Simultaneously the geographic, cultural and political heart of Thailand, Bangkok bustles with enthralling nightlife, charms with enchanting histories, and sooths with its blooming relaxation industry.
Bangkok is officially known as Krung Thep, “City of Angels” in Thai, and Bangkok is actually only a small district that is home to the original village situated along the Chao Phraya River. The Bangkok of today certainly offers a taste for every palate. The infamous nightlife is overactive while the temples, museums and walking tours are abundant.
Travel Bangkok through the Ages
The palaces and wats are a wonderful place to begin your Bangkok journey. Begin with the Grand Palace, which was the home and headquarters of the King of Thailand from the 18th to 20th centuries. The breathtaking complex sits on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River and is built in moat-wall fortress fashion to shield the Royal Family from invasions. Do not miss the Wat Phra Kaew, which contains the legendary Emerald Buddha ñ a solid jade figurine donning pure gold robes that are changed by the King with the seasons. To the north, Wat Pho is home to the worldís largest reclining buddha, 15 by 46 meters of solid gold. The modern Royal Family resides at Chitralada Palace, a phenomenon of architectural landscaping and a bastion of education (there is a school on the grounds) and environment.
The best way to experience the different districts of Bangkok and the cityís evolution resulting from global and local events over the last few centuries is to walk down the main avenues as they pass through changing scenes. Khao San Road is famous for its international diversity marrying east and west, if not solely for the funky hippy charm and somewhat diluted sense of reality you may feel yourself walking into. Make sure to also explore the stretches of Sukhumvit Road for a more downtown Bangkok feel teeming with clubs and restaurants.
Indulge the Thai Way
Many associate a vacation to Thailand with a jaunt into the lap of leisure, and you should consider Bangkok the capital. Bangkok boasts some of the most famous hotels in the world, including the Oriental and The Peninsula, which are full service spa experiences. Seek and you shall find the Thai massage of your dreams. Bangkok is filled with hundred of full service spas and simple massage houses, something to fit every budget. The canals also offer a nice break from the exhaust and motors of congested city streets. A boat tour for every fancy is available, including a market tour to experience the unique Bangkok street markets from the convenience of the canal, or a temple tour by water that explores 5 different temples and their histories.
Now the pleasures, wonders and tastes of Bangkok are at your fingertips. A few clicks on cFares is sure to land you airfare to Bangkok in no time. See for yourself the dynamic cultural mesh of ancient Thailand and western post-war Bangkok, a beautiful melting pot of expats, students, young vibrant locals and the old generation.