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Bangkok is one of Asia’s most cosmopolitan cities. Created as the Thai capital in 1782 by the first monarch of the present Chakri dynasty, Bangkok is a national treasure house and Thailand’s spiritual, cultural, political, commercial, educational and diplomatic centre.

Bangkok exceeds 1,500 square kilometres in area and is home to one-tenth of the country's population. Major tourist attractions include glittering Buddhist

temples, palaces, timeless “Venice of the East” canal and river scenes, classical dance extravaganzas, and numerous shopping centres.

Attraction Hilights

Also called the Castle in the Clouds, Vimanmek Palace is the summer palace built entirely out of teakwood commissioned by King Rama V. The 3-story, 81-room mansion houses impressive furniture and royal jewelry and objects of interest that were actually used by the king.

The most important landmarks in the City of Angels are the Grand Palace and Temple of the Emerald Buddha. The Palace is a large walled complex comprising several buildings dating back 200 years that are used for specific occasions. The royal temple houses the most revered Buddha image in Thailand, exquisitely carved from a block of jade.

Close by is the Wat Pho, one of Bangkok's oldest and largest temples, made popular by housing the gigantic, gold-plated reclining Buddha. The temple has the largest collection of Buddha images and is the center for the teaching and preservation of traditional Thai medicine. You can study massaging techniques or get one here.

Across the Chao Phraya River is the Temple of Dawn (Wat Arun). The temple predates the city's founding and is beautifully adorned with glass and ceramic mosaics.

Jim Thompson's House retains the remarkable Thai style architecture and contains a valuable South East Asian art collection. Jim Thompson was an American who revived the Thai silk industry after WWII and later disappeared mysteriously into the Malaysian jungles. The house has been left the same since his disappearance.

Muay Thai is Thailand's indigineous sport where contestants' every body parts can be used as weapons. Fights are regularly held at two venues - Lumpini Stadium and Ratchadamnoen Stadium.

Rent a long-tail boat and tour the Floating Market off of Bangkok's numerous canals. The market is open daily in the mornings and interesting wats and daily life can be seen off the banks of the canals.

Dine on the 77th floor of the Baiyoke Sky Hotel, the world's tallest hotel, at the Observation Deck. Spectacular view of the city that can't be topped.

The Royal Barge Museum houses the elaborate barges that are used for royal and governmental functions. The most beautiful and famous one is the Suphanahongse, a golden swan barge used solely by the king.

Amidst high-rises, Bangkok has ample space for parks, with Lumpini Park being one of the largest one. A large, artificial lake with row boats, well manicured gardens and walking path makes it a great escape. Get there early in the morning and join in the T'ai chi exercises.

Bangkok Songkran Festival (April 12-14)
The traditional Thai New Year is an occasion for merriment all over the city, but most notably at Sanam Luang, near the Grand Palace, where the revered Phra Phuttha Sihing image is displayed and bathed by devotees. In the Wisutkasat area, a Miss Songkran beauty contest is held and accompanied by merit-making and entertainment. Khao San Road, Bang Lamphu area is also one of the high-spots in the city to experience the water-throwing activities between locals and tourists.

Royal Ploughing Ceremony (May)
An ancient Brahman ritual, conducted at Sanam Luang, in which farmers believe is able to forecast the abundance of the next rice crop. The event is a result of a series of ceremonies that are conducted by Phraya Raek Na, portrayed by a high-ranking official from the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives who wears colourful traditional costumes. This ceremony was re-introduced in 1960 by H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej and is considered the official commencement of the rice-growing season.

H.M. The Queen’s Birthday Celebration (August 12)

To display their loyalty and to honour Her Majesty Queen Sirikit on the occasion of her royal birthday, the Thai people decorate their houses and public buildings. Around Bangkok, Ratchadamnoen Avenue, the area around the Grand Palace and other well-known locations are bedecked with coloured lights and magnificent adornments.

Trooping of the Colours (December)
Their majesties the King and Queen preside over this impressive annual event, held in the Royal Plaza near the equestrian statue of King Chulalongkorn. Dressed in colourful uniforms, amid much pomp and ceremony, members of the elite Royal Guards swear allegiance to the King and march past members of the Royal Family.

H.M. The King’s Birthday Celebrations (December 5)
H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the world’s longest reigning monarch is well beloved and deeply respected by all Thais old and young. The occasion of his royal birthday provides his loyal subjects the opportunity to express their reverence for him. All over the country, buildings and homes are elaborated and the area around the Grand Palace is spectacularly illuminated.

How to Get There

These three-wheeled ‘open-air’ motorised taxis are popular for short journeys. Fares must be bargained in advance. Minimum fares, for journeys of up to 3 kilometres, are approximately 30 baht.

