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Bangkok, a quick introduction

Bangkok , Some Basic Facts

Bangkok, popularly known as the "Venice of the East" is the capital and largest city of Thailand. A cultural enigma, travelers' playground and a shopper's heaven, Bangkok is inarguably the most compelling, cosmopolitan and throbbing city in Southeast Asia. A blend of traditions, religion and modernization, Bangkok has a unique charm around it. The glittering bazaars, eclectic shopping malls, sparkling palaces, magnificent skyscrapers, scrumptious delights, picturesque surroundings and a roaring nightlife scene makes Bangkok one of the top tourist destinations in the world, closely following London and Paris. Whether you are a party animal, adventure sports fanatic, nature lover, architecture admirer or history buff, this fast-paced metropolis offers something unique to every tourist.

How to Get There

Located at the Chao Phraya River, Bangkok is served by two airports, the old Don Muang Airport, located 19 miles (30km) north of downtown and Suvarnabhumi Airport, located 19 miles (30km) in the east of Bangkok. If you are arriving at the Suvarnabhumi Airport, it is advisable to take the Airport Link Road to downtown in order to beat the traffic snarls and especially during monsoons. Tourists can either take the Express Line for 90 THB one way or the slower City Line, which costs 15-45 THB. Instead of taking the expensive limousine taxis, it is advisable to take a metered taxi from both the airports to the destination. Tourists can also use the public bus or minibus transport system for reaching the main city and downtown.

The Size and Population of Bangkok

Spread over 605.7 sq mi (1,568.7km), Bangkok has a population of over 8 million people. Bangkok is home to 12.6% the total Thailand’s population. Being a cosmopolitan city, Bangkok has a diverse population including various Chinese and Japanese nationals, as well as hundreds of thousands foreign expatriates from Asia, Europe, Africa, Australia and the Americas and thousands of immigrants from Burma, Lao and Cambodia.

The Weather in Bangkok

The climate in Bangkok is mostly tropical and dry, but quite wet during the monsoon season which is influenced by the South Asian monsoon system. Temperatures in Bangkok remain fairly hot all through the year with an average high of 94.8°F (34.9°C) and an average low of 69.4°F (20.8°C). Monsoon season in Bangkok starts from mid-May and lasts till November with September receiving the maximum rainfall.

Things to do in Bangkok

Being one of the most visited cities in the world, Bangkok is a city that allows its tourists to play with their imagination. From kickboxing (Muay Thai), tuk tuk rides, indulging Thai massage, roof top dining experiences to ladyboy shows, there is a bit for everyone in Bangkok. Here are some of the things that you can not afford to miss when in Bangkok.

A Lesson in History

Bangkok is reminiscent of the ancient Thai culture and is adorned with several timeless historical buildings and monuments. Being also a financial hub and modern cosmopolitan, Bangkok acts as a bridge between the historic and modern Thailand. There are hundreds of historical sites spread all over Bangkok that depict the richness of the Thai culture. Some of the most famous historical sites in Bangkok include –

    • Grand Palace
    • The Derm Wang Palace at Thon Buri
    • The Royal Elephant Museum
    • Lak Muang
    • The Royal Palace
    • Kukrit House
    • The Ananda Samakhom Throne Hall

A Divine Connection

The most incredible aspect of visiting Bangkok is that even after years of modernization, the city has kept in touch with its spiritual roots. Wherever you go in the city, you will find expressive and colossal pearls of religious wisdom standing abreast amid the tallest skyscrapers and bustling markets. The most serene and placid religious monuments in Bangkok include –

      • Wat Mahathat
      • Wat Arun
      • Wat Pho
      • Wat Ratchabophit
      • Wat Thepthidaram
      • Temple of the Golden Buddha (Wat Traimit)
      • Wat Phra Kaew
      • Wat Traimit
      • Wat Sutat (Giant Swing)
      • Wat Prayoon
      • Wat Saket

An Architectural Masterpiece

Bangkok is an epitome of architecture with several aesthetically constructed wonders donning its skyline and landscape. The exquisitely crafted to perfection monuments and buildings are some precious gems encrusted in the city. The most famous architectural wonders in Bangkok include –

      • Vimanmek Mansion
      • Chitraladarahotarn Palace
      • Wangderm Palace
      • Suan Pakkad Palace
      • The Equestrian Statue of King Rama V the Great
      • Phaya Thai Palace

For Sport Lovers

Bangkok is a city that is always gushing with energy. The city allows its people to quench their thirst for adventure sports and outdoor activities and no moment spent in Bangkok is a dull moment. If you are an ardent lover of sports and outdoor activities, here is your chance to prove yourself with some of the most exciting activities including –

      • The Thai national sport Muay Thai or kickboxing
      • Bicycle tours
      • Running clubs including The Bangkok Hash, The Bangkok Harriettes, The Bangkok Monday Hash, Run My City: Bangkok
      • Canal tours
      • Golf
      • Ice-skating
      • Bowling
      • Indoor Climbing
      • Artificial wave surfing

A Shopping Extravaganza

Shopping in Bangkok is a religion and this experience can not be matched by any other city in the east. Any visit to Bangkok is incomplete without indulging in a shopping spree. Shopping in Bangkok is a unique example of the east meeting the west. From glittering malls to incredible local markets and streets filled with vendors, Bangkok is a haven for shopaholics. The most popular shopping hubs include –

      • Siam Square
      • Khao San Road Shopping
      • Asiatique The Riverfront
      • Khlong Thom Market
      • Rod Fai Market
      • Pratunam
      • Chinatown Market
      • Or Tor Kor Food Market

Restaurants in Bangkok

Bangkok boasts of thousands of outstanding places to eat ranging from exclusive Thai restaurants to a wide selection of restaurants offering world class cuisine. Unofficially called the dining capital of Asia, eating in Bangkok is an extremely enjoyable and gratifying experience. From authentic Thai eateries, street food stalls, pubs to upscale restaurants and outstanding eating joints, Bangkok offers the best scrumptious international and local cuisines to its people and that too at incredibly low prices.

Nightlife in Bangkok

Bangkok is well known for his outstanding nightlife scene. Girls, and Go Go bars will be found at Soi Cowboy and Nana. The famous foreign club and disco scene with bed supper club and Q-bar is located at soi 11, and the Clubs for the thai party scene are established at RCA. There is a freshness and diversity in the nightlife in Bangkok as in its culture and heritage. With trendy clubs, ueber cool jazz clubs and classy bars, nightlife in Bangkok goes way beyond its naughty image. To get an actual BKK nightlife overview, a look at the webpage of siam2nite: www.siam2nite.com/en/ will be the best

A vibrant and never sleeping city, Bangkok is a place to enjoy without any inhibitions. With the availability of affordable and outstanding accommodation options, visiting Bangkok is an incomparable and unforgettable experience.

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