Bangkok – Must See and Do
The best things to see and do in Bangkok
Bangkok must see and do places listed here are the best sites for tourists, and will heighten your travel experience while visiting Bangkok. Bangkok must see and too include the following:
The spectacular Grand Palace, undoubtedly the city’s most famous landmark, a Bangkok must see location, to be sure. Built in 1782 – and for 150 years the home of the Thai King, the Royal court and the administrative seat of government – the Grand Palace of Bangkok is a grand old dame indeed, that continues to have visitors in awe with its beautiful architecture and intricate detail, all of which is a proud salute to the creativity and craftsmanship of Thai people. Within its walls were also the Thai war ministry, state departments, and even the mint. Today, the complex remains the spiritual heart of the Thai Kingdom.
The Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, situated 110 kms west of Bangkok, is a very attractive place for tourists to see the old style and traditional way of selling and buying fruits, vegetables, etc., from small boats. You will also see traditional Thai houses, the way they live and travel by boats. The tour includes a visit to Nakorn Pathom, site of the highest Chedi in Thailand called “Phra Patom Chedi” which is the largest pagoda in Southeast Asia.
Well on the tourist trail, a trip to the Damnoen Saduak floating market is still worth doing. Totally chaotic, small ‘khlongs’ or canals are filled with flat boats piled high with fresh produce, each jockeying for position and paddled by ladies ready to stop and bargain at a moment’s notice. It’s colourful, noisy, touristy but great fun. During the long-tail boat ride to market, you’ll pass orchards, traditional teak houses and local people going about their lives. You’ll also visit Nakorn Pathom town, site of the largest pagoda in Southeast Asia.
Occupying a 20-hectare (50-acre) site next to the Royal Grand Palace, Wat Pho is the oldest and largest temple in Bangkok. It was built in 1688 during the reign of King Petraja of Ayutthaya and contains one of Thailand’s most spectacular sights, a 46-metre (150-ft) long and 15-metre (72-ft) high statue of a reclining Buddha. The statue itself, which is gold-plated and inlaid with mother-of-pearl on the soles of the feet, was not added until 1832 during the reign of King Rama III, and serves to illustrate the passing of Buddha into nirvana (the state of absolute blessedness). Visitors can wander amongst the peaceful rock gardens, chapels and stupas. King Rama III also established Wat Pho as an important centre for Thai medicine and massage and thus founded Thailand’s oldest seat of learning. It is still possible to have a massage or learn about the art of Thai massage and medicine at Wat Pho today.
Despite the name, Jim Thompson’s House is one of the best-preserved examples of the traditional Thai house in the city. Once home to the American silk entrepreneur Jim Thompson, this remarkable house-cum-museum accommodates Thompson’s vast collection of antiques and artworks from all over the Southeast Asian region. Notable items include priceless examples of blue and white Ming porcelain and 19th century jataka paintings, which cover the walls of the rooms. Don’t miss the headless Buddha figure in the garden, which dates from the 6th century. This early Dvaravati image is one of the oldest surviving Buddha statues in the world.
Perhaps even more fascinating than the house itself is the tale of the mysterious owner, American Jim Thompson. A former member of the US Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the forerunner of the CIA, Thompson revived the flagging silk weaving industry at the end of the Second World War. His marketing skills helped turn the fortunes of the ailing Thai silk industry around, and Jim Thompson is to this day regarded as the very finest brand of Thai silk. As his business grew, Jim Thompson became a well-known Bangkok socialite, dedicated to reviving Thai crafts and arts. Much of his art collection is still on display at his Ayutthayan house in Bangkok’s Rama I Road area.
A cruise along the legendary Chao Phraya River, Bangkok, Thailand, and some canals on the Thon Buri side is the most pleasant way to explore the city once dubbed “Venice of the East” The majestic charm of the Chao Phraya adds perspective to your exploration of the city’s premier attractions.
On both sides of the Chao Phraya River, a tourist can see many magnificent temples and architectural buildings including the First Presbyterian Church, the Royal Thai Navy Dockyard, the Thai Maritime Navigation Company, the Old Customs House, Wat Prayunwong, Wat Arun, the Grand Palace, Wat Rakhang Kositaram, and the Royal Boat House.
Rivers and canals referred to maenam and khlong in Thai have always been vital forms of communication. When the capital of Thailand was moved to Bangkok in 1782 (the beginning of the Rattanakosin period), the capital was laced with canals, so Bangkok was sometimes called the “VENICE OF THE EAST” by European visitors.
In the past, Bangkokians usually settled by the Chao Phraya River and gradually spread into the core of the country. As you will see traces of the Early Rattanakosin period such as architecture and traditional ways of life have been left by the river more than in the inland areas. Besides, waterways at that time were the most important means of transportation and trading as well.
Nowadays, even though Bangkok has become a modern city, the Chao Phraya River as well as the canals are still charming for whoever wishes to seek the peaceful atmosphere amidst bustling Bangkok.
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