The Wonders Of Bangkok
Bangkok is the gateway to South East Asia. From this crazy and chaotic city you can access countries such as Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Burma and Malaysia. It is a city rich in tradition but one that also wholeheartedly embraces modernity with glistening malls and high-rise apartment complexes.
From temples and markets to partying all night long with the locals, Bangkok is a city with much to see and do. It has long been a backpacker favourite and the Khao San road is famous as a place for weary travellers laden with 70 litre backpacks.
Top of the to-do list is the Grand Palace. Inside the compound are several temples, the most well known being the Wat Phra Kaew temple, which is the most sacred site in Thailand. The architecture is outstanding – colourful and intricate – with murals and Buddhas on every wall. Inside the ancient walls of the Grand Palace you'll also find the Emerald Buddha.
Just down the road is the Wat Pho temple, which is Bangkok's oldest and largest. Inside its historic and ornately decorated walls, you'll find the Reclining Buddha. This Buddha is a massive 46 metres long and 15 metres high, gold plated and adorned with mother-of-pearl inlay. The temple is the place to go for a Thai massage, as it is the country's centre of learning and preservation of traditional Thai medicine and massage.
In a small temple in Chinatown, Wat Traimit, sits a three-metre high golden Buddha. It is made from over five tonnes of solid gold and is worth upwards of £10 million. It is thought to have been made in the 13th century and was later covered in plaster to disguise it from Burmese invaders.
The iconic Wat Arun temple on the banks of the Chao Phraya River is a sight to behold at dawn. It is different to other temples in Bangkok as it is built in classical Ayuttaya style, after the country's ancient capital, and views from the top of its tall tower are mesmerising.
Thailand has a rich history that is best celebrated at the National Museum. Exhibits here cover everything from treasures to textiles as well as musical instruments and weapons.
Bangkok can be a rather exhausting city, so if you need a break head to Lumpini Park early in the day for a spot of T'ai Chi to pump some energy back into your tired limbs and to clear your mind for another day exploring this enthralling city.