Thailand Travel Information and Guide.
Temples with solid gold Buddhas, floating markets, restaurants in the clouds … Everything is possible in the exotic, incomprehensible Thai capital.
Photography by Harold R
Facts to consider:
Leaving the Suvarnabhumi International Airport, the first thing is the humidity that kills, it is something that strikes and somehow certifies that just to turn around the world. It’s a different way, hot, to say Welcome to Bangkok.
The second thing I noticed, without leaving the airport, is the omnipresence of the King of Thailand Bhumibol Adulyadej, the image covers the huge glass walls, billboards show it in different family, talking on the phone, concentrated in front of a book. Recent times have been political turmoil in the ancient kingdom of Siam, with the coup in 2006, the restoration of constitutional monarchy in 2007 and the impeachment of prime minister in 2009. But the sovereign, they say, remains popular.
The third factor is learned about Bangkok by taking Highway, adorned with statues of elephants and portraits of the king, to the hotel: here the traffic is almost as heavy as the humidity. During the next few hours, more and more lessons will be going all the time. With nine million people, Bangkok is one of the urban and economic giant of Southeast Asia, with its dominant position between Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. And it is a common gateway to the region. Exotic, predictably, but also dense, polluted, intense, crowded, over days and, indeed, night.
However, probably due to the soft nature Thai town along the Chao Phraya River is relatively calm and safe even in their areas … wrong in the famous red districts that attract so many Americans and Europeans alone. What makes it even more intriguing. And that, as a destination, usually function only as cultural and commercial scale for two or three nights, before rebounding in connection to the idyllic beaches of the South, the famous island of Phuket.
Photography by Swami corriente
When to travel?
The rainy season extends from May to November. From November to February recorded the lowest temperatures, while the rest of the year is highly hot.
On the east side of town, Ratchaprasong is a commercial district which houses some of the best hotels. There, the intersection of the avenues transitadísima Ratchadamri and Chit Phloen summarizes the great paradox of this city. In one corner is the Erawan shrine, a Hindu place of worship where devotees worship 24 hours a day to the god Brahma dances, incense and offerings. The opposite corner, in contrast, occupies a large window of Louis Vuitton.
Not a bad sum for a city where religion and commerce seem to be very good neighbors. Thailand must be the country with the most Buddhist temples in Bangkok and the world seems to be one of the cities busiest commercial puestitos glass towers and streets.
So, while not planning to buy a lot, it is inevitable to know the markets, fairs and even shopping malls in Bangkok city life takes place largely between local and galleries.
Here are some essential stops:
CHATUCHAK: One could go on vacation to the market rather than Bangkok. Is Chatuchak, which operates only on weekends, is a small village in itself with 5000 seats in an area of three acres, but spills over its borders, out of the market itself, hundreds of street vendors continue to offer in a wide radius, from food to watches.
What most here is clothing is authentic and the other, crafts / souvenirs, more industrial in general. But food, toys, lamps, furniture and anything you can imagine. Looking for Buddha statues of all the measures? There. A live scorpion? No problem. A doll-sized Alien? Sure, it happens to be packed and sent to your home. Just a matter of walking, discover and haggle. With a recommendation: If you see something you like, buy it at the time because you may not find it again in this maze.
Flower Market: If you can be somewhat overwhelming Chatuchak, Pak Khlong Talad is an interesting contrast. More traditional and to a lesser extent, is a great place to confirm the impression that Thais really love flowers. The market operates every day, 24 hours, but the busiest is between dawn and sunrise, when they get the trucks loaded with fresh flowers.
Despite the prominence of the name and floral, the Pak Khlong also houses dozens of stalls of meats, fruits, vegetables, spices and other products, all in a relaxed atmosphere that has little to do with Chatuchak.
Floating Market: Although several of these fairs around the city water, the most famous tourist is Damnoen Saduak. It is on the outskirts of Bangkok to the south, so to visit it is necessary to consider a half-day or more, usually starting very early, around 7, and can be easily hired by the hotel. More or less the same condition as when it was installed a hundred years ago, but now totally saturated with people, consists of a main channel punished where wooden boats are lined up displaying all kinds of products, including advanced, rowing, other charters (for about ten dollars an hour) with potential buyers and tourists taking thousands of photos.
Large round shopping malls of Bangkok’s commercial map. In the district of Ratchaprasong can find several malls next to each other. Siam Paragon is one of the largest and most expensive, with all the international brands, local design and decoration, and even Lamborghini of different colors to choose from, if necessary. Oh, and karaoke rooms.
Best, a gourmet supermarket ideal to provide themselves with rice, seasonings, soups and sweets in the most fantastic packagings. Gaysorn shopping is another, more consumer-oriented luxury (Louis Vuitton, Prada, Armani, Boss, Zegna). A few meters, in contrast, offers the opposite WBK: an entire floor of phones, computers and clothes, all best sellers closely resembles well-known brands, but in the end, with some differences in quality and price.
Photography by kopretinka
Three places of worship:
Thailand is one of the Buddhist countries of the world. Nearly 95% of the population practice Buddhism Theravada old school, temples, shrines and religious images of different types are part of the everyday landscape. Throughout the country it is estimated that some 37,000 temples and Bangkok only has about 400, including authentic tourist attractions.
For example, Wat Pho or Wat Phra Chetuphon, one of the most visited by foreigners, also known as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha. There you can see mainly the huge golden statue of a reclining Buddha, 46 meters long and 15 high, so long in a proportionally small room that it is impossible to photograph in full. But Wat Pho is also an entire campus with a thousand Buddha images and stupas of all sizes and colors among rock gardens, bonsai, enigmatic statues and orange-robed monks discrete sliding out from the crowd of tourists.
Open Monday to Sunday from 8 to 17, and there is an entrance 20 baht (30 baht to 1 dollar).
Golden Buddha Temple:
Another interesting stop on the tour is Wat Traimit religious or Golden Buddha Temple in Bangkok’s Chinatown. Its main attraction is, precisely, a seated statue of 900 years, 3 meters and more than five tons, the largest made in solid gold. And with a story behind it: in the seventeenth century, the threat of looting of the city by the Burmese, the statue was covered with plaster. Thus disguised, he stayed a couple hundred years no one would give more importance until, in 1957, a monk accidentally discovered what was beneath the outer layer unattractive.
As in other temples, Wat Traimit also worth taking a look at small details, such as piggy banks for donations automatic, separated by day of week, which activate choirs recorded prayers, lotus flowers, incense, and of course the minority of devotees who does abstract from the hassle of tourists yet. Wat Traimit open to the public every day from 9 to 17, an input of 20 baht.
Photography by mckaysavage
Complete the basic trilogy of religious tourism in Bangkok Wat Arun, across the Chao Phraya River, with a dome or prang which is among the most classic postcards of the city. It usually comes in small ferries crossing the river from Tha Thien pier austere, about 4 baht for transport and 20 more by the entrance to the site.
Good trip to Bangkok!