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Bangkok

Bangkok

krung_thepThe headlong pace and flawed modernity of Bangkok match few people's vision of the capital of exotic Siam. Spiked with scores of high-rise buildings of concrete and glass, it's a vast flatness that hold a population of at least ten million, and feels even bigger. But under the shadow of the skyscrapers you'll find a heady mix of chaos and refinement, of frenetic markets and hushed golden temples, of dispiriting, zombie-like sex shows and early morning alms giving ceremonies. One way or another, the place will probably get under your skin and if you don't enjoy the challenge of slogging through jams of buses and tuk-tuks, which fill the air with a chainsaw drone and clouds of pollution, you can spend a couple days on the most impressive temples and museums, have a quick shopping spree and then strike out of the provinces.

wat-phra-keawMost budget travellers head for the Banglamphu district, where if you're not careful you could end up watching videos all day long and selling your shoes when you run out of money. The district is far from having a monopoly on Bangkok accommodation, but it does have the advantage of being just a short walk from the major sights in the Ratanakosin area: the dazzling ostentation of Wat Phra Kaeo, livly and grandiose Wat Pho and National Museum's hoard of exquisite works of art. Once those cultural essentials have been seen, you can choose from a whole bevy of lesser sights, including Wat Benjamabophit (the “Marble Temple”), especially at festival time, and Jim Thompson's House, a small, personal museum of Thai design.

chao-phrayaFor livelier scenes, explore the dark alleys of Chinatown's bazaars or head for the water: the great Chao Phraya River, which breaks up and adds zest to the city's landscape, is the backbone of a network of canals and floating markets that remains fundamentally intact in the west-bank Thonburi district. Inevitably the waterways have earned Bangkok the title of “Venice of the East”, a tag that seems all too apt when you're wading through flooded streets in the rainy season; indeed, the city is year by year subsiding into the marshy ground, literally sinking under the weight of its burgeoning concrete towers.

patpongShopping on dry land varies from touristic outlets selling silks, handicrafts and counterfeit watches, through international fashion emporia and home grown, street-wise boutiques, to completely and sometimes undesirably authentic marketplaces-notably Chatuchak, where caged animals cringe among the pots and pans. Similarly, the city offers the country's most varied entertainment, ranging from traditional dancing and the orchestrated bedlam of Thai boxing, through hip bars and clubs playing the latest imported sounds, to the farang only sex bars of the notorious Patpong district, a tinsel town Babylon that's the tip of the dangerous iceberg. Even if the above doesn't appeal, you'll almost certainly pass through Bangkok once, if not several times-not only is it Thailand's main port entry, it's also the obvious place to sort out onward travel, with some of the world's best deals on international air tickets, as well as a convenient menu of embassies for visas to neighboring countries.

ramaA little history, bangkok is a relatively young capital, established in 1782 after the Burmese sacked Ayutthaya, the former capital. A temporary base was set up on the western bank of the Chao Phraya River, in what is now Thonburi, before work started on the more defensible east bank, where the French had built a grand but short-lived fort in the 1660s. The first King of the new dynasty, Rama 1 built his place at Rattanakosin, within a defensive ring of two (later expanded to three) canals, and this remains the city's spiritual heart.

Initially, the city was largely amphibious: only the temples and royal palaces were built on dry land, while ordinary residences floated on thick bamboo rafts on the river and canals; even shops and warehouses were moored to the river bank. A major shift in emphasis came in the second half of the nineteenth century, first under Rama IV (1851-68), who as part of his effort to restyle the capital along European lines built Bangkok's first roads, and then under Rama V (1868-1910), who constructed a new residential palace in Dusit, north of Rattanakosin, and laid out that area's grand boulevards.

economicSince World War II, and especially from the mid-1960s onwards, Bangkok has seen an explosion of modernization, which has blown away earlier attempts at orderly planning and left the city without an obvious centre. Most of the canals have been filled in, to be replaced by endless rows of cheap and functional. The benefits of the economic boom of the 1980s and early 1990s were concentrated in Bangkok, as well as the calamitous effects of the late 1990s economic crisis, both of which attracted migration from all over Thailand and made the capital ever more dominant: the population, over half of which is under 30 years of age, is now forty times that of the second city, Chiang Mai. Bangkokians now own four-fifths of the nation's automobiles, and there's precious little chance to escape from the pollution in green space: the city has only 0.4 square meters of public parkland per inhabitant, the lowest figure in the world, compared, for example, to London's 30.4 square meters per person.

