Bangkok is the capital and the most populated city in Thailand with more than 8 million residents in the city itself and over 14.5 million in its metropolitan area. Bangkok is also one of the world’s top tourist destination cities with almost 16 million tourists visiting it each year. The city is so big and has so much to offer, so we picked the best attractions for a first time visitor
Grand Palace & Wat Phra Kaew
Located in the old city area, the Grand Palace is the famous landmark in Bangkok. It was built in 1782 and was the home of the Thai King for 150 years. There are several impressive buildings within the Grand Palace complex, the most important would be Wat Phra Kaew, which means “Temple of the Emerald Buddha”. In order to enter the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew you must follow a dress code: men must wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts and shoes, while women must wear long skirts. You may rent appropriate clothing items outside the palace if you are dressed otherwise.
Chao Phraya River
The Chao Phraya river flows through Bangkok before it continues to the Gulf of Thailand. It is the most important feature of the city and taking a tour on a long tail boat or cruise on the river is a very recommended experience that can help you understand what Bangkok is all about. On one hand huge skyscrapers along the river and on the other hand, on the sideways small canals, some locals live in floating wooden houses.
Bangkok has a reputation for its active Night life and club with the more famous areas being Patpong, Nana or Soi Cowboy and is dotted with bars and red light areas which feature regular shows by lady boys, pole dancers and excellent live music.
A floating market is a market where the goods, mostly fruits, vegetables and cooked Thai food are sold right off the boat. The most famous floating market is the Domnoen Saduak floating market, located in Ratchaburi, close to Bangkok. You cruise the narrow canals of the market with a guided tour boat, and even though the market is packed with tourists, the atmosphere is great. The entire visit, heading from Bangkok to the market and back should take around half a day.
Perhaps the most famous street in Bangkok, Khaosan is a short street, about 1 km north of the Grand Palace. The street offers cheap accommodation mainly for backpackers and other on-budget travelers, many travel agencies that can help you with your every wish, shops that sell just about everything, and at night the street accommodates some bars.