Bangkok is an exciting city and can often be crowded and chaotic, but lift the lid and the delights and treasures of this sprawling city will quickly become apparent to the visitor.
One of the problems of arriving in Bangkok used to be getting around the city and the journey from the airport took an eternity due to traffic congestion. In 2010 a new rail service from the airport into the city was opened taking just half an hour and upgrades of the BTS Skytrain and MRT Underground have greatly improved and enhanced the Bangkok experience for visitors.
It is a good idea to do your homework before you arrive in the Bangkok, decide what you want to see so you can plan the location to base yourself, allowing you to maximise the time during your Bangkok stopover.
Most visitors do not require a visa to enter Bangkok for stays under 30 days, however wherever you are arriving from, please ensure you have the correct visa requirements prior to your trip.
Buddhism makes up 95% of religion in the country which is very much reflected in the ethos of the Thai people and witnessed by visitors in every aspect of Thai daily life.
Weather to be in Bangkok or not......
The rainy season in Bangkok usually starts in May and goes through to October with the wettest months being in September and October. The rain often falls as short afternoon showers although some days the rain can be continual.
The temperatures in Bangkok are fairly consistent throughout the year at an average temperature is 82F/28C.
Here are some of the 'must do's' during your stay in Bangkok.
Built in 1782, the Grand Palace is a collection of intricately decorated buildings and its guardians, once the official residence of the Kings of Thailand although now used for official ceremonies and functions.
One of the buildings is the Wat Phra Kaeo, The Temple of the Emerald Buddha which is the holiest site in the country. Here you can visit Thailand's most important statue, the Emerald Buddha.
Wat Pho is Bangkok's oldest temple and is home to the lengthy 46 metre statue of the reclining gold leafed Buddha.
Wat Pho is also home to the national hq for The Teaching and Preservation of Traditional Thai Medicine. The massage school also has a couple of massage pavilions, one of the best places to get a massage!
Bangkok's Chinatown is situated in the old part of Bangkok and is a colourful and bustling hive of activity and always worth a visit.
At the Thai Red Cross Institute, you can visit their Snake Farm where they extract venom to provide anti venom serum for snake bites to people giving visitors a very interesting insight.
The largest in Bangkok is Chatuchak weekend Market with thousands of stalls and products from snakes to clothing!
The night markets of Patpong and Suan Lum offer food stalls as well as the usual fake designer goods, clothing, crafts etc
Apart from the street markets, Bangkok has plenty of modern shopping centres. Gem stones are also a popular purchase in Bangkok.
The floating markets of Damnoen Saduak are not to be missed on your visit to Bangkok. Go very early to avoid the crowds and see it at its best.
A cultural event displaying everything from orchids to Thai dancing, Thai boxing and elephants.
Jim Thompson's House
Said to be one of the best examples of traditional Thai architecture, whilst inside, a huge collection of Asian art is on display. Jim Thompson, an American businessman promoted Thai silk around the world following the end of WWII.
Bangkok is a city that offers some of the best dining experiences in Asia, from street vendors to exclusive restaurants. Don't dismiss the night markets where some of the most authentic Asian food is prepared and cooked in front of you, in some of the most atmospheric surroundings and at some of the cheapest prices!
Take a tour on a long tail boat around the canals of Bangkok to see urban life.
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