A captivating blend of the ancient and the ultra-modern, Bangkok is the perfect introduction to Thailand. Expect a city where neon-lit streets merge into historic neighbourhoods; where megamalls rub shoulders with fantastical temples; and where a laid-back atmosphere is complemented by a sizzling nightlife.
Despite being a hub of commerce, Bangkok hasn’t abandoned its traditions. You can soak up some culture by spending a morning at the Grand Palace, a magnificent complex filled with statues, murals, multi-tiered roofs and the revered Emerald Buddha.
The nearby Wat Pho is sanctuary to the largest reclining image of Buddha in the world, whilst the spectacular Wat Arun (The Temple of the Dawn) is considered one of the most beautiful temples in the country.
From tiny side-street stalls serving local specialities for just a few pence to world-class restaurants that offer exquisite fine-dining, delicious food can be found all over the city. For those who love to shop, you will be spoilt for choice with Bangkok’s array of chic boutiques, bustling local markets and huge modern malls.
Away from the tuk-tuks and taxis that dominate the streets of central Bangkok, you’ll find a more relaxed way to travel on the river. Enjoy the ease of a private longtail boat that will take you through an ancient network of canals known as ‘klongs’ which give the city its nickname ‘Venice of the East.
For those who want a glimpse into rural life, venture beyond the city to explore quaint villages and vibrant local markets. You can also visit Ayutthaya, an ancient capital filled with UNESCO-listed relics leftover from the Kingdom of Siam.
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