Bangkok is a city of contradictions, hidden amongst the mass of skyscrapers, ugly concrete buildings and busy thoroughfares you will find historical temples, extravagant palaces and traditional Thai wooden houses. The traffic pollution, along with the heat and noise of the city and the hassle that can be experienced from the street hawkers, taxis and tuk tuks can prove too much for some people, but spend a few days here and you will discover some pleasant surprises.
Alive with history The Grand Palace is definitely Bangkok’s most famous attraction with its striking art and architecture. Built in 1782, it is a complex of buildings and was previously the home of the king. If you are pushed for time this should be the place you see.
Wat Phra Kaew (The Temple of the Emerald Buddha) houses the century old Emerald Buddha statue, carved from a huge block of jade, a focus of national religious pride, it is one of the most sacred images of Thailand. Wat Arun (The Temple of Dawn) consists of an enormous elongated prang (Khmer-style tower) decorated with fragments of porcelain. Worth the climb up for the spectacular view of Bangkok. Wat Pho, built by King Rama I, is the largest and oldest temple in Bangkok. Also known as Wat Phra Chetuphon, or the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, the Wat is 200 years old. The best part to see is the gold-plated reclining Buddha which is 46 meters long and 15 meters high, with mother of pearl inlaid feet.
Jim Thompson’s House is a museum opened by an American who revived Thailand's silk industry, it has a collection of Thai and Asian art, antiques and pottery. Take a trip along The Chao Phraya River in a long-tail boat and alight at any of the famous landmarks on route.
If you have come to Bangkok to shop be sure to visit China Town, thriving with activity, within its busy maze of narrow streets you will find an assortment of cheap gold shops, markets, fabric shops, traditional Chinese medicines and endless street stalls. Bangkok has plenty of markets selling an array of goodies. The best known is Chatuchak Weekend Market with over 15000 shops and stalls to browse through selling handicrafts, arts, antiques, clothes, books, food and much more. Patpong night market is very popular with tourists, you will find souvenirs, fake brand name items and cheap clothes, bargain hard as they will try and rip you off. Pratunam is the best place in Bangkok to buy cheap clothes, fabrics and textiles, if you buy a few you will get wholesale prices.