Temple in Bangkok

Sawadeeka Bangkok – A land of a thousand smiles

13 October 2012

Just 2.5hrs away from Singapore, Bangkok is easily accessible as a popular weekend destination for many Singaporeans.Undoubtedly one of the world's most exciting cities, Bangkok is truly one of the jewels of the east. With endlessly buzzing streets, brightly shining temples and fragrant foods, a holiday in Bangkok is a feast for the senses that travellers can’t help but find addictive. 

As there are so many places to visit in the land of a thousand smiles, I would strongly recommend visitors to arrive in Bangkok in the morning. Don’t start the day late, as Bangkok is always exciting around the clock.

Start the day early by…. hopping on to a bike, weaving through the bustling city and venture into the heart of Bangkok. For the faint-hearted, you can still hitch a ride on the iconic Tuk-Tuk and catch glimpses of everyday lives of Thai communities.  As Thailand is a Buddhist country, you can expect to see a temple or a Buddha figurine anywhere your head turns. Thai people are fervent Buddhists and very patriotic. So, be mindful not to be disrespectful of their King and religion. In the evening, take a slow boat ride down the Chao Phraya River on a longtail boat to experience Bangkok away from the tourist trail. It is strongly recommended to stop by the Wat Po temple complex and marvel at the Grand Palace. Do not miss out on the revered Emerald Buddha at WatPhraKaew too!

After taking a cultural tour, there are many places to find great shopping deals in the centre of Bangkok. However, I must caution visitors to head down to areas with a good reputation for genuine bargains. Recommend the Pratunam area or the Platinum Fashion Mall that specialises in wholesale clothing. Here you will not only find clothing but also accessories on every floor of the 6-storey high building. Just a short 10 minutes away from Pratunam Area is Siam Square. Siam Square area is very different from Pratunam as it caters to the rich and wealthy Thai. The most famous shopping centre is Siam Paragon. It houses more than 250 luxury brands such as Prada, Gucci and Dior (just to name a few). Outside of the city centre, you may also want to head out to Chatuchak Market (available only during the weekends). There are more than 15,000 stalls selling a wide range of clothing, food, andsouveniershomand souvenirs.

Travellers will always be able to find food aton every street corner. Street food is cheap and local aromas follow you everywhere.   Bangkok is famous for its “tom yum koong”, a national dish that is spicy and sour cooked with seafood. If you are adventurous, you might also want to try out some of the fried bugs that some street vendors sell.

With so many things to see and do, you can be sure Bangkok is a city that never fails to impress every time you visit.

Do you know that Bangkok is just the short version because the city’s ceremonial name is “Krung ThepMahanakhonAmonRattanakosinMahintharaYuthayaMahadilokPhopNoppharatRatchathaniBuriromUdomratchaniwet
MahasathanAmonPimanAwatanSathitSakkathattiyaWitsanukamPrasit”. Say what?

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