With a relentless array of sights, sounds, scents and tastes all immersed in a bevy of hidden treasures, Bangkok has an overwhelming variety of things to discover and absorb.
Home to the famous Emerald Buddha, the most revered Buddha image in Thailand, the Grand Palace is a spiritual hub and glorious architectural feat. Get in early to bypass the bustle and crowds, and remember to show respect by wearing long pants – no shorts allowed! Take a taxi or tuk-tuk direct to the palace. Alternatively, catch a Skytrain to Sapan Thaksin and jump on a river boat to Phra Arthit pier.
Directly adjacent the Grand Palace, Wat Phra Kaew is known as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha and is the most sacred Buddhist temple in the country. It houses the magnificent statue of the Emerald Buddha, carved from a single piece of jade.
Directly adjacent to the Grand Palace, Wat Pho is known as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, the largest reclining image of Buddha in the nation, at an impressive 46 metres long and 15 metres high. It is adorned with mother of pearl and gold plating. Not limited to the one attraction, Wat Pho temple is home to over 1,000 images of the Buddha, towering statues, buildings and stupas. It is also home to the renowned Thai massage school for monks, and visitors can have this exceptional service on the grounds.
Named after the Indian God Aruna. Take in the majestic white porcelain spires of the iconic 19th-century ‘Temple of Dawn.’ Linger in mythical gardens, climb the steep white stairs and soak up the romantic views at sunset. Take a taxi or a river ferry at Tha Tien Pier on Thai Wang Road across the Chao Praya River to the Thonburi area.
Thailand’s revered King Rama IV built this temple’s large golden chedi atop the ruins of previous temple buildings. The chedi is layered with centuries of gold leaf. Visitors can take the easy winding stairs that encircle the mount to the viewpoint at the top. A small entrance fee allows you to enter the terrace and the temple area where you will have a 360-degree view of Bangkok.
Found in Siam Paragon Mall in the Siam shopping district, Sea Life is Bangkok’s modern, sleek aquarium complex, and the largest aquatic centre in South East Asia. Kids and adults alike will enjoy Ocean World’s 30,000 aquatic creatures from 400 different species. Marvel at this remarkable underwater world and dive with the sharks if you dare!
Expansive, lush green Lumphini Park is Bangkok’s green lung – a magnificent sprawling park with gardens, ponds, lawns and stages in the heart of the city bustle. Named after Buddha’s Nepalese birthplace, it is replete with karaoke singers, tai chi artists, joggers and kite flyers. Join the throng and take a break from Bangkok without having to leave the city.
This pinnacle East-meets-West structure was built by King Chulalongkorn, the first Thai monarch to visit Europe. Visions of his travels must have still been swimming in his head when he commissioned this stunning, grandiose building with distinct Western influences fusing with a glorious Thai exterior and oriental charm.