Bangkok - Thailand's Jewel

Wat Mahathat is the common name for Buddhist temple.

Photo:  Telmo32

Thousands of visitors are drawn to Thailand for a variety of reasons including elephant treks, the floating market, great scuba diving locations and marine life. Thailand's cultural heritage has also become a great attraction for travelers. 

The country of Thailand offers many wonderful cities and villages that are worth spending time in, but the capital city of Bangkok offers enough to keep a traveler busy for several days.  Bangkok is also known by its Thai name of  “Krung Thep”.  This sprawling metropolis was the result of two capital cities that subsequently merged:  Thonburi in 1768 and Rattanakosin in 1782, and helped spearhead Siam’s (as Thailand was once called) entrance into the modern world in the 19th century.   But Bangkok’s roots date back to a trading post in the early 15th century.

Bangkok is the wealthiest city in Thailand and the most populated with approximately ten million people residing there.  It is a very vibrant, exciting and charming city where the old and the new seamlessly merge together in great harmony.  The city has an abundance of attractions including 400+ Buddhist temples, iconic shrines and an intriguing boat-filled network of canals that flow past The Grand Palace.  These are just a few of the offerings that  keep a steady stream of travelers flowing to Bangkok, but the following attractions are also worth a visit:

Emerald Building of The Grand Palace.  Photo:  Ian Gratton

The Grand Palace:

Constructed in 1782, the palace has been the official seat of the monarchs for the past 150 years.  Unfortunately, only certain areas are open to the public.  But the Emerald Building that houses the Emerald Buddha is on the grounds.  However, it is important to know that a dress code is enforced when visiting The Grand Palace.  If wearing sandals, you must have socks on as bare feet are not allowed.  Additionally, men must wear long pants and shirts with sleeves and women must be dressed modestly—no see-through clothing.

Borombiman Hall:

This hall once served as the residence of King Rama VI.  It is still occasionally used to house foreign dignitaries.  The hall is an exquisite example of French-inspired architecture but it has not lost its Thai ambience and integrity.

Amarindra Hall & Chakri Maha Prasat:

Amarindra Hall was once used for judicial purposes but today serves for coronations.  The largest of the palace buildings, Chakri Maha Prasat offers an intriguing blend of Italian Renaissance and traditional Thai architecture.

National Museum.  Photo:  Paul Trafford

The National Museum:

This is a must see for all art lovers.  The Bangkok National Museum was opened in 1874 by King Rama V and is the largest museum in Southeast Asia.  It features Thai art and history exhibits that date back to Neolithic times.  In addition to displaying Thai artifacts, the museum also has an extensive collection of regional Buddhists Arts like Chinese Tang and Vietnamese Cham. 

Vimanmek Royal Mansion:

No trip to Bangkok would be complete without visiting the Vimanmek Royal Mansion—the world’s largest golden teakwood mansion.  This famous landmark has been turned into a museum displaying porcelain, photographes, antique furniture and other treasures of King Rama V.  The structure provides a showcase for the Thai national heritage.

Then...

For those who love the nightlife, Bangkok will give you everything you need.  Tourists are invited to relax in many local jazz clubs, bars and dance halls after spending the daylight hours sightseeing.  Come visit Bangkok for all its wonderful sights and return home with exceptional memories!

 

About the Author

Tonya Fitzpatrick is a “recovering attorney” who shares a life full of adventure, dark chocolate and champagne with her husband and business partner, Ian.   She has a deep love for animals and would be happy owning a zoo if she weren’t traveling. 

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