In recent years, holidays makers have been flocking to Bangkok, Thailand. And it isn’t surprising. The city is possibly one of the most culturally vibrant cities on the planet, the major attractions being the many Buddhist temples dotted around the place.
One of the best, oldest and largest temples worth a visit is the Temple of the Reclining Buddha. As its name suggests there is 150 feet tall Reclining Buddha. You can also stroll around the temple gardens, and get your fortune told by fortune tellers, while listening to the chants of the Buddhist monks.
Built in 1782, the Grand Palace features a number of fabulous buildings. For instance, one to see is the Wat Phra Kaeo – the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, which houses the famous Emerald Buddha dating back to the 14th century.
While Bangkok has its fair share of temples, you might want to see something different. Muang Boran is certainly that. Also called the Ancient City, the site is an open air museum about 30 kilometres southeast of Bangkok in Samutprakarn province. Here you can learn about the history, traditions and culture of Thailand. What’s more, you can borrow a bike to ride around the complex. The paths are flat and an easy ride.
Another exhibition worth visiting is the Snake Farm at the Queen Saovabha Memorial Institute. Here you can get close up and personal (well almost) with the huge collection of snakes. The Snake Farm is organised by the Thai Red Cross, who created it in order to collect snake venom, used to help anyone who happens to get bitten by a snake. The attraction is a real educational eye opener for young and old alike.
Talking of children, Bangkok isn’t just for adults. It’s also for families. For instance the Siam Ocean World is an underground aquarium with over 30,000 animals (some rather curious) from all parts of the planet. You have the choice to observe the animals from a glass-bottomed boat or for the more adventurous don a diving suit.
Holidaying in Thailand will be an unforgettable experience. However it is not like Europe. Customs are not the same, which means you can fall foul if you are not careful. While littering in Europe may be tolerated, it is illegal in Thailand. Drop any litter and you can end up paying a fine.
Thai people are also very polite. They get annoyed at anything they consider to be improper behaviour. For instance, when entering a temple, make sure your shoulders are covered. Also, don’t bare the soles of your feet.
Places to go out/eat
Bangkok has a reputation for being a bit wild and rowdy where nightlife is concerned. Yet it is also safe and relaxing at the same time. Depending on your tastes, there are jazz bars, trendy clubs and superb restaurants. If you are looking for something a little more cultural try the Patravadi Theatre.
Eating out in Bangkok is an experience in itself. One very nice place to go to, although it isn’t cheap is the Celadon restaurant within the Sukhotai hotel complex. And don’t forget the street vendors.
Flights to Bangkok go from a number of UK airports including Heathrow, Aberdeen and Manchester.