Bangkok: Main Sights
The City of Angels
Bangkok has a wealth of sights for tourists to explore. Among a melting pot of exotic aromas, fast paced city streets and exotic dinning, Bangkok has many amazing Buddhist temples, grand palaces, vast shopping malls and vibrant markets.
- The Grand Palace
The Grand Palace is a must see sight. No visit to Bangkok would be complete without visiting this dazzling spectacle. It was built in 1782, and for 150 years it was the home of the Thai King, the Royal court and the administrative seat of government. The Grand Palace of Bangkok is a grand old pleasure that continues to have visitors in awe with its exceptional architecture and intricate detail. The Grand Palace is a proud salute to the creativity and craftsmanship of Thai people.
Chinatown in Bangkok is a colourful, exotic and busy area. Chinatown is packed with market stalls and probably the greatest concentration of gold shops in the city. The relocation of the Chinese community from Rattanakosin (Old City) in the 1700's continued their own traditions and religious practices to the area. The Chinatown area is quite unlike the rest of Bangkok. It is relatively untouched by modern development and although it’s always crowded, hot and exhausting, the experience of Bangkok’s Chinatown is definitely not to miss.
The floating market is now dominated by tourist presence rather than the locals trading. Even so 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 kitchenettes located right on the boat. The market is chaotic, blink and you’ll miss something. The small 'klongs' or canals are filled with small flat boats jockeying for position, expertly paddled by mature ladies ready to stop and bargain at a moment's notice. It's bright, hectic, and full of life and great fun.
-Chatuchak Weekend Market (JJ Market)
Chatuchak Weekend Market is the ultimate market. The amazing sprawling size overwhelms most visitors, but perhaps even more overwhelming is the unbelievable variety of clothes, food, furniture, animals and much more. You can stumble across anything from vinyl records, fake Gucci bags, beads, suits of armour to a live seahorse. Haggling is part of this market, it is in fact encouraged. Just do so politely. This market is one of the most exhilarating, chaotic and lively shopping experiences found throughout the world.
-Wat Arun (The Temple of Dawn)
Wat Arun is located on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River. Many believe that after fighting his way out of Ayutthaya, King Taksin escaped the Burmese army and arrived at this temple just as dawn was breaking. Later on in Thai history, King Taksin renovated the temple and renamed it Wat Chaeng, the Temple of the Dawn. Wat Chaeng was the chief temple during his reign, and it once enshrined the Emerald Buddha and another important Buddha image.
-Wat Pho (the Temple of the Reclining Buddha)
Wat Pho or Wat Phra Chetuphon is located behind the magnificent Temple of the Emerald Buddha. The largest temple in Bangkok, it is famed for its huge and majestic reclining Buddha measuring 46 metres long which is covered in gold leaf. The Buddha's feet are three metres long and exquisitely decorated in mother-of-pearl inlays of auspicious 'laksanas' (characteristics) of the Buddha. The traditional Thai massage is a famous part of the temple which attracts many.
-Chao Phraya River & Waterways
The history of Bangkok lies in the Chao Phraya River and ‘klongs’ (canals). The traditional heartland of this magical city with origins that read like an epic novel — complete with fallen and rising Kingdoms, heroes and traitors. The river and waterways are one of the most fascinating and scenic areas of Bangkok. The riverside shows a constantly changing scene by day and night. There are water-taxis ferrying commuters and heavily laden rice barges chugging upstream, this is set against a background of gleaming temples and palaces, historical landmarks and luxury five-star hotels.
-Wat Phra Kaeo (Temple of Emerald Buddha)
Wat Phra Kaeo is regarded as the most important Buddhist temple in Thailand. This temple enshrines Phra Kaew Morakot (the Emerald Buddha), the highly revered Buddha image meticulously carved from a single block of emerald. The Emerald Buddha (Phra Putta Maha Mani Ratana Patimakorn) is a Buddha image in the meditating position in the style of the Lanna school of the north, dating from the 15th century AD.
-The National Museum
The National Museum is a fantastic museum located in the Palace of Wang Na compound near the Grand Palace. It is dedicated to preserving the national cultural heritage through extensive collections of art, archaeological and cultural objects. Some of the highlights in the museum include the Gallery of Thai History, the Weapon Room, Gold Treasures, Royal Cremation Chariots, and Ceremonial Objects. Also located on the premises is a series of spectacular ‘salas’ (pavilions), These ‘salas’ are considered to be the most outstanding examples of traditional Thai architecture.
Vimanmek Royal Mansion is totally unique to the world. It is the world's largest building made entirely of golden teak. By the command of King Rama V, it was moved from Ko Sichang in Chonburi province, where it was rebuilt on the grounds of Dusit Palace in 1900. It was recently renovated by H.M. Queen Sirikit, and made into a museum paying homage to the late King. The Palace includes antique furniture, Thai glassware, porcelain, old photographs and memorabilia from the late King's reign (1868 - 1910).