Bangkok is the capital of Thailand & with a population of over eleven million inhabitants, by far its largest city. Its high rise building heavy traffic congestion, intense heat and nightlife do not immediately give you a warm welcome- but don't let your first impression mislead you. Bangkok with magnificent temple and palaces, authentic canals, busy market and a vibrant nightlife that has something for everyone.
What it means is “The city of angels, the great city, the residence of the Emerald Buddha, the impregnable city (unlike Ayutthaya) of God Indra, the grand capital of the world endowed with nine precious gems, the happy city, abounding in an enormous Royal Palace that resembles the heavenly abode where reigns the reincarnated god, a city given by Indra and built by Vishnukarn.”
Bangkok has proudly stood as the capital of Thailand for over 228 years. From a significant city, Bangkok has evolved into a regional hub of Southeast Asia as well as one of the megacities in Asia - Pacific region.
According to the World Meteorological Organization, Bangkok is the world's hottest city. Located just 14 degree north of the equator. Bangkok has tropical savanna climate, It experiences hot, rainy and cool seasons, although temperatures are fairly hot year-round,under the influence of South-Asian monsoon system, sitting at the same latitude Khartoum and Guatemala city.
November to February: The best time to visit Bangkok is from November to February when the weather is neither too hot nor too cold and remains mostly pleasant. This is also the peak tourist season.One can expect short spells of rain and regular days of bright sunshine.
March to May: The weather becomes hot and humid during the months of March, April and May but nevertheless an arrival of tourists remains high. so, plan in a lot of air conditioned shopping mall visit & get a hotel with a swimming pool. Be sure to carry plenty of sunscreen lotion, sunglasses and a hat.
June to October: Bangkok experiences heavy rainfall from June to October .Many people prefer to travel to Bangkok, especially during July and August, when rainfall is considerably lower and accommodation prices are more favorable. Don't forget to pack a sturdy pair of shoes to handle the rains.
GETTING AROUND IN BANGKOK
Fast and efficient, the Mass Rapid Transit network (MRT) serves 18 stations and stretches for 20 km in a horseshoe shape from Hua Lamphong in the South (near Chinatown) to Bang Sue in the north. Trains arrive every 5-7 minutes, and connect to the BTS Skytrain at Sukhumvit and Silom stations.
Is a smart alternative to the airport express buses or taxis. The two SA Express routes can get you to the airport (or downtown) in 15-18 minutes, so rest assured that you will make it to the boarding gate right on time. The City Line makes six stops between downtown (Phayathai Station) and the airport, completing each run in 30 minute.
BTS SKY TRAIN
SILOM LINE runs west to south, between the National Stadium in the Siam shopping area to Bang Wa in Thonburi (across the river).SUKHUMVIT LINE runs north to east from Mo Chit to Bearing. The two lines meet at Siam Station, and also interconnect at two points with the underground (MRT) – at Sala Daeng and Asok stations.
After the BTS and MRT, the easiest and most convenient way to get around Bangkok is by taxi. Most taxis are new & spacious. Finding a taxi is not a hassle, especially around hotels, shopping malls and other tourist attractions. However, you’re in for a really long wait when it rains, and during rush hours. The fare starts at 35 THB, and stays there for the first two kilometers.
Must See in Bangkok
The Grand Place
Probably the most visited and remembered landmark of Thailand. The Grand Place is a complex of buildings at the heart of Bangkok. The palace has been the official residence of the king of Siam since 1782.The Grand Place has been the major architectural symbol of the Thai royal family. The Royal family resides at chitralada Palace while The Grand Palace is used for ceremonial purpose.The Grand Palace is divided into three main zones: The Outer Court, home of royal office, public building & the Temple of Emerald Buddha; the Middle Court, which is where the most important residential and state building are; and the Inner Court which is exclusively reserved for the king,his queen and his consorts. The Palace is one of the most popular tourist attraction in Bangkok.
The statuesque pagoda of Wat Arun or The Temple of Dawn, on the bank of Chao Phraya has always been the most remembered scene of Bangkok's skyline for ages. It is believed that Wat Arun was built during Ayuttaya era & is better know from its other name "Wat Chaeng" which means "The Temple of Dawn".
The main highlight of Wat Arun is undoubtedly the grand pagoda .Influenced by khmer-style pagoda the 67-meter tall pagoda is made of cement covered by million pieces of china porcelains. It is surrounded by four smaller pagoda.
Wat Arun figure in one of Thailand's most colourful festival, the Royal Kathin and the king travel down in the Thai Royal barge procession to present new robes to the monks after their three- month lent period.
Wat Pho - also known as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha is located directly next to the Grand Palace in Bangkok. The temple complex is one of the largest and oldest temple in Bangkok. It is home to more Buddha images than any other Bangkok temple and it shelters the largest Buddha in Thailand. The image of the Reclining Buddha is 15 m tall and 43 m long. The feet of the Buddha show the 108 symbols of Buddha lay in mother of pearl.
Another thing the Wat Pho is famous for is Thai massage. There is also a massage school where classes on Thai massage can be taken.
Wat Benchamabophit is a Buddhist temple in the Dusit district of Bangkok. Also know as the marble temple. It is one of the most beautiful temple in Bangkok and a major tourist attraction. Thanks to its traditional Thai symmetrical architecture designed by Prince Naris, a son of King Rama IV. A fine marble imported from Italy.Inside the main ordination hall sees the sacred Phra Buddha chinnarat image, reproduced from the original image in Phitsanulok,which is also considered a Buddha image with the most beautiful figures. Visit the temple in the morning to see local people offering alms to monks according to Thai traditional folkway.
