Bangkok Thailand Travel Destinations
One of the best parts of travel is experiencing the collision of the modern and ancient worlds. The ability to seemingly travel backwards in time by walking a few blocks is something that can only be experienced in certain places in the world. One of those places is Bangkok. The capital city of Thailand dates back to the fifteenth century, but didn’t really experience rapid growth until the 1960s. As a result, the list of Bangkok Thailand Travel Destinations is a great mixture of old and new.
Bangkok now counts itself among the top tourist destinations in the world and its history is one of the biggest attractions. The Grand Palace dates to 1782 and while the King no longer lives there, it is still the host to royal functions and state dinners. The Palace is made up of numerous buildings and houses a museum, great courtyards and open spaces. Several of the buildings still serve as working royal offices.
Another of the top Bangkok Thailand tourist destinations are the Buddhist temples. Among the most popular are Wat Arun, Wat Pho and Wat Phra Kaew. Wat Arun translates to “Temple of the Dawn” and has been a Bangkok landmark for hundreds of years. The temple has been in existence since at least the seventeenth century and underwent renovations in the early 1800s under the reign of King Rama II.
Across the river from Wat Arun is Wat Pho, home to an enormous reclining Buddha statue measuring 160 feet in length. Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha) is considered the birthplace of traditional Thai massage and is one of the largest and oldest wats in Bangkok.
Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha) consists of more than 100 ornate buildings and is considered the most sacred temple in Thailand. The temple is the home of an emerald Buddha statue that stands 26 inches tall and was carved from a single jade stone.
Though not as old as the temples, the Vimanmek Mansion deserves a spot among major Bangkok Thailand tourist destinations. Construction on the palace was finished in 1901 under the reign of King Rama I and not a single nail was used. The palace is made from teak and offers visitors an amazing glimpse of royal life at the turn of the 20th century.
Combining old and new is the floating market Damnoen Saduak. The market dates back more than 100 years, but features vendors hawking modern wares and is pretty touristy. Despite that, it remains something to consider when planning your trip. The best way to do the market is to hire a boat and ride up and down the water taking in the spectacle.
If Damnoen Saduak doesn’t satisfy your shopping urge, consider the Chatuchak Weekend Market. The market has become a very popular tourist site and features more than 8000 stalls. Expect to find everything from clothing to food to antiques in this huge market that attracts more than 200,000 visitors per weekend.
Last on the shopping list is Khao San Road. The area has become famous/infamous for its cheap accommodations and food as well as flea market-style shops and vendors. Khao San is popular with backpackers and younger travelers looking for budget hotels and restaurants.
Chinatown is another tourist hot spot and features a textile market, museums, hotels and lots of restaurants. It’s also is the home of Wat Traimit, the Temple of the Golden Buddha. In addition to its beauty, The Golden Buddha has an amazing story. In 1957, a large stucco Buddha was being moved by crane. During the move, the ropes on the crane broke sending the Buddha crashing to the ground. Instead of breaking, the stucco merely cracked, revealing the solid gold figure beneath. The statue is nearly ten feet tall and weighs approximately five and a half tons.
For a bit of offbeat sightseeing, consider the Red Cross Snake Farm. The farm is part of the Queen Saovabha Institute, which is one of Asia’s top anti-venom producing facilities. The institute also offers an educational tour featuring specimens of some of the more than 175 snake species found in Thailand. The highlight of the tour is a twice-daily show with cobras and other snakes and offers visitors the opportunity to “wear” pythons.
Bangkok’s weather can be tough to deal with if you’re not used to it. Daytime temperatures are in the 90s during the spring and summer and monsoon season can run from May through November. The rainiest months are usually August and September and flooding can be common in certain areas of the city.