The best attractions in Bangkok
Bangkok is consistently in the top visited destinations on the planet, in an average year 15 million people flock to the Thai capital. What could make this South East Asian metropolis so popular, well lots of things. The city is amazing full of great things to do.
If you are a westerner and haven’t travelled much through Asia, then you are in for a great surprise. Big Asian cities are renowned for their mixture of tall modern glass skyscrapers and the charms of ancient Asian architecture. This clash of cultures makes for a great trip.
Along with it’s awesome mix of architectural styles Bangkok also offers a mix of western and Asian cultures living side by side in perfect harmony.
Visitors head to there for many reasons, the food, the culture, the people and of course the many tours and attractions Bangkok has to offer.
We have used Bangkok as a sort of base for many years when travelling around Asia and also on a few occasions as a stop over to Australia and New Zealand. Below are our pick of the highlights of Bangkok.
1 – Grand Palace
Built in 1782 the Grand Palace or Wat Prakaew has been the highlight of Bangkok ever since. The palace was originally designed and built to be the official home of the Thai King and Royal courts, and it performed this purpose until the early 1900’s.
Inside the Palace is actually constructed of several different buildings all as beautiful as the next. The whole site is truly magical and is without a doubt the must see sight in the city. Whether you are a cultural enthusiast or not you will not be disappointed with a visit here.
An important note to anyone visiting the Grand Palace, this is a site of huge cultural and religious importance. A very strict dress code is operated and must be followed by all times, by all visitors no exceptions. This means men must be in long trousers, long sleeve shirts and no bare feet. For the ladies the dress is similar, modest with no bare shoulders or knees. If you arrive at the palace under-dressed don’t despair there are the ever entrepreneurial Thais outside who will gladly sell you the appropriate attire.
2) – Street Food
No trip to any Asian city would be complete without a trip to eat at a food stall on the side of the road, and Bangkok does not disappoint either. Asian’s love their food and so they should it is full of diverse flavours, exotic ingredients and great dishes. It is easily our favourite cuisine.
Street food can be found all over the city, in fact it is hard to turn a corner without walking past a stall. Most of the stalls will specialise in a certain type of dish, and the pitches will change throughout the day, breakfast favourites in the morning, quick bites during the day and larger dishes with drinks for the evening.
There are so many great dishes available it would not be fair to say which is the best, but the most popular seem to be Pad Thai, Noodle soup and Kho Man Gai (chicken and rice).
The best place in the city to get street food is the old town, many famous chefs and travel writers from across the planet have ventured here to try the delights, especially the Pad Thai.
3) – Shop at Market
Shopping is another favourite past time of the Thai’s and again opportunities will present themselves all across Bangkok for a little retail therapy.
Like any major city it is has it’s fair share of large shopping malls, packed with the usual style shops and high end boutiques. But once inside any of the malls you could quite easily be anywhere on the planet.
When we say shop in Bangkok we mean at one of its unique markets such as Patpong (tourist), the flower market, and our favourite and the cities largest Chaturak (everything and anything).
A visit to one of these will leave you bewildered by the hustle and bustle of the goings on. They are cram packed with all kinds if goods on offer wonderful smells and colours. Bargaining is a must here and if you approach it it a friendly manner is great fun.
4) – Nightlife
Bangkok is famous for nightlife and the rightly so it has some of the best in all of Asia. And no it is not all about the seedy things portrayed in the movies, it has a very chic and happening club scene, world class restaurants and awesome bars.
Head along Sukhumvit road and almost every Soi that spreads of it will have its own spot of night time fun. Try Soi Nana, Soi 12 and Soi 13.
Obviously one of the top visited destinations in the world has a lot more to offer than the above, but these are our must see sights. If you are visiting for longer then you will can find loads more to do, but if you are only her for 24hrs then you must do the above, Palace in the morning, street food for lunch, shop in the afternoon and party the night away.