This temple is one of the highlights of Yaowarat, but is actually not part of china cultural heritage. Wat Traimit is an ancient temple.It is the world's largest solid gold Buddha image, which originates from the sukhothai period. It is over 3 m tall and weight 5.5 tonnes,with an interesting history. Its former name was Wat Sam Chin Tai. The image was only rediscovered about 50 year ago when it dropped from a crane while being moved. This cracked the plaster exterior that was applied to hide the image from the invading Burmese army. Those who are interested can visit this temple, which is full of artistic value and enshrines many unique sacred object.
Safari World & Marine Park
Spend a thrilling day in Thailand’s greatest open zoo and leisure park that offers a great variety of entertainment for everyone. Get ready to unleash your adrenalin.
Safari World is a drive-in zoological park divided into two parts. The first is Safari Park, an open zoo with wild animals. The second is Marine Park, where there are a variety of marine animals and shows of trained dolphins, birds, seals and apes etc.
This thrilling experience will surely elate your sodden spirit,hop in the car & join the fun now. Go home feeling good & reinvigorated.
Dream World & Snow Town
Tag you family or friend along & spend a marvelous day together! Head to the Dream World where you can find the absolute stuff for kids & for the kids at heart! It is a big American style theme park with all the fun & entertainment. The rides you can choose from Tornado, Speedy mouse, Cable car, Monorail, Corkscrew, Bumping cars, Viking Boat, they are all there and much more.
At the "Snow Land" it will make you feel you are in the winter land. If the rides make you feel scary, you can just watch a live “Hollywood Action Show”.
This is a great way to bond with your family and friend. Join the trip and share the fun with your love ones
Chaophraya Dinner Cruise
The evening begins with a ferry cruise on chao phraya river where you will see Wat Arun, The Grand Place, Royal Thai Navy, Rama VIII Bridge & the old Traditional houses.The ship can accommodate upto 250 people.Then you will have a buffet dinner of Thai & some of the International dishes. Sit back and relax with tooth some food and beverages with the live music & traditional Thai dance show during the dinner.
Siam Niramit Show
Spend one of your best night out in Bangkok at the world renowned Siam Niramit show. It is a World Class performance of Thai arts and cultural heritage. Now listed in the Guinness book of records, featuring over 150 performers and as many as 500 costumes. The enhanced special effects are used to produce a stimulating, very realistic and inspiring experience. This is a Journey to the Enchanted Kingdom of Thailand that no one can miss.
Sea Life Bangkok Ocean World
Experience great thrills, closer than ever! It is one of the Southeast Asia's largest aquarium located at the heart of Bangkok. The highlight include an underwater tunnel offering 270-degree views of an oceanarium, a 10.5 metre wide fish tank offering 360 degree view of the ocean like ecosystem &an eight metre tall tank displaying colourful coral marine animals. Have a face-to-face experience with huge sharks, excotioc sringrays,strange Octopuses & over 30000 fascinating marine creatures while you will feel like you are walking in the ocean.
Asiatique The Riverfront with Sky wheel
Asiatique The Riverfront is a large open-air mall. Asiatique The Riverfront is the newest Bangkok night market, opened in May 2012 It is situated in the former docks of the East Asiatic company and faces the Chao Phraya river and Charoen Krung Road. Actually it’s more than a typical night market – it could also be called a shopping and lifestyle complex. But the main place is a shopping area located in the old warehouses of the East Asiatic Company.
The headline attractions these days surely has to be Asiatique Sky - a jaw-dropping 60-metre high Ferris Wheel with 42 gondolas. Ferris Wheels are for all ages, you can take your kids and they will really have a blast.
There are more than 40 restaurants here, so you won’t need to leave hungry. There also is an outdoor food court (which is very clean), but fortunately there’s a roof protecting you even when it rains.
There are several shows taking place, like the Joe Louis Puppet Theater (which formerly performed at the Lumpini night plaza) and the famous Calypso Bangkok Theater.
Madame Tussaud is popular around the world, for it's real wax museum.The most interactive museums of the French franchise is located in the Siam Discovery mall. It is divided into nine sections (Red Carpet, Music Zone, History Zone, Films Zone, Leaders Zone, Authentic History, Tv Zone, Arts & Science Zone & Sports Zone). Do not miss the chance to visit your dream superstars, take a picture with your great super star at the museum.
Lumphini Park is a 360-rai park in Bangkok. The park offer rare open public space, trees and playground in the Thai capital and contains an artificial lake where visitors can rent a variety of boats. There are paddle boats for lovers, playgrounds for the kids and enormous monitor lizards for the whole family. One of the best times to visit the park is before 7am, when the air is fresh and legions of Thai-Chinese are practising t'ai chi.
Path around the park totalling approx. 2.5 km in length are a popular area for evening jogger. Officially, cycling is only permitted during the day between the time of 10 am to 3 pm.
Floating market along sanam chai canal used to be a popular tourist site for visitor to admire the traditional canal side way of life. Enjoy the floating market that is crowded with boats that have farm produced product for sale.
Even though transactions are more concerned with tourists rather than locals these days, the floating market;boats are still piled high with tropical fruit and vegetables, fresh, ready-to-drink coconut juice and local food cooked from floating kitchens located right on the boat. To enjoy the atmosphere without haggling over prices, try relaxing on a guided boat tour.