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Destination attractions: things to do in bangkok

Thailand

Thailand

 There are many exciting things to do in the city of Bangkok. Visitors should take advantage of the opportunity to see the sights and experience the unique culture.

Exotic smells, sights, and sounds are all part and parcel when visiting Bangkok, Thailand. This “city of angels” has many exciting adventures for the courageous traveler. This article will describe some of those adventures. Investing in a travel guide can also be beneficial as one makes plans.
Sight-seeing It does not make sense to visit Thailand and pay absolutely no attention to the sights that are uniquely Bangkok. So, even if the heat is bothersome and the smells foul, do try to take at least a day or two and experience some of the sights. -The Grand Palace and Wat Prah Keow (Temple of the Emerald Buddha)- The subject of many picture post cards, this compound houses many ornate buildings. They function as places of worship, audience halls, and as a sight for tourists. The Royal family does not inhabit these buildings as the name suggests. However, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha is a very important place of worship for the Thai people. The King attends certain ceremonies of worship at this facility. On an organized tour, a tour guide can explain the detailed murals that are painted on the walls of the temple. In preparation to visit any temple, wear shoes that will be comfortable to walk in but will also be easy to remove. This is customary before entering any temple facility. Also be respectful. Follow posted guidelines and be sure to be quiet if they are in the middle of worship. There is an admission fee for entrance into the Grand Palace compound. There are restrooms available on the grounds as well as a few kiosks that sell drinks and things one might need like film. -Temples: Wat Po, Wat Traimit (Temple of the Reclining Buddha and Temple of the Golden Buddha)- Buddhism is the main religion of Thailand. There are many temples in Thailand, and perhaps one might say, “If I have seen one, I have seen them all.” This may indeed be the case, since many of them are similar. However, there are a few temples that do really merit a visit. One such temple is called Wat Po (Temple of the Emerald Buddha). It is within walking distance from the Grand Palace compound. This temple houses a large Buddha, reclining on his side. It is a very impressive statue. The other temple, Wat Traimit (Temple of the Golden Buddha) is also worth visiting. This temple is farther away, so one will have to hire public transportation or ride the bus. The Buddha at this temple is made of solid gold. A story accompanies this statue. Early in Thailand’s history, during an invasion by the Burmese, the Thais poured concrete over this statue to prevent it from being stolen. They felt that if the Burmese saw such an unimpressive monument it would not be taken. It was left in its concrete covering for several hundred years, and people forgot that it was really gold. Eventually, in an effort to move it, the statue was dropped and a corner of the concrete cracked, exposing the gold. At that point, the statue was returned to the capital and restored in a temple. This is a worthy site to visit, for most other statues are only covered in gold leaf and are not truly gold. Please remember to follow previous suggestions for behavior. A small admission may be charged in the form of a donation. -The Floating Market- Early in the morning, on the banks of the Chao Praya River, river taxis are for hire for the curious tourists. These river boats will transport the adventurer to the Floating Market. In these klongs (or canals), Thais will be paddling small boats to and fro offering fruit and other food items for sale. Primarily they sell fruit. There are also many hawkers set up to do business at the pier when the river taxi lands. So, be ready to shop and also beware of your personal belongings. -The National Museum- This facility houses many interesting relics from Thailand’s history. To completely go through all the exhibits would take a couple hours. There is also a general admission fee. There is a snack shop and restrooms on the grounds. -The Rose Garden- This place is several kilometers outside of the city. Travel arrangements can usually be made with a hotel. This is a park, which has several restaurants, a hotel, and many beautiful flower gardens, hence its name. However, it also has a very popular culture show daily. This show is worth attending in order to get a taste of what Thailand is like in one central place. The cultural show has many elements. They demonstrate Thai dancing, Thai boxing, Thai kick-boxing, weddings, Buddhist worship, Thai music, etc. It is very comprehensive and the show is also really enjoyable. They allow guests to join in the dancing. On site they also have an elephant show. There is a lot of shopping available, although things might be a little higher priced since they are catering to tourists. -Muang Boran (the Ancient City)- This attraction is for the individuals interested in history. The Ancient City is a large acreage which is shaped like the country of Thailand. The developers have then put replicas of various Thai sites within this park. The Ancient City is in Bangkok, but it is in an area which is very far removed from the central portion or “downtown” area. This adventure would need to be planned for a whole day along with the Crocodile Farm. They are found in the same general area, called Samut Prahkan. There is an admission charge for the Ancient City at the gate. Transportation is almost a must when visiting this site. They do have vehicles that can take visitors through the park, stopping at different locations, but they are not air-conditioned and the stops may take longer than one might like. If a car is hired, one can go at their own pace and make frequent or infrequent stops. There are a few restrooms and snack shops throughout the park. Taking water is advisable, for it is typically very warm. Also wear comfortable walking shoes and bring along the camera. -The Crocodile Farm- In the same area of Samut Prahkan, one can find the Crocodile Farm. This farm has a small zoo. There is also an elephant show and crocodile shows daily. There are several playgrounds, restaurants, and some restrooms. This is a good place to take children if they are interested in animals. -Kick-boxing- If kick-boxing is the sport of interest, fights can be seen at Lumpini stadium. There is a charge for seeing the fight, and unfortunately prices are higher for foreigners than for Thais. Standing room is significantly cheaper than buying seats. -For the kids- Dusit Zoo is a place children enjoy, not only for the animals, but also for the playgrounds. Safari World also offers animals in their natural environment that you can drive by and view. Other water parks and similar attractions come and go. Ask the hotel about what is available.

