Things to do in and around Bangkok
Things to do in and around Bangkok Reviews
Sightseeing in Thailand's Capital Oct 12, 2010
I didn't know what to expect when I visited Bangkok after some friends had given it such a bad rap when they'd visited 5 years ago, I get the feeling a lot must have changed as I loved my time here!
Firstly I'd recommend a trip to the old royal district, Ko Ratanakosin, home to the much revered Emerald Buddha. This is a destination high on most people's agenda so be warned it can get a bit crowded. Also make sure you dress respectfully, cover your shoulders and legs, however if you do forget you can rent clothes for a small fee when you're there. Also if you can combine this visit with a trip down the Chao Phraya river on the express ferry as it's a great way to see any of the riverside attractions as well as being a cool way to travel, literally and figuratively!
After you've marvelled at the attractions there you can hop aboard a cross-river boat to visit Wat Arun (also known as Temple of the Dawn) to see the striking temple here.
Further south of the old royal district lies my favourite of all the Wat's, Wat Pho, home to the jaw-dropping 46m long Reclining Buddha as well as various other impressive statues of Buddha in varying poses. Also here is the national HQ for the teaching and preservation of amongst other things, Thai massage, as well as other types of Thai medicine.
In the district around Siam Square there's the highly impressive, and great value for money (100B including 45min guided tour), attraction of Jim Thompson's House, where the American silk magnate used to live before his mysterious disappearance, it's a great example of a fusion of Thai and western architecture as well as providing a great history lesson to boot.
Even if you think you can't bear to look at another temple I recommend you pay a visit to the Golden Mount which is not too far from the royal district, it provides great views of Bangkok after you've climbed its serpentine steps and all for the bargain basement price of 10B.
If like me you're a bit of a shop-a-holic or just after gifts for people back home try and time your trip so that you are in Bangkok for a weekend to visit the famous Chatuchak weekend market (also know as JJ), also check out many of the food markets in areas such as Silom for authentic and delicious Thai food.
The above just scratches the surface of things you can do in Bangkok and I would have loved to have seen a Muy Thai match and taken a long tail boat ride to name but a few of things I missed - Bangkok will definitely keep you busy that's for sure!
As for what's around Bangkok, i.e. accessible within a day, there are the old ruins at Ayuthaya which I would strongly recommend visiting but if you have more time make your visit last a few days to truly appreciate it without dashing around like a tourist possessed. Ayuthaya can be reached either by train or bus very cheaply and although there are various tourist companies that can take you there it isn't very difficult to get there so I'd recommend doing it yourself.
Again there are other things that you can do from Bangkok (such as trip to see the bridge over the river Kwai) but I didn't get time to visit so I can't really recommend whether or not they're worth the visit other than that they interested me enough to say that I'll be back to this wonderful country again so keep visiting things I have missed.
Part of the Round and round I go, where I'll stop nobody knows travel blog
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