Bangkok Attractions: Places Worth Visiting
I can understand when people, especially in India are all gung-ho about visiting Bangkok. Most Indians start their international travel with this city. And when they come back after having been to all those Bangkok Attractions, they are excited with their findings. First come the series of all things negative namely the traffic jams, the pollution, the sheer number of people everywhere, the noise, many many congested areas etc, before slowly coming to what all numerous things they loved.
When I first visited Bangkok in 2015, I was excited too. I still am. I didn’t find it boring at all. And not because I am here writing about it (which obligates me to write something out of the blue positive such that people read this blog post. No.. I don’t care that way). But the thing with me was that I was willing to take any experience as something positive and as a way of life for the local residents. Yes, it was not about me. Because I don’t live there permanently. So as a tourist (or a traveler), I urge other people traveling to remember this very well. I think this line of thought really helps you to have a better experience of everything you do and the way you do it, when you are in unknown lands.
Bangkok, the capital city of Thailand, is big. In most matters, it is pretty similar to Mumbai. With a population of 8 Million plus, Bangkok City has proved to be one of the most popular getaways into South East Asia. Most international tourists stay in Bangkok for about 1-2 days before moving to other parts of Thailand. Invariably their description of Bangkok hovers around a lot of temples & shrines etc. But there are a lot of Bangkok Attractions to see, explore and admire. So, what are they ??
Bangkok Attractions: Places Worth Visiting
Wat Pho: The Temple of Reclining Buddha
One of the best things to do is to pay homage to the status of Reclining Buddha. Located in the old Bangkok city, Wat Pho has the whole statue covered in gold leaf and 108 bowls. When you enter Wat Pho, you can buy coins for these 108 bowls. Why 108 bowls ? Because it is believed that Buddha attained wisdom after taking 108 positive acts. While looking at the Reclining Buddha doesn’t take much time, you can explore the whole of Wat Pho premises within 1-2 hours. Wear modest dress covering your knees & arms.
- There are 2 more temples near Wat Pho namely Wat Arun & Wat Phra Kaew (inside another popular of the Bangkok Attractions – the Grand Palace) very near to eachother
- All these 3 Bangkok Attractions can be covered in half day
- Wat Pho entry charges are 100 THB, while Wat Phra Kaew in Grand Palace costs 500 THB
Grand Palace: Best of the Bangkok Attractions
[A must visit amongst Bangkok Attractions is the Grand Palace | Image: Flickr/GregKnapp]
Grand Palace, which was constructed around 1780s, has been the official residences of the Kings of Siam and later Thailand. Since 1925, this is not used as the official residence but royal or official ceremonies still take place in here. It has an area of about 2,18,000 sq meters having many complex buildings, lawns, courtyards etc. The night view from a boat cruising in the adjacent Chao Phraya river looks wonderful. Wat Phra Kaew temple is situated within these 4 walls.
- There is a strict dressing code for entry in Grand Palace. The Wat Phra Kaew (i.e. the temple of Emerald Buddha) is the most sacred site
- Timings are from 8.30 am to 3.30 pm everyday
- Be careful of the touts outside promising you a full guided tour
Evening Stroll In Chatuchak Market
One of the biggest markets in the world by area covered, the Chatuchak Market is a regular in the list of Bangkok Attractions. Open only on weekends, this place has about 7,000 stalls and attracts over 200,000 visitors each day. You will find anything and everything here. One more thing I observed is that the prices are very local, and not the high end tourist prices for international travelers.
Savour Serenity in Lumpini Park
Spread over 142 acres with lush green landscape, Lumpini Park is centrally located, right in the middle of the city. It is very well constructed and well maintained. There are fountains, a lake and peddle boating is allowed in that lake. You can also do cycling in the park. It really feels heaven here, with minimal noise from the vehicles plying outside of the park. Very cool and serene.
- Lumpini Park is open from 5 am to 9 pm everyday
- This is very close to Siam area, may be around 10 minutes without traffic
Shopping Malls: Siam Paragon, CentralWorld & MBK Centre
Arguably two of the five biggest shopping malls in Thailand, are Siam Paragon and MBK. Siam and MBK both have hundreds of shops, Aquarium, Thai Art Gallery, plenty to eat & dine, huge multiplex / cinema halls and wonderful shopping deals & offers for wholesome entertainment.
- Siam station links to Siam Paragon Mall’s M Floor through a SkyBridge
- CentralWorld Mall is also near the Ratchaprasong intersection, which is connected to Siam Paragon through an elevated BTS SkyTrain
[Khaosan Road is known as a Backpacker’s paradise | Source: Flickr/JustinVidamo]
Khaosan Road is one of the most popular places to visit amongst all the Bangkok Attractions, especially given that many many international backpackers and couples alike visit the place. You will not have to walk for more than 50 meters to find any shopping item you need. Be it food, antiques, clothes, beer, jewellery and what not.
- The highlights include the Gazebo Bar and LAVA Club. Gazebo is identified as one of the best bars in the world
Soak In The Local Culture At Floating Markets
Floating Markets are like looking and soaking in the local culture of Thailand up, close and personal. Undoubtedly they offer fascinating cultural exchanges and provide glimpses of a local way of life. While normally international tourists flock to Damnoen Saduak, the local flavours are more found in other not-so-popular floating markets called Ampawa and Tha Kha. A must visit amongst all Bangkok attractions for sure !
Visit Vimanmek Mansion
Vimanmek Mansion is the largest teak wood palace in the world. It was used for some time as an official residence of the Royals before getting it converted into a Museum having some of the precious artifacts & photographs donated by His Majesty The King.
- Dress modestly
- Photography is allowed on the grounds but not inside the Mansion
While there are a lot of other sites worth exploring (depending upon the needs of the tourists and travelers) namely Terminal 21, Bangkok National Museum, Jim Thomson House, Erawan Site etc, these are the places which I liked the most and which I will recommend anytime.
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Blog Post Cover Pic Courtesy: Flickr/Ninara and Larger Cover Pic Source: Flickr/MikeBehnken