bangkok-at-nightCity of angles, when Rama I was crowned in 1782, he gave his new capital a grand 43-syllable name to match his ambitious plans for the building of the city. Since then, 21 more syllables have been added."Krung-thep-ma-ha-na-korn-bo-worn-rat-ta-na-ko-sin-ma-hin-ta-ra-yut-tha-ya-ma-ha-di-lok-pop-nop-pa-rat-rat-chat-ha-ni-bu-ri-rom-u-dom-rat-cha-ni-wet-ma-ha-sa-tha-na-morn-pi-man-a-va-tarn-sa-thi-sak-ka-that-ti-ya-vi-sa-nu-kar-pra-sit is certified by the Guinness Book of Records as the longest place name in the world. Roughly translating as “Great city of angles, the supreme repository of divine jewels, the great land unconquerable, the grand and prominent realm, the royal and delightful capital city full of nine noble gems, the highest royal dwelling and grand palace, the divine shelter and living place of the reincarnated spirits”. Fortunately, all Thais refer to the city simply as Krung Thep, though plenty can recite the full name at the drop of a hat. Bangkok- “Village of the Plum Olive” - was the name of the original village on the Thonburi side; with remarkable persistence, it has remained in use by foreigners since the time of the French garrison.

(2 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market

floating-marketWooden canoes laden with multicolored fruits and vegetables, paddled by Thai women wearing indigo-hued clothes and wide-brimmed straw hats – this quintessential picture of Thailand might have wooed you to my country but this image over 20 years old and is more a piece of history than a current snapshot. An updated version would show rows and rows of souvenir stands lining the canals, and boatloads of tourists glued to their cameras.

(4 votes, average 4.75 out of 5)

Fun for the Family in Bangkok

fun_for_familyBangkok has everything you would imagine an exotic Asian destination to be. Bangkok deserves to be called “City of Angles” because it is nothing short of a paradise on Earth. Blessed with beautiful culture and arts, this riverside capital has traditional attractions that definitely can take you breath away. A family that tours together stays together. By participating together, family members are able to share personal experience, join tours as a group, and delight in reminiscing about the fun they had together.

(4 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

Nightlife in Bangkok

nightlife-in-bangkokToday, Bangkok offers a heady assortment of entertainment venues, nightclubs, bars, cafés and clubs appealing to every sort of taste. Many specialist in live music – rock, country and western, Thai pop, jazz and rhythm and blues. Bangkok is prone to trends, such as salsa clubs and brew pubs, which are short-lived firework displays that leave town without a trace. All bars and clubs are supposed to close at 1am or 2am (the latter closing time is for places with dance floors and live music), in most cases this is enforced by stone-faced policeman who usher out the dazed customers.

(3 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

Shopping in Bangkok

shoppingRegular visitors to Asia know that, in many ways, Bangkok beats Hong Kong and Singapore for good deals on handicrafts, taxtiles, gems, jewellery, art and antiques – nowhere else will you find the same quality, prices and selection. The difficulty is finding the good spots, as the city's intense urban tangle makes orientation sometimes difficult. Phenomenal bargains can be found at the city's endless variety of markets. Most are an odd assortment of plastic toys, household goods and polyester clothes in Asian sizes mixed with knock-off designer watches and bags. Even more interesting are the food markets, where food-savvy Thais forage for brightly colored tapioca desserts, spicy curries and fruit that look like medieval torture devices.

(2 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

Getting around Bangkok

getting_around_bangkokGetting around Bangkok may be difficult at first for the uninitiated but once you're familiar with the bus system the whole city is accessible. The main obstacle is the traffic, which moves at a snail's pace during much of the day. This means advance planning is a must when you are attending scheduled events or arranging appointments. If you travel can by river, canal or Skytrain from one point to another, it's always the best choice.

 

(4 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

Visit Museum and Park in Bangkok

lumpini_parkHere is listed of many nice places to visit in Bangkok, except the cinema, shopping malls. You can take some easy day for relaxing in the centre of Bangkok... I shared some nice place that you can visit, and if I missed some place, please suggest me. I hope this information will give you some idea for where you can be relax in Bangkok... Have a nice day.Smile

(4 votes, average 4.75 out of 5)

Ko Ratanakosin Area

Wat Phra Kaew & Grand Palace

wat-phra_kaewAlso called the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, Wat Phra Kaew is an architectural wonder of gleaming, gilded chedi (stupa) seemingly buoyed above the ground, polished orange-and-green roof tiles piercing the humid sky, mosaic-encrusted pillars and rich marble pediments. The highly stylized ornamentation is a shrine to the much revered Emerald Buddha. Such a sacred site is bestowed with a fittingly official name-Wat Phra Si Ratana Satsadaram. It adjoins the former residence of the monarch, the Grand Palace; Admission to both 200 Baht; open 8.30am-11.30am & 1.00pm-3.30pm; daily.

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Poll

Where do you like to go in Thailand?

Chiang Mai - 19.1%
Sukhothai - 4%
Ayutthaya - 3%
Pattaya - 30.2%
Hua Hin - 13.1%
Koh Samui - 9.5%
Koh Phi Phi - 4.5%
Phuket - 16.6%

Total votes: 199
The voting for this poll has ended on: 31 Dec 2011 - 00:00

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