The Best Things To Do And See In Bangkok, Thailand
The city of angels
Children learn the name of this city at school, but hardly anyone can remember it or explain it. The full name of this city means: "city of angels, great city, eternal treasure, unapproachable city of the god Indra, magestic city of the world, gifted by nine precious stones, happy city, full of prosperity grand Royal Palace, resembling divine dwelling, where the incarnated god reigns, city gifted by Indra."
Bangkok is the economic center of Thailand and its capital, one of the fast-growing cities of the world and one of the most attractive cities for tourism. The channel system, created by one of Thai kings in the 19th century, hinted the idea for another name to the city - "Eastern Venice." At that time boats were the only means of transport.
Districts of Bangkok
Bangkok consist of several districts, of which the most interesting are: historical center on the isle of Rattanakosin (the name means "the highest jewel"); Chinatown, the main activity of which is trade; Silom - modern city center with offices of major companies, the highest buildings of Bangkok and the most expensive hotels; Siam Square - the Mall where the main city shops and smaller stores are situated; Pratunam - the most popular touristic district.
What to see in Bangkok
Despite its short history, Bangkok has accumulated a range of unique monuments, each of which can be called a masterpiece. Everywhere you can see a lot of sculptures, wall frescos and decoration in Thai style. There are about 400 of temples in Bangkok, from the smallest ones, lost in the labyrinths of the streets to the biggest and most impressive ones like Temple of the Emerald Buddha and Temple of the Reclining Buddha.
Temple of the Emerald Buddha is one of the major sights of the city and the place of pilgrimage for all the Buddhists for the statue of the Emerald Buddha inside it is one of the most honoured shrines. The temple is situated in the center of the city on the isle of Rattanakosin. It makes part of the Grand Palace complex, and its gates are connected to its northern part. Buddha is depicted in the traditional pose - sitting cross-legged. Although the statue is called emerald, it is in fact made of green jade.
The Grand Palace together with Temple of Emerald Buddha are a must to see for those who visit Bangkok. The Palace represents a huge monument that consists of several buildings. Some of them host governmental institutions, but the royal family does not live here anymore. The Palace was started by Rama I who was the originator of Rama dynasty. You can buy tickets to visit the Palace in any hotel or tourist agency.
The Marble Temple is one of the most beautiful temples of Bangkok. It is made of Italian marble and it has a gallery containing fifty statues of Buddha, which are the exact replicas of famous Buddha statues from different countries.
Golden Buddha Temple is situated in Chinatown, not far from the railway station of Bangkok. The temple bears the name of its main shrine - the statue of the sitting Buddha which was made of pure gold more than 700 years ago. The statue weighs about 5 tons and its height is about 3 meters. The pupils of Buddha's eyes represent black Thai sapphires and the whites are made of pure pearls. In the past the statue was covered by plaster to prevent its theft by the Burmese conquerors during war-time. When the temple was built in the middle of the 20th century, the statue was brought from one of the temples in the north. Suddenly, a piece of plaster fell off and the gold showed. The treasure as well as the plaster that covered it and ancient photos of the statue are kept in the temple.
Crocodile farm Samuthprakarn is the world's largest crocodile farm, situated 10 kilometers away from the city. It was founded in 1950. It was supposed to host rare kinds of reptiles. Today, the populalion of the farm is 60 000 crocodiles, and there is a zoo nearby. The main attraction is the crocodile show held every day for tourists by the experienced crocodile trainers. Tourists can also ride elephants and camels. There is a dinosaur museum where you can see dinosaur models on the territory of the farm.
Bangkok National Museum has one of the richest collections in South-East Asia. It is situated not far from the Grand Palace. Its construction began in 1972, together with the construction of the city. This is why the buildings are so elegant and old. The most famous of them is the chapel of Buddhajsavan, which was also the personal chapel of the prince. In the middle of the chapel, among the walls covered with frescos, there is another shrine - a precious statue of Buddha Sighing. The main collection of this museum contains objects that show the history of Thailand from ancient times till present.