Bangkok (Thai name- Leung Theo) is situated strategically within the delta region of the river Chao Phraya and has an area of more than 600 square miles. Bangkok propelled the development and growth of Thailand in the 19th century, while the region here settled in the 15th century. Bangkok is one of the most essential and attractive metropolitan cities in the South East Asian region. Apart from being an international hub for healthcare and transportation, it is also the center of entertainment, arts, and fashion.
Some of the major attractions of the city and metropolitan include the Buddhist temples like Wat Arun, the Grand Palace, Chatuchak Market, the street life and the exotic nightlife (including the Thai massage) and many others. Numerous rankings have shown Bangkok to be one of the most visited cities in the world. Here are the 5 best attractions in Bangkok that you can visit and enjoy along with your favorite chocolate box and delicious chocolates, on a free holiday/vacation day.
Built-in the year 1782, the Grand Palace stands strong by the crystal-clear waters of the Chao Phraya river. For the next 150 years, it was the legislative seat of the Thai Government and the home of Thai Kings. The inner court of the palace has royal residences while the outer courts once had government departments. The structures are quite impressive and artistic here. You will find minute details and intricate carvings on the pillars and structures that display the exquisite craftsmanship of the people of Thailand.
At one of the corners of the outer court, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha (or Wat Phra Kaew) is present. The tourists do not get entry into the temple unless they are appropriately dressed. The males should wear long pants and shirts with sleeves and socks (no barefoot visits allowed). Women should also groom properly. Fortunately, a booth nearby provides you with the clothes to cover yourself, for a deposit. The image of Buddha in this most essential Buddha temple in Thailand is highly revered. It’s carved out of a single jade piece.
The royal reception halls reserved for essential activities including coronations among other ceremonies are quite impressive. The Duties Hall and the Grand Palace Hall possess exquisite and timeless architecture. You can also find priceless antique thrones here. The palace area also has a museum where you can find Buddha images, information, and articles that speak volumes about the making and restoration of the palace. The Grand Palace is open for visitors between 8:30 a.m. to 15:30 p.m. every day. The cost of the ticket is 500 Baht.
There are more than 30,000 temples in Thailand. Wat Arun (also called Temple of Dawn) is one of the most visited and famous temples in Bangkok. Located just opposite the Grand Palace, this gives you a chance to visit the two places easily. The temple has one primary elongated tower (a Khmer-style phrang) and the other 4 minor towers. These towers are mythological representations of the 33 heavens. The temple represents Mount Meru, which according to Buddhism is the center of the world.
An ancient temple was here once in the same place. Wat Arun, built by King Rama of the Ayutthaya kingdom (14th to 17th century) was also abandoned for some time. The restoration was started by King Rama II and finished by King Rama III in 1851. The base floor has figurines of Chinese animals and soldiers of the ancient era. The second terrace has the statue of the Hindu Lord Indra. The four rakshasas or guardians statues of the temple stand in the front and guard the temple.
A boat from Saphan Taskin will take you to pier 8. From there you can switch to the small shuttle and reach Wat Arun, located on the Thonburi Bank.
Siam Ocean World
Underneath the vast Siam Paragon, Shopping Mall has located the fascinating Sea Life Siam Ocean World. Its area below the earth consists of 2, and the whole architecture has the size of 3 full-size Olympic swimming pools. The Glass Bottom Boat will bring you close to a variety of fish, and sea creatures. The country’s only 4D theater is also situated here, where you can enjoy a movie with the latest technology.
The Siam Ocean World has stingrays and sharks as well! The water quality monitoring lab and Aquatic Quarantine and Nursery Center will help you know more about sea life. You can also see and use real ocean exploration equipment and technologies. Dive into the waters (of course along with the trained divers) to have a never before experience. The adrenaline rush you get while being close to the leopard and sand tiger sharks, eagle and round ribbon tail rays, and other rare and exotic species is unmatchable.
The OceanWalker vista is a one-of-a-kind tour that takes you through the mystic aquatic terrain. The aquarium here is the largest in Southeast Asia and has more than 30,000 creatures that you might have never seen before. The Ocean world is open for visitors between 10 am to 9 pm every day.
The nearby places are explorable on a motorcycle also. Just make sure that you wear a good quality motorcycle helmet, not because it’s mandatory but because the traffic and traffic sense is crazy here.
The Chatuchak Weekend Market
Chatuchak Market (situated on Kamphaeng Phet 2 Road) is the largest market in Thailand and has more than 15,000 stalls and 11,000 vendors. There are 27 sections in the market. The product categories available here include food and drinks, consumer electronics, antiques, plants, cosmetics, books, clothing, furniture, ceramic, dry food, fresh food items, and many others. The 25-acre market gets more than 200,000 visitors every weekend.
The market started in the year 1942 and was the first significant market in Bangkok. The iconic clock tower of the market built to celebrate the birthday of King Bhumibol Adulyadej is also an alluring architectural marvel. Techno music and inviting and alluring food aromas will attract you to all the corners of the market. The market can be easily reached by taxis or the subway.
While all the stalls of the market are open on the weekend, it may also sell specific items on other days of the week. For instance, it sells flowers and plants on Wednesday and Thursday, and wholesale items on Friday.
Siam Niramit features in the Guinness Book of World Records with more than 100 talented performers for its stage productions, which rank amongst the world’s largest. While the shows begin at 20:00 hours, the gates of the attractions are open at 17:000 hours. You can get an entry to the exquisite restaurants and the pre-show attractions as well when you reach early. The pre-show attractions include the souvenir shop, the traditional Thai village, photo opportunities, dance performances in the outdoors, and the Thai massage as well.
The shows include journeys through history, the 3 worlds, and joyous festivals. The Ohitakhon ghost parade, Songkran and others are the festival’s shows. The lively shows also speak about the history of Siam, and the kingdom of Ayutthaya and the establishment of Khmer.
The 3 world journey shows are the fiery hell, and mystical Himappan (the boundary between the human world and heaven) and heaven. The breathtaking displays keep you mesmerized and are memorable. These shows run every day, and you can book a seat for 1200 Baht.
Other major attractions of Bangkok include Siam Paragon and MBK (the best megamall), the Wat Pho temple, and the Sirocco Rooftop restaurant. But the list of attractions in Bangkok is endless, and you may require multiple visits to explore all of them. So, just pack your bags, place them on the roof rack storage of your car and head out to explore this beautiful city.