Shopping
Bangkok is a shopper’s paradise. There are things to buy everywhere! Popular items include teak, jade, silver, and silk to name a few. There are many malls and department stores, especially in the Sukhumvit area. There are also some specialty stores such as Jim Thompson’s silk where one can watch silk being spun as well as Shinawatra silk. Other specialty stores exist as well, so be sure to ask the hotel if you have something particular in mind. Thais also do a lot of shopping at open air markets. There are many of these also. The hotel can provide information about the markets that are closest. Famous markets include Pra Thu Naam and Prakanong. Pra Thu Naam is probably the best because it is close to many hotels (the main city area) and has a lot of “tourist” merchandise, the type of trinkets one might want to get for people back home. At the markets, make sure to bargain. The usual place to start is about 40-50% from the asking price. Then one can negotiate upwards with the seller to reach an acceptable price. If the seller does not want to budge, it is acceptable to walk away. Walking away usually will bring the seller down some, but occasionally it will not. So if it is something that you really want, you might have to settle for paying a bit more. The seller can read your body language well, so if you want to get the best deal, act like you do not care one way or the other if you manage to purchase the item or not. It is not acceptable to bargain in mall stores or department stores. In those locations, prices are set. As mentioned earlier, beware of your personal belongings when walking the street and shopping.

Getting around
How does one get around to all these locations? The traffic in Bangkok is terrible. It can take hours to get to your destination if you rely on taxis or public buses. However, buses are the most affordable. To know which bus to take, one must purchase a bus map. The bus numbers will be denoted on the map. Typically the air-conditioned bus numbers are in bold print and the non-air-conditioned buses are not. These are affordable (with a higher price for air-conditioning), but are usually crowded and take a long time. Taxis are more comfortable, but are more expensive as they are metered and it costs the passenger to wait in traffic. Rental cars can be reserved through hotels. Usually this costs one set price for the day regardless of the traffic encountered. Other decent forms of transportation include the sky train (which goes over the main area of the city) and the river taxi. These are both fairly fast and affordable but they do not go over the entire city. The final option is fairly well-known and should be an experience every tourist tries even if only once. This is a three-wheeled contraption called a tuk-tuk. The charge for these is based on a negotiation before one rides, so be prepared to set this before embarking or you could be ripped off. They do offer a pretty smoggy ride, because they are open-air and usually sit level with the exhaust pipe of a bus, but it is an experience that every traveler to Bangkok should try. Have the camera ready to capture the moment!

Hopefully your experience in Bangkok is enjoyable as you try some of these ideas. Remember, that a trip like this is what you make it, so make sure that you take advantage of the opportunities to see and try new things.

© 2002 Pagewise

READ :  
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Top 10 things to do in bangkok
See Bangkok, knows Thailand

 

 

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