic boy-meets-girl creations and notorious take-home pleasures, head for one of Bangkok’s lust-driven dens of sin. Locations like Nana, Soi Cowboy, Pat-tong are the highlights, just take a peak or try it all.

Bangkok's pubs and discos : Asia’s finest clubs unite with the world’s best DJs are here at Bangkok’s many hip, happening club nights. Find dance floors for your own style here. I would say RCA is a starting point.

Evening-night shopping experience : If you’re not ready to hit the bars and clubs, scratch your shopping itch with some after-dark shopping. Malls do a storming trade until late - 9-10 PM. But its Khao San Road, with its carefree traveler attire, and the bootleg heaven that is Patpong Market, that really wows you.

In case you need any information or advise on this hot city you can let me know by using the contact page and I will just reply to you sometimes :)

There are a few things to not forget when you are here and I think the first most important is to not forget to drink water. This is a very hot city and your body would need a lot of water. Other thing would be to take care of scammers especially taxis - better don't go if they don't want to start the meter. If you can get a map, it would be very useful and also travel with sky train and metro (BTS and MRT) a lot since it is cheap and it is possible to save you hours. A downtown map you may find in the Sky Train stations I guess.

Almost forgot, do enjoy some SPA and massage as well. There are various massage places ranging for a couple of hundred Baht to a few thousand, depending of the type of service you would like to receive. Thai massage you can find near the road in massage shops and for the soapy massage you may want to try Sukhumvit road.

A few pictures of Bangkok are below for your viewing pleasure and yes, I admit to have inspiration from around the internet but I tried it all from the above recommendations.

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