When Thais named their capital, they were generous with the number of letters it consists of. So, the city entered the Guinness Book of Records as having the longest name. Today, Bangkok is home to nearly 6 million people, and the number of tourists who visit it daily exceeds tens of thousands. The capital of the Kingdom of Thailand is attractive in every way, and you can easily find what to see or try and where to go in Bangkok. So, what are the things to do in Bangkok?
The metropolis is known for holy temples, huge parks, restaurants on the roofs of skyscrapers, modern shopping malls and a surprisingly cosmopolitan atmosphere where everyone feels at home.
The island was created in 1782 as a result of King Rama I’s irrigation project. The monarch ordered the digging of several canals, connecting them to the Chao Phraya River and building a residence and several temples on the created island.
Rattanokosin is called the old city. The easiest way to get there is by boat, which travels like water “minibuses” along the Chao Phrai.
In addition to the main architectural attractions, the main island of Bangkok houses a museum, parks and a national theater. The island is popular with fans of a healthy lifestyle: there are bike paths along Rattanakosin and runners can be found in the parks.
In the Thai capital, there are several temple complexes that are not only religious, but also of great cultural value:
- In the architectural ensemble of the Old City, the most important place is occupied by the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. The Thai shrine is a green stone statue located in the sacred chamber of Ubosota. The Emerald Buddha was found in the 15th century. monks, but when and by whom it was made, no one knows for sure.
- White marble from Italy became the building material from which the Benchamabophit Temple was constructed. The main building is listed as one of the best architectural examples of the oriental style in architecture. The gallery has fifty sculptures depicting Buddha and copying the most famous deity statues known in the world.
- The imposing size of the Golden Buddha in the temple of the same name impresses visitors. The sculpture weighs 5.5 tons and is about 3 m high, is cast of pure gold. During the war with Burma, the inhabitants of the kingdom covered the deity with plaster to protect it from kidnapping. As a result, the true value of the plaster sculpture was subsequently discovered by accident.
Don’t forget to go to the Temple of the Morning Dawn, with an observation deck at the top. All of Bangkok and the Chao Phraya River are visible at a glance from above. Especially beautiful landscapes appear in the rays of the rising sun.
Sightseeing in Bangkok
Don’t think there is nowhere else to go besides the temples in the kingdom’s capital! There are hundreds of useful addresses in Bangkok that a curious traveler would be interested in visiting:
- The National Museum of Bangkok has a unique exhibition of objects that allow you to trace the history of the kingdom, dating back to ancient times. You’ll see ancient coins and national musical instruments, ceramic household items and jewelry, medieval weapons and Thai theater masks on the stands. There is also a Russian-language version in the excursion program through the museum.
- A mysterious man named Jim Thomson played an important role in the Thai economy. He revived the production of natural silk and then moved to Bangkok from the United States and actively participated in the cultural life of the country. The Thompson House Museum is popular with tourists. Surrounded by a picturesque park, it tells about the life of a businessman and demonstrates his collection of antiques. At the gift store you can buy silk items.
- At a time when the main public transport in Bangkok was water, residents moved by boat and the Chao Phraya River served as the main thoroughfare. The Royal Barges Museum displays the vehicles of monarchs and their families – eight luxurious vessels, hewn from teak and adorned with gilding and elaborate decorations. The museum also houses other vessels that participate in the ceremonial processions of the Royal Barges.
The Thais called the residence of their King Rama V, “Castle in the Clouds,” built of teak beams without the use of nails or other hardware. Today, the Victorian palace is open to all. The Royal Family Museum displays luxurious interiors full of beautiful things: furniture, plates, musical instruments, books, jewelry and paintings.
Parks and Gardens
You can cool off after sightseeing, spend time on a fresh lawn in the shade of evergreen trees and enjoy the singing of birds in the parks of Thailand’s capital. Many green areas, like giant lungs, saturate the city with oxygen and fill no less than a session of the famous massage with energy:
- The Kukrit House Museum is a secluded corner in the heart of the Sathorn business district. The architectural ensemble of five teak mansions, cool ponds, lush greenery and many installations not only let you breathe fresh air, but also permeate with the atmosphere of Thailand. The park is dedicated to the artist and poet Pramot Kukrit.
- In Lumpini you can practice martial arts, run along shady alleys and lie on the grass, looking at the skyscrapers that surround the park like fantastic giants. There are plenty of monsters in Lumpini, though: if you come here early in the morning, you’re guaranteed to find a meter and a half long monitor lizards peacefully basking in the sun by the reservoir.
- The Benjaziri Park Gym is a popular training spot for locals. Tourists often come to this park in the center of Sukhumkvit at sunset: in the evening, circus performers practice their tricks here.
- Renting a boat and enjoying a boat ride on the lake is a great idea for a hot day in Bangkok. For this you can go to the Benjakiti Park.
- Getting to know Bang Kra Chau Park can be combined with a boat trip, sailing along the Chao Phraya River from Klong Toi Port. On weekends, tourists will find a nice bonus: a floating market on the river.
Most of Bangkok’s parks are closed at night.
Bangkok for children
Young tourists will enjoy the Thai capital. Bangkok has prepared plenty of entertainment, including the Dream World Park. In addition to classic rides, go-kart rides and restaurants with a special menu for toddlers, you will find world statues in miniature and perfectly proportioned sizes.
Young nature lovers are expected at two addresses in Bangkok: the local Dusit Zoo and the Safari World Park.
Shopping in Bangkok
Prices, assortment, wide choice and other arguments “for” lure many buyers from all over the world to the Thai capital every year. The main address for fans of cheap shopping is Chatuchak Market, where you can easily buy carpets and T-shirts, jewelry and souvenirs, natural silk and gemstones.
Large malls will suit fans of a more civilized version of shopping. Summer and winter sales are excellent at MBK Center, Siam Center and Emporium. At Siam Square, you’ll find Thai designer clothing and fashion products from other Southeast Asian countries.
Where to eat
- The Italian trattoria Appia is praised not only for its delicious pasta, but also for its setting reminiscent of a classic Roman café. The restaurant’s decor is very modest, the visitors are moderately colorful and the chef, if you are lucky enough to meet him, looks like the head of the Sicilian mafia.
- Hemingway’s in a colonial mansion near the Asok BTS subway will inform visitors about Ham’s ancient addictions. You’ll find the romance of Havana nights, Parisian chic and the freshness of South Florida at sunset at the institution. Local chefs are especially good at steaks, and it’s common to drink rum at Hemingway’s, just like Ernest Hemingway.
- Lighter drinks are preferred by visitors to The Corner. The restaurant, whose menu is dominated by Mediterranean cuisine, is popular with Europeans accustomed to the culinary traditions of the Pyrenees and Apennines.
- Guests from the capital will be offered to try the ideal paella at Viva 8. To do this, you have to go to the Chatuchak market. In Bangkok, which is used to seafood, you will always find a plate with the freshest squid or shrimp, but in Viva 8, one serving is quite possible to feed the whole party.
Siam Niramit Theater
One of the best theater shows in Bangkok is dedicated to the history of Siam and its cultural heritage. The show is very popular and takes place every day at 8pm in a special area. Hundreds of actors participate in a lively performance, more than 500 costumes are used during the show and during the production the viewer gets to know the culture of Siam, its legends, the tradition of celebrating the New Year and the ordination ceremony.