How much ever notorious one might think about Bangkok, but its the most favored city by Indian tourists. With plenty of flight connections to Bangkok from India, a lot of places to visit and things to do in Bangkok & it’s close proximity to Pattaya are all the reasons, why Indians long to go there.
Here are the must visit places in Bangkok and other things to see & do.
Temples of Bangkok
Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew
Grand Palace was built over an area of 218,400 square feet and is the former residence of Thai King. Constructed in 1782, its now the most visited tourist attraction in Thailand. With in the walls of the Grand Palace were located the government offices then and the Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of Emerald Buddha) the most famous temple in Thailand that houses the Emerald Buddha. The cost of admission is 350 Baht.
Located just adjacent to the Grand Palace is Wat Pho (Temple of Reclining Buddha). It is not as famous as Wat Phra Kaew, but it is the biggest, the temple with most number of pagados and one of the oldest temple in Bangkok. Wat Pho was the first open university in Thailand specializing in literature and astrology. Wat Pho is the home to the Reclining Buddha (46 x 15 meters), which is an illustration of Buddha going into Nirvana. The cost of admission is 50 Baht.
Just across the Chao Phraya river is Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn). As the name says, the temple is best seen during the dawn time from the opposite side of the Chao Phraya river. The most famous Khmer styled central tower of this temple was built in between 1809 – 1824 and stands at 82 meters high. It is surrounded by four smaller towers. The cost of admission is 50 Baht.
Nine Lucky Temples of Bangkok
Nine is the most auspicious number in Thailand and visiting the following nine temples in order will bring you good luck and prosperity.
- Wat Kanlayanamit (The good friend Temple)
- Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn)
- Wat Rakhang (Temple of Bells)
- Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of Emerald Buddha)
- Wat Pho (Temple of Reclining Buddha)
- Wat Suthat (Temple of giant swing and bronze Buddha)
- Chao Phor Seua (Chinese Taoist Temple)
- Luk Mueang (City Pillar Shrine)
- Wat Chanasongkhram (conquer all obstacles Temple)
The name inside ( ) are not the official names, but indeed our own translation. So, better try to remember the Thai names of the temple as no one would understand our translated version.
Day Trips from Bangkok
Ayutthaya, an island created by confluence of three rivers, is located 85 kilometers from the north of Bangkok. Ayutthaya was the capital of Siam Kingdom between 1350 and 1767. It was a main trading port between Indian, Chinese & Malay Kingdoms and one of the largest cities during its time until 1767 when the Burmese invaded the city and looted all the riches. Where there once stood 400 temples, now there are only a few remains now but its a must visit destination. It was declared UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991. One day might not be enough to explore the ruins of Ayutthaya, if you are a history lover.
Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
The postcard picture of Thailand’s floating market comes from Damnoen Saduak, located 110 kilometers south west of Bangkok. The floating markets on the canals, were once lively trading spots between the locals and the buyers when Thailand was not well connected by roads. Even now you will find lot of boats selling many things (food, fruits, vegetables, souvenirs, etc) but the sight has merely turned into a tourist spot and not an actual marketplace. You can hire a boat for 300 Baht per person per hour.
Kanchanaburi Tiger Temple
Wat Pha Luang Ta Bua, as known in Thai, is a Buddhist temple and also sanctuary for rescued forest tigers. This sanctuary also provides shelter to rescued deer, apes, water buffaloes and other wild animals. The visitors are even allowed to touch the tigers and take photographs with them when they are bought out of the cage. It’s located 160 kilometers to the west of Bangkok.
Entertainment and fun things to do in Bangkok
Siam Park City
Siam Park City is a water park located to the north of Bangkok and provides world class amusement and adventurous rides. It has a man made lake and a beach. A must visit for kids even if if looks like a thing of 1990’s.
Siam Ocean World
Siam Ocean World contains the biggest aquarium in South East Asia. Here you can find weird sea creatures, dive with the sharks, walk inside the aquarium and also has a 5D movie that will throw you away in the ocean.
Dream World Amusement Park
Not as grand as Singapore’s Universal Studios or Hong Kong’s Disneyland, Dream World is Thailand’s equivalent to them. The park is divided into four areas – Dream World Plaza which is a replica of European Villages, Dream Garden where you will find the replicas of great monuments like Taj Mahal and Leaning Tower of Pisa, Fantasy Land which is inspired from fairy tales and Adventure Land for thrilling rides. If you have to choose one theme park in Bangkok, this should be the one.
Siam Niramit Show
One of the most spectacular show in Thailand, Siam Niramit showcases Thai Art and cultural heritage. This Guinness Book listed show lats for 80 minutes and is performed by over 100 artists wearing lavish costumes. The show is divided into three acts – one which takes past the history of Siam, the next which showcases Thai beliefs and the third act is about the important festivals. The show starts at 08:00 PM everyday and the ticket price ranges from 2350 to 1500 Bahts depending on the type of seat.
Bangkok’s Cabaret Shows
Bangkok is famous for cabaret shows which are performed by lady-boys. Two such shows are Calyapso Cabaret Show and Mambo Cabaret Show.
Take a dinner cruise along the Chao Phraya river for a romantic evening. The food might be a bit of let down, but you will get sensational views of the river. Some of the famous cruises are White Orchid, Loy Nava and Manohra Cruises.
Shopping in Bangkok
Bangkok is a shoppers heaven if you go to the right place. Here is a list of shopping malls and other markets in Bangkok.
- MBK Center for mobile phones, laptops and other electronics
- Siam Center for local fashion clothes
- Siam Paragon for high end fashion
- River City for antiques and expensive souvenirs
- Chatuchak Weekend Market for cheap souvenirs and clothing
Disclaimer – All the rates mentioned are per person and as of March 2014.
Image Source – https://www.flickr.com/photos/stuckincustoms/314612584