Public buses are plentiful and cheap, with a minimum fare of 3.50 baht to most destinations within metropolitan Bangkok. Air-conditioned buses have minimum and maximum fares of 8 and 18 baht, respectively. Air-conditioned micro-buses charge a flat fare of 25 baht all routes. A Bus Route Map is available at bookshops and the TAT office.


Taxis cruising city streets are metred. They charge a minimum of 35 baht for the first 3 kilometres, and approximately 5 baht per kilometre thereafter. Make sure you have change, as taxi drivers often don’t! Passengers must pay tolls in the case of using an expressway.

BTS Sky Trains
BTS sky trains ply along Sukhumvit, Silom and Phahonyothin roads. The routes connect Bangkok’s leading hotels and major shopping areas such as Siam Square, Silom, Ratchaprasong and Chatuchak Weekend Market. The fare ranges from 10-40 baht according to the distance. For more information, contact the Bangkok Mass Transit System at tel: 0 2617 7300 or visit www.bts.co.th

Taxis that are even more unusual, though equally convenient, are the river taxis that ply the Chao Phraya River. Some are just cross river ferries, but others serve the many landing stages on both banks and cover a route that goes up as far as the northern suburb of Nonthaburi.


Shopping in Bangkok is not limited to one or two major streets. There are many areas throughout Bangkok affording ample choices and easy access. The following is just a selection of some of the principal shopping areas.

Ploenchit-Ratchaprasong Top department stores and luxury shopping malls are concentrated in the area, namely Central, Sogo, Gaysorn Plaza, Isetan, Zen, Amarin Plaza, Peninsula Plaza, all of which together make the largest shopping promenade in Bangkok. Furthermore, the World Trade Centre and Narayana Phand Pavilion, host the official handicraft centre selling items from all parts of the country. Ratchaprasong intersection is the gateway to several shopping areas such as Phloenchit-Sukhumvit, Siam Square-Mahboonkrong, Silom and Pratunam-Phetchaburi.

Silom-Surawong-Patpong Silom Road is the main artery of Bangkok’s commercial heart and is paralleled by Surawong Road, while Patpong runs crosswise between the two. In addition to housing dozens of specialist shops and boutiques representing all the major buys, this area also boasts many branches of well-known retailers and several shopping plazas. Street stalls also abound, most notably at Patpong’s famous night market.

Silom-Mahesak-Charoenkrung Road
Silom leads into Charoenkrung Road which parallels the Chao Phraya River, and notable shopping opportunities include gems and jewellery stores (Mahesak Road is a gem trading centre), Oriental Plaza and River City shopping complex.

Sukhumvit Like Silom, Sukhumvit is one of Bangkok’s main thoroughfares, and the long road is lined with shops, boutiques and modern shopping plazas ranging from Soi 3 (Nana Nua) up to Soi 63 (Ekkamai). Most shops and restaurants are concentrated between Soi 3 and soi 21 (Asok) and along shortcuts between Asok and Ekkamai.

Chinatown Centre on Yaowarat Road and Sampheng Lane, Bangkok’s Chinatown offers a profusion of gold shops as well as several nearby traditional shopping places such as Ban Mo Jewellery Street, Phahurat Cloth Market and the Old Siam Plaza.

Bo-be Market Situated close to Bangkok Railway Station, Bo-be is one of the city’s renowned ready-to-wear clothing centres, both wholesale and retail.

Jatujak or Chatuchak Weekend Market Located adjacent to Chatuchak Park, the weekend market, open on Saturday and Sunday, is a Bangkok landmark where you can buy just about everything from clothing to potted plants and everything in between - - a paradise for browsers and bargain-hunters alike. The market also offers items of furniture and home decor. It is also where professional and amateur art-lovers and artists meet.

Pak Khlong Talat This is a wholesale market for all kinds of cut flowers and vegetables. It is located on Maharat Road near the Memorial Bridge. The market is crowded in the early morning and in the evening.

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market This popular attraction is some 80 kilometres west of Bangkok, accessible by regular bus from the Southern Bus Terminal. Everyday, hundreds of vendor boats crowd the market area in the early morning till noon.

Pratunam-Phetchaburi A highlight in the district is Pratunam market, one of Bangkok’s biggest centres for ready-to-wear clothing.

Baiyoke Tower Located next to Bangkok’s tallest hotel building, Baiyoke tower is one of the city’s renowned garment centres.

Nai Lert Plaza Situated close to Pratunam Market, Nai Lert Market is one of many shopping areas in Bangkok where you can buy just about everything from clothing to handicrafts.

Bang Lamphu Situated close to the Grand Palace, Bang Lamphu has a lively market where clothing is a popular buy.


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Mr. Thai Chawasotsakul Traval & Tour CO.,LTD. PART
Office 16/95 Rambuttri Vallage INN, Soi Rambuttri Chakapong Rd. Pranakorn Bangkok 10200,Thailand.
Tel. : (662) 282-0893-5 Fax : (662) 282-0893 e-mail :mr_thai_travel_@hotmail.com