Bangkok Hotels , Flights and Travel Packages
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Bangkok (Thai: กรุงเทพฯ Krung Thep) is the capital of Thailand and by far its largest city with an estimated population of over 11 million. 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 is a huge and modern city humming with nightlife and fervour. Administratively, it is split up into 50 khet (districts), which are further split into 154 khwaeng (แขวง), but these are more often used in official business and for addresses. Visitors will find the conceptual division below of the main areas more useful for getting around. :
Siam Square : The area around Siam Square, including Ratchaprasong Intersection and Ploen Chit is Bangkok's modern commercial core, full of glitzy malls and hotels. The Skytrain intersection at Siam Square is the closest thing Bangkok has to a centre.
Sukhumvit : The long Sukhumvit Road is Bangkok's nightlife district filled with quality hotels, restaurants and clubs. Part of its nightlife represents Bangkok's naughty image, particularly Soi Cowboy and Nana Plaza.
Silom : To the south of Sukhumvit, the area around Silom Road and Sathorn Road is Thailand's sober financial center by day, but Bangkok's primary party district by night when quarters like the infamous Patpong come alive.
Rattanakosin : Between the river and Sukhumvit lies the densely packed "Old Bangkok", home to Bangkok's best-known sights, such as the Grand Palace and Wat Pho.
Khao San Road : On the northern part of Rattanakosin, Bangkok's backpacker mecca Khao San Road and the surrounding district of Banglamphu have everything a budget traveler could possibly want.
Yaowarat and Pahurat : Along Yaowarat Road you will find Bangkok's Chinatown, while Pahurat Road is the home of the sizable Indian community. This multicultural district is filled with a Sikh Temple (Sri Guru Singh Sabha) and markets selling food, gold, fabrics, and Bollywood movies.
Dusit : This leafy, European-style area is the political center of Thailand, home to numerous political institutions and the monarchy. Its breezy palaces, lush gardens and broad avenues give the district its distinct character.
Thonburi : The quieter west bank of the Chao Phraya River, with Wat Arun and many small canals to explore.
Phahonyothin : The area around Phahonyothin Road and Viphavadi Rangsit Road is best known for Pratunam, Chatuchak Weekend Market and Baiyoke Tower II. The sois around Ari offer some excellent cuisine.
Ratchadaphisek : The district north of Sukhumvit centered around Ratchadaphisek Road. The sois of "Ratchada" are popular nightlife spots with the locals, as is the area around Royal City Avenue (RCA).
Ramkhamhaeng : Along Ramkhamhaeng Road lies a vast residential area with big shopping malls and amusement parks (like Safari World). Each neighborhood has its own distinct character, the most important ones being Bang Kapi and Min Buri .
Most of Bangkok's sights are concentrated in on the island of Rattanakosin, often known as the "Old City". Out of Bangkok's hundreds of temples, the Grand Palace, Wat Pho and Wat Arun usually make up the top 3. The Grand Palace has an immense size and expect to spend at least a full morning or afternoon there. Within the palace grounds is Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha), the most sacred Buddhist temple in Thailand. Unlike other temples, it is not one building, nor are there are living spaces for monks. Instead, it is a collection of highly decorated holy buildings and monuments.
Nearby is Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha), home to the world's largest reclining Buddha image and a famed massage school. Cross the Chao Phraya river for the outstanding Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn). The main structure is about 70 meters high and it is surrounded by four smaller prangs. It is one of Thailand's most picturesque temples, and it is engraved on the inner part of all ten baht coins. If you climb it, and look closely, you will see that it is actually beautifully decorated with colorful Chinese porcelain pieces. Other major temples include the Golden Mount, Wat Suthat and Wat Rajnadda.
Bangkok is a good place to see traditional Thai-style residences. Most people take a tour through Jim Thompson's House, the CIA-operative's mansion assembled by combining six traditional Thai-style houses. Ban Kamthieng, M.R. Kukrit's Heritage Home and the Suan Pakkad Palace could also make for a nice experience. Another interesting museum is the Dusit Palace, situated in a leafy, European-style area built by king Chulalongkorn to escape the heat of the Grand Palace. It's main structure is the Vimanmek Mansion, the largest golden teakwood house in the world, but you could spend your whole day in the museums here. Other museums include the National Museum about Thai history and archaeology, as well as the Museum of Siam and the King Prajadhipok Museum. Bangkok has a small, but vocal, art community, and you might want to visit the National Gallery, The Queen's Gallery, or one of its numerous smaller galleries. Bangkok Art and Culture Centre has temporary art exhibitions throughout year.
Lumpini Park is the largest park in central Bangkok, and a nice way to escape the fumes. Backpackers around Khao San Road tend to head for Santichaiprakarn Park, a small, but worthy, park along the Chao Phraya river. It has a breezy atmosphere, a fort and a nice view on the modern Rama VII bridge. Zoos and animal farms are some of the most popular tourist attractions in Bangkok, but before visiting, please be aware that animal welfare in Thailand is not strictly regulated. The poor living conditions of the Dusit Zoo and Safari World as well as the inadequate veterinary care at these locations are examples of the sad mistreatment of the animal population. You can't go wrong at the Queen Saovabha Snake Farm, as the staff takes good care of their snakes and they have a job of informing the public about their risks. Siam Ocean World also makes for a nice family attraction. It is the largest aquarium in Southeast Asia.
