Bangkok is rightly considered one of the most enticing and exotic cities on the planet. Whether you want to enjoy the spiritual splendour of a Buddhist temple, or the busy streets and markets, Bangkok offers sights, sounds and smells that you will not find anywhere else.
With a good selection of flight prices in and out of Suvarnabhumi Airport from comparison sites like momondo. Prepare to be excited, moved and to fall in love with a part of the world which retains something truly special. One thing which might take some visitors by surprise is the city’s sheer size. Around 10 million people now live there, mingling in a melting pot of different ethnic groups, religions and social classes, which creates an exciting stew for visitors to savour.
Chao Phraya, which in English means the ‘River of Kings’, flows through the city, and many of Bangkok’s 400 or so Buddhist temples line its banks. Groups of monks can often be seen making their way through the streets which line the river’s banks, collecting alms and going about their daily tasks. If you take a trip on a riverboat, then you get some great perspectives on them, the city and the rest of its bustling population. Bangkok is sometimes referred to as the ‘Venice of the East’, due to the many canals which link to the river, which are known as ‘khlongs’.
But if you want to see something of modern Bangkok, and be on the frontline of its daily culture clash between East and West, then it is the Khao San Road where you need to be. There are plenty of clubs and bars, playing an astonishing range of contemporary sounds. There are cocktail bars to slip into if the bustle becomes too much, while you can find plenty of western food should you feel you need it. The real thrill comes from the hustle and bustle on the street, though, and there is a range of street traders who can supply you with more typically Thai items.
The traditional city markets are the real place to pick up souvenirs and bargains though, and it is the floating markets which offer you the most interesting experiences. The stalls here are overflowing with local food and other items, and you can expect to bargain hard. Boat tours are available if you want to enjoy a more relaxed visit though. If you want to try a touch of western style shopping, then malls like Mah Boon Krong Center can meet your needs.
As the sun goes down, you might want to head to Chinatown, now a hotbed of gourmet cookery. You can buy titbits and other items from the stall holders who dot the streets, or enjoy a more formal meal in a restaurant. The area known as ‘Soi Cowboy’ is one of the city’s red light districts, where you can enjoy sights and sounds from the seedier side of the city, in a relaxed and safe environment.