Bangkok is one of the most popular cities in the world to visit. About 18 million people make their way through this “City of Angels” every year, second only to London. And when you do visit Bangkok, you can easily see the appeal.
Bangkok has that special blend that attracts travelers: great cuisine and modern services mixed with living history and unique culture. The city itself is not that old, less than 250 years as a city. It’s actually the 5th capital city during the historical period of Thailand and Siam. But despite it’s ‘youth’, it has an amazing amount of historical sites to visit when you’re in town.
One of the things that most visitors would notice right away is how modern the city is. It boasts some of the best quality shopping in Asia, with shopping malls that are the envy of the continent. It seems each mall that opens is trying to outdo the other malls nearby. Nine-storey waterfalls and exotic animals in a mall are not uncommon in Bangkok.
The other thing that visitors would notice when in Bangkok is the large number of temples. With almost 400 temples dotted around the city, it’s pretty impossible to see them all. If you don’t have a lot of time, or are temple weary, you can see the top 3 – Wat Prah Kaew (Emerald Buddha), Wat Pho (Reclining Buddha) and Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn). These 3 are close to each other, so it makes it easy. You can also visit the Grand Palace nearby.
Bangkok is one of those cities that doesn’t attempt to hide its blemishes. Rather, it embraces them. That’s part of its charm. In one day, you can take in a wide range of experiences – start with visiting palaces and temples, with mid-day in modern shopping malls, and finish the day in one of hundreds of legendary nightclubs.
It’s common to see a centuries-old temple sitting in between towering skyscrapers. As the city becomes more modernized, towers are stretching upwards at a record pace. But the temples will never disappear. They are as important to the Thai people now, as they have ever been. The temples may get a new layer of gold every few decades, so they can compete for attention from modern Thais and tourists.