Taking a bicycle tour of Bangkok is highly recommended. There are a handful of specialist operators that offer daily or regular departures to the Bangkok Jungle, an area across the river from downtown Bangkok where there are few cars or buildings, or through the backstreets of China Town. It sounds strange but a cycle tour in Bangkok really is the best way to discover the city up close. Sightseeing Along the Chao Phraya River is another great way to see the city, There are special boat trips designed for foreign tourists along the Chao Phraya River to take in sites such as the Grand Palace. They are quite pointless though, as the public passenger ferry does exactly the same trip. In fact, they are even better as they go all the way up to Nonthaburi Town. For a good trip take a public passenger ferry from near the Saphan Taksin BTS skytrain station and go up to Nonthaburi Town, enjoy the afternoon in this pleasant laid back traditional urban town and take the boat back.
Thai Boxing in Bangkok : Thai Boxing or Muay Thai is both a sport and means of self defence. Contestants are allowed to use almost any part of their body: feet, elbows, legs, knees, and shoulders, are all weapons. The playing of traditional music during bouts makes for even greater excitement. There are two venues in Bangkok for this type of sport: Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Silom and Ratchadamnoen Stadium in Rattanakosin.
Elephant riding :Elephants are a large part of Thailand’s tourist trade, and the smuggling and mistreatment of elephants for tourist attractions is quite a widespread practice. Be aware that elephants are often separated from their mothers at a young age to be cruelly trained under captivity for the rest of their lives. Organizations such as The Elephant Nature Park[ in Chiang Mai are an ethical alternative for elephant tourism.
Cultural performances : Puppet Theatre, Theatrical perfomances, Thai Dance etc.,
Wellness in Bangkok : Spas, traditionally, were towns where public baths, hospitals or hotels were built on top of mineral springs so that people could come and make use of the healing properties found in the water and its mud for medical purposes. These days, a spa doesn’t have to be a town built on natural thermal springs. It can be a place anywhere that anyone can go to, to relax in tranquil surroundings with a variety of treatment administered to recontour and rejuvenate the body and mind. All self-respecting hotels in Bangkok will have a spa operating on premises offering at least traditional massage services. These tend to charge a premium but also offer some the best treatments in town. Particularly well-regarded spas include Deverana at the Dusit Thani and the eponymous operations at Banyan Tree and the legendary Oriental . The ubiquitous little massage shops found on every street corner in town, offer the best value for money but the smallest range of services, with offerings usually limited to massage only. It is fairly easy to distinguish legitimate massage shops from more dubious places: the real deal will charge 250-400 baht for a typical two-hour massage and will often have a row of beefy farmers' daughters in white coats working on customers' feet in public view, while the other kind has wispy things in evening dresses and too much makeup yelling "Hello handsome" at every passing male.
Entertainment in Bangkok : Horse Races are held on Sunday from 12.30PM-6.00PM at two alternate turf clubs, The Royal Turf Club of Thailand (ราชตฤณมัยสมาคม), on Phitsanulok Road or the Royal Bangkok Sports Club (ราชกรีฑาสโมสร) , on Henri Dunant Road. Bangkok is a great place to go to the movies. Most of the cinemas are of the highest world-class standards and show all the latest releases. Major Cineplex and SFX are some of the largest chain cinemas. They are also up to par with technological innovations in the movie industry - expect to wear 3D glasses for some of the Hollywood releases, or visit an an IMAX Theater on Rangsit Roador the IMAX theater at Siam Paragon. Just like the capital’s cinemas, bowling centers are of a superb standard with some of them resembling the inside of a discotheque. Dance while you play style. Top class private karaoke lounges can be found at some of the bowling centers and major hotels.
Dinner cruises : Dinner cruises on the Chao Phraya river are a touristy but fun way of spotting floodlit temples while chowing down on seafood and watching Thai cultural performances. Most operate buffet-style and the quality of the food is so-so, but there's lots of it and it's not too spicy.
Events in Bangkok ;
Chinese New Year Festival. The obvious place to go is Bangkok's Chinatown, Yaowarat, where the main road is closed to cars and many stores and food stands crowd the road, with grandiose and colourful Chinese lion and dragon processions.
Bangkok Songkran Festival. 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 merry-making and entertainment. Khao San Road degenerates into a war zone as farangs and locals duke it out with super soakers.
Royal Ploughing Ceremony, May An ancient Brahman ritual, conducted at Sanam Luang, is what 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 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, as well as the rainy season. Nowadays, the ceremony is conducted by the Crown Prince.
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.
HM The King’s Birthday Celebrations December 5. Ratchadamri Road and the Grand Palace are elaborately decorated and illuminated, and in the evening hundreds of thousands line the route from Sanam Luang to Chitlada Palace to get a glimpse of the King when he is slowly chauffeur-driven past.
Bangkok Flights &Airports : Suvarnabhumi Airport Located 30km to the east of Bangkok, space-age Suvarnabhumi Airport (สุวรรณภูมิ), pronounced "soo-wanna-poom", (BKK) started operations in September 2006 and is now Bangkok's main airport as well as the busiest airport in Southeast Asia. It's used by all airlines in Thailand except domestic Nok Air and One-Two-Go, which still use the old Don Muang Airport . There is only one terminal building, which covers both domestic and international flights, but it's huge (by some measures the world's largest) so allow time for getting around.