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CruiseDirection - Magazine May 2019

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Bangkok is the capital and largest city in the nation of Thailand. It is a modern vibrant city teeming with nightlife and culture. Bangkok has an estimated population of approximately 11 million people and is considered by many to be one of the most exciting and visitor friendly cities in Asia. While only established in the 18th century, Bangkok has a rich history beyond its years first as the centre of Siam and now Thailand. Bangkok is renowned for its exotic Buddhist temples, extraordinary palaces, and the Thon Buri canals.  

Bangkok, located in central Thailand on the Chao Phraya River on 14 degrees north of the equator. This makes for some very hot weather. The average temperature rarely dips below 25 degrees even during the “cool season.” The temperatures during the summer months can routinely top 40 degrees with high humidity. The rainy season (May through October) can feature torrential downpours but they usually only last 1-2 hours in the afternoon.

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Why visit Bangkok ?

Bangkok location iamge - CruiseDirection

A rich history beyond its years

A modern vibrant city teeming with nightlife and culture

Bangkok’s number one tourist attraction is the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew. Located in the historic, Rattanakosin district, Wat Phra Kaew is found in the grounds of the Grand Palace. It is home to breathtaking temples, golden chedi, and the highly revered emerald Buddha. The Grand Palace itself is a fine example of new baroque architecture and houses a museum for decorations and coins as well as some very interesting murals.  

After visiting the Grand Palace, many visitors catch a boat at the nearby Tha Tien pier to another popular attraction, Wat Arun. The “Temple of Dawn” it is one of Bangkok’s oldest attractions, pre-dating the founding of the city itself. It is located on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River and features a stunning 82 metre high spire in its centre and is finely decorated with small pieces of coloured glass and Chinese porcelain. It provides an especially breathtaking backdrop at sunset.  

Another popular attraction is Vimanmek Mansion. This architectural marvel is the world’s largest building comprised entirely of golden teak. Recently renovated it currently serves as a museum paying homage to the reign of King Rama V who ruled from 1868-1910. Many of the rooms are furnished in period and guided tours are both available and recommended.  

If nightlife is what you crave, Bangkok has no fewer than four different “nightlife districts” or If you prefer the water, then a boat trip down the Thon Buri Canals is a must. They pass many famous sites as you discover why Bangkok is sometimes called “Venice of the east.”  

Dining in Bangkok is superb. For Thai food, an excellent choice is Lemongrass; it caters to tourists, the prices are moderate but the food is part of the true Thai experience. For some international flavour you can try Sweet Basil, Jasmin, or Cafe Swiss which offer Vietnamese, Chinese, and Swiss cuisine respectively.  

Shopping opportunities abound in Bangkok as one could surely spend an entire holiday doing nothing but shopping and never visit the same shop twice. There are high end shopping malls such as Central Chitlom and Emporium where any and every designer imaginable are well represented as well as mega-malls such as Seacon Square and MBK where you can definitely find what you are looking for or it doesn’t exist!  

A trip to Bangkok with its diverse sites and opportunities for fun will likely leave you wanting more. Prepare to plan a return trip because once you get there, you’ll likely be hooked.

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