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Asia’s most popular tourist city, Bangkok is a dynamic destination where the streets teem with life and new discoveries are made around every corner. Whatever your traveling passion, Thailand's "City of Angels" will whet your appetite and feed your curiosity. For food lovers, Bangkok is the ultimate destination where world-class restaurants sit alongside street food stalls and culinary nirvana can be achieved on any budget. Visitors wanting to experience the true soul of Thai food culture should head to Bangkok’s local markets and malls, where Thais gather together daily to share a meal and chat about their day. Those wishing to gain a deeper insight into the country’s cuisine can take a cooking course, and visitors seeking a taste of life at the top can try one of the city’s popular rooftop restaurants, which offer incredible views. Thai cuisine is world famous for its exotic aromas and spicy kick, and Bangkok’s bustling streets provide an incredible showcase for these amazing flavors. Book now at one of Best Western’s Bangkok hotels and explore all this city has to offer.
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The Grand Palace
Bangkok’s most famous attraction and a “must-see” for all visitors, the Grand Palace is actually a large complex of buildings surrounded by imposing white walls. Located in the heart of the city’s historic Rattanakosin area, on the banks of the Chao Praya River, the palace has been the official residence of Thailand’s revered royal family since it was built in 1782 and still hosts many important royal ceremonies and state functions. The complex contains many important buildings, including the Temple of Emerald Buddha, or Wat Phra Kaew, which houses a highly revered statue of Lord Buddha carved from a single block of jade. Guests wanting to visit the Grand Palace should dress modestly.
Chatuchak Weekend Market
The largest market in Thailand, Chatuchak is a true shopper’s paradise and the ultimate destination for visitors wanting to explore Bangkok’s market culture. Located in the north of the city and easily accessible via the BTS or MRT light rail networks, this sprawling commercial labyrinth features more than 8,000 shops and stalls divided into 27 sections, including plants, antiques, ceramics, furniture and home décor, clothing and books. Popular with locals and tourists alike, Chatuchak (or “JJ Market” as it is also known) is ideal for souvenir hunters or those simply wanting to spend a day exploring a different side of Bangkok.
Chao Phraya River
Bangkok’s “River of Kings”, the Chao Phraya has played a major role in the development of the city through the ages. Separating Bangkok on the west bank from Thonburi in the east, the river also feeds a vast network of canals that gave Bangkok its nickname, the “Venice of the East”. Today, the Chao Praya is still a vibrant thoroughfare. Riverboats are a popular means of local transportation, while visitors can take daytime trips through the winding canals on traditional long-tail boats. After dark the dinner cruises start up, allowing tourists to take in the sights and sounds of the Chao Praya while enjoying an evening meal.
Bangkok is a magical land of golden temples, with gleaming spires rising all across the city. But the oldest, and arguably the most rewarding for visitors, is Wat Pho - an incredible complex that provides a deep insight into Bangkok's Buddhist culture. Dating back to the late 1700s and built during the same period as its neighbor, the Grand Palace, Wat Pho is one of Thailand's six royal temples. It is most famous for its huge reclining Buddha statue, which is 46 meters long and 15 meters high, for being Thailand’s first public university, and the home of Thai massage and traditional medicine.
In a city of traffic-clogged streets and soaring skyscrapers, Lumphini Park is a wonderful refuge from the urban hubbub. The green heart of Bangkok, this 58-hectare public space is home to lakes, lawns, footpaths and sports courts, which make it hugely popular with locals seeking some rest and relaxation. It is also home to a large population of monitor lizards, which laze on the banks of the lakes or swim gracefully alongside local populations of fish and turtles. Visitors seeking an insight into local culture should experience Lumphini Park before or after working hours, when Thais gather to jog or enjoy a group aerobics session.
Patpong Night Market/Silom Road
Located in the popular Silom area of Bangkok, Patpong Night Market is one of the city’s most vibrant after-dark destinations. The main market is located on Patpong Soi 1, which connects Silom and Surawong roads, and sells a vast array of goods including clothes, bags and souvenirs. This street also houses several bars, including adult entertainment. The market stalls continue along the main Silom Road, which is home to more family-friendly restaurants and bars, making this area suitable for all types of visitor. The market traders open for business at around 6pm and activity continues late into the night.
Sea Life Bangkok Ocean World
The largest aquarium in Thailand, Sea Life Bangkok Ocean World features hundreds of marine creatures, from fish and cephalopods to sharks and rays, and even penguins. Housed within the Siam Paragon retail mall, in the commercial heart of the city, this popular attraction covers 10,000m² and houses its collections in vast tanks containing five million liters of water. Guests have the opportunity to dive with sharks, take glass-bottom boat rides or visit a 4-D cinema. Visitors can also purchase tickets that offer dual admission to Sea Life Bangkok Ocean World and its sister attraction, Madame Tussauds Bangkok, which features waxwork replicas of global celebrities.
Jim Thompson House
Jim Thompson was the American silk merchant who became a legend in Thailand. Having founded the Thai Silk Company in 1948, Thompson built this beautiful traditional Thai home on the heart of Bangkok in 1959. Covering more than 2,000m² of land, the Jim Thompson House is not only beautifully crafted, but it also houses a large collection of Thai and Southeast Asian art, including historical Buddhist statues and traditional Thai paintings, and has amazing tropical gardens. Thompson disappeared in Malaysia in 1967 and was never seen again. But his legend lives on in Thailand, where visitors can buy fabrics and clothes from a chain of Jim Thompson shops.
Things to do in Bangkok