With a population of over eleven million people, Bangkok is Thailand’s largest city as well as the countries capitol. The city is regarded as one of asia’s most cosmopolitan and vibrant. Here magnificent temples and palaces, Colourful and busy canals, Bust=Ling markerts and vibrant nightlife venues are to be enjoyed by explorers of this urban wonder. There is something for everybody in this exciting city.
Bangkok greets me with its exotic charms the moment I set foot on the ground of Don Mueang International Airport. This modern world-class aviation stopover could not hide the excitement of Bangkok’s tropical mood as it embraced me in the spirit of welcoming invitation. This is Southeast Asia’s very own ‘City Of Angels’ and is where familiar and traditional aspects collide with unique harmony.
Previously known as Krung Thep, what is now Bangkok was built on the very navigable Chao Phraya River and operated as a small trading port. It was King Rama I, the first Monarch of the Chakri Dynasty who decided to turn the port into the capital of Siam in 1782 just after the previous capital, Ayuthayya was destroyed by a Burmese invasion. Nowadays of course, Bangkok is a national treasure house and functions as the heartbeat of Thailand. From here the spiritual, cultural, political, commercial and educational aspects of Thailand are coordinated.
There are just so many things to do and places to visit in Bangkok but on this trip on mine I wanted to explore as many of the historical and heritage sites I could. There are over 400 ornate temples and shrines to be found all across the city. I chose to visit Wat Pho and Wat Arun—two of the most important temples located close to the Grand Palace complex. Wat Pho is actually the largest temple in Bangkok and is where the famous golden ‘Sleeping Buddha’ statue resides. With a length of 46m, it is definitely one of the most mesmerizing statues I’ve ever come across. After Wat Pho I went to Wat Arun, located near the Chao Phraya River. Known as ‘The Temple of Dawn’ the serenity here is not to be missed.
I was kept busy with my heritage explorations but I couldn’t resist an urge to go shopping. Bangkok is also known as a haven for all shopaholics and Chatuchak Weekend Market become my next destination. Open on weekends, one can easily find almost anything at these markets. There are more than 8000 stalls on 10 hectare of land making it one of the largest markets in the world. One of the greatest draw cards Chatuchak has is the enormous range of shoes and clothing on sale here at bargain prices.
There is simply not enough time to see everything here and once taken in by this city, one is bound to return.
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