Bangkok - The Thailand Entrance

Bangkok is one of the leading tourist cities in the world. MasterCard ranks Bangkok as a top destination for international travelers in the 2016 Global Destination City Index with over 21 million overnight visitors. Bangkok was also voted by the “Travel + Leisure magazine” as the "World's Best City" for four consecutive years, from 2010 to 2013. It is also the main gateway for tourists to get in Thailand. Visiting Thailand's capital, you will have not only an opportunity to learn about the cultural and religious life, but also to enjoy shopping and local cuisine.

When is the ideal time to visit Bangkok?

The best and most pleasant time to visit Bangkok is from November to February because this is the coolest time of the year. However, this is the peak season of travel in the country of the Golden Temple so the price and the number of foreign visitors to Thailand would also increase, compare to other months. Many experienced tourists prefer booking tickets to Thailand in October or March, when the weather is still comfortable and personal expense, fares… at tourist destinations are not too high.

Transportation in Bangkok:

These are popular types of transportation in Bangkok: Sky train BTS, MRT, tuk tuk, taxi and bus. Tourists usually prefer taxi if they need to transfer around the city. If you choose to use taxi, there are a few things to note as below:

• Never accept taxi driver’s verbal offer. All taxis in Bangkok are required to have distance and price displays, and any agreement on taxi prices is illegal in Thailand. Please only get taxis obeying the regulations. Remember to bring enough pence because the driver might not give you your change.

• Taxi drivers might not know every corner of the city, and are not good at English. Ask hotel staff to write down the hotel address or the place you need to go on a piece of paper in Thai to easily communicate the driver.

• In times of rain or traffic jams, it will be extremely difficult to get a taxi. Even if the part of the road you want to cross is common, the driver may refuse to drive you. Therefore, it is best not to use taxis or tuk tuk during peak hours, in densely populated areas and vehicles.

Sights not to be missed when traveling to Bangkok

Grand Palace

The Grand Palace is one of the most notable cultural tourist destinations in Bangkok. The Palace is a monumental architectural complex, composed of three main areas: the Royal Palace, the Royal Office and the temples with 3 typical towers, curved roofs and sharp peaks. This place has a special feature that can definitely catch your eyes, the golden towers and golden temples. At any time, especially in the late afternoon, the Royal Palace is glowing, sparkling in the whole sky of the city by the glow of 24-carat yellow leaves inlaid on towers and pagodas. Right at the main gate is a large garrison with a large, elite Royal army unit, meticulously trained and patrolled day and night.

Thailand, Bangkok Grand Palace

Bangkok Grand Palace

Vimanmek Palace

Vimanmek is an old Royal Palace built in 1901. This is the largest and the most iconic teak building in the world, and very ideal to avoid the heat of Bangkok. Vimanmek has 81 rooms, halls and is divided into 3 floors. The Palace was built in 1901 and nowadays, it’s still carefully preserved to remind about the thriving old days. Now, when visiting Vimanmek Palace, you still can contemplate collection of 13 royal chariots from the time of King Rama V.

Thailand, Bangkok Vimanmek Palace

Vimanmek Palace

Jade Buddha Temple

Temple of the Emerald Buddha is Bangkok's largest temple, located in Phra Nakhon district, within the grounds of the Thai Royal Palace. It is home to the finest features of Buddhist temple architecture in Thailand, with many Buddha statues and shrines. In particular, the Jade Buddha Temple is the largest, solemn and sacred temple, covered the religious atmosphere. Outside the palace, there is a statue of a deity holding a door higher than a person. On the 2m high Buddha pedestal, the Jade Buddha altar is carved from a block of pure jade with 66cm high. The Jade Buddha is the most important holy image for Thai people, the supreme symbol of the Thai king.

Thailand, Bangkok Jade Buddha Temple, Wat Phra Kaew

Golden statue in Jade Buddha

Wat Arun

Wat Arun is one of the most prominent temples in Bangkok. The name “Wat Arun” means “Temple of the dawn”. It was related to this temple origin. Back to the day when the Siam has been invaded by Burmese, the king and his people made a vow to bring the freedom back and built the Wat Arun Temple as a victory icon.

Locates next to Chao Phraya River, at sunset, you can admire Wat Arun as a beautiful scenic jewel at riverside or can climb to the top of the temple and catch a breathtaking view of the sun goes down.

Thailand, Bangkok Wat Arun

Wat Arun from River view

Golden Buddha Temple

Golden Buddha Temple is located in Chinatown, where the largest golden Buddha statue in the world is put. Thai people think that this Buddha image is a symbol of prosperity and purity as well as strength and power. The seat of the Golden Buddha is cast in solid gold, 3m high and 5.5 tons, made around the 13-15 century, under the Sukhothai Dynasty. The most ideal time to visit the temple is in the morning, when there are still few people then it’s convenient for sightseeing and taking pictures.

