Monday, October 16, 2006

Bangkok Holiday Hot Spots

Bangkok Holiday Hot Spots
By Milan Matchev

Some facts about Bangkok

Wat Arun Stairway, ThailandIf you visit any destination in South East Asia, it may be imperative that you pass through Bangkok. Bangkok has a strange nature of evoking extreme sense of likes and dislikes amongst visitors. A few seem to loathe it while many others swear that it is the most wonderful, fascinating and exciting places on earth. Actually, Bangkok tends to be what a particular visitor wants it to be. Bangkok is a picture postcard haven with beautiful pagodas and some of the world's finest hotels. Bangkok's renowned for it's nightlife in the Orient with an opportunity to savour some of world's most unique cuisines. Bangkok is also one of the best shopping destinations in South East Asia.

Bangkok inhabitants are known as Thais and their friendly ways would flatter the snootiest traveller. Bangkok is all in all, a load of fun and games and a great way to enjoy a civilised holiday. Thailand's history emerges from the Bronze Age, whereas Bangkok, the capital is a young city founded in 1782. With a population of around six million, fifty percent of which are under the age of thirty. Bangkok lies on the banks of the Chao Phraya river, a wonderful working waterway full of sampans and a wide variety of boats and rice barges.

MBK Shopping Centre, BangkokBangkok is a beautiful mix of the old and the new, the modern and the ancient evident from its skyline that comprises of Buddhist temples, luxury hotels, high rise office buildings and shopping malls making it a kaleidoscope. Under the thin veneer of new found Western influence you will find that the Thais are not devoid of traditional values. The sights of ubiquitous street food sellers, monks on morning begging rounds and women stringing jasmine blossoms on thread near Buddhist temple will display the cultural heritage of Thailand that is not lost in the arc lights of modernity.

Major attractions in Bangkok
Klongs, ThailandBangkok is packed with more attractions per square kilometre than any other city in the world. Despite the crowds, the architecture and the attractions are worth the effort to see. On the top of the list would be Wat Phra Khao and the Grand Palace for half a day of sightseeing. This can include the National Museum and the Wat Pho. Chinatown, one of Bangkok's major attractions has a unique traditional life untouched by modern civilisation. Historical sites like Rattanakosin Island (central point when Bangkok was founded) are also worth visiting. The main symbolic places of Bangkok are Wat Arun on the Chao Phraya River.

Cross the Chao Phraya River to reach Thonburi and you can tour the Klongs (Waterways and floating market places) to appreciate the heritage and culture of the country of Thailand. The Vimanmek Palace, restored by Queen Sirikit, made of golden teak emphasises the exquisite taste and oriental splendour of ancient Thai royal life.

Touring around Bangkok
The easiest way to explore the country would be put up base in Bangkok and explore the region by using the interesting day trip tours.

Chinatown, BangkokAyutthaya & Bang Pa-In: This probably is the most popular day trip from Bangkok and takes you to visit the Ayutthaya (A-you-ta-ya), the previous and old capital of Thailand, about 50 miles north of Bangkok, the current capital. Ayutthaya has served as the second capital of the Kingdom of Siam for over 400 years. Travellers in the past have described the glittering palaces, temples and Buddhist images depicting it as one of the most beautiful sights on the planet. In an unfortunate event the Burmese burned the glories of this city in 1767. In Ayutthaya, you could hire a tuk tuk along with an English speaking guide to take you around the celebrated temples (about 250 baht). You can also hire a long-tail boat for cruising the 19 kilometre Chao Phraya River that ends at the king's summer palace at Bang Pa-In (300 baht).

Bangkok never ceases to amaze and so giving an approximate time frame of the trip becomes difficult. You could get there, relax, and see for yourself what Bangkok has to offer. Maybe you could go back when you have more time, or to see the rest of it in one visit. The magnetism of Bangkok is such that despite many having been there on numerous occasions, travellers tend to come back.

About the Author
Article written by Milan Matchev. For holiday home and apartment rentals visit
Thailand Vacation Rentals. A comprehensive directory of privately owned holiday rental properties.

Pictures
Wat Arun Stairway

MBK Shopping Centre
Klongs (Waterways)
Chinatown

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