Bangkok is a large city and a home to more than 9 million people and if we include the wider area of the city there is more than 14 million people living there. It is interesting that Thai people don’t call their capital Bangkok, like we do, but Krung Thep. Even though the ruling of the absolute monarchy has ended before the mid 20th century, Thailand still has a king and the royal family that have some kind of power and offending the king or his family is still castigated in Thailand and you might end up in jail or pay a big amount of money.
Except being the capital of Thailand, Bangkok is also the largest and most populated city and the main economic, administrative and cultural center of the country. The city is full of temples and palaces, but also universities and schools. Some of the important international companies and institutions are also located in Bangkok and for the country it represents the main traffic junction.
Looking at Bangkok as a visitor or tourist, it is a city that has a lot to offer, especially when it comes to culture, religious architecture, palaces that are a few centuries old and magical places that you can find only a few hours of drive from the city.
Some of the most visited areas of Bangkok are also the oldest areas of the city, where most of the interesting sites are situated. Some quarters are over 200 years old, including those in the center of the city that date back in the 18th century. In that part of Bangkok is located the famous Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaeo temple that treasures the Emerald Buddha. The legend says that this Budhha statue dates from the year 43 BC and that it traveled the world changing its owners. After all the traveling it ended up in Thailand and according to the legend, the statue will bring luck, stability and prosperity to the country where it is located.
Near the Grad palace complex are some of the most important and popular temples of Bangkok like Wat Pho with the largest Budhha statue in the world covered with gold leafs. Buddha is lying and the statue is 46m long, stretching along the entire temple. Just a few minutes away from here is the huge field Sanam Luang, known as a place where special royal occasions and ceremonies are held. Nearby is also located Dusit Park and Zoo and current residence of the king and the royal family, Chitladda Palace. This part of Bangkok is amazing and filled up with interesting sites; from Grand Palace to Chitladda Palace are scattered numerous tourist attractions like National museum, National Theatre, National Gallery, Rajadamnoen Stadium, National Library and many more.
As a tourist, if you are trying to reach some further places in Bangkok, there are two simple options for you, better than waiting for a bus or taking a taxi. There are Skytrain and the subway; take any of these two and you will reach your destination in no time. They are real time savers for both locals and tourists, no matter how horrible traffic jams are that day, you will manage to get where you want.
But, Bangkok is not just about visiting the temples and palaces, there are plenty of things to do there. The city is full of great restaurants for those who like traditional Thai food or would like to try it for the first time. Also, some parts of the city are made for nightlife and you can choose between pubs, clubs, cocktail bars, cinemas and much more. It you like to party, there are 3 popular areas that will give you what you want – Patpong, Banglamphu and Sukhumvit. For those who like it even more wilder, there is the Bangkok ”red light district”, the Soi Cowboy Street.
If you are interested in the wider area of Bangkok and places nearby, there are amazing places that you can visit. For example, there are Pataya, Phuket and Koh Samui. It is true that they are not very close to Bangkok, but if you are willing to spend some money and time, there are flights, buses and organized tours every day that can take you to these wonderful places. They are nature’s bounty and perfect places for weekend getaways; many locals go there to hide from the city buzz and many tourists who come to Bangkok take their time and visit these spectacular places.
A wonderful land and wonderful city, Bangkok is the true representative of Thailand, its culture, history and people. Every day spent there will be fulfilled with new adventures and unforgettable memories.