Thailand, Bangkok Wat Traimit

Wat Traimit - Temple of golden Buddha

Safari World Zoo

Safari World is Thailand's famous natural zoo, also the largest open zoo in the world with many wild and rare animals: 75 species of mammals, 300 species of birds from Africa and Asia and the featured animals around the world: giraffes, lions, tigers, zebras, kangaroos, hippos, camels, bears ... Special circus shows of fishes, pigs and seals, performances of Western European cowboys…not only appeal to young travelers but also to the attention of adults. At the snake farm, you will have more interesting information about this animal as well as about many foods made from snakes. Safari World is an attractive destination that you cannot ignore when coming to Bangkok.

Thailand, Bangkok Safari World

Safari World Zoo

National Museum of Thailand

The national museum was built in 1782 and is the pride of the Thai people. This is a great place for you to learn about Thai culture and history through the thousands of exhibits on display, showing the formation and development of the Stone Age to the present day of the land of Golden Temple. This museum is also voted as the most practical and easily understood museum in Southeast Asia.

Thailand, Bangkok National Museum

Bangkok National Museum

Chinatown

Vast and extremely bustling are the words tourists favor for the Chinatown in Bangkok. Chinatown is located on Yaowarat Road in Samphanthawong District and a large part of Charoen Rung Street is located in the heart of Bangkok. Coming here, you will be immersed in a shopping paradise with a variety of goods such as garments, electronics, souvenirs, antiques, musical instruments...Especially, the food court is always busy with guests coming in and out, even lighting the lights all night. The food is rich in Chinese spicy, sweet, cheap seafood restaurants are a red address for anyone visiting this place. In addition, there is also a 24-hour flower market and Wat Mangkon Kamalawat Pagoda is always full of incense.

Thailand, Bangkok China Town

Bangkok Chinatown

The Chao Phraya River

From That Wat Ratchasingkhon port, you can catch a taxi boat on the river. This is also the best way to visit the Chao Phraya River and enjoy the whole scenery along the river. Sitting on the boat to admire the scenery, you will see wooden houses built on the water, see children swimming and playing, feeling the taste, images and cuisine of Bangkok people.

Thailand, Bangkok Chao Phraya river

Chao Phraya River

Floating market on the river

Damnoen Saduak's floating market on the river must be for the ones who like shopping and enjoying sailing. You can imagine the market by adjectives such as "showy", "noisy" and very "tourism", but fun and interesting. Today, you will see more tourists than the locals at the market, but the boats are still full of delicious and special local fruits. Food is prepared on the boat and sold on the spot, if you have just missed breakfast or want to eat lunch early, this is the ideal destination for you.

Thailand, Bangkok floating market

Bangkok floating market

The Jim Thompson House Museum

Jim Thompson is an intelligence officer and a businessman, he helped Thailand's silk to reach the world. Bangkok is the main place he lived and operated after disappearing secretly in 1967 on a trip to the Camerron plateau in Malaysia. To remember and thank Jim Thompson, the Thai people kept and built his house into a small museum with everything he used. The museum - the Jim Thompson House is one of the few teak houses that still hold valuable antique collections.

Thailand, Bangkok Jim Thompson House Museum

Jim Thompson House Museum

Some do and don’t when visiting Thailand that you should be aware of

Things you should do:

- In Thailand, Thai king, queen and royal are very respected and adored by Thai people. Thais early in the morning and in the evening often pray to pay homage to their king. If you come across when Thai people are praying the sutra, you should pay your honor.

- Dress politely and neatly in sacred places such as temples, churches, Buddha statues ... Men must wear formal clothes, no shorts and please wear shoes, women are discreetly dressed politely, do not wear short skirts, too thin clothing, sleeveless shirts, sandals without back loop. If your outfit is considered as not suitable, maybe you will not be allowed to visit.

- Take the hotel's address card and give it to taxi / tuk tuk driver.

- When greeting Thai people, you could greet in Thai style with two hands folded over your chest, palm held up facing outward, head slightly bent. When entering a house, please remove shoes, avoid stepping on the threshold because the Thai concept of gods residing in the doorway.

- Many hotels in Thailand are not equipped with toothpaste, toothbrushes, and slippers. So, come to Thailand, remember to prepare these items yourself.

Things you should not do:

- Wear shoes inside the places with the Buddha image.

- Climb on any Buddha image.

- If you are a woman, do not touch the monk's body. If a woman wants to give something to the monk, have a man do it.

- Rub people's heads even though they are children, for Thais the head is the most sacred place.

- Leave cigarette butts or chewing gum in public places.

- Thais think that the legs are always the dirtiest part, so when sitting, you should avoid putting your feet on the table. Do not use your feet to point or touch other people's bodies, as this is considered as being rude. When sitting cross-legged, never let your feet point at someone, especially the Buddha image or image of a king.


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