Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Boulevard of Culture and Attractions: BANGKOK

Wish we could teleport ourselves at the blink of the eyes, wish we had the superpower to kiss the lands of any place, to watch sun kissing oceans or hiding behind mountains or we could just wander like clouds from one place to another all the time and drop like rains to touch the grounds wherever we wished.

But we are humans, with no superpowers but only great imaginations. We have no time in today’s busy life to fill our appetite of travelling. But I make it a point to travel, go explore and do my bit of photography by leaving Mumbai atleast for a week once a year.

I have seen a lot of places in India, but have never been abroad. I believe it is better to take baby steps. So as a first timer, I wanna go to a nearby place i.e. Bangkok, capital of Thailand. One of the most sought after destination and traveler’s & shopper’s paradise and truly amazing place as per what I have researched.

As per modern definition Bangkok means City of angels, great city of immortals, magnificent city of the nine gems, seat of the king, city of royal palaces, home of gods incarnate, erected by Visvakarman at Indra's behest.

Bangkok appeals to me for its multifaceted sights, heritage, attractions and modern city life; royal palaces and temples as well as several museums and of course the nightlife. In short, it is a treasure house standing strong on four pillars viz. spirituality, culture, freshness and charm.

I like to keep my travel list ready before visiting any place, like what are its must do’s, must visits and must eats (since i am also a foodie) etc. to avoid last minute hustle and bustle. And here is what I have prepared for my soon to be Bangkok visit.

Bombay to Bangkok via Air Asia. As it gives a good opportunity to save on my pockets, the saving aka extra money I can splurge on me at Bangkok.

  • Grand Palacewhich is huge and within palace grounds is Wat Phra Kaew, the most sacred Buddhist temple of Thailand. And one of the buildings here, houses the Emerald Buddha, which is the most sacred Buddha image of Thailand. (What I also found is that you better not throw away the entry ticket of the Grand Palace, as it gives free entry to the Dusit Palace in Dusit. Free things are always welcome)
  • Wat Pho - home to the world's largest reclining Buddha image
  • Golden Mount and Wat Saket – Wat Saket is a temple which sits on Golden Mount, an artificial hill, from where one can see all Bangkok
  • And many more Wats like Wat Arun - Temple of the Dawn, Wat RatchanaddaramWat Traimit - Temple of the Golden Buddha, Wat Benchamabophit - Marble Temple.
  • Ayuthaya - Old City - If Wat Pho in Bangkok has a golden reclining buddha, Ayuthaya has a brick and mortar Reclining Buddha at the Ayuthaya Historical park, located at the Wat Lokayasutha Ayutthaya
  • Erawan Shrine is a Hindu shrine that houses a statue of Phra Phrom, the Thai representation of the Hindu creation god Brahma
  • Museums – like Jim Thompson's House, Ban Kamthieng, National Museum, Museum of Siam and the King Prajadhipok Museum
  • To take a break from the traffic and crowd of Bangkok, Lumphini Park in Silom is a place to relax and chillax.
  • Muang Boran - Ancient City - It is like synopsis for whole Bangkok. An open-aired museum, and said to be the largest one, not only in Thailand but in the world which houses all the important highlights of each province in Thailand
  • Siam Ocean World a underwater tunnel and a wonderful ocean world


Shop and Buy
  • Chatuchak Weekend Market – not to be missed, its a weekend market, housing lotsa stalls setout in separate sections viz clothes, antiques etc.
  • Floating Market – there are many, but the name I came across the most is Damnernsaduak Floating Market; best place to visit for family. Here one can take long-tailed speed boats through the many small canals which will lead to the Floating Market. Here one can see boats of various shapes and sizes used by local merchants to ferry their goods, which is mesmerizing.
  • Suan Lum Night Bazzar – this bazzar houses 100's and 100's of stalls selling from souvenirs to clothes and shoes. It is cheaper if you know to bargain.
  • Khao San Road – is a best place to hang out, it has lots of shops, street buys, local items and gift items, restaurants and bars. A very busy road, especially at night when the lights are on.
Buy – More than malls, better explore street markets for buying clothing. Then there is cheap and locally produced street wear and fancy Thai silk, and all sorts of handicrafts which you can buy as souvenirs’.

Experience -

  • Skytrain is convenient and cheap and connects most of the places in Bangkok
  • Tuk tuk – much-loathed, much-loved
  • River taxi – expensive, so try for short travel if you just wanna experience this ride, try little bargaining
  • Bicycle tours - In Bangkok, cyclists are treated as pedestrians, so one can use bicycle to explore parks, temple complexes, markets etc and in more crowded places one can cycle on the pavement.
  • Canal tours - Another great way to see the Chao Phraya River and the original canals of the city. Most of these special boat trips start at the eastern bank of the Chao Phraya and head through the backwaters of Thonburi, taking in Wat Arun, the Royal Barges National Museum and a floating market
  • Pampering - Thai massage / spa is famous all over the world and if one like can sure experience this.
  • There are lot of restaurants and joints in Bangkok; for not only Thai, but a wide selection of world-class international cuisine too. There are many vegetarian restaurants in the more tourist-friendly parts of town (especially in Khao San Road).
  • Since Bangkok is hot and humid, it is better to carry water and juices and yeah have ice cream.
  • Street food is among the most delicious food and can be found all over Bangkok.
  • Dinner cruise - Dinner cruises on the Chao Phraya River are a touristy (but fun) way of spotting floodlit temples while chewing down on seafood and watching Thai cultural performances.

WHENNovember to February, which is relatively cool.

HOPEA fabulous experience.

Hope you enjoyed Hopping and Popping...

P.S.This post is a part of my Dream as well as Dream Asian Destination Blogger Contest in association with Ripple Links to celebrate “World’s Best Online Travel Fair”.

Image and R & D material source: Internet.