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Bangkok (Krung Thep Maha Nakhon in Thai) is the capital of the “Land of Smiles”. This lively metropolis is an incredible and exotic melting pot of traditional Thai life mixed with ultra modernity. The pulse of the city is hectic and is a full experience of all the senses with its sites, smells, colours, pace and congested city sounds. Famous for its temples, shopping and markets, street food and nightlife, Bangkok’s atmosphere will not disappoint.
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JIM THOMPSON HOUSE MUSEUM
Rated as one of the top things to do in Bangkok, located in Pathum Wan District, this museum provides you with a view of the house and Asian art collection of James H.W. Thompson, the “Thai Silk King” who mysteriously disappeared in 1967.
Chao Phraya River
Thailand’s ‘River of Kings’ flows through Bangkok to the Gulf of Thailand. Aside from the main body, the City of Angels is brimming with the river’s canals, which were a major means of transportation in earlier days (even if they haven’t disappeared entirely nowadays)..
ROD FAI NIGHT MARKET
Also known as Talad Rod Fai Train Night Market, this open-air bazaar (open Thursday to Sunday from 5 PM to midnight) sells vintage items ranging from furniture to fashion, although you can also find more modern apparel. The market can be found behind Seacon Square in Prawet District.
Located next to the Amari Watergate Bangkok hotel in Ratchathewi District, the largest clothing market in the country offers goods at wholesale prices. Visitors and shoppers probably are best off going between 11 AM to 8 PM.
KHAO SAN ROAD
It is famed for being a source of affordable accommodations for backpackers. The area caters to travellers, whether as a hub through which to head elsewhere, or as a place of entertainment, including a nightlife scene of its own, and shopping options.
Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
Located in Damnoen Saduak District in Ratchaburi Province about 100 kilometres from Bangkok, this area is one of the most renowned floating markets. Here, traders on small wooden boats situated in canals sell produce so visitors can shop like a local.
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Multi-level humungous shopping malls are scattered across the city, with many selling goods and local souvenirs in bulk for wholesale prices, making Bangkok a shopping paradise for both locals and tourists.
PLATINUM FASHION MALL
The Platinum Fashion Mall is Thailand’s largest shopping complex. This shopper’s paradise specialises offers four floors filled with stalls selling wholesale fashion clothing and accessories from local brands, Thai brands, and international brands.
The Platinum Fashion Mall is located in the centre of Pratunam, making it the perfect destination for tourists hoping to partake in a bargain shopping spree.
Each floor of the Platinum Fashion Mall is named after famous shopping districts from all over the world. The range of styles available in the shopping mall is more than impressive. Tourists can find cheap shopping items such as children’s wear, adolescent clothing, and even handbags.
The mall would not be called the largest shopping complex in the country without luxury brands. Specialty shops sell everything from designer brands like Louis Vuitton and Jimmy Choo as well as items imported from San Francisco, Japan, and China.
CHATUCHAK WEEKEND MARKET
Chatuchak Market is one of the many outdoor markets in Phuket. But unlike others, the Chatuchak Weekend Market only operates every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The market opens at 6 p.m. every Friday and closes at midnight. On Saturdays and Sundays, the Chatuchak market operates from 9 a.m. to 6 p. m.
The Chatuchak Weekend Market offers tourists shopping in Bangkok a one-of-a-kind experience. This shopping center offers all kinds of items that many local markets and night markets do not carry. At the night market, you can procure a rare artwork, a new wardrobe, or even unique Thai souvenirs from small antique shops.
Shopping can be exhausting, which is why the Chatuchak Market dedicated a special place where travellers can rest and recover energy for another round of shopping.
The Chatuchak market has a food court offering a wide array of dessert options and Thai street food. Some of the best food stalls and flavours at the night bazaar include:
SIAM DISCOVERY SHOPPING MALL
Built in 1973, the Siam Center truly embodies the quote “shop till you drop.” The Siam Discovery has seven floors, with each following a specific theme like women’s fashion, digital appliances, mobile phone accessories, and homeware.
Siam Center offers bespoke products from brands all over the world. The Apple Store remains one of the most popular brands for mobile phones. Beautiful People and Tsumori Chisato are some of the most sought after brands for women’s fashion.
CENTRAL WORLD PLAZA
The Central World Plaza is one of the biggest shopping malls in Bangkok. It is also the third-largest shopping complex in Asia and the sixth biggest shopping center in the world.
The Central World Plaza has everything, from international brands like Louis Vuitton, Jimmy Choo, and Zara, to beauty salons, a bowling alley and an ice skating rink.
If you are travelling with children, the ice skating rink should be one of the top places to visit on your list. The staff at the rink in Central World offer walker-like skates to help newbies steady themselves and prevent falls, making it a super safe destination for families with young children.
