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Places to visit in Bangkok

History of Bangkok

Bustling and fascinating Bangkok attracts every year millions of visitors from around the world and offers incomparable sightseeing, shopping, cultural, and entertainment experiences. Founded in 1782 by King Rama I, the founder of the current Chakri Dynasty, the city has seen many changes along its history. From the small Chinese trading port of “Bank Makok” (place of olive plums) to the 18th century Venice of the East with its innumerable canals and the present vibrant metropolis, Bangkok is one of South East Asia’s most modern and appealing capitals, where the old and the new combine to offer tourists an amazing cocktail of  unique opportunities.

Bangkok was built after the ancient capital of Ayuthaya was sacked by Burmese forces during one of the countless former struggles between Siam and Burma. The city plan originally closely resembled Ayuthaya’s as the Thais wanted to recreate the prosperity and richness of their fallen capital.Bangkok’s Thai name has been recognized by the GuinnessBook of Records as the longest city name in the world (Thais have even made a song about the name in order to remember it!), but is now usually referred to as “Krung Thep”, the City ofAngels.

Shopping in Bangkok

Central World Shopping Complex
Entirely renovated in 2006, Central World is currently the second largest shopping mall complex in Southeast Asia with a total area of 830,000 square metres. Marketing itself as a middle-class shopping centre, Central World is home to numerous well-known stores such as Isetan, the Japanese department store, and Zen which is branded asAsia’s first lifestyle trend megastore. Other tenants include PowerBuy, SuperSports, Toys R Us, Jim Thomson, Marks & Spencer, TheBody Shop, and much more. There are plenty of dining opportunities with international and Thai restaurants and Central Food Hall offers premium household products as well as fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy products, meats and fresh seafood.

Siam Paragon
This new up-market shopping complex opened in December 2005 and covers 500,000 square metres of retail space. The trendy and modern mall harbors over 250 high-end international and Thai brands such as Hermes, Versace, Giorgio Armani, Chloe, Jim Thomson, Montblanc, and Cartier. Car showrooms feature the best of Maserati, Ferrari, Aston Martin, etc. Fine dining is available at the several top-notch restaurants and both parents and children will enjoy a visit to Siam Ocean World, Southeast Asia’s largest aquarium. Siam Paragon, adjacent to Siam Square Skytrain Station.

MBK Shopping Center (a.k.a. Mah Boon Krong)     
MBK Center was Asia’s biggest shopping mall when it first opened in 1985 and now features 2,500 retailers covering 89,000 square metres. It is very popular among both locals and tourists for the wide selection of popular products available such as clothes, cosmetics, leather products, furniture and household items, and electric and electronic gadgets. MBK Centre also features a department store, a karaoke, restaurants, and a 5,000-seat food court on the fifth floor.

Gaysorn Plaza
Gaysorn is a luxurious white-marble shopping complex that houses high-end products and designer labels. Some of the luxury retailers to be found at this elite shopping centre includes Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Prada, Dunhill, as well as some of Thailand’s trendiest designers such as Fly Now, ‘Senada Theory, and Kloset Red Carpet. Gaysorn is located opposite Central World Complex, near Chit Lom Skytrain Station.

Places to Visit in Bangkok

Chatuchak Weekend Market
Chatuchak (or Jatujak) Weekend Market, which moved to its present location in 1982, is the largest market in the world and offers a prodigious array of goods such as household items, clothing, Thai handicraft, collectibles, religious artifacts, foods, and live animals. With over 15,000 stalls and between 200,000 and 300,000 visitors every Saturday and Sunday, shopping at Chatuchak Market is a truly unforgettable experience during which your bargaining skills can be put to the test. Do not forget to take along a small towel as the heat can be rather challenging when exploring this giant maze. The market features several banks with ATM and currency exchange, as well as popular cafes and restaurants. Nearby attractions include the very pleasant Chatuchak Park and JJ Mall, a shopping centre with different kinds of stores..

Temple of the Emerald Buddha
 A visit to Bangkok is not complete without seeing Wat Phra Kaew, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. This fascinating historical landmark dates back to 1782 and consists of more than a hundred brightly decorated buildings with golden spires and dazzling mosaics. The main temple houses the Emerald Buddha, Thailand’s most venerated image. This very holy talisman is generally believed to have been made in the fifteenth century and has been the cause of several wars before its permanent residence in Bangkok over two hundred years ago. Visitors should also visit nearby Wat Pho with its giant reclining Buddha and wonderful traditional Thai massages.

The Grand Palace
The Grand Palace adjoins the Temple of the Emerald Buddha and was the official residence of the Kings of Thailand from 1782 until the middle of the 20th century when His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej decided to reside at Chitralada Palace instead. The building’s architecture is an interesting combination of Western and Thai styles and is still used today for several purposes such as royal rituals, coronations, royal funerals, marriages, and state banquets.

The Temple of Dawn
Located on the bank of the Chaophraya River, Wat Arun – the Temple of Dawn – is one of Bangkok’s most famous landmarks. Its outstanding feature is a massive prang (Khmer-style tower) that is about a hundred-metre high. It is decorated with windows 10 product key thousands of bits of porcelain that were used as ballast on ships trading between Siam and China. It is possible to go up the tower for a nice view of the river and nearby buildings, but the climb is extremely steep and may discourage some visitors. The surrounding grounds are pleasant with attractive murals and fierce mythical guardians. The Temple of Dawn is open daily from 8.30 a.m. until 5.30 p.m. and entrance is 20 Baht. A donation is also sometimes requested.

Chaophraya Dinner Cruises
Chaopraya River, nicknamed the River of Kings, is a major transportation artery that runs through Bangkok into the Gulf of Siam. It offers unique and wonderful views of glistening temples, modern skyscrapers, and traditional Thai houses. Going on a dinner cruise along this famous river is a marvellous experience during which guests can delight in delicious Thai food with the opportunity to enjoy classical performances from Thai musicians and dancers. Types of boats vary from converted barges to luxury cruisers and are the perfect setting for a romantic candle-lit atmosphere with a cool tropical breeze.