Bangkok’s biggest tourist attraction as well as a pilgrimage destination for devout Buddhists, Wat Phra Kaew (วัดพระแก้ว), the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, and the adjoining Grand Palace together form the greatest spectacle for any visitor to Bangkok. Originally home to the Thai King and Royal Court for more than 150 years, it is still used for royal ceremonies and national events.
The nearly 100-hectare grounds, which date back to 1782, encompass more than 100 buildings that represent 200 years of royal history and architectural experimentation, featuring an amazing array of brightly coloured buildings, glittering mosaics and golden spires.
Wat Arun, known locally as Wat Chaeng, is located on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River, and is undeniably the most stunning temple in Bangkok – as well as being one of the few Buddhist temples one is encouraged to climb on.
Best known for its towering 80-meter central prang, the largest in Thailand, Wat Arun was built in Khmer architectural style. Made up of colourful ceramics and porcelain to form elaborate motifs and designs, this makes the prangs shimmer and shine in the sunlight, giving the temple a unique appeal that has to be seen close up to be fully appreciated.
Located nearby more well known Thonglor, Ekkamai has everything from vintage shopping, trendy coffee shops and art galleries to restaurants, bars and clubs but in a quieter, more relaxed environment.
In addition to plenty of choices, the eateries here tend to be affordable in comparison to other parts of town, with numerous street side vendors selling everything from noodle soup to Thai basil chicken.
The rambling 8-hectare Buddhist Temple Complex of Wat Pho incorporates the city’s largest reclining Buddha, the largest collection of Buddha images in Thailand and the country’s earliest centre for public education.
The reclining Buddha figure is 15m tall and 46m long, making it one of the largest Buddha statues in Thailand. The reclining image represents the entry of Buddha into Nirvana and the end of all reincarnations. The posture is referred to as suhasaiyas, or the posture of a sleeping or reclining lion.
Erawan Shrine in downtown Bangkok is frequented by locals and tourists alike, usually with offerings in tow in the hope of receiving good luck, or for the photo op.
Built in 1956 after Hindu Brahman priests suggested its creation to ward off bad luck, the shrine is said to grant any visitor a wish, which is why so many gather with everything from lighted incense to colorful marigold garlands as offerings.
The shrine houses a statue of Phra Phrom, the Thai representation of the Hindu god of creation, Brahma. The god has four faces reflecting kindness, mercy, sympathy and impartiality.
Looking for a respite from the hustle and bustle of Bangkok life, then Lumpini Park is the place to find it. Lumpini Park is an oasis in the heart of the city’s business and commercial centre and the name “Lumpini” is taken from the birthplace of Buddha in the Rupendehi district of Nepal where he is said to have lived until 29 years old.
The park—the oldest and largest of Bangkok’s open spaces—was opened in the 1920s by King Rama VI and it comprises 58 hectares or 142 acres of parkland, ornamental lakes, and walkways, with noted wildlife and flowers contained in its grounds.
The first Thai-German Microbrewery that served original German beer in Thailand, Tawandang German Brewery was an early pioneer of the “east meets west” dining and entertainment concept in Thailand.
The giant main space is very rustic, reproducing the spit and sawdust vibe of German beer halls, with both both eastern and western performances staged regularly. An outdoor area is a little cozier and quieter if you simply have to escape the less-than-quiet stage performances.
Muay Thai is said to date back to more than 2000 years ago, and its long history is interwoven with the history of the Thai people. Born of the need to defend themselves and their land from aggressive powers, they developed a martial art that transformed their hands, legs, elbows, and knees into deadly weapons.
Known for its tremendous power, maximum efficiency, and raw simplicity, Muay Thai is often referred to as the “Art of Eight Limbs”, since it uses a beautiful symphony of kicks, punches, knees, and elbows with fluidity and grace.
Muay Thai is now one of the most well-known and practiced martial arts in the world.
Looking for a place where you can literally shop ‘till you drop’? Then Chatuchak Weekend Market is the landmark and a must-visit place for tourists. Its sheer size and diverse collection of available merchandise will bring any seasoned shopper to their knees!
The 35-acre (68-rai) area of Chatuchak is home to more than 8,000 market stalls. More than 200,000 visitors visit on a typical weekend to sift through the goods on offer. And you can buy just about anything you can imagine, from used vintage sneakers to baby squirrels.
Whilst at first it might seem there’s little or no order to the madness, grab a free map from an information booth and then head to your desired sections, which are clearly demarcated just like a regular supermarket. Happy shopping!
Known as the River of Kings and the main artery of the nation, The Chao Phraya River is formed by four major tributaries, including the Ping, Wang, Yom, and Nan Rivers. A very important waterway for the people of central Thailand, many people call the banks of the Chao Phraya River home, with many using the river to get to and from work. For others, it is a way of life and, their main source of income.
Travel up and down the river, and the klongs (canals) that wind their way off it, to discover life that in many places is continuing as it has done for centuries. A must see are the vegetable market boats that serve the houses along its banks.
Bangkok’s highest beer bar sits 30 stories above the center of Sukhumvit, atop the Radisson Blu Hotel.
Enjoy more than 100 craft brews and ciders over 18 taps while taking in the stunning skyline views.
Patpong is a street between Silom and Surawong roads, at the heart of what by day is Bangkok’s central business district, and by night becomes one of its most pulsating nightlife zones.
This area of Silom is where go-go bars first gained popularity during the Vietnam War period, and today its two main streets – Patpong Soi 1 and Patpong Soi 2 – remain a popular attraction for visitors looking to experience the city’s nightlife.
The alleys that make up the Patpong area are in fact private properties rather than public streets, and are said to have been purchased by the Chinese-descended Patpongpanich family – hence the name – back in 1946.