Shopping in Bangkok would not be complete without experiencing delicious Thai food. It will come as to no surprise to anyone that the third largest shopping complex in the world has brought in all kinds of flavours into their shopping mall. Tourists visiting Central World can choose food from their gourmet market, numerous food stalls, and even small shops that sell food found in street markets, including coconut ice cream.
The Siam Paragon is one of Asia’s biggest malls and is home to Southeast Asia’s largest aquarium. Developed by the tycoons behind the Icon Siam, both shopping malls feature jaw-dropping architecture that could easily rival shopping malls in other countries.
Do you want to catch the latest Hollywood flick? The Siam Paragon offers visitors a 16-screen Cineplex and access to a comprehensive selection of food stalls serving world cuisine. The shopping mall also has eight floors sprawling with Thai brands, designer brands, a gourmet market, and stalls selling unique Thai souvenirs.
Developed by the same tycoons behind other Bangkok malls (Siam Paragon and EmQuartier), the Icon Siam Mall is known as the “Mother of All Malls.” This stunning architectural wonder offers an indoor floating market, an art gallery, and shopping places set within views of beautiful downtown Bangkok.
If you are out looking to buy electronics at rock-bottom prices, you should look no further than the Pantip Plaza. This shopping mall is known as the mother of all IT shops in Thailand and has gained a reputation as the place to find new and used computers and mobile phones.
Food: Bangkok is undoubtedly one of the best dining destinations in the world, no matter what time of the day or night. Much of daily life is conducted on the street and thus locals prefer to pick up breakfast from food hawkers scattered all along Sukhumvit road which you can easily find outside your hotel. Thai cuisine is cheap, tasty and an intense mix of spices: sour, sweet and salty. For those looking for more fine dining, there are many higher-end restaurants to choose from. For food aficionados who want to explore further, there are lots of speciality food tours and cooking classes to choose from.
The floating markets in Bangkok are among the city’s most popular attractions. The chaotic atmosphere mixed with unique smells and colour makes it an unforgettable experience. There are several floating markets across town and a variety of tours to get you there and in the thick of it.
Temples: Some of the most impressive Bangkok temples are within the heart of the city and should be seen. Wat Phra Kaew or The Temple of the Emerald Buddha is the most frequented temple in Bangkok. Located in the grounds of the Grand Palace, its prized jewel is the Emerald Buddha, carved from a block of pure jade which was originally housed in Chiang Mai. Next to the Grand Palace, is Wat Pho or The Temple of the Reclining Buddha’. Here you will be astonished by the 43-metre-long Reclining Buddha statue covered with gold leaf and feet encrusted with exquisite mother-of-pearl decorations. Located on the Chao Phraya River, opposite the Grand Palace is the magnificent 17th century, Wat Arun or Temple of the Dawn. The distinctive shape of the temple resembles ancient Khmer-style towers and is a beautiful spot to enjoy the sunset by the river. Bangkok tours can take you throughout the city to all the main temple sites.
Bangkok is the capital city of Thailand and is located on the banks of the Chao Phraya River, near the Gulf of Thailand.
Tourist attractions in Bangkok Thailand are focused around temples, shopping and markets, street food and nightlife. Bangkok’s street life is industrious and lively with something always happening somewhere. One night in Bangkok is not enough to take in the exotic anthropology of this oriental city.
Bangkok Thailand is generally safe, but from time to time there are political tensions and public protests, so check your home country’s travel advice on this. Like any bustling metropolis, there are scams to be aware of. Only use metered taxis or risk paying triple the usual fare. Avoid buying uncut gems from traders- this is a well-known scam. Further, Thailand has strict laws about defaming the monarchy, therefore its best to avoid discussing the Royal family at all.
Bangkok weather is warm all year round. The best time to visit Bangkok is from November to March during the dry season when the weather is cooler. May is the hottest month when the heat in the city feels like a pressure cooker until its relief arrives with the wet season.
Siam Square or Sukhumvit are the best areas to stay; anywhere along with one of the longest boulevards in Bangkok. With easy access to all parts of the city via the BTS or MRT train system, you can walk the various sky bridges and hop on/off the metro. Bangkok Riverside sits alongside the Chao Praya river is very picturesque with its temples, historical monuments and the marvellous ornate Royal Palace. Silom is in the city centre and infamous for its busy Patpong Night Market and Red Light District. By day Silom is a hectic business and financial district, but at night it morphs into the lively party scene. Additionally, Khao San Road area is also known as party central. Perfect for budget travellers and backpackers, with tons of affordable hotels and hostels, it is in close proximity to the major attractions.
Bangkok is the epitome of a typical Southeast Asian metropolis. Congested traffic, pollution, skyscrapers, smouldering heat, enormous shopping malls, street food and markets. But amongst all this, there is an energetic undertone of authentic modern Thai life mixed with the traditional and the exotic. It is a true experience of all the senses.
When translated from Thai, the traditional city name of Krung Thep roughly equates to the City of Angels.
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