There are very good reasons why millions of tourists travel every year to Thailand, or the Land of Smiles, as it is affectionately known. A city like no other, Kreung Thep (city of angels) is home to around 10 million people, many coming from the provinces for work reasons, and Bangkok is a strange mixture of old and new architecture, with modern skyscrapers and splendidly adorned Buddhist temples, and your first impression leaves you thinking this sprawling metropolis is in chaos, yet things do flow and people get from A to B using a variety of transportation. If you’re planning a trip to Bangkok in the near future, here is our list of the top-rated tourist attractions you simply must include in your plans.
- The Grand Palace – This amazing complex of fine old architecture has been the home of the Thai Royal Family since the 18th century and it is the home of the famed Emerald Buddha. Known as Wat Phra Keow in Thai, foreigners have to pay to enter the Grand Palace, and you must dress conservatively. There are English-speaking guides outside, but the Place staff conduct tours for the tourists, and make sure you take your camera, as there are exquisite works of art that depict previous kings.
- Nana Plaza – Located in Soi 4 of Sukhumvit Road, Nana Plaza is one of the busiest nightlife parts of the city, with go-go bars and quiet little corner bars where the expats gather in the early evening. Finding a good hotel in Sukhumvit Road is easy with an online search, plus booking online saves you money, and if you stay in this area, you are never far from the other main attractions.
- Jatuchak Weekend Market – This is a must if you are looking to buy souvenirs for family and friends, and the market is so large, it would be difficult to explore it in a single day. They sell everything from toothpicks to puppy dogs and everything in between, and bartering is acceptable, and the best time to visit would be the last weekend of your stay in Thailand, then you can buy all your souvenirs in a single shop, and the Thais also shop here, so it will be crowded.
- Lumphini Thai Boxing Stadium – The arena used to be in the Lumphini district, but has recently moved to Ram Intra Road, and you simply must soak up the atmosphere of fight night, where the locals gather to cheer their favourite fighter. Simply turn up at around 4pm and you can buy a ticket at the venue, and there would be 10-12 bouts, with a main event that would be the highlight of the card.
- Chao Phraya River Cruise – If you’re going to spend time in Bangkok, you simply must take an evening dinner cruise on one of the luxurious river boats that are owned by the major hotels along the river. No need to make a reservation, as you can turn up at the piers and walk on to the boat at around 5pm. The trip takes about 90 minutes and you get to see the most stunning temples, all lit up to show their splendour, and the Thai food is out of this world.
Of course, there are many more places of interest to visit in Bangkok, which is a city that is unique on so many ways.