Hi all, Susan here from www.BraveWomenTravel.com as promised, here are the Top 10 places to visit while you are in Bangkok. There are probably another 10 I could add to this list, but these are my favourite places and I would go and see them every time I am in Bangkok.
(If you missed my earlier article, it’s called ‘How to Get Around Bangkok as a Female Traveler’.)
So we are on a journey through Thailand. We have started here in Bangkok and when we’re done we’ll move north into Ayutthaya, then up to Chiang Rai and the Northern part of Thailand. After that we’re taking the bus to one of my favourite places of all time, Chiang Mai, then fly down to the island of Phuket, (via Bangkok it is the center of everything wonderful) where I could stay forever.
Here are my favourite highlights of Bangkok – the 10 sights to see and do!
1.The Grand Palace – Wat Phra Kaew
If there is one must-see sight that no visit to Bangkok would be complete without, it’s the dazzling, spectacular Grand Palace, undoubtedly the city’s most famous landmark. 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.
2. Wat Arunratchawararam (Wat Arun) Temple of Dawn
Wat Arun, locally known as Wat Chaeng, is situated on the west (Thonburi) bank of the Chao Phraya River. It is easily one of the most stunning temples in Bangkok, not only because of its riverside location, but also because the design is very different to the other temples you can visit in Bangkok. Wat Arun (or temple of the dawn) is partly made up of colourfully decorated spires and stands majestically over the water. Wat Arun is almost directly opposite Wat Pho, so it is very easy to get to. From Sapphan Taksin boat pier you can take a riverboat that stops at pier 8. From here a small shuttle boat takes you from one side of the river to the other for only 4.5 paht. Entry to the temple is 50 baht. The temple is open daily to visit from 8:30 to 5:30
They recommend spending at least an hour visiting the temple. Although it is known as the Temple of the Dawn, it is absolutely stunning at sunset, particularly when lit up at night. The quietest time to visit, however, is early in the morning, before the crowds.
Given beauty of the architecture and the fine craftsmanship it is not surprising the Wat ARun is considered by many as one of the most beautiful temples in Thailand. The spire (prang) on the bank of Chao Phraya River is one of Bangkok’s world famous landmarks. It as an imposing spire over 70 metres high, beautifully decorated with tiny pieces of coloured glass and Chinese porcelain placed delicately into intricate patterns.
3. Wat Pho
The Wat Pho or “Temple of the Reclining Buddha” is one of Bangkok’s most attractive temples. It is a much visited temple complex due to its location immediately South of the Grand Palace and the huge Reclining Buddha image it houses.
The temple that is officially named Wat Phra Chetuphon Wimonmangkhalaram is one of the six temples in Thailand that are of the highest grade of the first class Royal temples.
The Wat Pho is the oldest and largest temple complex in Bangkok, it houses more than 1,000 Buddha images which is more than any other Wat in Thailand. Most of the images were brought over from abandoned temples in places as Ayutthaya and Sukhothai by order of King Rama I.
4. Wat Phra Kaew – Temple of Emerald Buddha
Wat Phra Kaew or the Temple of the Emerald Buddha (officially known as Wat Phra Sri Rattana Satsadaram) is regarded as the most important Buddhist temple in Thailand. Located in the historic centre of Bangkok, within the grounds of the Grand Palace, it enshrines Phra Kaew Morakot (the Emerald Buddha), the highly revered Buddha image meticulously carved from a single block of jade. The Emerald Buddha (Phra Putta Maha Mani Ratana Patimakorn) is a Buddha image in the meditating position in the style of the Lanna school of the north, dating from the 15th century AD.
Raised high on a series of platforms, no one is allowed near the Emerald Buddha except HM the King. A seasonal cloak, changed three times a year to correspond to the summer, winter, and rainy season covers the statue. A very important ritual, the changing of the robes is performed only by the King to bring good fortune to the country during each season. The temple of Emerald Buddha is beautifully decorated and has a great sense of peace about it.
5. Night Markets
Night markets in Bangkok are among the easiest and most enjoyable ways of getting up close and personal with local life in Thailand’s capital. Markets are spread out in most areas of the city and offer an incredibly diverse range of goods and products, snacks and entertainment; after dark shopping opportunities mean incredible bargains in the moonlight. Newer and larger night markets are opening in Bangkok every year, and there’s none bigger than the original Rot Fai Market in the east of the city, although the old classics still prove popular, such as Patpong Night Market. A handful of local night markets have been popping up around the city too, great for vintage fashion fanatics or anyone looking to mix in some cheap eats or some evening drinks with their after dark retail therapy.
6. Chatuchak Weekend Market
Chatuchak Weekend Market has reached a landmark status as a must-visit place for tourists. Its sheer size and diverse collections of merchandise will bring any seasoned shoppers to their knees. This is where you can literally shop ‘till you drop’. The 35-acre (68-rai) area of Chatuchak is home to more than 8,000 market stalls. On a typical weekend, more than 200,000 visitors come here to sift through the goods on offer. Veteran shoppers would agree that just about everything is on sale here, although not all at the best bargain rates. But if you have one weekend in Bangkok, squeeze in a day trip to Chatuchak Weekend Market. You will not be disappointed.
You can download printable maps of the market, just remember where you entered. The chances of finding where you came in are almost impossible.
7. Floating market
The pioneer of all floating markets, Damnoen Saduak continues to offer an authentic experience despite its increasingly touristy atmosphere. Imagine dozens of wooden row boats floating by, each laden to the brim with farm-fresh fruits, vegetables or flowers. Food vendors fill their vessels with cauldrons and charcoal grills, ready to whip up a bowl of ‘boat noodle’ or seafood skewers upon request.
8. Massages (maybe 2 or 3 – they are that cheap)
There are Thai Massage parlours everywhere in Bangkok, and I mean everywhere. Side by side by side. If I were to guess, I’d say at least 10,000 (is that too many??)
Prices vary a little, but for the most part you can get a
Traditional Thai Massage 200 baht for 1 hour ($6.00 USD)
And everything up to 1200 baht for 2 hours (37.00 USD)
They are worth the investment. After you’ve had a hard day walking it’s wonderfully relaxing having a full body massage with a nice oil, and finish the visit with a cup of tea outside.
9.Wat Saket – Wat Saket Ratcha Wora Maha Wihan
Wat Saket is a temple in Bangkok. They have annual festival held at Wat Saket every November, featuring a candlelight procession up Phu Khao Thong to the chedi.
Phu Khao Thong is now a popular Bangkok tourist attraction and has become a symbol of the city.
10. Jim Thompson House
The Jim Thompson House is a museum in central Bangkok, Thailand, housing the art collection of American businessman and architect Jim Thompson, the museum designer and former owner. Built in 1959, it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Thailand; sporting vibrant jungle foliage in the heart of the city.
Wrapping Up the Visit
Our group of women are absolutely spent when they finish these 3 days. Our hotel is a 4 star, the gals sleep really well at night and the food is so yummy. We even get picked up in an air conditioned bus taken from place to place.
Next blog I’m going to talk about Ayutthaya, Chiang Rai and Northern Thailand. Some of our adventures go to CM, but most do not. So I’m going to go over some of the reasons you may absolutely love Chiang Rai. Then you’ll pick one of our group tours that include this amazing destination.
Luckily, there are a number of simple, logical steps you can take to protect yourself from risks….