Things To See in Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok Things To See

Traffic congestion in Bangkok makes travel between attractions extremely difficult. It is recommended, therefore, that you should divide the city into sections when it comes to sightseeing. Another alternative way to avoid the hassle of traffic jams is to take a boat tour of the city. Once referred to as the ‘Venice of the East’, most of the canals have been covered and are now being used as roads. Nevertheless, some regions still use boats as their main form of transport, particularly in Thonburi. And, as well as the canals, the Chao Phraya river runs along many of Bangkok’s major attractions and express boats run regular services and routes doing all the hard work for you. All you have to do is sit back and point that camera lens in the right direction.

Bangkok is probably best known for its temples which are dispersed throughout this modern metropolis presenting a very unusual combination of the old and the new. They are among the most impressive in all of Asia and the good news for the lazier of you is that the more popular structures are all located in the same complex – the old royal city, which is home to the Grand Palace, Wat Phra Kaew, Wat Po, Wat Mahathat and the Golden Mount. The city’s founding pillar, Lak Muang is also found in this district as well as the National Museum, the National Theatre and the National Gallery. It is worth noting that in order to get the most satisfaction out of your visit to a Thai temple or wat, try to avoid Sundays and Buddhist holidays when they are too packed to allow you to appreciate their true splendour.

And for those of you who want to get away from the hustle and bustle of Bangkok for a couple of hours there are numerous attractions in the vicinity of the city which will provide a welcome getaway. Among the most popular are the Rose Garden where you will see various aspects of Thailand’s cultural traditions including Thai boxing and cock fighting; Kanchanaburi, the infamous site of the Bridge over the River Kwai and Ayutthaya which is mentioned in the introduction to Bangkok. Although it was destroyed in 1767, there are still many ruins which make for a fascinating visit. All of the above can be reached by bus or train for Bangkok.

Attractions in Bangkok

  • Grand Palace

    Na Phra Lan Road, Bangkok, Thailand

    The most important palace in the country and located in the same compound as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha so you can see the two in one trip. Consisting of several different buildings which date from various periods over the last two centuries it displays a unique blend of both traditional Thai architecture and that of the western variety making it a fascinating structure to pay a visit to.

  • The Museum of Forensic Medicine

    Sirirat Hospital, Thonburi, Bangkok, Thailand

    One of the country’s more unusual attractions and certainly not one for the faint hearted, this particular museum is home to the preserved bodies of several of the country’s most infamous murderers. Among those on display are See-Uey, the Chinese child murderer who ate the children’s organs after he murdered them and another anonymous murderer who was originally imprisoned for rape and murder, was released and committed the same crime again on a child. There is also a bisected head with a bullet lodged in the brain on display. Visit it only if you think you can handle the aforementioned and worse.

  • Crocodile Farm

    777 Taiban Road, Samutprakarn, Bangkok, Thailand

    The oldest and largest farm of its kind in the world and home to over sixty thousand crocodiles, the Samutprakarn farm lies about thirty kilometres outside the city centre. While the highlight of the show is the crocodile wrestling, you can also see tigers, elephants, lions, monkeys and a number of poisonous snakes. To catch one of the shows you need to be at the farm at either 10.00am or 3.30pm. The wrestling is not to everyone’s taste but there is plenty to see besides. You can take a ride on an elephant or a camel, shop for authentic crocodile skin handbags or belts (a little cruel considering the location but anyway), relax in a pedal boat on the lake or just enjoy the spectacular scenery.

  • Floating Market

    Damnoen Saduak, Nakhon Pathom, Bangkok, Thailand

    While there is a floating market at Wat Sai, it is really touristy and is not the best place to observe this age-old tradition. Instead take a bus from the Southern Bus Terminal to the Damnoen Saduak Market which lies about 80km southwest of the city where you will see an authentic Thai floating market. Get there very early, 6.00 or 7.00am, to avoid the hordes.

  • Wat Pho

    Na Phra Lan Road, Bangkok, Thailand

    The oldest and largest of the four hundred or so temples in the city, Wat Pho or Wat Chetuphon houses the largest reclining Buddha in Thailand as well as the largest collection of Buddha images. The reclining Buddha is forty-six metres in length and fifteen metres high and is modelled from plaster and finished with gold leaf with mother of pearl eyes. It is a remarkable piece of construction as is the temple itself whose origins date back to the sixteenth century. The temple is also one of the best places in the city to get an authentic Thai massage.

  • Vimanmek Mansion

    Rajavithi Road, Dusit, Bangkok, Thailand

    The largest golden teakwood building on the planet, the Vimanmek Mansion was built by King Chulalongkorn the Great (Rama V) in 1901. He moved to a different residence in 1906, and it lay deserted for many years until Queen Sirikit ordered renovations and then opened it to the public as a museum. Among the objects on display are the many priceless treasures owned by the king as well as much of his memorabilia. If you are going to visit, you should note that you can’t wear shorts or a skirt which is shorter than knee length but attendants will give you a sarong.

  • Ancient City

    Samut Paknam, Sukhumvit Road, Bangkok, Thailand

    The world’s largest outdoor museum, the Ancient City covers an area of almost three hundred acres. It’s located thirty-five kilometres east of the city centre but buses leave from numerous destinations throughout the city on a daily basis so you shouldn’t have any problems getting there. It consists of replicas of sixty five of the country’s temples palaces and monuments which have been rebuilt in smaller scale so if you don’t get to see the real thing, then this is definitely worth checking out.

  • Wat Traimit (Temple of the Golden Buddha)

    Traimit Road, Bangkok, Thailand

    Home to the largest Golden Buddha Image in the world, this temple is located in the city centre leaving you with no excuses. The image itself is made of solid gold and measures twelve and a half feet in diameter and is almost sixteen feet in height. It weighs approximately five tons and is currently over seven hundred years old. It truly is a remarkable piece of Buddhist art and is one of the country’s most valuable treasures.

  • Jim Thompson's House

    6 Kasemsan Lane, San 2, Bangkok, Thailand

    While it may not sound like a traditional Thai establishment, this is one of the best preserved examples of true Thai houses in the city. It was once home to the American silk entrepeneur Jim Thompson who disappeared without trace in 1967. Today the museum contains vast collections of antiques and works of art which were collected by Thompson during his travels throughout South East Asia. Among the most prized possessions are the priceless examples of Ming porcelain and the headless Buddha in the garden which dates from the sixth century.

  • Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn)

    Western Bank, Chao Phraya River, Bangkok, Thailand

    Named after the Indian god of the dawn, the present wat is built on the site of the seventeenth century Wat Jang. And just in case you’re wondering what yet another temple could possibly have to offer that’ s so different from all the others, the unique feature of Wat Arun is its seventy-nine metre high pagoda or prang. This was constructed during the first half of the nineteenth century by Rama II and Rama III and is covered with plaster which has been embedded with pieces of multicoloured Chinese porcelain. As well as the pagoda, the gardens also prove extremely popular among those attempting to get away from the chaos of city life for a while.

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