BANGKOK- City of Angles
The city of temples
A city like Bangkok is not just like another metropolitan city. It is housed with tons of temples, floating markets, some fabulous shopping spots, and wonderful attractions for all of you. Nightlife also flourishes in Bangkok at many places. It is the fourth capital city of Thailand.
The name of Bangkok is also registered with Guinness Book of World Records for the longest name in the world. No... Don't go with Bangkok. The actual name of the city is "Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Ayuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Piman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit". The meaning of the name is "The city of angels, the great city, the residence of the Emerald Buddha, the impregnable city (unlike Ayutthaya) of God Indra, the grand capital of the world endowed with nine precious gems, the happy city, abounding in an enormous Royal Palace that resembles the heavenly abode where reigns the reincarnated god, a city given by Indra and built by Vishnukarn."
Nowadays if you go on internet searching for address of a particular attraction or place in Bangkok, at times it is shown as Krung Thep Maha Nakhon. Don't be confused or be scared it means Bangkok only.
The river named Chao Phraya is at the center of the city and is considered to be very important. The water of the river is also called as "Ma Nam" meaning the mother water. It serves as one of the trasportation of the city
The city has express ways to ease your travel within; along with lot of bridges going one above the other. You have options for going from one place to another place. Check out Thailand Transport - Quick and Fast for detailed transport information. However, be careful with your travel plans. Since city's traffic can really test you patience levels and waste your time on road. Just like any other cities; morning and evening office timing are going to be too heavy for traffic jams.
Siam square is unofficially considered to be the exact center of the city. So if you are on foot and lost while your sightseeing; try to get back to Siam and you will find your geography properly.
Bangkok has two international airports of the country. The old one named as Don Muang Airport and the new one is Bangkok Suvarnbhumi Airport. Most of the international flights will bring you to the new airport which is comparatively near to the city center. However, if you are travelling on budget airlines you might land on the old airport costing you more for your travel to the city center.
Top 10 Sightseeing in Bangkok
1. Safari World
One of the most highlighted and must visit sightseeing when you are in Bangkok. It has 2 parts i.e. Safari Park which is an open zoo- you can go in with your car or buy a ticket for the park's scheduled buses to visit inside. And of course! You are not allowed to get off your car at any point. It is an 8 kms drive which takes approximately 30 to 45 minutes. Animals that you get to see here are Zebra, Giraffe, Rhino, Ostrich, Samba Deer, Neel Gaay, Lion, Tigers, Ligers, Bear, Peacock, Crowncrane Bird. It is advisable to visit this park before the shows in Marine park to get to see maximum animals and birds.
Another part is Marine park which has multiple shows as well as it houses small zoos within. You get to see white Tiger, Polar Bear, Crocodiles inside these zoos. The most highlighted part of this Marine Park is the dolphin show.
Following is the ideal show schedule to follow:-
10:20- Orang Utan Monkey Boxing Show and Bird Show (you can catch up with later bird show)
11:00- Sea Lion Show
11:40- Cowboy Stunt Show and Elephant Show (not advisable if you have seen one in Nong Nooch Village in Pattaya)
13:15- Start going towards Dolhpin Show to grab your best seats
14:30- Spy War Show
15:30- Bird Show
2. Madam Tussaud's Wax Museum
Although, nowadays wax museum is not really a huge deal as it was in the past because of it's various branches all over the world. But if you are in Bangkok and willing to get yourself clicked with celebrities and politicians; you should not really miss this chance.
Located in the mall Siam Discovery at the heart of the city. It is easily accessible by sky train. Also interconnects you to other malls giving you a double opportunity for shopping as well.
3. Siam Ocean World
Also known as the Sea Life Bangkok Aquarium. It is the largest aquarium in South East Asia and covers an area of approximately 1,00,000 square feet. It is not just an aquarium but the mixture of fun, entertainment and education to the visitors. It also has other activities like glass bottom boat, 4D experience and ocean walker at an additional cost.
Located in the Siam Paragon mall which is in the interconnection of the Siam Discovery mall which has Madam Tussaud's Museum. So you can plan your itinerary accordingly and try to cover both in single visit to the same area. In fact you can buy the combo ticket for both attractions and save good amount of money.
4. Siam Niramit Show
Unlike the cabaret shows in Pattaya; this is the show that bring the history and culture of Thailand in front of you with amazing treasured huge sets. They have used amazing special effects using excellent advanced technology.
