The most-visited city in the world; Thailand’s capital city of Bangkok is a metropolis unlike any other. Set just north of the equator, the enormous city is a tropical wonderland; with exotic orchids, plumeria and larger-than-life bougainvillea blooming between the skyscrapers and temples. In Bangkok, the old and the new come together in a harmony unlike anywhere else. With 50 different districts, Bangkok must be the most diverse city in the world. Chinatown; a district which predates the city itself, is famous for its bustling markets and maze of narrow streets where you can shop, sightsee or enjoy a cup of traditional Chinese tea with the locals. On the other end of the spectrum is the District of Ratanakosin Island, where you’ll find the Grand Palace, the National Museum, Wat Pho and many more spectacular historical and cultural sites. No matter what your interests are, there’s likely to be a whole district dedicated to it!
Something that every district is dedicated to though is food – amazing food. All the regional flavours of Thailand converge in Bangkok and the result will blow your mind, whether you’re a foodie or not. You can find the classic sweet, salty and spicy combinations at street vendors throughout the city, or you can visit some of the hundreds of romantic and fine-dining restaurants for modern takes on classic dishes and delicacies. Despite the apparent chaos of Bangkok, the city is exceptionally well-organised and safe, and the characteristic charming and helpful Thai people are no different in the big city. While the culture of the city is generally very fast-paced and cosmopolitan, you’ll still find a host of fascinating traditional culture beyond the golden palaces and intricate temples. There are lots of opportunities to take in celebrated traditional shows, especially in the Ratchadaphisek district; the city’s entertainment paradise for locals and visitors alike. One of Bangkok’s biggest attractions is shopping. From the air-conditioned mega malls with wall to wall Gucci and Louboutin, the humid corridors of indoor markets with up to 8000 stalls, to the hidden markets only accessible by long-tail boat; Bangkok is a city where you really can shop until you drop – without breaking the bank.
People who travel to Bangkok often say that there’s simply too much to do; and it’s true that you can’t see and do everything that the amazing city has to offer, but there are some things you just can’t miss. At the top of this list is the majestic Grand Palace and Wat Pra Kaew, home to the Emerald Buddha, which is the most revered Buddha image in the world. Another experience you won’t find anywhere else in the world is the Chatuchak Weekend Market. The market is one of the largest in the world, and sees roughly 200 000 people per day. You’ll need a full day to experience all the market has to offer, but it’s worth it. You’ll find antiques, clothing, jewellery galore and a variety of astounding hand-made items, from baskets and textiles to art pieces.
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