Bangkok Travel guide Guía turística de Bangkok

Bangkok


 


Bangkok

Bangkok in 2012
Bangkok in 2012.

Bangkok is a city of contrasts – from the hundreds of Buddhist temples to skyscrapers and giant shopping malls, this place offers everything. It is the largest urban area, the main city and capital of Thailand and is located in the centre of the country where the Chao Phraya River meets the waters of Siam and is often called the "Venice of the East" because of the numerous canals that are running through the city and especially the "gondolas" real floating stalls filled with goods sold on the water.

Bangkok is also known as "Krung Thep" which means "City of Angels" and is a fascinating tourist destination, visited by millions of visitors from all around the world. The city is the most important tourist centre of the entire East Asia region and represents a good mix of tradition and modernity. Visitors will appreciate its modern skyscrapers, luxury hotels and shopping centres, along with the traditional Thai culture that still retains its own charm. There are plenty of things to see and do in Bangkok, the city has impressive temples, museums, markets, numerous bars, nightclubs and cinemas. It is a noisy city, chaotic, with lots of places where you can have fun, where you can taste different dishes or where you can see a Thai boxing match.

Bangkok is a metropolitan city. It is one of the most prosperous commercial centres. Across the nation, Bangkok is ranked highest in its ability to combine the old and new. This wonderful city embraces modern development and offers the most exclusive stores, office towers where branches of major global banks have their offices, luxury hotels and all combined with neon signs, entertainment and local typical restaurants that serve spicy Thai specialties and international cuisine.

Bangkok is a paradise for shopping lovers. Some of the major shopping centres in the city are Gayson Plaza, Amulet market, Pak Khlong market and Nandakwang. Bangkok has received the title of "stopping the buyer", as it is a great place to shop. The large number of shopping streets has added to its uniqueness. The wide range of products such as textiles, clothing, appliances, monks’ materials, fresh flowers and even weapons are sold in the streets. But, here too there are many cultural attractions such as national museums, the Siam Society, the Thailand Cultural Centre and the National Library. One of the most popular destinations is the floating market of Damnoen Saduak. It's the place where you can taste local food, while an expert guide takes you on a boat ride along the canals where you can buy tons of souvenirs for friends and family.

The wealth of cultural attractions and city sights, in addition to its famous entertainment places, has become synonymous with the exoticism. Its rich history is as important as its rapid modernization, reflected in the urban landscape and urban society. The Grand Royal Palace, its thousands of temples and the famous red light districts of the city combine with each other to attract 11 million international visitors each year.

Bangkok has a registered population of 9.100.000 inhabitants, while the Bangkok metropolitan area has a population of nearly 12 million inhabitants. Bangkok has five other provinces: Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Samut Prakan, Samut Sakhon and Nakhon Pathom and the five provinces are joined in the conurbation of the Bangkok Metropolitan Area. It has two international airports: Suvarnabhumi Airport and Don Mueang International Airport, four rapid transit lines operated by the BTS, MRT and SRT, with plans to add additional lines until 2020.

Districts

Administratively, Bangkok is divided into 50 districts, which are further divided into 154 sub-districts, but these are more often used in official business and for addresses.

The main areas of interest to visitors are:

Siam Square
It is the area around Siam Square, including Ratchaprasong and Phloen Chit Road and it is the modern shopping centre of Bangkok, full of glitzy malls and hotels. The intersection of Skytrain with the Siam Square is the closest thing to a conventional central that Bangkok has.

Sukhumvit
Sukhumvit is an upscale neighbourhood, popular among expatriates and the local upper class. It's full of good quality hotels, restaurants and nightclubs. Part of its nightlife represents Bangkok’s playful image, particularly Soi Cowboy Club and Nana Entertainment Plaza.

Silom
The area around Silom Road and Sathorn is Thailand's serious financial centre during the day, but the main district of Bangkok for parties, by night, when infamous places such as the Patpong come alive.

Rattanakosin
Between the river and the centre is the densely populated "Old Bangkok", home to the most popular attractions of Bangkok, such as the Grand Royal Palace and the Wat Pho.

Khao San Road
In the northern part of Rattanakosin, the Khao San Road and the surrounding district of Banglamphu have everything that a traveller on a budget might be looking for.

Yaowarat and Phahurat
Along Yaowarat Road is Bangkok's Chinatown, while Phahurat Road is home to the largest Indian community in the city. This multicultural district is filled with temples, shrines, seafood restaurants and street markets.

Dusit
This green area, in a European style is the political centre of Thailand, home to many political institutions and the monarchy. Its palaces, lush gardens and wide avenues give this neighbourhood its distinctive character.

Thonburi
Thonburi is the quiet west bank of the Chao Phraya River. Most visitors explore this district with a tour through the canals, at least seeing the Wat Arun, the National Museum of Royal Ship and one of the floating markets.

Pratunam
Pratunam is a big clothing market with hundreds of boutiques that sell both retail and wholesale. It also includes the second Baiyoke Tower and the Victory Monument.

Phahonyothin
The area around the Phahonyothin Road and the Viphavadi Rangsit Road is a major suburb in the north of Bangkok. Over the weekend is the best place to go in search of deals. Chatuchak Weekend Market has over 8000 stalls selling almost anything.

Ratchadaphisek
Since the finalization of the subway line, Ratchadaphisek Road has become a Mecca of entertainment for the locals. Here you can find hot spots for parties, such as the Royal City Avenue (RCA).

Ramkhamhaeng
Along the Ramkhamhaeng Road is a large residential area with shopping malls and amusement parks (such as Safari World). Each neighbourhood has its own character, but Hua Mark and Bang Kapi stand out as the most vibrant areas, with many college students.

Bangkok is a very westernized and modern city, designed for travellers from around the world to feel at home.
The city is getting better by the day, it’s up to its reputation and because of this and all the other reasons it’s a place that should be marked on our agenda as a tourist destination to visit.


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