The whole show is divided in 3 different activities comprising the journey back to history, the journey of the 3 world and the journey through joyous festivals. The show starts at 8:00 PM but the gates open at 5:00 PM for other pre show attractions like visit to Thai Village giving you an insight to the life of a local Thai back in those times, Elephant feeding and rides, outdoor dance performances, Traditional Thai Massage.
5. Golden Buddha Temple
Golden Buddha temple is known as Wat Trimitr in Thai language. Meaning 3 friends; called so because the building was built by 3 friends to worship the statue of the Buddha which is made of 18 carat gold weighing 5,500 kilograms. Yes!!! You read it right. Pure gold statue located on the 3rd floor of the building is a famous tourist attraction in Bangkok.
You have to buy the ticket to go up the building. Elevator is available only for Senior Citizens and Handicapped people. You have to remove your shoes upstairs before you enter the main hall. It is compulsory for all tourists or locals to wear clothes which covers your body completely. If you are wearing short clothes temple does provide you with some clothes to wrap around. This rule of clothing basically applies to all temples in Bangkok.
The temple is located near China Town. Many tourists take a round through China Town after visiting this temple.
6. Temple of Dawn
Wat Arun!!! That's what locals call it. The name is derived from the Hindu god Aruna. It is the well known landmarks of Thailand located on the banks of the Chao Phraya River. It is said that the first light of the morning reflects off the surface of the temple. The main attraction of the temple is the pagoda shown in the image above.
Although it is the temple of Dawn; you can have the best views of the temple at the time of sunset. You at least need an hour's time to explore the whole complex. It can get really crowded in the evening though. The temple is easily accessible by the ferries on the river with cheap tickets. Temple charges you 50 THB to go inside.
7. Wat Pho
As I mentioned earlier Bangkok is a city of temple. So here's the third must visit temple complex in Bangkok i.e. Wat Pho which houses various statues of Buddha; but the most popular ones are the Principal Buddha and the Reclining Buddha. You need 1 hour to admire the complex. You get the voucher of complementary drinking water along with the ticket. You can collect your water bottle in front of reclining Buddha hall.
For principal Buddha you need to remove your shoes outside but when you proceed for reclining Buddha you gotta keep your shoes in the bag provided and carry the bag inside with you. There are 108 pots inside the hall and it is said that if you leave coin in each pot it brings you good luck.
The complex also houses the school of Thai medicine and is also known as the birthplace of traditional Thai massage. Apart from the huge halls for the statues of Buddha. Whole complex has got small statues of Buddha situated throughout the temple complex.
You also get to see multiple pagodas in the complex. These pagodas are constructed to keep the ashes of the dead. the 4 biggest pagodas are the ones which contains the ashes of the first 4 kings of Thailand.
8. Grand Palace
When in the country of the kings; how can you not feel like visiting the Grand Palace? This palace was the official residential place for the kings of Thailand. The palace is mainly built up of different buildings, open lawns, gardens and courtyards. It is situated at the banks of the Chao Phraya River.
It also houses the Temple of Emerald Buddha. Palace is partially open to public as a museum; however rest of the part still remain as working place since many other royal offices are still inside the Grand Palace.
9. Baiyoke Sky Observatory Deck
Bangkok city also hosts multiple tall structures; one of them being the Baiyoke Sky Hotel- The tallest hotel in Bangkok until April 2016. After which it was surpassed by the MahaNakhon building. However; it is still the tallest hotel in South East Asia and the seventh tallest hotel in the world. It has a public observatory deck on 77th floor and a bar on 83rd floor. It also offers an open air view of the city from the 84th floor with a 360 degree revolving deck.
The building is located in the Pratunam Area i.e. another famous shopping place also known as the Indra Market. So if you are too tired by walking around for your shopping you can relax with a drink or two with a beautiful view of the city.
10. Chao Phraya Dinner Cruise
Roaming around the city in hot and humid weather is surely gonna make you feel tired. It's time to relax a bit and enjoy the evening with a lavish dinner on board with a minimal cost of approximately 1500 THB. The cruise leaves from the peer and takes a round giving you some wonderful views of the temples and the bridges along the route. You can also get the view of beautiful Wat Arun and Grand Palace from the cruise. With live music and dance floor it surely is a good time to spend on the cruise.
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